The Next Big Thing

Carl Trueman has a thoughtful column about the debate over Kevin DeYoung and Greg Gilbert’s book, What is the Mission of the Church? He thinks it’s a premonition of battles to come in the “gospel-centered” movement. Here’s an excerpt from his post:

The gospel-centred world seems divided over whether the gospel is primarily about transforming culture or individual forgiveness for sins. Of course, there is a spectrum of opinion on this matter and not everyone is at one end of it or the other. Yet the passions generated by DeYoung and Gilbert highlight the problem and indicate that it cannot be ignored. Indeed, it seems likely that the gospel-centred world is set to become more, not less, polarized on this issue. After all, how one answers the question of the mission of the church reflects how one understands the gospel and shapes everything that the church does. Thus, for example, some can talk confidently about ‘arts ministries’ while others of us scratch our heads as to why our churches would ever contemplate prioritizing painting or poetry over toilet cleaning and providing after-service coffee and cakes. The latter are surely of more immediate and universal importance to the church but would rarely if ever be dignified with the title of `ministry.’

It is likely that the debate about transformationalism will, along with historical Adam and the legitimacy of homosexuality, be the big discussion of the next decade. This is one reason why large umbrella organizations cannot provide leadership: contexts in which people can agree to differ on things like multi-site, T D Jakes and transformationalism can certainly be great venues for fascinating debate and for helping the wider public see all of the issues; but only when a clear stand is made on one side or the other of such questions can real direction be given.

You can read the full article at Reformation 21.

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