Many churches subscribe to gospel doctrines but do not have a ministry that is shaped by, centered on, and empowered through the gospel. Its implications have not yet worked their way into the fabric of how the church actually does ministry.
Tim Keller (p. 28)
Center Church is organized into three big ideas and eight parts.
Gospel, City, Movement
1. Gospel Theology
2. Gospel Renewal
3. Gospel Contextualization
4. City Vision
5. Cultural Engagement
6. Missional Community
7. Integrative Ministry
8. Movement Dynamics
We’ll look at first two parts under Gospel, the next three under City and the last three parts under Movement.
Part 1: Gospel Theology
Chapter 1. The Gospel is not everything
1. The gospel is good news, not good advice.
2. The gospel is good news announcing that we have been rescued or saved.
3. The gospel is news about what has been done by Jesus Christ to put right our relationship with God.
The Gospel is not the results of the gospel
– The gospel is not about something we do but about what has been done for us.
– The gospel is preeminently a report about the work of Christ on our behalf.
– It is news that creates a life of love, but the life of love is not itself the gospel.
The Gospel has two equal and opposite enemies
– Two errors that constantly seek to corrupt the message and steal away from us the power of the gospel are moralism and relativism (or pragmatism) or religion and irreligion.
The Gospel has chapters
– Where did we come from? (chapter 1) From God: the One and the relational
– Why did things go so wrong? (chapter 2) Because of sin: bondage and condemnation
– What will put things right? (chapter 3) Christ: incarnation, substitution, restoration
– How can I be put right? (chapter 4) Through faith: grace and trust
The right relationship of the Gospel to all of ministry
– If an element of ministry is not recognized as a result of the gospel, it may sometimes be mistaken for the gospel and eventually supplant the gospel in te church’s preaching and teaching.
– Counseling, spiritual direction, doing justice, engaging culture, doctrinal instruction, and even evangelism itself may become the main thing instead of the gospel.
The gospel is “heraldic proclamation” before it is anything else.
NEXT: Chapter 2 The Gospel is not a simple thing