Book Review - The Gospel in Christian Traditions

Is there such a thing as a common Christian Gospel? Nowadays people are inclined to doubt it and hence to express grave misgivings about the possibility of any ecumenical dialogue. Here is a book to make such sceptics think again and to encourage the rest of us to reflect on the important question, "What gives coherence to the name of 'Christian'?"

There is much wisdom in this book, including its distinction between two senses of "gospel", which can refer both to the basic narrative about the work of God in Jesus and to what it does for us, the salvation that it brings. There is wisdom, too, in its challenge to the view that Christians do not really agree on the meaning of the Christian faith.

Campbell does not run away from the tricky hermeneutical question of whether the same phrases can have the same meanings in different cultural systems and his answer to the implied problem is that careful questioning and respectful dialogue can help the process of mutual understanding. Shared meanings are always imperfectly shared and once we have grasped the implications of that insight, then the talking can begin. This book should be read attentively by all those who are committed to ecumenical dialogue. - Nicholas King, The Tablet (click below for full review)

The Gospel in Christian Traditions
Ted A. Campbell
Oxford University Press

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