I am intrigued by the recent establishment of “The Gospel Coalition”. Apparently, the likes of John Piper, C.J. Mahaney, Mark Driscoll and D.A. Carson felt that the “modern evangelical church” was “drifting away” from the constructs and designs of Her “roots.”
A recent conference, attended by fifty men who comprise a “Who’s Who” of evangelical conservatism, announced a call to reform and renewal in the evangelical church today. The head shots of forty male “stakeholders” are comprised of two African-Americans, three or four of Asian descent and the rest were the majority: white males with a few Hispanic pastors sprinkled in for diversity.
What is more noteworthy are the faces and names of those who are NOT on their website. Names like N.T. Wright, T.D. Jakes, Bill Hybels, and Brian McLaren. This is what gives me hope. Brighter, better trained minds than mine can see through the smoke screen! The “finger in the dyke” mentality is being rejected in favor of a truly Biblical world view and living out of the Christian faith.
Why am I “intrigued” by this? Shouldn’t I be outraged?
I see this as another sign of the defensive posturing and a reactionary attitude of many in the Church towards the egalitarian work of men and women in ministry.
Also, I guess I have come to see that I am not, and will never be, invited to scratch in their sand box. I’m not about to start a war of words with those who have established and successful “churches.” They hold the credentials card and I acknowledge that. But though they may command large congregations with big budgets, that is not how they will be Judged as successful. Or noteworthy. Or influential in the grand scheme of things.
I will agree on the need for the personal renewal for all who call themselves followers of Jesus. I will affirm their statements that the Church exists to be a witness of Jesus Christ to our world, and that we have lapsed into a comfortable, self-centered existence. I will pray for the Holy Spirit to lead, guide and direct any of us who are involved in Church leadership and nurturing of the sheep. And, I will ask for God to convict us all in our areas of blind spots and misguided theology.
The rest of their actions will be judged by God now, and by history. If this indeed a “reaction” and not a “coalition” then we will all know. Soon. And no amount of defensiveness on my part or theirs will be able to stop the movement of God in the Church.