This post is part of a series about sharing the gospel and new media. Check out other posts in this series, along with other blog series from the past, here.
By Nick Buck
The word “gospel” is an Old English term for “good news,” which is literally the meaningof the Greek word euangelion
. At the center of the Christian story is the good news, the gospel, of Jesus Christ. In no uncertain terms Jesus’ followers are called to share this good news with the world. The Second Testament begins with multiple versions of this good news, each written by a different community and from a different perspective.
What exactly the good news of Jesus Christ is, of course, is a matter of significant theological dispute. Questions of its content and form, as well as how one should share it, are also matters of discussion. Nevertheless it remains the case that the gospel refers to that which sits at the center of Christian thought and practice.
The practices and beliefs of Christians have always been subject to a changing world. In the age of new media, this means living into a novel context. New digital realities emerge that call us to re-imagine being Christian in new spaces and new ways. Important questions arise such as, how do we think about sharing the gospel in a world of new media? What does it mean to share the gospel on/with new media? What should be kept in mind while doing so? How do we think theologically about doing so?
These questions are related to many others: How does the form of the gospel affect the sharing of it? How do we welcome people in a digital space? How do we tell the stories of our lives on new media? How can we connect with others? How can we further the cause of justice and love?
Questions of the gospel are central for the practice of ministry. Thinking theologically about these questions is essential for the practice ministry in a digital age. This eight-part series will ask some of these critical questions, thinking theologically about new media, and even go some way in suggesting answers.
Yet it is important to remember that answers to these questions are in many ways contextual. How a person or community answers questions about sharing the gospel is theologically significant. Such questions can only be answered adequately from within a particular theological and/or denominational tradition, in reference to its distinctive beliefs and practices.
Hopefully the blog posts in this series can contribute to your thinking on these issues. As always, we encourage discussion and comments! Nick Buck is the associate director of the New Media Project.