The statement of Dr. Elliott seems true to me. I think he meant that you don’t just present Christ to someone as the benefits He gives. You present Christ as Who He is and what he has accomplished.
This is one of those rare occasions which I must take issue with Paul Elliott. Why? Because the Gospel must be OBJECTIVE vs. SUBJECTIVE. The Gospel, as per my A Gospel Summary
is the proclamation of biblical facts and truth concerning the redemption of sinners according God's eternal plan through Jesus Christ. What God may or may not have done for you
(pl) may not be and in most cases is in fact, what God may do for anyone else. The difference is as once described is the Gospel of the Changed Life vs. The Gospel that Changes Life. In modern 'evanjellicalism' one's testimony
is often very positive. For example, once I was a drunkard, an adulterer, a thief, (add term here ________) but since I asked Jesus into my heart, I no longer drink, my wife has forgiven me for my unfaithfulness, my children are obedient, etc. etc. And God will do the same for you if you will believe on Jesus.
However, there are many testimonies from true believers which are the opposite of the above; see e.g., the 'heroes of the faith' found in Hebrews 11, the lives of the OT prophets, and the lives of the NT Apostles. For example, there are those whose testimony goes something like this... Before I became a Christian I embezzled thousands of dollars from my employer, I cheated on my wife, I spent little time which my children, etc. BUT, after God reached down and pulled me out of the miry pit in which I lived (cf. Ps 40) and I was drawn to the Lord Christ by the Spirit and through repentance and faith, my sins were forgiven and I was given a new name and adopted as a child of God, my life drastically changed. I confessed to my crime of embezzlement, was charged, brought to trial and was found guilty and sentenced to 5 years in prison. My wife divorced me and my children want nothing to do with me. And, after being released from prison, I walked out of the prison and across the street without looking and was hit by a car and spend 3 months recovering in the hospital. This is how my life began as a child of God.
Now, which testimony
would most choose to be representative of what God can do for you? (cf. 2Tim 3:12)
Methinks that personal testimonies are of some value but they are most definitely not to be used as a substitute nor even ancillary to the Gospel. I have found that they are most appropriate when shared amongst other professing believers so that God can be praised for His love and divine providence in salvation and in sanctification, sharing in Christ's sufferings and His blessings in preparation for the world to come.