The Introduction lays out the basic subject to be investigated, the question of whether there has been a single message or “gospel” (“good news”) affirmed in most Christian traditions and churches. The chapter gives four reasons why the study is relevant today: because some contemporary literature about Jesus has given the impression that the traditional understanding of Jesus was grounded in later sources (the chapter disputes this claim); because some theological studies have presupposed that there has been no consistent unity to the Christian faith; because older Protestant and Anglican churches face crises of identity today that call into question their most basic commitments; and because contemporary Evangelical communities have begun to discern their common ties to older Christian churches.
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