Saturday, April 13, 2013

Reflecting on The Gospel Coalition

This past week, my son and I had the privilege of attending The Gospel Coalition national conference. We heard some tremendous preaching and experienced wonderful worship. And the time spent together as father & son was precious. I have been attending TGC and a similar event (Together for the Gospel) for a number of years now. I always feel blessed and renewed, but here’s the thing – I’m not from the Reformed tradition, which is the target audience of these events. I like to joke that I’m the token Arminian present (although, with 7000+ attendees, I’m sure I’m not the only one). Contrary to what one might think, the Calvinism is very much understated at TGC (with the exception of the titles available in the bookstore).  This year the messages were straightforward expository sermons from the Gospel of Luke.

I guess what’s bothering me a bit is that I have to go outside my tribe (Restoration Movement – Independent Christian Church and Churches of Christ) to find events and hear preaching like this. We do have some wonderful events/conventions, but frankly, they are not at the same level. I was taught in college that we were the “people of the book.” I am not convinced that we have a monopoly on that. In fact, I think we’re getting out butts kicked in that area by some other groups.

The TGC and T4G crowd have been called, “Young, Restless, and Reformed”.  Dissatisfied with the status quo that they have experienced in their congregations, they are starting to read, study, and promote some of the core doctrines that launched the Protestant Reformation.  I’m wondering whether the Christian Churches and Churches of Christ can demonstrate a similar rebirth. Does our movement have significant numbers of people who can be identified as, “Young, Restless, and Restorationist”?  Surely there are people in their 20’s and 30’s who have grown weary of the “same old church thing” and would be eager to embrace a return to the church as depicted on the pages of the New Testament. Our Calvinist friends have demonstrated that young people are not averse to things of a spiritual/biblical nature. May the Lord raise up leaders in our movement who are able to capture the imaginations of our young and bright believers.


Derek said...

You've posed a great question, Mike! Thanks for this.

Linda K said...

You might be just that leader