I know that “gospel-centered” is a fad for many. I can’t prove it. I just know it. But I also know that what I mean by “gospel-centered” is what Paul means by “I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome” (Rom 1.15). As he writes to Christians, he tells Christians that he is eager to preach not morals, not keys for the abundant Christian life, not tips for parenting, not principles for finances, not the deeper things of God, but THE GOSPEL.
I am also eager to preach the gospel to unbelievers. I find it exhilarating to share the good news about Christ with a non-Christian who is willing to listen (even if it’s just thirty seconds). But even “sharing the faith” with unbelievers is not as exhilarating as “sharing the faith” with believers (Philemon 6).
I do not remember where I read a quote about downplaying the gospel recently, but it rang so true. Someone recently told me: “I know the gospel is important, but…” The quote I had read before was something to the effect of: “Don’t say ‘yes, but…’ to the gospel. To youth ministry, to feeding the poor, to anything else, it might be fine, but not the gospel.”
Amen. If you don’t love the gospel, just admit it. Then go back and read about our sinfulness. The gospel is the power of God toward salvation for believers (Rom 1.16).