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The Gospel as Center: Renewing Our Faith and Reforming Our Ministry Practices Hardcover – February 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 a cofounder of the Gospel Coalition and has written or edited nearly 120 books. He and his wife, Joy, have two children and live in the north suburbs of Chicago.
Timothy J. Keller is the founding 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) serves as a pastor at Anacostia River Church in Washington, DC, and is the author of numerous books. He serves as a council member of the Gospel Coalition, is a lead writer for 9Marks Ministries, and regularly blogs at The Front Porch and Pure Church. He and his wife, Kristie, have three children.
Mike Bullmore (PhD, Northwestern University) serves as the senior pastor of Crossway Community Church in Bristol, Wisconsin. He was formerly professor of homiletics/practical theology and department chair at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. Mike lives in Kenosha, Wisconsin, with his wife, Beverly. They have three children.
Bryan Chapell is the senior pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Peoria, Illinois. He is also the host of a daily half-hour radio Bible teaching program, Unlimited Grace, and the founder and chairman of Unlimited Grace Media (unlimitedgrace.com). Bryan previously served as the president of Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri, and is the author of a number of books, including 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 the senior pastor at Christ Covenant Church in Matthews, North Carolina. He serves as a council member at the Gospel Coalition and blogs at DeYoung, Restless, and Reformed. He is assistant professor of systematic theology at Reformed Theological Seminary (Charlotte) and a PhD candidate at the University of Leicester. He is the author of several books, including Just Do Something; Crazy Busy; and The Biggest Story. Kevin and his wife, Trisha, have seven children.
Ligon Duncan (PhD, University of Edinburgh) is the chancellor & CEO and the John E. Richards Professor of Systematic and Historical Theology at Reformed Theological Seminary. He previously served as the senior minister of the historic First Presbyterian Church in Jackson, Mississippi, for seventeen years. He is a cofounder of Together for the Gospel, a senior fellow of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, and was the president of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals from 2004-2012. Duncan has edited, written, or contributed to numerous books. Ligon and his wife, Anne, have two children and live in Jackson, Mississippi.
Richard D. Phillips (DD, Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary) is the 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 is also a chairman of the Philadelphia Conference on Reformed Theology, a council member of the Gospel Coalition, and a trustee of Westminster Theological Seminary.
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, Arizona, since 1988. Tim and his wife have two adult sons.
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 author. He is currently the senior pastor at Bridgeway Church in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and was previously a visiting associate professor of theology at Wheaton College from 2000 to 2004. He is the founder of Enjoying God Ministries and blogs regularly at SamStorms.com.
Stephen Um (PhD, University of St. Andrews) serves as the senior minister of Citylife Church in Boston, Massachusetts. He also serves as a council member for the Gospel Coalition. Stephen lives in Boston, Massachusetts, with his wife, Kathleen, and their three daughters.
Sanders (Sandy) L. Willson (DD, Crichton College) has been the senior minister at Second Presbyterian Church in Memphis, Tennessee since 1995. Sandy is a cofounder of the Memphis Center for Urban Theological Studies as well as a cofounder and chair of the Nexus leadership mentoring program. He also serves on the boards of the Gospel Coalition, World Relief, Union University, and Reformed Theological Seminary. Sandy and his wife, Allison, have five children and ten grandchildren.
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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)
Again, excellent content, but scholars like Carson and Keller need to take more time with this material. I am a former college English Composition teacher and any student in a large writing project got two freebies on spelling and grammar before the red ink would begin to hack away at the grade.
Come on guys!!!