Drew Goodmanson wonders if the American church is in the middle of a transformation - a reawakening to the gospel. I think he is right - it is - and this has been brewing for some time. In my own experience and in the PCA the gospel awakening came first through the ministry of Sonship, from Jack Miller and World Harvest Mission. This has been furthered through the presidencies of Paul Kooistra and Bryan Chapell at Covenant Seminary and through books like Bryan's Holiness by Grace. The writings of Jerry Bridges and Steve Brown have been instrumental and, as Scotty Smith and Christ Community Church of Franklin, TN have grown in influence in the PCA a deeper understanding of the gospel has been furthered. And as Tim Keller's influence has permeated the PCA, the gospel awakening has continued.
Drew calls attention to the Gospel Coalition folks, which include people like Bryan Chapell, D. A. Carson, Ligon Duncan, Mark Dever, C. J. Mahaney, John Piper, Harry Reeder, Phil Ryken, Crawford Lorrits and Tim Keller, among others. Picking up on a statement of the Coalition Drew identifies three major shifts that may change the face of the church in the future.
1. The Bible as Story - here's an excerpt from Drew's excerpt of a coalition statement:
In this perspective, the gospel appears as creation, fall, redemption, restoration. It brings out the purpose of salvation, namely, a renewed creation.
If this understanding of the gospel gains pre-eminence it will change our view of the gospel as being primarily concerned about the salvation of the individual soul, expanding it to see that the gospel offers salvation for soul and body, and for all of creation.
2. The Gospel as bigger than a salvational entry-ticket.
That follows from the above but emphasizes that gospel transformation is an ongoing lifelong process, not a one time event.
3. A Missional posture towards the culture.
This would be in contrast to a confrontational/oppositional posture towards the culture.
I think he is right - such understandings will radically alter the way we do Christianity and do church.
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