The American church today suffers from a self-inflicted problem: preaching a “divided” gospel that emphasizes individualistic salvation in Christ over against the larger overall message of the Kingdom of God. The primary theme of the entire New Testament is the Kingdom of God with all its societal and cultural implications, a theme was clearly seen in the preaching of John the Baptist, Jesus, and the apostle Paul. The pre-Civil War American church generally had a similar Kingdom focus with its emphasis on the individual as well as societal transformation. This emphasis changed after the war, however, to the great and lasting detriment of both the church and American society. Rather than engaging the world, the church shifted its focus inward to escape the world by placing its primary emphases on individual sanctification and the Rapture, thus largely surrendering its influence in American culture and social institutions to the secular humanists. America continues to suffer the bitter fruit of the church’s surrender.
In The Divided Gospel, Joseph Mattera addresses this disastrous problem head-on, identifying fourteen negative consequences of dividing the gospel and explaining the dangerous implications of each. A final chapter contrasts the Kingdom mindset from the religious church mindset and offers insightful guidance to the church for returning to a full Kingdom focus.
He challenges our thinking of having the gospel of Salvation instead of the Gospel of the Kingdom. Small but powerful little book.
~ Ian Green