Finally, through interlibrary loan, I got my hands on a copy of For Such a Time a This: Perspectives on Evangelicalism, Past, Present, and Future, edited by Steve Brady and Harold Rowdon and published in 1996 by Scripture Union in Britain. Ever think D. A. Carson and Steve Chalke would co-contribute to the same volume? Neither did I, but here it is. Which brings me to the reason for mentioning the book--the very helpful, and brief (10 pp), explication of the biblical gospel articulated by Dr. Carson. Here's one good statement among many.
[M]any Christians assume the gospel . . . but are passionate about something on the relative periphery: abortion, poverty, forms of worship, cultural decay, ecology, overpopulation, pornography, family breakdown, and much more. By labelling these complex issues 'relatively peripheral' I open myself to attack from as many quarters as there are subjects on the list. For example, some of those whose every thought is shaded green will not be convinced that the ecological problems we face are peripheral to human survival. But I remain quite unrepentant. From a biblical-theological perspective, these challenges, as serious as they are, are reflections of the still deeper problem - our odious alienation from God. If we tackle these problems without tackling what is central, we are merely playing around with symptoms. . . . [W]hat does it profit us to save the world from smog and damn our own souls?
--D. A. Carson, "The Biblical Gospel," p. 83 of For Such a Time as This