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The 'Gospel' That Almost Killed Me

March 27, 2014 | Sean DeMars

I'm in a bathtub. I can't get up. I feel like I'm about to die. Mercury poisoning. The water in the tub has grown cold. Maybe that's why I feel so cold. I've been marinating in my own soup stock for the past two hours. I'm floating in and out of consciousness. Whenever I can concentrate I begin to pray. Jesus, please, save me. Please, heal me. I repent, I put my whole heart into prayer right now, and I cast out any doubt or fear. I know you can heal me. Please heal me! My mom's keys are rattling in the doorknob now, and I hear the door thud ...

St. Patrick: Reclaiming the Great Missionary

March 17, 2014 | Mike Pettengill

Today most people know St. Patrick for green beer, banishing snakes from Ireland, using shamrocks to teach the Trinity, or his walking stick growing into a living tree. Indeed, none of these legends has anything to do with the real Patrick. However, the factual accounts of Patrick, missionary to Ireland, are even more compelling than the folklore. Telling the true story of Patrick provides an inspiring lesson in God's grace and mercy. While other 1,500-year-old characters in history are difficult to research because too few writings have survived time, Pa...

TGC IO Update: ESV Global Study Bible Distribution

March 14, 2014 | Bill Walsh

At the beginning of 2013, TGC International Outreach partnered with Crossway to raise almost $19,000 (including a matching grant) to obtain 3,000 copies of the ESV Global Study Bible. Our purpose was to make these Bibles available to our worldwide missions network with the goal of putting them into the hands of Global South pastors who badly need them. Here's a quick report on what happened in 2013. We believe God has uniquely blessed us with a global network of likeminded churches and missions who are able to get these Bibles to...

Delighting in the Greater Adoption

March 12, 2014 | Chelsea Patterson

Apart from the gift of my salvation, earthly adoption is the greatest gift I've ever received. I was an orphan—both physically and spiritually. My story began in Romania with a 19-year-old unwed girl who wasn't able to take care of me. The Lord sovereignly chose adoption for me. I am blessed that a man and a woman from the United States made a decision that radically altered my life forever when they traveled across the world and chose me as their daughter. I was rescued from a life void of love and care and freely given a new life beyond my wildest dr...

Why Nehemiah?

March 12, 2014 | Kathleen Nielson

I thought of Nehemiah this week, in the midst of a Christian wedding ceremony attended by several thousand, in a country with the world's largest Muslim population. The wedding was like a light shining bright, and I could only look up and see the hand of God at work on behalf of his people and his gospel. I pictured Nehemiah serving in the Persian court, finding favor from King Artaxerxes as he presented his plan to visit and help his people in Jerusalem. "The king granted me what I asked," Nehemiah reports, "for the good hand of my God was upon me" (1:8). N...

Global Theology in English: Promising or Problematic?

February 25, 2014 | Will Bankston

When it comes to fighting theological famine around the world many consider English resources to be only temporary tools. To be sure, there is no substitute for hearing the great things of God in one's own heart language. So we often defend English resources by way of their availability and efficiency while waiting for translation projects to faze them out. However, the availability of English resources presents opportunity not often acknowledged. English resources enable two-way exchange in which Christians across the globe study common sources and offer th...

John Piper Explains Why He Tries for Ethnic Unity

February 6, 2014 | Tyler Burns

In pursuit of racial reconciliation, America still has a long way to go. But even saying so remains controversial in the Land of the Free. And don't look to the church of Jesus Christ for racial harmony, either. Ethnic tensions and a checkered past have muzzled the strategic mouthpiece of the body. Yet this struggle has not discouraged John Piper from entering this seemingly hostile fray. Piper, a white man who grew up in the South, might not seem like the obvious choice to consult on race relations. But he has contributed his time, pen, wisdom, and life to ...

Returning Home to Ex-Cannibals

February 4, 2014 | Matt Smethurst

The Sawi were headhunters and cannibals when Don and Carol Richardson arrived in their Indonesian village carrying their seven-month-old boy, Steve—and a message that would change the tribe forever. The year was 1962, and Steve and his siblings would spend their youth among the Sawi, learning the language and embracing the culture in ways that would shape the rest of their lives. The Richardsons' story was immortalized in Don's bestselling book, Peace Child: An Unforgettable Story of Primitive Jungle Treachery in the 20th Century and a feat...

Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus

December 12, 2013 | Petar Nenadov

Loving requires knowing. And in a new book, Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus: A Devout Muslim's Journey to Christ (Zondervan), Nabeel Qureshi aims to help Christians better love their Muslim neighbors by providing an insider's perspective into a Muslim's heart and mind. Through personal narrative, Qureshi covers a range of topics including the relationship between the Qur'an (Islam's sacred text) and Hadith (Muhammad's words and actions recorded in tradition) as well as the cultural challenges between East (honor-shame cultures) and West (innocence-gui...

Relief Still Needed for the Philippines

December 3, 2013 | Bill Walsh

The news of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines this past month has been horrific. As we've watched the devastation, it is so hard to get our minds around the toll on human life. In the wake of this tragedy, we pray that God would comfort and protect these people. And thankfully, so many across the world are supporting the relief efforts, which we encourage you to do. I want to also share with you some good news from Davao City, Philippines, where a pastors' conference was held this fall. (I checked online to see if this region was impacted by the storm, and w...

Liberating Prostitutes with the Gospel

November 26, 2013 | Chris Castaldo

Vite Trasformate (transformed lives) is a gospel-centered ministry to reach those trapped in prostitution in Italy. Many thousands of women are on the sidewalks each night. Most of them are victims of human trafficking and exploitation, and they are all without hope. The primary objective of Vite Trasformate, which operates under the leadership and partnership of local churches, is to see lives transformed by Jesus Christ to the glory of God. During my recent visit to Italy, I had the privilege of filming the following interview with my friend Pris...

Global Gospel Generosity with Lausanne's New CEO

November 14, 2013 | Matt Smethurst

"By an unleashing of generosity," Michael Oh believes, "we can double the number of missionaries in the world to effectively target 6,600 unreached peoples of the world." Earlier this year Oh, newly appointed executive director/CEO of the Lausanne Movement, sat down with Mark Mellinger to discuss "the whole church taking the whole gospel to the whole world." Such world evangelization will not happen, however, without a fresh army of sacrificial senders. "Some of the greatest global generosity comes from the poor," Oh explains. We in the middle-class West nee...

David Platt on the Epitome of Hate

November 12, 2013 | Matt Smethurst

Given the beauty of Christ and the reality of hell, it is "the epitome of hate" to withhold the gospel from those who don't know it, David Platt argues. As Christians, we want "God's grace to extend to more and more people for God's glory among all peoples." Earlier this year Platt sat down with Mark Mellinger to discuss how all Christians practically fulfill the Great Commission according to our diverse callings. Following his powerful TGC13 Missions Conference message, "Why the Great Commission Is Great: Reaching More and More People," Platt disc...

How to Become a Church-Planting Church

November 8, 2013 | Brian Howard

How can a church that has never been involved in church planting become a church-planting church? Many churches aren't sure where to even begin this journey. Some churches dive right into church planting by sending out one of their own. This process usually involves investing a significant amount of resources into the planter and rallying behind him. But this effort often ends poorly as the existing church frequently ends up disillusioned with church planting altogether when their ill-equipped church planter fails. Sending out a church planter is not the bes...

The Complex Problem of the Persecuted Church

November 1, 2013 | Darren Carlson

November 3 has been set aside to pray for the persecuted church, and it prompts a good question in many minds: How exactly should the American church help our persecuted brothers and sisters around the world? A recent spate of articles has accused U.S. churches of not speaking out or sufficiently expressing concern. But the real problem is not silence, either in the United States or around the world. The problem is a lack of workable solutions. This is a complicated issue, made even more difficult by our failure to adequately define just what const...

Asking God for Revival in Italy

October 22, 2013 | Collin Hansen

The singing. I'll never forget that singing. I've heard the famous hymn "And Can It Be" dozens of times. But sitting in the back of this small church of believers in Caltanissetta, Sicily, and hearing them belt out the Italian translation of Charles Wesley's lyrics nearly moved me to tears. Thanks to the generous gifts of TGC International Outreach supporters, we provided this church and hundreds of other Italians across the country with copies of John Piper's biography of Athanasius, John Owen, and J. Gresham Machen. I didn't understand at first w...

Toward a Gospel-Shaped Church Culture in Latin America

October 22, 2013 | Matt Smethurst

Bible-based, gospel-centered, Jesus-exalting church culture. Perhaps you're used to hearing about (and hopefully seeing) that sort of thing. Not so for many in Latin America. In a new roundtable video, Juan Sanchez, Miguel Núñez, and Carlos Conteras discuss the need for such an environment in Latino local churches. "Though it may sound cliché, we cannot underestimate the danger of assuming the gospel," contends Sanchez, pastor of High Pointe Baptist Church in Austin, Texas. Whether in exchange for moralistic civil religion or unbridled...

TGC Welcomes Two New Council Members

October 15, 2013 | Don Carson

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 Ministries, 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 th...

TGC Announces a New Site en Français

October 10, 2013 | Don Carson

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. U...

How God Changes Us While We 'Change' the World

October 8, 2013 | Jackie Knapp

For the past few weeks, I have been living in the midst of tiny villages and a cacophony of bugs and chickens in Uganda. We have spent full and happy days visiting people who live in great poverty but have joyously welcomed us into their simple homes. By the reactions of my friends and family, it would be easy to believe that I am some sort of a sacrificial hero for coming here, even for a few months. But I know the truth, that I am a very flawed person and not a hero. The truth is that I can walk by a mud hut with children in rags and be thinking about ...

Confessions of a Church Planting Pastor

October 7, 2013 | Anand Samuel

What should I do differently on Muslim soil? Biblical fidelity demands that I preach Christ and him crucified. But Muslims have no category for a crucified Savior. Then again, neither did the Jews, even Christ's own disciples. The Greeks thought that a crucified God was lunacy, yet apostolic gospel proclamation was resolutely and stubbornly cross-shaped. The apostle Paul writes, For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Gree...

How to Develop a Short-Term Missions Program for Students

September 27, 2013 | Chelsea Kingston

When I first began my role in youth ministry, I didn't understand why our church wasn't following the traditional mission trip model. Instead of one large trip for the entire youth group each summer, kids could choose from several trips based on their age and experience. At first I advocated strongly for a single trip that would bring everyone together for a joint experience. Four years later, I'm eating my words. I've seen the tremendous value of the system I initially wanted to scrap. Offering trips to several locations allows us to maximize ministry and l...

Don't Cancel That Short-Term Mission Trip

September 20, 2013 | Chelsea Kingston

Books like Revolution in World Missions and When Helping Hurts have many youth pastors and church leaders ready to throw out the baby with the bathwater of short-term trips. We calculate the $3,000 it costs to send a student to Honduras for a week and start to squirm thinking about all the good we could do with those funds in Honduras—if only the student stayed home. I'm an advocate for wise stewardship and for doing away with our old colonial approach to missionary efforts. But I'm also concerned youth are getting left out of opportunities to be invol...

Rethinking the Student's Place in Missions

September 13, 2013 | Samuel Tran

Most college students like me hear "missions" and immediately think of handing out tracts, putting up buildings, or feeding impoverished kids. While I do not question the enthusiasm or sincerity of those who hold this view, I cannot help but wonder if we are missing far greater opportunities to effectively share the gospel. Let me explain. For my generation, missions has become conflated with acts of service. Take, for instance, the following descriptions found on prominent missions websites. "Focuses vary by location," notes one organization, "but most a...

100 Partners Toward Theological Famine Relief

August 30, 2013 | Bill Walsh

I recently asked one of our earliest supporters, Geoff and Luma Simms, to share with our network why they are so passionate about TGC International Outreach. Luma wrote, I cried the night we found out that the shipment of books we recently sent via container to Zambia arrived safely. Our missionary friend told my husband that as far as they could tell they only lost one jug of coconut oil out of 18 tons of materials. Among the materials arriving intact were 15 cases of TGC-IO books. I emailed Bill that night and quoted Psalm 115:1: "Not to us, O ...