The Gospel As Center: Renewing Our Faith and Reforming Our Ministry Practices Hardcover – Feb 29 2012
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About the Author
D. A. Carson (PhD, Cambridge University) is research professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, where he has taught since 1978. He is president of the Gospel Coalition, and has written or edited nearly 60 books including Scandalous, Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor, and The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God. He and his wife, Joy, have two children and live in the north suburbs of Chicago.
TIMOTHY KELLER is founder and pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York. He is the best-selling author of The Prodigal God and The Reason for God.
Thabiti M. Anyabwile (MS, North Carolina State University) is a pastor at Anacostia River Church in Washington, D. C. and the author of numerous books, including What is a Healthy Church Member?, The Faithful Preacher, and Finding Faithful Elders and Deacons. He serves as a council member with the Gospel Coalition, is a lead writer for 9Marks Ministries, and regularly blogs at Pure Church, hosted by the Gospel Coalition. He and his wife, Kristie, have been married for over twenty years and have three children.
MIKE BULLMORE, Senior Pastor, Crossway Community Church, Bristol, Wisconsin
Bryan Chapell (PhD, Southern Illinois University) is senior pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Peoria, Illinois. He is also president emeritus and adjunct professor of practical theology at Covenant Theological Seminary, as well as distinguished professor of preaching at Knox Theological Seminary. Chapell has authored numerous books, including Christ-Centered Preaching and Holiness by Grace.
ANDREW M. DAVIS (PhD, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Durham, NC. In addition to his PhD, he also holds an MDiv from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He served as a church planter in Japan from 1994 to 1998.
Kevin DeYoung (MDiv, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary) is senior pastor at University Reformed Church in East Lansing, Michigan, and chancellor's professor of systematic and historical theology at Reformed Theological Seminary. He blogs at the Gospel Coalition and has authored or coauthored numerous well-known books such as Just Do Something, The Hole in Our Holiness, Taking God At His Word, What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality?, and The Biggest Story, as well as the award-winning books Why We're Not Emergent, Why We Love the Church (with Ted Kluck), and Crazy Busy.
J. Ligon Duncan is Chancellor and John E. Richards professor of Systematic and Historical Theology at Reformed Theological Seminary. He is also Senior Minister of the historic First Presbyterian Church of Jackson, Mississippi, Chairman of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, and the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of America.
Richard D. Phillips is senior minister of Second Presbyterian Church in Greenville, South Carolina. He chairs the Philadelphia Conference on Reformed Theology and coedits the Reformed Expository Commentary. He has also written numerous books on the Bible, theology, and Christian living.
Philip Graham Ryken (DPhil, University of Oxford) is the eighth president of Wheaton College. Formerly, he served as senior minister of Philadelphia's historic Tenth Presbyterian Church. He has written or edited more than 40 books, including the popular title Loving the Way Jesus Loves, and has lectured and preached at universities and seminaries worldwide.
Tim Savage (PhD, University of Cambridge; ThM Dallas Theological Seminary) has been senior pastor of Camelback Bible Church in Paradise Valley, AZ, since 1988. He is author of several books, including No Ordinary Marrage and Power Through Weakness.
COLIN S. SMITH is the senior pastor of The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in Arlington Heights, IL, where he has been since 1996. He is the author of The 10 Greatest Struggles of Your Life and can be heard on his Unlocking the Bible broadcast with Moody radio.
Sam Storms (PhD, University of Texas at Dallas) has spent more than four decades in ministry as a pastor, professor, and the author of more than two-dozen books. He was visiting associate professor of theology at Wheaton College from 2000 to 2004, and is currently senior pastor at Bridgeway Church in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He is the founder of Enjoying God Ministries and the author of numerous books, including Chosen for Life, Tough Topics: Biblical Answers to 25 Challenging Questions, Kept for Jesus, and Packer on the Christian Life.
Stephen Um (PhD, University of St. Andrews) is senior minister of Citylife Church in Boston, Massachusetts, and president of the Center for Gospel Culture. He serves on the board of directors for the Gospel Coalition, is an adjunct faculty member at a number of theological seminaries, and is an associate training director for Redeemer City to City Asia. He is the author of several books and articles and the coauthor of Why Cities Matter.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
"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.
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)
The book fits together nicely and hardly feels like it was originally separate booklets. Each writer brings a unique style of writing, but this does not hinder the flow of the book. A couple of chapters prove to be my favorites. Namely, Can We Know Truth? because it addresses modern and post-modern thought and shows how each fail miserably to explain what ultimately can only be explained in the Gospel. For anyone looking for a guide as to what they should believe about these areas discussed, this is a good book to read.
Each of these chapters offers great insight and thoughts. There is plenty of "meat" to chew on and think about. As a bonus the Gospel Coalitions Founding Documents are included. These are available online, but it is nice to have a hard copy of them to reference, especially while reading through the book.
Highly Recommended!!! With all the great writers in this book and the Gospel as its main focus you won't go wrong.
Thanks to Crossway for this review copy. The opinions expressed are my own and I was not required to provide a positive review.