The first is to proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom. But what is the Good News, or Gospel according to Fred Hiltz and the Anglican Church of Canada?
It sounds like a simple question and one would think the answer would contain things like: every person has sinned and deserves to be judged by God; God loves us so much that he sent his Son Jesus to take our sin upon himself; on the cross Jesus bore our sin and was punished instead of us; he rose bodily from death and is now alive and with his Father; he offers to us the free gift of salvation so that, instead of judgement, we can experience eternal life with him. Whether you believe this or not, it is relatively straightforward and is the foundation of the Christian Gospel.
But is this what Fred Hiltz means when he talks about the Good News? Apparently not. On January 15th Fred Hiltz spoke in the Diocese of Niagara; during the question time, someone asked him point blank, “what is the Gospel?” After asking the questioner to repeat the question – Fred appeared stunned – and embarrassed laughter from the congregation, he opined that the Good News is:
1. Parishes having an excellent liturgy
2. Parishes having preaching that is Christ centred
3. Telling stories.
Here is the question and Fred’s answer: