While I understand the sentiment of making a certain system of doctrine the foundation for justification as bad, I balk at the thought that you can give someone the Gospel without giving them theology. In other words, the Good News is good because it makes an anthropological claim about the sinfulness of man. It makes soteriological claim by explaining that faith in Jesus is what saves. And, yes, it makes a theological claim that Jesus is God. It makes a whole slew of theological claims…The question is: Is there an essential doctrine implicit in the Gospel that must be believed to be saved? Yes.
It is called a theology that is biblical. In other words, when God is defined and Jesus and salvation (essentially, the Gospel) there is a specific teaching about all these that teach a certain theology.
The problem with heretics is that they want to say that people should believe in Jesus, and then they define Jesus in any way they choose (other than being informed from the Scripture). Does this sound too harsh? It might be harsh, but I don’t think “too” is warranted. After all, we are talking about eternal issues.
Jesus is a historical figure who performed historical acts – perfect obedience, healings, redemption, resurrection, intercession, etc. Liberalism wants to paint a face on Jesus that he just can’t wear. He is not a banner for universal human relief from physical suffering. He is not merely a good model of how to win friends and influence people.
If you give someone the Gospel, you are going to give them a theology. You had better make it right.