Thursday, July 2, 2009

Gospel Coalition or Expedition?

I haven't read Leadership Journal for years. I dropped it after realizing how little Scripture was used in its articles written to encourage and train pastors. These days I occasionaly read its blog, Out of Ur, just to stay in touch with the evangelical mainstream.

Today I read this post
Gospel Coalition or Expedition? and was saddened. I know a little about the Coalition but haven't boarded that train. Evangelical stalwarts like John Piper and Don Carson, who affirm reformed soteriology, are involved. So by definition the Coalition is going to tilt toward John Calvin, Jonathan Edwards and the Puritans. Yet, this emphasis is rather mild when compared to subscribing to reformation creeds like The Westminster Confession of Faith and its catechisms or the Three Forms of Unity (Heidelberg Catechism, Belgic Confession and the Canons of Dort). Based on the aforementioned article I guess that the Coalition is way too conservative for the evangelical mainstream.

The author is rather open about his convictions.and Leadership Journal, by publishing this article, must also
share his convictions. Here he criticizes these core beliefs of the Coalition:

1) If we purify doctrine, the rest will follow.
2) We must return to the Reformation.
3) Women cannot be pastors.
4)The New Perspective is our enemy.

While I commend the author for his honesty, nonetheless, he reveals some sad trends in the evangelical mainstream. Most have lost the ability to define the word "Protestant". Most cannot explain the Gospel. Yet in their estimation they have exegeted the culture with near infallibility. Hence their prescription for the church is radically different than that of The Gospel Coalition.

If nothing else this article shows how the evangelical mainstream is adrift. While we might be grateful that today's evangelicals are not the same as those in the Moral Majority, we should be sad because they fall far short of men like Carl Henry, who forged the movement. Anyone who reads Christianity Today will know what I'm talking about -- today's editions of that magazine bear no resemblance to those published when Henry was its editor. He who has ears to hear...

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