Archive for September 8, 2010

Sep 8

The Gospel Coalition: A Theological Vision for Ministry (DSC+TGC Part 3)

2010 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Recommended Link,Vision

For this third post in our introduction to the mission and work of The Gospel Coalition (TGC), we turn to TGC’s third foundational document, a Theological Vision for Ministry.

While the Confessional Statement was designed to unify leaders and churches around particular doctrinal commitments, this document further clarifies TGC’s concern and mission.

The first half contains three sections addressing three major areas of concern for the church today. Three questions frame this section addressing the issues of epistemology, hermeneutics and contextualization respectively. Here they are, with a few significant lines from the explanation:

  • How should we respond to the cultural crisis of truth? “We believe the Holy Spirit who inspired the words of the apostles and prophets also indwells us so that we who have been made in the image of God can receive and understand the words of Scripture revealed by God, and grasp that Scripture’s truths correspond to reality. The statements of Scripture are true, precisely because they are God’s statements, and they correspond to reality even though our knowledge of those truths (and even our ability to verify them to others) is always necessarily incomplete. The Enlightenment belief in thoroughly objective knowledge made an idol out of unaided human reason. But to deny the possibility of purely objective knowledge does not mean the loss of truth that corresponds to objective reality, even if we can never know such truth without an element of subjectivity.”
  • How should we read the Bible? “To read along the whole Bible is to discern the single basic plot–line of the Bible as God’s story of redemption (e.g., Luke 24:44) as well as the themes of the Bible (e.g., covenant, kingship, temple) that run through every stage of history and every part of the canon, climaxing in Jesus Christ. In this perspective, the gospel appears as creation, fall, redemption, restoration…To read across the whole Bible is to collect its declarations, summons, promises, and truth–claims into categories of thought (e.g., theology, Christology, eschatology) and arrive at a coherent understanding of what it teaches summarily (e.g., Luke 24:46–47).”
  • How should we relate to the culture around us? “We want to be a church that not only gives support to individual Christians in their personal walks with God, but one that also shapes them into the alternative human society God creates by his Word and Spirit.”

These are important questions. The answers we hold, however consciously or unconsciously, give shape to our vision for the church, its function in God’s plan, its purpose in this world and how ministry should be carried out.

We enthusiastically endorse this Theological Vision for Ministry and encourage you to give it a read.

This post is third in a series of posts introducing DSC to The Gospel Coalition (Go here to read, Part 1 and part 2).