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Tag Archives: Soteriology (The Study of Salvation and the Gospel)

Book Review: The Gospel Centered Church by Steve Timmis and Tim Chester

A Fantastic Resource For Making Multiplying Disciples

 Veteran British church planters Steve Timmis and Tim Chester have put together a very helpful workbook for churches that desire to be more intentionally & strategically gospel driven. In three loaded sections this guide (suited ideally for discipleship, leadership teams, or small group’s of various kinds) covers six sessions on the Priority of Mission; six sessions on the Priority of People; and another six sessions on the Priority of Community and the last chapter which is on why “It’s all about the gospel.” This book is ideal as a workbook for church planting core groups, or churches that want to be more missional and multiplicational in their process of making and maturing disciples of Christ.

Each chapter stands alone and contains the following five sections:

Consider this – A scenario—often based on a real-life situation—which raises some kind of dilemma or frustration in gospel ministry.

Biblical background – A relevant Bible passage together with some questions to help you think it through.

Read all about it – A discussion of the principle, both in terms of its theological underpinning and its contemporary application.

Questions for reflection – Questions that can be used for group discussion or personal reflection.

Ideas for action – Some ideas or an exercise to help people think through the application of the principle to their own situation.

I think this is a phenomenal resource that helps a church think through how to contextualize the gospel message in its own unique setting. It is concise, deep, Christ exalting, biblical, gospel oriented, God-glorifying and extremely practical. I can’t recommend this resource highly enough.

 

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Booklet Review: The Gospel and Scripture by Mike Bullmore

Very Helpful Primer on Reading the Bible Christo-centrically

Experienced preaching professor and pastor Mike Bullmore writes how the Scriptures are necessary to the gospel, and how the gospel is necessary to the Scriptures. Bullmore expands upon several well-articulated ideas in this little booklet:

Firstly, “While Scripture itself is not the gospel, all Scripture is related to the gospel, and the gospel is Scripture’s reason for being. The gospel is the Bible’s main and unifying message.” In other words, if you read the Bible and miss the message of the gospel, then you completely miss the point of the Bible. The purpose of the Bible is to declare the gospel through all of its historical accounts, genres, prophecies, etc.

Secondly, “the Bible exists both because of and for the gospel. The key is that the gospel is the message of Christ. The Bible in all its parts points to and explains Christ in some way.” God will accomplish His plans of redemption through the reading and hearing of the Scriptures, pointing to us to Christ, and salvation being accomplished through the working of the Holy Spirit through the vehicle of the Scriptures.

Thirdly, the Bible does these specific things:

It initiates faith: “Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17).

It gives new spiritual life: “You have been born again not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God.” (1 Peter 1:23).

It helps us grow spiritually: “Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation.” (1 Peter 2:2).

It sanctifies: “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth” (John 17:17).

It searches the heart and convicts: “The word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).

It liberates: “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32).

It refreshes and renews: “Give me life according to your word!” (Psalm 119:25)

It revives and enlightens: “The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.” (Psalm 19:7)

Fourthly, it’s an absolute necessity to read the Bible with humility: “Humility is absolutely necessary—an active, eager, humble, even joyful anticipation of God’s Word working its purpose in our lives.”

Fifthly, “if we are going to read the Bible rightly, we must see it in all its parts as it relates to Christ.”

Sixthly, the entire Bible is a book of stories with one primary story line: “The Bible is God’s story, and its storyline is the gospel: God’s plan to redeem a people for himself and restore his fallen creation through Christ…If read as a continuous narrative, its storyline is creation, fall, redemption, and restoration. If read as a collection of theological perspectives, the themes that emerge are God, sin, Christ, and faith. The message of both readings is the triumph of God’s eternal, redemptive purpose.”

Seventh, “The good news is the singular and majestic theme of Scripture: through the sinless life, substitutionary death, resurrection, present ministry, and triumphant return of Christ—when all things, ‘things in heaven and things on earth,’ will be united in him (Ephesians 1:10)—God will accomplish his perfect purpose with humans and all creation (Romans 8:21).

I highly recommend this little booklet as an excellent introduction to the gospel, how to read the Bible, and that you purchase many copies to have on hand to give away. It is concise, simple, clear, and shows how all of the Scriptures point to Jesus “the author and finisher of our faith.”

 
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Posted by on November 6, 2011 in Bible Study Helps

 

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Book Review – Forever: Why You Can’t Live Without It by Paul David Tripp

Typical Tripp – Christ-Centered, Biblical, and Immensely Practical

If you have ever asked yourself questions like: Why is it so hard to find satisfaction? Why is it so hard to find a good relationship? Why do I keep getting myself more and more into deeper debt? Why does it seem like life keeps getting more difficult? Why am I suffering so much? And many other questions like these – than this is a fantastic book for you.

Paul Tripp writes with theological acumen, numerous biblical examples, brilliant illustrations, and practical insights in showing how we were made for eternity and that we need to factor in our lives the fall and the future in order to live in the now. Our current life is simply preparation for our ultimate destination. He shows how we typically view current realities without an eternal perspective and how devastating these consequences are and then shows on the flip side how we were designed to live with Christ at the center of all of life and how living with a forever mindset has gracious overtones leading to great peace and joy.

Tripp delineates specifically how having an eternal mindset makes a substantial difference in our lives in our relationship to God, those closest to us, at work, in our priorities, etc.

I highly recommend this book as “must” reading and an excellent choice to give as a gift to those who are disillusioned, deceived, discouraged, and without hope in this life. The gospel is clearly articulated here over and over in masterful brilliance shows how Christ is our only satisfaction in the now and how all our dreams will be satisfied in eternity through a personal relationship with Him.

 

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