The Lost Gospel of Steve Chalke [v1.3]
“ ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’…The usual solution to this problem of Jesus’ cry is to suggest that God purposely turns his back on Jesus because he cannot bear to look on sin. As Jesus takes on to himself the fullness of the world’s sin, his sight becomes unbearable for a pure and holy God. I used to preach this way myself” (Steve Chalke, 2004).
“The most important thing that Christians believe about Jesus is that He paid the price for the wrong things we’ve done and so took away our guilt. This means we can be forgiven by God even though we don’t deserve it” (Steve Chalke, 1994).
“My book, The Lost Message of Jesus, is not actually about atonement”
(Steve Chalke, 2004).
This is the first of a series of articles on what appears to be agrowing cartel of professing Christian writers and speakers. Theyhave a particular, hard-to-define theological emphasis which centreson NT Wright’s New Perspective on Paul’s doctrine of justification
, a huge stress on ‘how Jesus’ message would havesounded to 1
Century Jews’ and “a popularised 21st century brandof worn-out 19th century liberalism” (www.amazon.co.uk rThis group includes Steve Chalke, Vincent Donovan, the Bishopof Durham, Nigel Wright, Dallas Willard, Tony Campolo, Ian Croneviewer).ndr
, Kevin Rains (Vineyard) and others. The Word-Faith movement and the likes of Benny Hinn and Kenneth Copelahave been thoroughly exposed and shown to be manifestly anti-biblical (though sadly the latter is being given airtime alongside theexcellent RC Sproul on the new UCB Europe TV channel). So nowit seems the Enemy is hard at work through a new breed of subtlefalse teachers, many with English accents, who “secretly bring indestructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring onthemselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways,because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed” (2 Peter 2:1,2).And it is certainly true that many follow them. Steve Chalke’s 2003 book
The Lost Message of Jesus
has ridden high in the Wesley Owen top 10bestsellers for several months. The websitewww.church.co.uk is an online,virtual church (which has a physical hub [
] in Waterloo) and for themost part is devoted to promoting Steve Chalke’s ideas, although there aresome brave Biblical voices in the online debate forum, such as IanGoodson (God bless you, brother!).Chalke has a distinguished career, particularly in the media and socialaction. He started life as a Baptist minister in 1981 having studied atSpurgeon’s College. In 1985 he set up Oasis Trust, a help-the-homelessorganisation which now has over 400 workers. Over the next 20 years heinvolved himself in speaking and writing books and articles on parenting,dating and the internet. Lots of people will remember using his ‘Lessons in
The Lost Message of Jesus
(Grand Rapids, Zondervan, 2003), p183
video (Scripture Union, 1994)
‘Redeeming the Cross: the Lost Message of Jesus & the Cross of Christ’, article
To be covered in a forthcoming article
“Don’t misunderstand me. I do believe one of the benefits of following Christ is this wonderful eternal life we have now and forever.I love the story and the message and the truth of the Cross, but the Cross is one sliver in the larger story of God’s mission to theworld…I’m asking you to have an openness to a bigger gospel…there’s so much more to the landscape of Christianity than I everimagined… Don’t get me wrong, I do believe that the gospel has eternal consequences associated with it” (online sermon ‘TheForgotten Message of Jesus’,www.trinitychurchonline.org