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The Gospel As Center: Renewing Our Faith and Reforming Our Ministry Practices [Hardcover]

D. A. Carson , Timothy Keller

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Book Description

Feb. 29 2012 Gospel Coalition

Its time to reclaim the core of our beliefs...

Important aspects of Christianity are in danger of being muddied or lost as relativism takes root in our churches today. What was historically agreed upon is now readily questioned and the very essentials of the Christian faith are in jeopardy. It’s time to reclaim the core of our beliefs.

To that end, D. A. Carson, Tim Keller, Kevin DeYoung, and other influential leaders have created this volume to defend the traditional gospel and to strengthen the church.

The Gospel as Center will help you join in the movement—the movement dedicated to a Scripture-based reformation of ministry practices and the centrality of the gospel—and stand united under the conviction that what holds us together is worth fighting for.


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The Gospel As Center: Renewing Our Faith and Reforming Our Ministry Practices + Center Church: Doing Balanced Gospel-Centered Ministry In Your City
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Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  15 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A phenomenal Resource March 5 2012
By Todd - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The Gospel Coalition has put out 14 great little booklets that state their position on different matters. This book, The Gospel As Center, is a collection of all of that material. They pull together a great collection of writers that really explore their different subject areas very thoroughly. They always come back to the gospel being the center of all that we do in ministry and in life. I was greatly challenged by this. Too often in life and in ministry we can come up with great and grand schemes that seem right to us, but many times they are not really centered in or rooted in the Gospel. We need to always be checking ourselves in this area, and these 14 chapters in this book provide a great way to do just that. This is a great book not only for pastors and other church staff members, but for all believers. It will take you deeper and deeper into your faith and it will challenge you to make the Gospel the center of all you do in life. I encourage you to pick up this book and take your time with it, it will really deepen your faith if you do, I know it did that for mine.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gospel is Center March 29 2012
By Jeanie S - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The Gospel As Center is a book for ministry leaders and lay people. As the title suggest it will renew your faith and have you take a good look at ministry practices. It mentions the Gospel Coalition which you can get more information by going to [...]. It is a great resource for me to receive sound teaching in troubling times. The book was written by contributors of the Gospel Coalition and basically goes over the doctrine statement. I have found that most churches have a doctrine statement however, many of their members do not understand or they may not understand the focus of the churchs' mission due to their doctrine statement. This read covers many doctrine issues and our fight for the truth. It does claim rightfully so that none of us will know the complete truth but the Lord does reveal in his word truth that we can know and knowledge of him that we can live out so others may know him as well. What I found interesting that truth is authoriative. Is that why the church may be suffering and will suffer greatly in the future? The crisis of truth in our postmodern times: our society dogmatically rejects truth in theory but cannot live that way in practice. (page 28). Reading the word of course is way for us to know our King and Lord, however, if we are going to read the bible rightly , we must see it in all its parts as it relates to Christ. How it relates to our hearts set against God, truth, his authority and then you begin to see our problem of sin. This book offers truth, the gospel, redemption and with redemption hope
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Keeping central what God as meant to be central... March 5 2012
By Tory Giddens - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The Gospel Coalition continues to prove to be a valuable resource to many pastors and church members alike. The coalition stands on the conviction that the cross and resurrection are the culminating events in history. Everything, past, present or future, flows from and through God's purpose of redeeming humanity through the life, death and resurrection of Christ. To put it another way, we have nothing to say about anything without grounding it first in the person and work of Christ. The Gospel is far more than the "tipping point into the kingdom." It is pervasive:

"Not only does the gospel of Jesus Christ gather into itself all the trajectories of Scripture, but under the terms of the new covenant, all of Christian life and thought grow out of what Jesus has accomplished. This good news not only declares that God justifies sinners so that our status before him is secured but also that he regenerates us and establishes us in his saving kingdom" (21).

The Gospel as Center is a book edited by Carson and Keller as an extension of the ministry of The Gospel Coalition that aims to put to paper in one volume a gospel-centered understanding of a few key biblical themes. The book devotes individual chapters to issues such as epistemology, hermeneutics, creation, fall, redemption, justification, new creation, etc. Each chapter is written by a different author, but each chapter has the aim of demonstrating the centrality of the gospel as it relates to the issue being discussed.

This is a book founded on the commitment that as the culture changes to a post-Christian society it is all the more important to keep central what God has meant to be central. As some churches reconstruct doctrine to accommodate a changing environment and as others put up higher walls, The Gospel as Center aims be committed to gospel saturated theology that takes into account the culture in which individual churches find themselves. This is a valuable resource in thinking through how to do gospel-centered ministry in today's increasingly skeptical environment.

Disclaimer: I was given a free copy of this book by Crossway for the purposes of this review with no obligation of writing a positive review.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Gospel as Center edited by Timothy Keller and D. A. Carson Sept. 29 2012
By Joseph T. Cochran - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Released in February 2012, The Gospel as Center edited by Keller and Carson is the compilation of all the Gospel Coalition Pamphlets. This book is an excellent resource for sound doctrine and theology. The content is especially valuable to Church's who are now updating and reviewing their own doctrinal statements. You see, as culture develops/devolves it becomes necessary for the Christian community to respond to the changes in culture and articulate that response through the Church's dogma.

For instance, many churches do not have an articulated view on marriage, manhood, womanhood, sexuality because until very recent times their has been an understood and accepted perspective and practice pertaining to these issues. However, the culture we live in has redefined the social and moral norms for many of these prior mentioned lifestyles. Thus, church's need a resource like the Gospel As Center as a litmus test for their own doctrinal statement. Church's will be able to look at their own doctrinal statement and measure to see if it covers all the essentials that the Gospel As Center covers. Likewise, it could be that a Church has held some non-essentials as essentials. It is helpful to compare ones doctrinal statement to such a carefully articulated statement like the one assembled in this book, the Gospel As center, so that a Church body might determine if they have too narrowed the doctrinal expectations that define their biblical community.

Clearly, I highly recommend this resource as a valued doctrinal source for biblical community.

The Gospel As Center contains papers on the following individual topics:

1. Gospel Centered Ministry; D. A. Carson and Timothy Keller

2. Can We Know the Truth; Richard D. Phillips

3. The Gospel as Scripture: How to Read the Bible; Mike Bullmore

4. Creation; Andrew M. Davis

5. Sin and Fall; Reddit Andrews III

6. The Plan; Colin S. Smith

7. What is the Gospel; Bryan Chapell

8. Christ's Redemption; Sandy Wilson

9. Justification; Philip Graham Ryken

10. The Holy Spirit; Kevin DeYoung

11. The Kingdom of God; Stephen Um

12. The Church: God's New People; Tim Savage

13. Baptism and the Lord's Supper; Thabiti Anyabwile and J. Ligon Duncan

14. The Restoration of All Things; Sam Storms

One of the beauties of the Gospel As Center is that the individual writers add their individual flavor of writing style and emphasis as they cover their doctrinal topic. Anecdotes are blended in with the heavy doctrinal points giving the mind some break from the deep concepts expounded.

It would prove tedious for me to discuss in detail each of the chapters of this wonderful work. However, I will give a brief sampling of quotes that I gleaned from this resource. These quotes point not only to the distinct style of writting but the unique continuity in purpose of making the gospel central to Christian dogma.

In Richard Phillips chapter on Can We Know the Truth, he comments, "God created the world to display his glory, and he created humans to know him and reflect his glory."

Colin Smith writes on his chapter, The Plan, "Redeeming sinners from all nations through Jesus Christ was God's plan from the beginning."

Bryan Chapell says, "God the Father anointed Jesus to be his special envoy to provide his holiness for humanity."

Sandy Willson states, "The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the crowning event of all God's mighty works of redemption" and later says, "He ascended to the right hand of God, forever safe, forever secure, forever happy, forever King."

These four quotes selected from four separate chapters emphasize the unique theological continuity within this work. This work directly points to God's glory in Christ's suffering and resurrection for the rescuing of humanity.

I cannot recommend this book more to you. Finally, I would like to thank Band of Bloggers for providing the e-book version of this resource to attendees for free during this year's Band of Bloggers panel and luncheon at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

View more book reviews by Joey Cochran at jtcochran.com.The Gospel as Center: Renewing Our Faith and Reforming Our Ministry Practices (The Gospel Coalition)
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Re-Centering May 31 2012
By Keith G - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
What is the center of your life? Is it family, your job, your sports team, money, possessions? There are so many things that vie for our allegiance. And more than that, not only our allegiance, but our ownership. I once heard someone say, "Whatever we own, owns us". That is true in so many aspects.

A book I received quite a while back has been slowly helping me re-center on what is the core of my whole life. This book is titled, "The Gospel as Center". It is a collaboration of essays by a great set of minds and thinkers in the evangelical (and overall reformed) world. This book builds a theological foundation on what is essentially the core of all aspects of theology, the Gospel. One thing I enjoyed most about this book was seeing the way the different writers tackled each subject. I love when great minds come together and tackle a project with a mission of proclaiming the Gospel.

This book may be a little technical and academic in some areas. Therefore, its readership may not reach a big audience, but it probably deserve to be read and read slowly by all of us that are constantly battling relativism in ministry and mainstream life.

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