Rawlings School of Divinity
Doctor of Ministry (DMin)
Apostles' Creed, Evangelical, reduced gospel, soterian, spiritual disciplines, whole gospel
Christianity | Religion
Herring, John Douglas, "Changing the Effects of a Reduced Gospel" (2022). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 3852.
Does your church preach the “whole gospel” or “reduced gospel?” The whole gospel is the story of God working to redeem mankind, from Eden to the New Jerusalem. The reduced gospel is a belief that the plan of salvation and the whole gospel of Scripture are synonymous, a belief that salvation is for personal forgiveness. This research aims to change the effects of a reduced gospel in a local congregation. Participants, members of First Baptist Church of Eupora, were given questionnaires and interviews to determine their views regarding the gospel. To many participants, the gospel is one of forgiveness; therefore, it was determined that most participants had a reduced view of the gospel. The researcher developed a course using the Apostles' Creed, Scriptures, and other supporting documents to teach the gospel found in Scripture, from Genesis to Revelation. The belief is that if these participants were taught the whole gospel, a meaningful change would occur in their lives. After completing the course, these participants were given questionnaires and interviews to determine if a change had occurred. The results were that many of the participants did show a significantly increased understanding of the whole gospel. Several participants started studying the Word of God rather than simply reading the Bible, while others became interested in practicing spiritual disciplines and discipleship. Because the whole gospel involves all of Scripture, the church must preach, teach, and live that story so that all will know the way, truth, and life in Jesus.