The Gospel Coalition began with informal conversations between D. A. Carson and Tim Keller in 2004. Recalling how in the aftermath of World War II evangelicals built institutions that testified to a robust, confessional gospel, they wondered how to re-establish for the 21st century that central ground between obscurantism and liberalism.
First they convened a pastors' colloquium at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in May 2005. They restricted the number of participants to less than 50. All were pastors or had been pastors for sustained periods of time. They came from an assortment of denominational backgrounds (including Free Church, Episcopal, Independent, Baptist, and Presbyterian). All were expositors, all were broadly Reformed, and all were committed to evangelism and service. They took time to get to know one another, pray together, and talk extensively about the challenges facing evangelicals in the early 21st century.
That group authorized Carson and Keller to draft a confession and theological vision for ministry. The colloquium reconvened in 2006, and most members brought along a junior associate to observe the discussions. They worked over the documents carefully, looked to Scripture, prayed, and brainstormed the way ahead. The most deeply felt need was the call to focus a new generation of Christian pastors and leaders on the primacy of the one true gospel and help them understand our times with penetrating faithfulness. They sought to be a coalition that brings together pastors and churches across denominational, ethnic, and generational lines, joined by a passionate commitment to the gospel and its transforming power. Together they would seek to evangelize, plant and strengthen churches, and do good in the culture where God has placed them.
The foundation documents serve as a banner over all we do. The doctrinal convictions and vision for ministry codified in these documents are what TGC strives to spread for the glory of God. We do this because we believe God has revealed a timeless message and agenda greatly needed in our day.