Dr. Soong-Chan Rah: The Gospel Is ‘Truth Pursued,’ Not ‘Truth Possessed’+ One is Ghandi, the Other Hitler

Rev. Dr. Soong-Chan Rah, Professor of Evangelism at Fuller Theological Seminary, says the western world has not correctly defined the word “gospel” in this Q-and-A after a speech at Seattle Pacific University in January 2023.

We last wrote about Rah after, as the primary moderators for World Vision’s May We Be One: Pastors pursuing Racial Justice course, he explained the concept ofwhite gaze’ and how it is designed to frame black people as a threat, resulting in the propensity of white Christians to “act instinctively to preserve that narrative of white superiority” and “act naturally, instinctively, to preserve…the narrative of white superiority.” He also taught that by default and intrinsically, white people view black people and Asians as either “pets” or “threats” and view Asian women as invisible or sexual jezebels. He explained that when white people look at black people, “if you’re not the pet, you become the threat. You are the unidentified black male that commits every crime in our city. You are the individual that is seen as the unsafe person in our society. And even worse, if you are the pet that becomes the threat.”

Now, he explains:

As an evangelism professor, I spend my time lamenting and agonizing over this of how much of our evangelistic methods are so steeped in western culture, including the word “gospel.” And one of the exercises that I have my students do is: “I want you to define what that word means.” And the answers are all over the board.

… Sadly, like you’re pointing out, in the history, the narrative of white supremacy has been fueling the way we understand the gospel, right?

I’ve literally been told by by white members of my denomination [the Evangelical Covenant Church] and those who had authority over me, around my curriculum. Crazy. But that what I was preaching was not the gospel. I said, “Well, whose version of the gospel are you talking?” “Well, this is what our version of the gospel is,” and it was this hyper-individualistic, four spiritual laws. It’s like, no, I’m not saying that’s not the gospel but, that’s very culturally inflected.

So that’s where I would say, okay, the counter-narrative is the gospel. In fact that’s the whole gospel story. There is a broken narrative in our world, and Christ came to demonstrate and live the counter-narrative of the gospel.

… So the way I’ve explained it in my class is the difference between truth possessed and truth pursued. The gospel is truth pursued, it is not truth possessed. And truth possessed is a western mentality. I own the truth, and therefore in my ownership of the truth, my job to share the gospel is to have you agree to my principles of the gospel.

I first learned this concept in college when I was taking a political theory class. And the political theory was talking about the differentiation between truth pursued and truth possessed and that in, especially in 20th-century political history, those who had a truth possessed mentality were the Hitlers and the Stalins. They owned the truth and their job was to get that truth, that good-news gospel, out there.

Compare that to those who had a truth pursued mentality. That would be Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. They believed there is a truth, but our job is not to own that truth but to pursue that truth.

And that, by the way, is clearly biblical. Because when Jesus says: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but through me.” I think it’s pretty clear it means that I can’t own the truth if Jesus is the truth. Any claim from me to own and possess the truth would be heresy, I can do what he said, which is to follow him, which is the pursuit of truth.

And so that’s where the gospel message of “do I own the truth or am I pursuing the truth?” Is the gospel a set of propositions that I own, and my job is to pass that on for you, and once you check the list of my propositions, now you’re a Christian? Then, no, that’s not the narrative I want to be a part of. But is there a truth of who Jesus is, and the pursuit of that truth that feels different than the ownership of that truth?


h/t to @wokepreachertv for the clip, transcript, and paragraph.

32 thoughts on “Dr. Soong-Chan Rah: The Gospel Is ‘Truth Pursued,’ Not ‘Truth Possessed’+ One is Ghandi, the Other Hitler

  1. According to Soong Chan Rah, only Whites think the Gospel is objective truth and not subjective narrative. If this is true, maybe someone should tell him that maybe this is why God kept Paul from going to Asia.

  2. The Gospel is whatever political construct you want to make of it. Got it. Why again is this person in an sort of theological position speaking in a Theological capacity?

  3. “This continued for two years, so that all the residents of Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks.” – Acts 19:10

    “Sopater the Berean, son of Pyrrhus, accompanied him; and of the Thessalonians, Aristarchus and Secundus; and Gaius of Derbe, and Timothy; and the Asians, Tychicus and Trophimus.” – Acts 20:4

    “And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? 9 Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, 11 both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.” – Acts 2:8-11

    “because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, 6 which has come to you, as indeed in the WHOLE WORLD it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth,” – Col 1:5-6

    “Go therefore and make disciples of ALL NATIONS, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” – Matt. 2819

    I don’t know what’s worse. Wokists or white nationalists. Neither one would know the objective truth of God’s word if it slapped them upside the head.

      1. The_Peter is a white supremacist / white nationalist (aka racist), who believes white europeans were chosen by God to spread the Gospel. He reaches that “conclusion” by twisting scripture such as Acts 16:6, which he referenced above. I have dealt with him before.

        Do you have any more questions, or does that cover it?

        1. My comment on this post is facetious. Maybe I should have ended it with a “/s” to make it obvious.

          Although I don’t personally care what names you call me, I would appreciate if you could elaborate on what part of “White Europeans were chosen by God to spread the Gospel” is wrong. Do you think Christianity should be limited to Europe? What about the lost souls in other continents? If missionaries are not sent out from countries populated by peoples of European descent, then where do you suggest missionaries come from?

          1. I’ll let your comment on the following thread, where you defended a blatant racist and white supremacist, speak for itself, and those who read can decide which of us is telling the truth …

            https://protestia.com/2023/05/03/video-watch-as-lutheran-racist-troll-is-excommunicated-from-denomination/

            Your twisting of the scripture, using Acts 16:6 has been thoroughly called out and corrected.

            Why would you continually twist scripture in such a manner, even when you’ve been corrected, unless you are a racist? Apparently the racist message you’re trying to convey is more important to you than is fidelity to scripture.

            All throughout Acts, they inquired of the Lord where to go NEXT, and He told them. Later they inquired again, and He said go. The Lord DID NOT forbid them from ever going to Asia or anywhere else. They did go to Asia.

          2. It is a grievous sin to try to twist and cherry-pick scripture out of context to make it say racist mess that it doesn’t say. And even when corrected, you continue in that sin, which is worse.

            You’re not appealing to the objective immutable standard of God’s word. You’re making it up as you go. Such relativism is just as bad as the critical theorists, if not worse.

            “No one born of God makes a practice of sinning,” – 1 John 3:9

            If you truly mean what you say about adhering to the absolute truth of God’s word, then you will repent of the racist mess, condemn it, and correct yourself according to His word, from this day on. And you will do so publicly here and now, repenting of your sinful attempts to mislead others. Your choice.

          3. I would have to study the routes to be certain, but as far as I know the Bible doesn’t record them ever going into what is modern day Europe at all. If they did, it wasn’t far. They didn’t go that far north.

            You twist scripture so badly, in order to try to make it say racist mess that it doesn’t say, it’s ridiculous. You’re obviously racist, whether you admit, or even realize, it or not.

            Who do you think you’re going to fool?

            Repent and quit that mess. There’s no place for it in the body of Christ.

          1. Here is the ADL’s definition: “White nationalism is a term that originated among white supremacists as a euphemism for white supremacy. Eventually, some white supremacists tried to distinguish it further by using it to refer to a form of white supremacy that emphasizes defining a country or region by white racial identity and which seeks to promote the interests of whites exclusively, typically at the expense of people of other backgrounds.”

            And in case you were wondering about White supremacy, president Biden recently stated in a public address at Howard University that “White supremacy … is the single most dangerous terrorist threat in our homeland.”

            The point of my comments is not how to best exegete Acts 16:6, I admit it should not be used as a proof text for any particular view of how God is unfolding His plan of salvation to the nations. However, I don’t believe that SMH’s hang-up with me has to do with my hermeneutics, he’s called me “Nazi”, “racist”, “White nationalist” and all but said that I’m going to hell because I’ve made comments that there’s a concerted effort to eliminate the historical, cultural, and ethnic identity of White people (aka people of European descent) and believe that this effort is in part motivated by the fact that Christianity (or some facade of it) is closely tied to Europe.

          2. Thanks Peter, but I want to hear his definition (no offense), and one of the last sources I would trust, especially when it comes to being objective, is the ADL.

            Anyone who is white, and rejects globalism, could be considered a white nationalist, or loves their country (eg Poland; New Zealand) and is white. But this has become weaponized and used to demonize Christianity and true believers.

          3. Q, I told you he is a racist, so which definition did you think I meant?

            There are nationalists who are white, and then there are white nationalists who want a white country, or a country where whites are supreme. There is nationalism and then there is ethno-nationalism. If you are not a racist nationalist, then you call yourself a plain old nationalist, without any other qualifying words preceding. If it is prefixed with an ethnicity, then it means racism.

            Does that clear it up for you?

            The_Peter, my hangup with you, as I have said, is your efforts to twist scripture to say a bunch of racist mess that it doesn’t say. I’m defending God’s word here, against all sides. In the original post to which you responded, I called out the wokists and critical theorists (leftists) also. It has nothing whatsoever to do with politics.

            You have condemned things such as interracial marriage, which the Bible doesn’t condemn, because you are scared like a little school girl that somebody is trying to wipe out whites, as if that were even possible.

            I gave you the scripture before on the other thread, and explained there also. The Bible tells you. Do not recompense evil for evil. Whatever evil others may or may not be doing, it’s no excuse.

            When you cherry-pick scriptures out of context and try to make God’s word say racist things that it doesn’t say, I’m going to rebuke you for it. Plain and simple. I don’t care who you are, what color your skin, what ethnicity you may be, what political party, or anything else. I will defend God’s word. I’m not going to let that slide. And like you, I don’t care what you call me for it.

          4. If I wanted to stump for a political party, I’d be posting on another website. This is a Christian website, where all sides are held accountable to God’s word.

          5. I have 100% confidence and faith that God’s word does not contradict itself.

            Therefore I have 100% confidence and faith that there is nothing racist in God’s word.

            I’m sure you wish it was a personal vendetta, The_Peter, but it isn’t. Over the past several years, I have called you out on just two posts. One at the link I posted above (as tekton), and one here. Guess what. If you don’t post a bunch of mess trying to twist God’s word to say something it doesn’t say, then I won’t correct you.

            Go and sin no more

          6. Q, you can’t redefine the meaning of “white nationalist”

            A white nationalist is basically a nazi. That’s what it has always meant, and that’s what it will always mean.

            In the same manner, a white supremacist is one who believes whites are superior. (whichever of the thousands of white ethnicities they may be referring to, who knows)

            If you’re not racist, and you’re just against globalism ( i.e., you’re basically against one-world government ), then never call yourself a “white nationalist”. Skin color doesn’t matter. (It doesn’t matter in God’s word either, despite the scripture-twisting of some who would prefer it did) Just call yourself a “nationalist”. If you want a Christian nation, then call yourself a “Christian nationalist”. Don’t qualify the word “nationalist” with anything contrary to your meaning.

            Never try to defend the term “white nationalist”.

          7. Q, ask yourself this. If someone is just against globalism, yet they insist on making a point of their skin color in the process, what’s that say? If your meaning, and your vision for the nation, doesn’t distinguish based on skin color, then why mention it?

            Why make a point of saying “I’m a nationalist. And I’m white!” ?? lol Nobody cares what color you are.

            The phrase means what it has always meant. You can’t change the definition. I understand the political compulsion to try to run cover and garner votes. I’ve been there and done that sort of thing, getting carried away with the political debate, and I know you’ll regret it. Don’t do it. If you’re going to bring Jesus’ name into it, don’t do it.

          8. What’s most ironic, The_Peter, is that by conflating “white” with “Christian”, as the wokists do, and making it about whites, you are actually defending Joe Biden. In case you haven’t noticed, he’s white.

            You play right into their hands (which makes me wonder whether or not you are a troll)

            At the time of Acts, most of our European ancestors were nothing but pagan savages. We all reject that heritage and culture, even you. I have ancestry in this country going back to before the revolutionary war. Some heritage and culture I honor. Some I reject. Based on … guess what? God’s word. Why? Because that’s what matters.

            You try to imply that you’re concerned about Christian heritage and Christian culture, but what comes out of your mouth is not “Christian” but “white”.

            You racists say the exact same things the wokists say.

            And I will not back off that accusation. You will stand rebuked until you repent. I know it’s true, as does any objective individual who reads your posts here and on the other thread.

          9. Something else that hasn’t entered your skin-color-obsessed noggin, The_Peter, is that most Hispanics are European. Most Hispanics are Caucasian, with significant lineage going back to Spain.

            I’m not advocating for illegal immigration across any border by anybody of any ethnicity, but that’s how stupid the chicken littles are, who run around yelling “white genocide!” while bellyaching about the southern border.

          10. That brings up even more irony, now that I recall something I’d forgotten.

            “I hope to see you in passing as I go to Spain, and to be helped on my journey there by you, once I have enjoyed your company for a while.” – Romans 15:24

            Paul was imprisoned for the first time shortly after writing that, but early church historians, John Chrysostom and Jerome, say he did travel to Spain after prison.

            So, The_Peter, you’d have to include Hispanics with Spanish lineage for that reason also. I guess since Paul visited their ancestors directly, that would make them “whiter” ?

          11. As I said on the other thread, The_Peter, ethnos is lineage, not skin color.

            There aren’t many people in this country, of any color of skin, who don’t have some ancestry going back to Europe.

            There are none who don’t have ancestry going back to Noah.

            Quit the racist mess.

  4. There are SO many problems here…but I will point out just 3:

    Racist? Check.

    A “different gospel”/false gospel? Check.

    A “different Jesus”/false Jesus? Check.

  5. His ramblings are not merely profoundly wrong, they are bizarre. However, what does make sense is that he got this from political ideology, and Woke-ism/leftism, which are all anti-biblical Christianity.

    If the Spirit of TRUTH is inside of the believer, and He is, then believers “possess” the truth.

    But people like him would quickly denounce this logic and plain truth because … I used an if/then propositional statement.

    1. You may already know, but they probably get that from the Boolean implication. Where we recognize when a condition is false, the rest is unknown, but Boolean logic doesn’t recognize unkowns – only true and false. In practice (coding), that never applies, because when the condition is false the enclosed block is never executed.

      An if/then statement is perfectly fine. The only difference is that we would say if the condition is false, then the rest is unknown.

      George Boole was a Christian, btw.

    2. Sorry, I now see you meant because critical theory rejects logic. When I hear something like if/then, my mind goes straight to programming. Old habits.

  6. For whatever reason, Woke-ists–in their hatred of the true Jesus and the one and only true gospel–have conflated white skin with accurate biblical teachings and Judeo-Christian values. Therefore, many are convinced they are doing something so noble (eg. fighting against racism, or against white supremacy) when they attempt to undercut and pervert God’s Word, the gospel, the truth, and plain ol’ common sense.

    That is the mindset and rationale of Woke-ism.

    1. Exactly. Wokists and white white supremacists both say or imply the exact same things.

      Racist and anti-racist – two sides of the same coin.

      It’s communists (wokists) vs nazis (white supremacists)

      Neither one of them has a clue. Neither are truly born again Christians.

      1. “It’s communists (wokists) vs nazis (white supremacists)”

        I see what you are saying, but I disagree. Those two groups may or may not be in a huge clash with each other, but both (and many others) are “vs” humanity, God’s Word, and biblical Christianity.

        Also, while Nazis and white supremacists certainly exist, their numbers are miniscule compared to leftists/Woke-ists. More importantly, the power and very real threat from leftism/Woke-ism is infinitely greater because they hold nearly all the power right now (outside of God, of course).

        1. MB, I’m not commenting on this thread for political purposes. I’m not here trying to stump for any political party. I’ve always voted republican, but since the party embraced and endorsed abominable sin, I will no longer just vote for any republican either. I’m pretty much done with politics at this point.

          Racism is a sin, and that includes the racism of wokists/anti-racists. I don’t care which side it comes from, or who has the most power, and so on, I’m going to call out that sin, and I’m going to defend God’s word against those, from any and all sides, who would try to twist it.

          You are certainly correct that both are ultimately against the Lord. No question about that.

        2. The wokists/communists do hold a ton of power, but that’s no reason to gloss over and ignore racism.

          If it is ignored, that’s a sure fire way to ensure the communists are likely to stay in power.

        3. When things are bad, that’s when we need to be the most careful. The worse things become, the more tempting it is to stray, convincing ourselves the ends justifies the means. It’s very easy to fall into sin by getting caught up in the contest, convincing ourselves it’s ok because things are bad and we’re fighting evil. That is precisely what the wokists do. And that only leads to non-stop back-and-forth exchanging evil for evil – which guarantees things will get worse.

          It’s certainly bad right now. And it’s probably going to get worse as we near the end times. Only God knows.

          But the worse it gets, the more careful we must be.

  7. What a rube. No right thinking Christian would listen to an idiot like this guy. This college is just another iteration of the great slide into apostasy that Christendom has been undergoing for the last 350 to 400 years. He should be excommunicated..

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