Most Christians would agree that the Gospel, the good news about Jesus, is the saving message in the Bible. But if we were to look at how our acceptance of this truth actually influences the way we interpret the Scriptures, or the way we preach and witness, or the way we deal with cultural issues and people outside of the faith, we would soon see our agreement fading.

So, while everyone might agree about the importance of the Gospel as the saving message of the Bible, not everyone agrees with how this belief should be embodied in the various practices of our faith. This raises a lot of questions. For my purposes here, two of them are important, “How do Lutherans understand the relationship between the Gospel and Scripture?” and, “How does our understanding influence our preaching and teaching and our lives together?” These are big questions, and in this paper, I can only start to address them. Though there are any number of directions that my argument could take, I am going to argue specifically that Lutherans have always and should continue to walk a middle road between two ditches into which it is easy to fall. The middle-of-the-road approach for which I am advocating is what I will call a “Gospel–centered approach.” The ditches to be avoided are a so-called Gospel-reductionist approach on the one side and a so-called Biblicist approach on the other

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