Christianity includes something besides the gospel. If we make Christianity equal to the gospel alone, then we are likely to fall into one of two errors. The first is to depreciate everything in the faith that does not fit our definition of the gospel. The second is to expand our definition of the gospel to include other forms of Christian belief and activity.
The first error is committed by those who wish to limit Biblical inerrancy to the Bible’s saving message. Doing so allows them (as they see it) to affirm inerrancy while also affirming that the Bible makes mistakes in matters of science and history. Since science and history are supposedly not part of the Bible’s saving message, they do not count against inerrancy.
The second error is committed by varieties of people who wish to “front-load” the gospel with their pet doctrines and theories. An example is those folks who insist that we do not have God’s Word unless we have all of God’s words, and that we have all of God’s words only in their particular version of the Bible. At the opposite end of the theological spectrum, representatives of the emergent church make a similar mistake when they try to include social, psychological, or environmental concerns as part of the gospel.
Articles by Kevin Bauder, Mike Stallard, and Myron Houghton.