A new draft version for your feedback
Hi Tony thank you for the considered changes they look and sound a lot better, I have one small point, outside the local Baptist Church in our community there is a sign that says 'Jesus Saves' my question has always been he saves what? Is it money in the bank or something like that, I know rescues can have similar connotations like he rescues us from what like the Westpac helicopter rescues people but maybe this can be explained easier than he saves money, just a thought.
I think this version is much better. Two things jumped out at me:
What is God’s “glory” in Point 1? It seems like a religious/unfamiliar term that needs unpacking.
It may have changed in the 20-odd years since I was at uni, but back then “society” (in Point 2) was one of those totalising terms immediately regarded with suspicion. “our societies” maybe? “our communities” would probably be more buzzword-compliant.
So “But we fail to rule ourselves or our communities or the world.“
Hmm, that’s slightly nauseating for me, maybe “our societies”, then.
Hi Tony, I think you’ve done a great job, well done.
Hi Tony, The new version of Two Ways to Live looks good. Perhaps you could add 5 words to elaborate on what death and judgement results in. Point 3 could say this - “God’s punishment for rebellion is death and judgement and eternal separation from Him”. This would mean that Point 6 A needs the words adding also - “Facing death and judgement and eternal separation from God”. These 5 words explain what happens after death and judgement. However, Hebrews 9:27 doesn’t include this idea, although it is understood by people who are biblically literate. Thanks.
Is it worth having the word “Bible” anywhere in the outline? I know that the Bible references in the outline show that what is said is supported by the Bible. But is there a place to explicitly show our reliance on propositional revelation?
So, should the very first line say “The Bible says that God is the ruler of his world”?
Or is there a preamble to the whole outline before the first box that says “In the Bible, God tells us the most important decision we each must make.”
I also wonder if the two ways of Point 6 could be a bit punchier, maybe with each of the four sub-points starting with a verb? Perhaps:
‘A. Our way’:
“Reject Jesus as our saviour and ruler”
“Live our own way”
“Receive God’s condemnation”
“Await death and judgement”
‘B. God’s new way”:
“Rely on Jesus alone to save us”
“Submit to Jesus as our ruler”
“Receive God’s forgiveness”
“Enjoy a new life that lasts forever”
I wonder if this might better express the active beliefs of each of the two ways?
G’day Tony, I’m a little late to the party as I’ve only just subscribed... and am delighted to be part of the action! It’s a great task to review 2wtl, and I love the updates. And here are just a few, minor thoughts:
1. I’m wondering if there are a few places where it could be strengthened if it emphasised the individual more? So, for example, in point 2, could “We all reject God” be changed to “We each reject God” or “Each of us rejects God”?
2. Similarly, point 4, maybe instead of “unlike us” it could be “unlike anyone”?
Minor points, and might have other, unintended consequences I’ve not considered, but I’m aware of the drift in some gospel presentations to a corporate guilt/response over the personal.
Great stuff, Tony!
Box 2: I find “but we fail...” is often rejected, “I think we’re doing an alright job” says the unbeliever. What about “Because of this we fail...” turning it into a causal statement?
Box 4: Really like the “won us” suggestion by Josh, but also think it is confusing language. I thought of “offers us” but doesn’t do justice to the “won us” concept. I can’t think of a pagan example that this concept applies to, but if there is I wonder what language they would use to describe the same idea...
Hi Tony, I like lots of the updates.
I'm not so keen on 'religions' in point 2. Would it be enough to say, 'we follow our own values and desires'? Shortening it to these two would be grouping religious people with the moralist.
Thanks Tony, the modifications look beneficial and the emphasis on personal rejection and personal salvation is an excellent change. I just wanted to add my 1+ to the "God's glory" statement. As someone who grew up somewhat under churched and now attends a Pressie one, this makes complete sense to me now but probably didn't initially. It does risk a significant digression into what God's Glory means.
Perhaps "for our good and His joy/pleasure?" Sorry, trying to offer a suggestion although I'm not sure it is any better.
Thank you Tony for your work on this - I think 2wtl is such a good gospel outline that is so valuable to have.
In box 1, I want to echo the point about creation for God's glory. Of course it is Biblically true but as a truth it is I think quite tricky, even difficult to explain.
In box 4 I agree with the use of "save" rather than rescue - I think it is more consistent with the Biblical themes of what Jesus came to do, and ultimately, Jesus' rescue saves us.
In box 6, I agree we submit to Jesus as Lord, and while reluctant to add words, I wonder if to give a positive nuance to the word "submit" if it was said we "submit to and trust in" Jesus. That is, I willingly submit to Jesus as my Lord because I know that I can trust his word and his promises.
Hi Tony. Thanks for inviting feedback. It's such a "21st century" way to collaborate in (re-)writing something! In short, I really like your edits to date. I note that in just about every case they make the text longer, although I think they also make it clearer. So I'd be happy to see some brevity sacrificed in the service of precision. The main question I've got is whether more could be done to explain the significance of the resurrection (although I recognise this could require more than just a tweak)? This is the only element of 2WTL I've always thought was a bit thin and I'm not sure your most recent draft improves it. The focus of 2WTL seems largely to be on the significance of the resurrection for our Christology and eschatology, but it downplays what I might call its "salvific effects". Part of this, I think, is because the death and the resurrection of Christ are treated as separate ideas/pages in the tract. So I've wondered whether introducing the resurrection on page 4 would help people to see why it means we're no longer in our sins, but it might also means the focus of page 5 could be more squarely eschatological? I hope this makes some sense.
Hi Tony - just wondering how the gospel summaries relate to, and apply in, our increasing honour/shame culture. Not suggesting you phrase it as 'we deserve to be cancelled'. But rebellion currently seems to be viewed as a positive virtue and being the ruler of my life a thing to be embraced. Is there a better way of expressing our inexcusable culpability? Might resonate better amongst millennials and GenZ.
It is really encouraging (and educational!) to see the ‘working out’!
My only comment is that in point 4 it is now somewhat ambiguous about whether the content after the semicolon—“the man Jesus Christ”—is referring back to “his Son” or “us”. I can see why you’ve ended up with this sentence, especially considering the changes made to point 2. Still, it may be worth weighing up the pros and cons for “Because of his love, God sent his Son, the man Jesus Christ, into the world to save us” or “Because of his love, God sent into the world to save us his Son: the man Jesus Christ” or “Because of his love, in order to save us, God sent his Son into the world: the man Jesus Christ”.