I am reading The Heart of the Gospel: The Theology Behind the Master Plan of Evangelism by Robert E. Cole for one of my summer courses at seminary. It is a decent book that looks at the theology of the Bible for the impetus of evangelizing. It is written through the eyes of a Wesleyan, which comes through quite often. Aside from a few disagreements here and there, it is a good book and worth reading. I appreciate what Coleman writes in his sixth chapter, “The Son of God.”
It is here Coleman writes about the uniqueness of Christ, and how Christianity is different than all other religions. This is what he writes:
The magnetism of the Gospel is Jesus Christ
When he [that is, Christ] is lifted up he draws one to God. Everything about his life captivates the imagination.
He was born in a stable, the child of a peasant. He grew up in an obscure village, where he worked as a carpenter until he was thirty. Then for three years he became an itinerant preacher. He did none of the things that usually accompany greatness. He never went to college nor wrote a book. He accumulated no wealth nor held public office. He never traveled more than one hundred and fifty miles from the place where he was born. Though loved by the poor and oppressed, religious leaders derided him as a friend of sinners and publicans. He was only thirty-three when they arrested him, put him through a mock trial, then nailed him to a cross between two thieves. While he was dying, his executioners cast lots for his garment, the only possession he had on earth. When he died, his body was laid in a borrowed tomb.
Twenty centuries have come and gone, and today he is the central figure of the human race. All the armies that ever marched, all the parliaments that ever sat, all the kings that ever reigned–put together–have not affected the life of people on this earth as much as that one solitary man.
That is the uniqueness of Jesus. There is no other religion that compares to Christianity. Christianity, the one True religion, is a story of salvation. God coming to man to save us from our own sin. When we tell others about the Gospel, remember the uniqueness of Christ. As Coleman says, Jesus Christ is “the magnetism of the Gospel.”