Tag Archives: Doctrine

The Gospel-Centered Church

9 Nov

Joe Thorn wrote a good article recently about living as a Gospel-centered church.  This phrase is kind of a new catchphrase in evangelicalism.  Whenever something becomes a catchphrase, there is always the risk that the true meaning of the phrase is lost.

Thorn’s article sheds light on the true meaning of Gospel-centeredness particularly in these two paragraphs . . .

“Some churches are driven by doctrinal purity. In the pursuit of the truth it is not uncommon for a church to be more about their theological heritage than the founder and perfecter of our faith. Some churches are driven by numbers. The desire to see as many people as possible trust in Christ can lead to a pragmatism that gives the nod to anything that results in more people in the front door. Some churches are driven by a desire to be culturally relevant, while other churches are focused on how culturally distinct they can remain. In both cases something other than the cross is capturing the attention of the congregation. Some churches are driven by social or spiritual works that, while good, begin to eclipse the point of all good works.

Gospel-centered churches do not forsake these things, but they are not driven by them. They are driven by a love for Jesus and his work on our behalf. Therefore gospel-centered churches are so focused on Jesus and the hope of redemption that they are passionate and articulate about their theology. Their desire to know and make known Jesus demands doctrinal precision and leads them to want and work toward as many people as possible repenting of sin and trusting in Christ. When the gospel is central in a church it leads them out into the world on mission, while preserving their counter-cultural character as the people of God. The gospel-centered church is driven by love (for God and others) and this leads to joyful obedience that points back to God.”

Here is the link to the whole article:  http://www.joethorn.net/2009/08/11/gospel-centered/

Hard-Hitting Article on the Charismatic Movement

1 Nov

In honor of Reformation Day yesterday, J. Lee Grady wrote an outstanding article listing many needed reforms in the charismatic movement.  If these issues were addressed, much of the public damage of this movement could be alleviated.  It is good to see a constructive critique of a tradition from within that tradition.  I think a level of credibility comes with such a critique.  Food for thought . . .  1.  Could you write a similar article about the church in which you are involved?  What reforms are needed there?  2.  Are there any theological underpinnings in the charismatic movements which make these reforms, even if all implemented, still insufficient to bring about true spiritual renewal in the movement?  3.  Are there theological underpinnings in other movements (Young, Restless, Reformed or Seeker-Sensitive, for example) which hinder renewal in those movements.  Feel free to respond to any of these questions in the comments section.  But above all, read the article.  It is thought-provoking.  Here is the link . . .

http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/32228-its-past-time-for-a-charismatic-reformation

A Good Word About Debating Theology

1 Sep

On the second Sunday of September, a new Sunday School class will begin in our church called Biblical Application.  Each week the members of the class with receive a case study which will involve some moral or theological issue they will study through the week.  On Sunday we will come together to discuss our conclusions and seek to apply God’s Word to everyday life situations.  I think it will be a great class, but I have a concern that, if members of the class do not approach it rightly, it could be divisive rather than helpful.  My concerns are well expressed in this article by Russell Moore.  I hope you’ll read it and be encouraged.

http://www.russellmoore.com/2011/08/29/dungeons-and-dragons-and-doctrinal-debate/

The Relationship Between Southern Baptists and Evangelicals

16 May

I appreciated this article from Trevin Wax on the relationship between Southern Baptists and the broader evangelical movement.  Wax supports cooperation between Southern Baptists and evangelicals where there is doctrinal unity, but not a broader ecumenism.

http://trevinwax.com/2011/05/16/being-southern-baptist-among-for-for-evangelicals/

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