Dr. Kevin Bauder, research professor of systematic theology at Central Baptist Theological Seminary, brought the message Tuesday evening, June 24, at the 2014 GARBC Conference.

“What is the gospel?” is the essential question Bauder sought to answer through his message. He began by giving a brief history of the drift away from the essential gospel, including an explanation of the social gospel that grew at the end of the 19th century and that has recently experienced a revival.

Bauder walked through three main points in presenting the essential gospel.

1. He presented a description of the major developing theory of the gospel that has captured the evangelical world. The theory calls the gospel a “robust” gospel that includes personal, social, and environmental aspects of the gospel. God’s current kingdom is seen in the reversal of all the effects of the Fall. This reversal is the essence of the “robust” gospel.

2. He pointed to 1 Corinthians 15:1–8 as the definitive Biblical passage for understanding and defining the gospel. The passage is didactic and purposefully written to define the gospel. Jesus, on the other hand, didn’t purposefully define the gospel in the Gospels. He defined it clearly through the apostle Paul. Bauder says, “If we want to know what the gospel is, this is the passage we must go to.”

3. He examined 1 Corinthians 15:1–8 in such a way that believers could come to agreement of the Biblical gospel and could rebut the “robust” gospel. Bauder showed from the passage that the death and resurrection of Christ form the heart of the gospel. “The gospel is not a philosophy; it is events,” he points out. Christ died for our sins, meaning Christ was the substitute for us; He suffered our condemnation and then rose from the dead.

“And, folks, this is not a little gospel!” Bauder concluded in defense of the gospel. “You don’t need to dress up the gospel; you just need to turn it loose.”

Visit RBPstore.org for books written by Dr. Kevin Bauder.