In times throughout history the church of Jesus Christ has labored to clarify its doctrine and ministry in the midst of various cultures and controversies. Today there is a working coalition which is meeting to unite theological convictions and missiological concerns for the confessional evangelical church es in America. It is mostly made of up of people with Reformed theological conviction and a robust missiological compassion for the word. It unites many of the passions of my own soul, so indeed I rejoice at its occasion.
This group of men has united under the banner of The Gospel Coalition and states its purposes in the preamble of their foundational documents. The following is from this introduction entitled The Gospel for All of Life:
We are a fellowship of evangelical churches deeply committed to renewing our faith in the gospel of Christ and to reforming our ministry practices to conform fully to the Scriptures. We have become deeply concerned about some movements within traditional evangelicalism that seem to be diminishing the church’s life and leading us away from our historic beliefs and practices. On the one hand, we are troubled by the idolatry of personal consumerism and the politicization of faith; on the other hand, we are distressed by the unchallenged acceptance of theological and moral relativism. These have led to the easy abandonment of both biblical truth and the transformed living mandated by our historic faith. We not only hear of these influences, we see their effects. We have committed ourselves to invigorating churches with new hope and compelling joy based on the promises received by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.
In the foundational documents there is a robust confessional statement along with a theological vision for ministry. The concerns in the later document touch many of the important issues facing the church in our day. Epistemological issues relating to truth, issues dealing with contextualization and culture, how we read Scripture, and the uniqueness of the gospel and gospel centered ministry. The focus on issues of justice, integrating faith and work, as well as the church living in culture as a counter-cultural community provides much needed wisdom for our day.
The full text of the foundational documents will be available on the web site soon. I commend it for your reading. I concur that the effect of reading this has indeed brought about the intent of the authors - new hope and compelling joy based on the promises of God in Christ has taken root.