Site News

 

Dec

31

2013

Kathleen Nielson|10:39 AM CT

New Year, New Women's Conference

Suddenly, June 2014 is not far away, and excitement is building fast for the The Gospel Coalition 2014 National Women's Conference. Pausing on the edge of this new year, we at TGC are hugely encouraged by the prospects ahead.

TGCW12 Pipers NielsonWhat I'm hearing:

  • Lots of women passionately desiring to grow in the Word through TGCW14
  • Pastors encouraged by this opportunity for women in their churches to grow together in the Word
  • Gratitude for the themed tracks of workshops, from theology to sexuality
  • Groups of women making plans to attend together, divide up the workshops, and share the growth

What I'm thankful for:

  •  TGC's commitment to encourage strong, godly, Word-filled women in the church
  •  The final stages in producing a Nehemiah Bible study-with-video resource, created specifically in conjunction with the conference
  • God's providence in clearing speakers' schedules—as in the case of Rosaria Butterfield, who almost couldn't come but now can
  • The excitement of young people to participate—as in Talitha Piper's "Yes!" to doing a workshop with her mom

What I'm praying:

  • For wisdom and joy for 34 different speakers in their preparation
  • For churches, friends, and families to help and encourage women to come
  • For interest in substantive Bible study to keep on growing among women
  • For the church to be filled with generations of women who love Jesus, know and obey his Word, and share the good news of that Word with others

Come and join us in Orlando! Now is a great time to register, because you'll save $50 when you sign up before January 9. We can't wait to see you in June.

 
 

Dec

30

2013

Collin Hansen|12:01 AM CT

Editor's Choice: The Best of 2013

When I tell people I work for The Gospel Coalition, they almost always ask me if that's a full-time job. I don't think they intend to insult me. They just don't know what we do.

That's fair, because sometimes I lose track of everything we're planning and preparing. It's a good idea, then, to spend some time at the end of the year to reflect on how we've seen God at work through our daily editorial content, international outreach, national and regional conferences, print publishing, and special projects. We have a great staff and team of teachers who contribute their considerable time and talent to serve Christians by producing and promoting gospel-centered resources.

Songs for the Book of LukeThis year we followed up our Spanish outreach by collaborating with a sharp, ambitious team to launch a French site. Look for many more translations and international writers to come as TGC International Outreach builds on the more than 63,000 physical resources distributed in 2013 in 11 languages to 40 countries. To further God's remarkable work in local church music we recorded Songs for the Book of Luke, an award-winning album written by church musicians and intended to serve their peers in worship leading. We also dedicated a blog to asking and answering questions of particular concern to church musicians. Partnering with Keith and Kristyn Getty we recorded an album of modern and traditional hymns sung live at TGC's 2013 National Conference. Near the end of the year we released "Exult in the Saviour's Birth," a special Advent hymn written by TGC president D. A. Carson and TGC Worship editor Matt Boswell. And to help your children learn theology, we're streaming 111 Songs for Saplings adapted from the Westminster Shorter Catechism and incorporated into the New City Catechism app. Behind these any many other special projects you'll usually find TGC executive director Ben Peays. For another example see the Storyframes Collective, which celebrates the extraordinary work of God in the lives of ordinary people through excellence in the art of storytelling.

During 2013 TGC also expanded our print publishing in partnership with Crossway. In the coming years you will begin to see more books written specifically by women addressing cultural issues, as well as unique resources focused on faith and work. This cooperative effort expanded our editorial team with new gifted writers and thinkers, including Gloria Furman and Bethany Jenkins. In time for TGC's 2014 National Women's Conference we will release our next LifeWay Bible study curriculum, written by Kathleen Nielson. We started this trend in 2013 with the release of The Gospel of Luke from the Outside In, written by David Morlan and edited by Carson. Other LifeWay projects are in the works for 2014 and beyond. Speaking of curriculum, we have contracted with The Good Book Company to produce a series of five guides intended to help pastors and other ministry leaders orient their churches around the marks of gospel-centered ministry outlined in TGC's theological vision of ministry.

As always TGC events connected like-minded believers and equipped churches to make the gospel of Jesus Christ central in everything they say and do. You could devote months to watching and listening to free media from our 2013 national conference in Orlando (translated into five languages). As our staff fanned out around the world, I represented TGC by speaking at regional conferences in such diverse religious contexts as Boston and Birmingham, Alabama, not to mention an international outreach trip through Italy. Next year's most anticipated international event for us will convene in Geneva with TGC co-founders Carson and Tim Keller. So long as God continues to open doors for the gospel we'll continue to pray for discernment and walk through them in faith.

My 10 Favorite Resources

Perhaps my greatest privilege as editorial director of TGC is taking a daily big-picture look at the various resources we're publishing at the site. I benefit from working with exceptional editors and humble writers who consider first how they can honor God and second how they can serve you, our readers, with relevant content. So far this year we've reached nearly 9.4 million readers with a 31 percent increase in pageviews compared to 2012. And we're hopeful that a new website look early in 2014 will aid in this growth. This response affirms us, but it's not the primary metric by which we judge success. From TGC's foundation documents we pray that God would work in and through us to accomplish this aim: "to renew the contemporary church in the ancient gospel of Christ so that we truly speak and live for him in a way that clearly communicates to our age."

Judging by that criteria, I have compiled a list of my 10 favorite 2013 resources. Please join me in giving thanks to God for how he always provides for us in a timely fashion with timeless wisdom.

Walking with God through Pain and SufferingWalking with God through Pain and Suffering

Review by Joni Eareckson Tada

I have already commended this Tim Keller book to anyone who has suffered or may someday suffer—that is, all of us. And the interview I recorded with Keller goes into details about how he organized the book and what he hopes to accomplish. The review by Joni Eareckson Tada, though, will truly reveal the importance of this work. As someone who has suffered a great deal, she admits skepticism about books on this topic. But she says Keller has given us the most comprehensive book on suffering, a volume that will "wake us up out of our spiritual slumber and get us thinking rightly about the character and compassion of God in these dark, difficult times."

How to Discourage Artists in the Church

By Philip G. Ryken

If Ryken, TGC Council member and president of Wheaton College, had written the positive angle on this story—"How to Encourage Artists in the Church"—I can guarantee the reaction would have been fairly negative. That's because most of us struggle to relate to artists, so we unwittingly discourage them in our dismissive words and actions. Clearly the overwhelming response to this article reveals some tension over the arts in the church. As a pastor committed to the centrality of God's Word in preaching, Ryken helps bridge the divide between artists and other ministry leaders.

Today IS My Wedding Day!

By M. Connor

Last year we published a widely read article from M. Connor about why she walked away before her wedding day. Talking with this new believer I realized she was not just holding out for a better offer. She understood God may never provide her with a husband and children. But she chose to side with her Savior rather than marry a man who did not share her dedication to trust Christ above all. This year we rejoiced to share the beautiful conclusion to the story as she married a godly man she met on the very day last year she was supposed to get married.

Michael Jordan CourtsideDo You Still Want to Be Like Mike? 

By Matt Smethurst

If you visit TGC's site with any regularity then you owe associate editor Matt Smethurst more thanks than you probably know. In this provocative reflection on Michael Jordan on the occasion of his 50th birthday, Smethurst combines a childhood love for basketball with a mature concern for the superstar's spirit. We have no greater parable of a man who has gained the world but seems to have lost his soul.

How to Survive a Cultural Crisis

By Mark Dever

I said at the time we published this article that it was perhaps the most helpful and encouraging resource I've ever edited for TGC. I stand by that judgment today. Christians rack our brains and wrings our hands over cultural engagement in a changing and discouraging world. But Mark Dever, TGC Council member and senior pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, D.C., offers such profoundly sensible and biblical counsel that I wonder if we often try to substitute complexity for unfaithfulness. Read and re-read the seven principles he offers in this article.

Piper on Regrets and Retirement

Interview by Collin Hansen

Nearly every day I speak with pastors around the world who look up to men like John Piper but only know his life from his sermons, conference messages, and books. They don't know about his struggles and regrets. They don't know about his day-to-day pastoral care. We covered those topics and much more in an interview recorded shortly after Piper, a TGC Council member, stepped down as senior pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis.

The Complementarian Woman: Permitted or Pursued?

By Jen Wilkin

Even when she's writing on topics such as parenting, where I don't have any experience, I always enjoy reading Wilkin. She sees challenges and opportunities in the church that I overlook. Such is the case in this article that encourages us who believe only men should serve as elders in the church to still pursue women and employ their gifts. We can't just permit women to serve in the church if that means we're unwittingly passive and dismissive toward their service. This line still sticks with me today: "End the culture of permission and you will dispel the stigma of submission."

Why We Should Legalize Murder for Hire

By Betsy Childs

Believe it or not we heard from a number of concerned readers who did not realize this piece is satire. To be clear, I don't think satire is the main or even the most helpful way to open the eyes of our neighbors to the horrors of abortion. But neither does Betsy Childs, who works down the hall from me at Beeson Divinity School. She often volunteers to counsel mothers headed to the abortion clinic down the street from her apartment in Birmingham, Alabama. And she's a strong advocate for adoption so mothers understand they have a viable option to abortion. By various means may God sear our consciences and end this every-day tragedy.

Paul and the Faithfulness of God

Review by Douglas J. Moo

Only a renowned New Testament scholar such as Moo could so quickly and diligently read and review N. T. Wright's definitive work on the apostle to the Gentiles. Wright has stirred up no little controversy over the years in debates over the New Perspective and the relationship between justification by faith and judgment according to works. In this review Moo identified the core concerns of Wright's critics without dredging up all the old antipathy.

God's Goodness in Your Pain

Video with David Platt, John Piper, and Matt Chandler

You may notice we talk a lot about pain and suffering at TGC. That's because the Western world seems so reluctant to do so. And you might wonder what such young and seemingly successful ministers like David Platt and Matt Chandler could know about suffering. That's because much of the church seems to assume that if you love God and do the right things you can probably avoid the hard stuff in life. Sooner or later every one of us will suffer, because every one of us will die and lose the ones we love. Thanks be to God in Christ that he even though he does not promise us good circumstances he guarantees us his loving-kindness and everlasting rest.

God's Goodness in Your Pain from The Gospel Coalition on Vimeo.

 
 

Dec

11

2013

Ben Peays|10:47 AM CT

TGC Hires Seth Magnuson and Expands Translation Efforts

The Gospel Coalition is pleased to announce the addition of Seth Magnuson to our team. Seth will serve as the director for translated content strategies for our new expanded translation initiative, which significantly increases our bandwidth in resourcing the global church. Seth is an incredible answer to prayer for TGC.

MagnusonSethSeth spent the previous six years at Desiring God developing their content strategy and managing their translation teams. He also coordinated international events, managed global partnerships, and oversaw logistics for resource distribution. In the spirit of gospel partnership, TGC intends to serve Desiring God by continuing to provide professional translations of John Piper resources for various multimedia platforms. The need around the world is staggering for this sort of work. The global church faces a profound theological famine. Seth will be a great aid to help us resource the global church who so desperately desire to hear from God.

Seth will expand the translation teams to include more translators, working in more languages, and translating a broader collection of voices. We will be building an international, multi-language database of the world's best resources—working hard to not just translate U.S. voices, but to also provide a platform for the great teachers around the world already serving a particular language or people group. We will also be able to expand the editorial teams for our French and Spanish websites and increase the number of live translations at our conferences.

The addition of Seth will also increase our ability to produce more translated physical books for distribution to places around the globe that do not yet have reliable access to the internet. Last year, TGC International Outreach, under the leadership of director Bill Walsh and thanks to your generosity, completed a remarkable number of projects allowing us to distribute more than 63,000 physical resources in 11 languages to 40 countries (read the stories)—with thousands more still available for free through our Packing Hope program.

These are exciting times, and we are grateful to God for his grace and provision. We are excited that God would provide us with Seth, and we wanted you to join us in welcoming him to the team.

 
 

Nov

09

2013

Matt Smethurst|8:05 AM CT

Most Popular at TGC Last Month

Top Articles

(1) Can a Christian Commit Suicide? (Miguel Núñez)

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Though Scripture doesn't tell us explicitly, there are good reasons to believe even the sin of suicide can be forgiven.

(2) Why You Should Criticize Your Pastor (Jared C. Wilson)

Measure your thoughts out appropriately, choose the right hills to die on, and pray for your pastor. He needs it.

(3) Church, We Have a Problem (Tullian Tchividjian)

Is preaching the gospel of grace really the means by which God rescues the lawless, the unethical, and the disobedient?

(4) Toward a Biblical Approach to Dating (Paul Maxwell)

The Bible legitimizes dating in this age, but it is not necessarily holy.

(5) How the Ayers Family Buried Their 8 Children (Kristen Gilles)

We can trust our Lord no matter what suffering we may endure because he has already endured it for us. He will help us until the day he returns.

Most Recommended on Facebook

(1) Why We Should Legalize Murder for Hire (Betsy Childs)

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(2) Where Did All These Calvinists Come From? (Matt Smethurst and Mark Dever)

(3) Learning from a Lesbian Visitor to Your Church (Trevin Wax)

(4) The Loving Intolerance of God (Melissa Kruger)

(5) How to Get Real, Honest Community (Bob Thune and Will Walker)

Top Interviews

(1) How to Prepare for Pain and Suffering (Tim Keller, Collin Hansen)

Tim Keller's new book forces us to confront life as it really is and not as our Western fairy tales suggest.

(2) Evidences of a Maturing Evangelical Mind (Michael Lindsay, Albert Mohler, Phil Ryken)

Three respected institutional presidents discuss evidences of a growth in Christian thinking.

(3) Is God a Moral Monster? (Bryan Chapell, J. D. Greear, Mike McKinley)

Three pastors discuss street-level objections to God's morality.

Top Book Reviews

(1) Strange Fire (John MacArthur | Review by Thomas Schreiner)

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Though I largely agree with MacArthur exegetically, I'm afraid he paints the charismatic movement with too broad of a brush.

(2) A Call to Resurgence (Mark Driscoll | Review by Andrew Wilson)

The flaws in the central chapters of Mark Driscoll's new book are significant enough to spoil it.

(3) Walking with God through Pain and Suffering (Tim Keller | Review by Joni Eareckson Tada)

After 46 years of quadriplegia, Joni Eareckson Tada sometimes wonders if there's anything new to say about affliction and the Almighty. That's why Tim Keller's new book is so special.

News and Notes

(1) TGC Announces a New Site en Français

Our new French-language website [Twitter | Facebook] is filled with editorial content provided by pastors, theologians, and other church leaders in France, Quebec, the United States, and elsewhere. Our editors they hope to highlight and assist the French-speaking church by producing and distributing thoughtful, faithful resources from a variety of sources.

(2) Arabic Translation Web Project: The Gospel as Center

Edited by Don Carson and Tim Keller, this book will help Arabic-speaking church leaders join the movement dedicated to a Scripture-based reformation of ministry practices and the centrality of the gospel—and stand united under the conviction that what holds us together is worth fighting for. Please consider helping us make this resource available.

(3) God's Word, Our Story: The Gospel Coalition 2014 National Women's Conference (June 27-29 | Orlando, Florida)

Join us for this conference for women but all about the Word! We'll focus on listening to this Word . . . living in light of it . . . helping others hear it . . . worshiping according to it . . . waiting on the Spirit who inspired it . . . exalting Jesus at the center of it. The stellar lineup of speakers includes TGC founders Don Carson, Tim Keller, and John Piper. Dozens of workshops run in themed tracks and cover topics such as biblical theology, sexuality, evangelism, writing, the persecuted church, and the ministry of hospitality.

 
 

Oct

15

2013

Don Carson|12:01 AM CT

TGC Welcomes Two New Council Members

The Gospel Coalition welcomes to its Council two new members with a track record of gospel-centered ministry in the Latin American context.

Miguel Núñez is senior pastor of International Baptist Church in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and is the founding president of Wisdom and Integrity Ministriese5c40b57797f259a21d7b0bfc529ecc1, which has the vision to influence today's generation with God's revelation in the Spanish-speaking world. He is author of Jesus, el Hombre Que Desafió al Mundo y Confronta Tu Vida (Jesus, the Man who Challenged the World and Confronts Your Life) and Una Iglesia Conforme al Corazón de Dios (A Church After God's Own Heart), and co-author of the leadership book Seguirazgo. Miguel also co-hosts the television show Respuestas: Verdades Absolutas para un Mundo Relativo (Answers: Absolute Truths for a Relative World), which is transmitted all over Latin America. Additionally, Miguel and his ministry are responsible for the annual Por Su Causa ("For His Cause") conference, which gathers thousands of Latin Americans in the Dominican Republic and challenges them to embrace historic biblical Christianity. As a physician, Miguel practiced medicine in the United States for about 15 years (1982-1997) and was a clinical professor at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. He has been married for more than 30 years to Dr. Catherine Scheraldi, who is still in the practice of medicine.

Sugel Michelén has been an elder and regular preacher at Iglesia Bíblica del Señor Jesucristo (Lord Jesus Christ's Biblical Church) in Santo Domingo, Dominicansugel-michelen Republic, for more than 30 years. He has a master of theological studies and has authored several books, including Hacia Una Educación Auténticamente Cristiana (Toward an Authentic Christian Education), Palabras al Cansado: Sermones de Aliento y Consuelo (Words to the Weary), He Who Perseveres Until the EndThe Christian and War, History of the Reformed Baptists in Colombia, and a children's picture book titled The Most Extraordinary Story Never Told. Sugel is an associate instructor at Laurel University, teaches philosophy at Logos Christian School, and for 10 years has been a regular lecturer for the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) for Latin America. Sugel and his wife, Gloria, have raised three children and have three grandchildren.
 
 

Oct

10

2013

Don Carson|12:05 AM CT

TGC Announces a New Site en Français

Through our website, The Gospel Coalition aims to circulate excellent, gospel-centered biblical, theological, and pastoral resources. Our site, which attracted more than 31 million pageviews in 2012, enables us to deliver these essays, news reports, book reviews, videos, sermons, and much more for minimal cost. But the website also gives these resources a global audience. Last year more visits came from Sydney, Australia, than any other city except Chicago. London and Singapore also appeared in the top 10. The main factor limiting our reach has been language. Until this year.

Screen Shot 2013-10-03 at 12.50.16 PM

Working with friends around the world who share our beliefs and priorities, TGC began hosting a Spanish-language website in February. Today we are grateful to God that we can announce the launch of a French-language website [Twitter | Facebook] filled with editorial content provided by pastors, theologians, and other church leaders in France, Quebec, the United States, and elsewhere. We are merely providing the technical support; the French-speaking editors control the content. They do not propose to simply translate English resources into French. Instead, they hope to highlight and assist the French-speaking church by producing and distributing thoughtful, faithful resources from a variety of sources, including materials they write themselves.

Two men in particular have been and will be instrumental in guiding the Évangile 21 initiative (which is the name given to the Euorpean French version of The Gospel Coalition; the Quebec French organization is called Sola). Aurélien Lang, who currently serves at the Foyer Evangélique Universitaire de Grenoble, will oversee the site while Mike Evans, director emeritus of l'Institut Biblique de Genève, will serve as publication manager. Joining them on the editorial team will be Matthieu Giralt (graphics and video) and Fadi Akl (technical assistance and conference registration). Lang and Evans will oversee a growing group of translators and collaborators committed to the sufficiency of Scriptures and the doctrines of grace. On the background and need for the site, Evans remarks:

In 2012, Don Carson, John Piper, and Henri Blocher were the keynote speakers at a conference held in Geneva based on the theme of gospel-centered ministry. Ever since we have been under pressure to launch a website and continue with regular conferences. We are aware of a keen and increasing sense of interest among the new generation of Christian leaders for resources that will inform and stimulate gospel-centered ministry. It's taken time to get everything on course because we're dependent on the enthusiastic commitment of volunteers. Our debut is modest, but we are aiming to progressively increase the content of the Évangile 21 site in the coming months.

Through all these efforts we hope to serve, encourage, and collaborate with a network of French-speaking Christians who can stamp the next generation with gospel-centered resources for the global church. May the Lord himself strengthen his blood-bought church through the faithful proclamation of the gospel.

 
 

Aug

22

2013

Andy Naselli|1:37 PM CT

Paul and the Law: The Latest Book in Carson's NSBT Series

This is the latest volume in the New Studies in Biblical Theology series, edited by D. A. Carson:

Brian S. Rosner. Paul and the Law: Keeping the Commandments of God. New Studies in Biblical Theology 31. Nottingham, England: Inter-Varsity; Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2013. 249 pp.

Here's how Carson introduces the book in the series preface:

Anyone who follows long-standing debates over Paul and the law, over the use of the Old Testament in the New (especially in Paul), over the cogency or otherwise of various theological systems (e.g. Lutheranism, various forms of covenant theology, dispensationalism), over the origins of the common tripartite classification of biblical law (moral, civil and ceremonial), knows that Paul's understanding of the law lurks behind many other theological debates. Add to the topics already mentioned the relationships between Christian Jews and Christian Gentiles, the unity of the new humanity in Christ, Paul's apparent flexibility when he evangelizes Jews in Jerusalem and Corinthians in Achaia, and, in historical theology, the validity or otherwise of the 'third use' of the law, not to mention the sheer avalanche of books and articles on these and related topics, and one readily perceives why a book on Paul and the law is likely to be of perennial interest.

So what is the distinctive contribution of the volume you are holding in your hand? Brian Rosner's strength lies in showing with patience and clarity how the apostle Paul articulates an array of complementary but quite different stances towards the law. That these diverse stances can be integrated he does not deny, but his focus is on letting the crucial passages in Paul speak for themselves. Whether one is persuaded by each exegesis is not as important as listening attentively to the diversity of emphases within Paul's own writings, before attempting the grand synthesis. This is a book to read slowly and appreciatively, a book to ponder.

This is the fifth volume in the series that includes this note in the front matter:

An index of Scripture references for all the volumes may be found at http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/resources/nsbt.

In the master spreadsheet, I've combined the Scripture indexes for all the NSBT volumes and placed an asterisk by each page number where there is a discussion rather than merely a reference or brief comment. Download it here.

 
 

Jul

13

2013

Matt Smethurst|12:00 PM CT

Most Popular at TGC Last Month

We're doing it again! The Gospel Coalition's second National Women's Conference will take place June 27 to 29, 2014, in Orlando, Florida. Registration will open August 1. We look forward to sharing this event with thousands of women from across the nation and around the world.

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Top Articles

(1) Why Gay Marriage Is Good (and Bad) for the Church (Trevin Wax)

We have too many layers of self-justification to grow without hard knocks.

(2) Why You Can't See Your Biggest Flaws (Tim Keller)

While our faults always seem small to us due to the natural self-justification of the heart, you can be sure they don't look so small to others.

(3) 6 Pillars of a Christian View on Suffering (Don Carson)

God wants our trust even more than he wants our understanding.

(4) Perspectives on Our Children's Education: Going Public (Jen Wilkin)

If you are not the stereotypical public school parent, your child will probably not be the stereotypical public school student.

(5) 6 Things We Need to Learn from Youth About Preaching (Cameron Cole)

The teenagers to whom I minister do not think like most of my preacher friends.

Most Recommended on Facebook

(1) A Prayer for the Mom Who's Worn (Christina Fox)

(2) Marriage Is Not Ultimate (Phillip Holmes)

(3) 8 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me Before Seminary (Matt Damico)

(4) FactChecker: Does College Cause Young Adults to Lose Their Faith? (Glenn T. Stanton)

(5) 4 Reasons Zombies Won't Die (Barry Cooper)

Top Interviews

(1) Is John Piper a Hypocrite? (John Piper, Mark Mellinger)

There are 98,000 evangelicals for every unengaged people group. What are we doing about it?

(2) Russell Moore on the Supreme Court's DOMA Decision (Russell Moore, Mark Mellinger)

The implications of this decision, he argues, will in the fullness of time, apply to all 50 states.

(3) Should Christians Try to Legislate Their Morality? (Kevin DeYoung, Collin Hansen, Trevin Wax)

When it comes to legislating morality, how do we help people find an authority outside of themselves?

Top Book Reviews

(1) Jesus Is (Judah Smith | Review by Gavin Ortlund)

This Bieber-approved book captures much of Christ's character but falls short of yielding a reliable, rounded portrait of who he is.

(2) Sexual Sanity for Women (Ellen Dykas, ed. | Review by Amber Walsh)

Resources that point struggling women to Jesus, pulling no punches yet speaking with great compassion, are greatly needed in our sex-saturated culture.

(3) Lean In (Sheryl Sandberg | Review by Kathleen Nielson)

Though we can learn much from Sandberg, what stands out in her values is a dramatic lack of transcendence.

News and Notes

(1) Engage the South (September 24 | Birmingham, Alabama)

Sponsored by Acts 29 Network and hosted by Beeson Divinity School, this event seeks to equip leaders for the kind of revitalized churches we need in the American South. Join speakers including Matt Chandler, David Platt, and Ray Ortlund.

The first album from The Gospel Coalition, by the church for the church, features songwriters and musicians from around the country. Download it today and hear original lyrics and music by D. A. Carson, Sandra McCracken, Aaron Ivey, Matt Boswell, and more.

(3) The Gospel of Luke from the Outside In

This new 12-session group study—from scholars David Morlan and D. A. Carson—shows through written and video commentary how Luke brings the good news from the "outside in" as Christ embraces the unknowns, the outcast, the lost, and the hopeless.

 
 

Jun

12

2013

Matt Smethurst|12:00 PM CT

Most Popular Last Month

By God's grace, all of our TGC13 conference media—78 talks—are now available, with translations of all plenary sessions and selected workshops in Mandarin, Farsi, French, Portuguese, and Spanish. All of this content is free to be used and shared around the world. As our founding documents state, TGC's desire is "to serve the church we love . . . in an effort to renew the contemporary church in the ancient gospel of Christ." To that end, we hope you will be instructed, edified, and spurred on by this content from our fourth biennial National Conference. May Jesus alone be exalted.

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Top Articles

(1) How to Discourage Artists in the Church (Phil Ryken)

Many Christian artists live between two strange worlds. Their faith seems odd to many of their friends in the artistic community, almost as odd as their calling seems to some of their friends at church.

(2) Forgive Us These Faults (Tim Keller)

While our faults always seem small to us due to the natural self-justification of the heart, you can be sure they don't look so small to others.

(3) How to Survive a Cultural Crisis (Mark Dever)

Here are 7 principles for surviving the cultural shifts we're presently enduring.

(4) The Difference Between Autographs and Original Texts (Michael Kruger)

If Bart Ehrman is correct, then he has uncovered the single thread that would unravel the entire garment of the Christian faith.

(5) The New Purpose of Marriage (Collin Hansen)

Marriage based on needs and affection will struggle to endure when the needs change and the affection fades.

Most Recommended on Facebook

(1) Parents, Do You Think Before You Post? (Jen Wilkin)

(2) 9 Things You Should Know About Pornography and the Brain (Joe Carter)

(3) Can God Save a Fundamentalist School? (Chris Bruno)

(4) Help! I Married an Introvert (Stephen Miller)

(5) The Plastic Fruit of Online Living (Lindsey Carlson)

(6) 12 Things to Do After Graduating (Matt Jenson)

Top Interviews

(1) Out of the Rubble, Hope for Renewal (Sam Storms, Collin Hansen, Mark Mellinger)

No matter what comes sweeping down the plains, nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ.

(2) When Carl Henry Trash-Talked with Karl Barth (Greg Thornbury, Collin Hansen, John Starke)

If you've never heard of Carl Henry or don't know where to begin, Thornbury and Hansen are good guides.

(3) Are You Ready for the Urban Future? (Matt Smethurst, Stephen Um)

We hope this resource will aid you in situating your own contextual ministry within a broad understanding of our world's shifting cultural currents.

Top Book Reviews

(1) The Evangelicals You Don't Know (Tom Krattenmaker | Review by Mike McKinley)

Turns out what social activist progressives can find to like about Christianity is when Christians act like social activist progressives.

(2) Humble Orthodoxy (Joshua Harris | Review by Derek Brown)

Humble orthodoxy begins with you, not others.

(3) Dictionary of Scripture and Ethics (Joel B. Green, ed. | Review by Ray Van Neste)

As cultural pressure increases to accommodate the spirit of the age rather than hold fast to Scripture, we must decide where we stand. This volume has made its choice.

News and Notes

(1) Now Available! Songs for the Book of Luke

The first album from The Gospel Coalition, by the church for the church, features songwriters and musicians from around the country. Download it today and hear original lyrics and music by D. A. Carson, Sandra McCracken, Aaron Ivey, Matt Boswell, and more.

(2) The Gospel of Luke from the Outside In

This new 12-session group study—from scholars David Morlan and D. A. Carson—shows through written and video commentary how Luke brings the good news from the "outside in" as Christ embraces the unknowns, the outcast, the lost, and the hopeless.

(3) Help Us Relieve Theological Famine

We've raised more than 50 percent of our goal of providing Tim Keller's Galatians for You to thousands of church leaders in Asian, Africa, and South America. Can you help?

 
 

Jun

04

2013

Matt Boswell|12:01 AM CT

Follow Our New Blog: TGC Worship

TGC Worship, a new blog from The Gospel Coalition, seeks to promote gospel-centered worship throughout the church by training and equipping leaders in the Word-shaped ministry of singing, songwriting, and service planning.

As described in TGC's Theological Vision for Ministry, we believed gospel-centered ministry is characterized by empowered corporate worship. 

The gospel changes our relationship with God from one of hostility or slavish compliance to one of intimacy and joy. The core dynamic of gospel-centered ministry is therefore worship and fervent prayer. In corporate worship God's people receive a special life-transforming sight of the worth and beauty of God, and then give back to God suitable expressions of his worth. At the heart of corporate worship is the ministry of the Word. Preaching should be expository (explaining the text of Scripture) and Christ-centered (expounding all biblical themes as climaxing in Christ and his work of salvation). Its ultimate goal, however, is not simply to teach but to lead the hearers to worship, individual and corporate, that strengthens their inner being to do the will of God.

While this statement focuses on preaching, the implications of robust gospel centrality surely do not end there. In the same way that preaching should be expository and Christ-centered, so should the rest of the congregational gathering. Christian worship is built upon, shaped by, and saturated with the Word of God. Our songs, prayers, and liturgies tell the world what we hold to be true. In all matters of faith, life, and practices (both liturgical and otherwise), we pray to be formed and informed by the perfect Word of God.

In Scripture we find examples that teach us about the rhythms of theocentric worship (Isaiah 6, Deuteronomy 5, 2 Chronicles 5-7, John 4, Romans 11-15, Revelation 4-21). Through the lens of the gospel, we learn to see congregational worship (preaching, singing, confession, prayer, Scripture reading, communion, baptism) not simply as a ritual, but as a regular opportunity to lift our eyes and see anew the glorious gospel of grace. This gospel enables true worship of God.

Role of the Worship Leader

But many churches don't operate from a theological practice of worship because they are led by Christians who haven't developed a theological conviction of worship. Many of our worship practices are influenced far greater by the voice of culture than by the Word of God. This is a critical time for the worship of the church to be biblical, theological, and pastoral.

The purpose of this effort is clearly stated in the new book Doxology and Theology:

One of the greatest needs of the modern church is theologically driven worship leaders. The church is starving for worship leaders who will teach them to sing about the great gospel of Christ in all its richness. This need for theologically driven worship leaders exists in large part because many believe that worship leadership and theological aptitude are mutually exclusive. Theology, they believe, is the occupation of pastors and professors, while worship is the business of church musicians and songwriters. So pastors and professors teach the truth and the worship leaders lead the singing. And because of this, our churches are limping along with people who do not understand that the greatest truths of the gospel have always been designed to cause the greatest praise.

In the midst of this confusion is a generation of worship leaders who are hungry to deepen their biblical understanding so that the people of God can recover gospel-saturated worship. They desire to think theologically, not just pragmatically. They want to know and understand the fullness of the role of the worship leader, not just how to lead three verses and a chorus. Furthermore, pastors and churches alike increasingly express a desire to be led by thoughtful worship leaders who understand the life-changing marriage between doxology and theology.

New TGC Worship Blog

To help further the conversation of gospel-centered worship, we are pleased to announce the launch of the TGC Worship blog. As church leaders and preaching pastors have found The Gospel Coalition to be a wealth of resources both theological and practical, the new TGC Worship blog seeks to equip all those entrusted with oversight of congregational worship. Ranging from topics of theology and philosophy to practical insights and songwriting, the goal of this blog is to equip and encourage leaders of worship to remain faithful to Scripture while engaging the culture with art to the glory of God.

Regular contributors to this new blog include:

  • Mike Cosper (Sojourn Community Church, Louisville, Kentucky)
  • Matt Papa (Summit Church, Raleigh, North Carolina)
  • Michael Bleecker (The Village Church, Flower Mound, Texas)
  • Aaron Ivey (Austin Stone, Austin, Texas)
  • Stephen Miller (The Journey, St. Louis, Missouri)
  • Andi Rozier (Harvest Bible Chapel, Rolling Meadows, Illinois)
  • Bob Kauflin (Sovereign Grace Music, Louisville, Kentucky)
  • Joe Crider (Southern Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky)
  • Ron Man (Worship Resources International, Memphis, Tennessee)
  • Kevin Twit (Indelible Grace Music, Nashville, Tennessee)

I will serve as editor of this multi-author blog that will also include many other voices in the worship conversation.

We pray that this blog glorifies God and serves local churches as together we continue in all humility and faithfulness to herald the good news of the gospel in both sermon and song. As this conversation of gospel-centered worship continues, we must realize it is truly only beginning. For those passionate about adding to the conversation, come and join in.