Featured Toolbox: The Gospel Coalition

May 26, 2007

The Gospel Coalition, the brainchild of Don Carson and Tim Keller, may well be the most significant evangelical conference in decades. According to Mark Driscoll: “The hope was to redefine a clear center for evangelicalism more akin to that previously articulated by men such as Francis Schaeffer, John Stott, and Billy Graham.”


This week I’ve linked to several bits and pieces from the inaugural GC in Deerfield Illinois. For today’s “Featured Toolbox” I thought I should give you a more comprehensive list of what’s online regarding this significant event. In no particular order, here are some of the best links:

Colossians 3:16
* What is the Gospel Coalition?
* Day one
* Day two
* Personal reflections

Justin Taylor
* session one (Carson)
* session two (Keller)
* session three (Lorritts)
* Wilson: Christ and Culture in the Light of the Gospel
* final session (Piper)

Justin Buzzard
* Getting started
* Session one notes, Don Carson
* Session two notes, Tim Keller
* Session three notes, Crawford Loritts
* Highlights from day 1
* Carson on What is the Gospel Coalition?
* Driscoll and Lawrence: Mentoring Younger Pastors
* Final session notes, John Piper
* Paul’s Church Planting Practice
* Gospel Coalition Foundational Documents

Irish Calvinist
* The Gospel Coalition Conference
* The Gospel Coalition: Carson



  1. This does look to be a significant event — I wonder, though, if practically its real significance lies within North American evangelicalism rather than more widely. Time will tell!

    In the quote attributed to Mark Driscoll, there is considerable irony in drawing together those three names under the rubric “a clear center for evangelicalism more akin to that previously articulated”. There are people still living who remember 1966(!)! On my (admittedly speedy!) reading of the GC Statement, it inclines towards Schaeffer’s vision, rather than that of either Stott or Graham.

  2. David, I’m interested in your point. Why would you say closer to Schaeffer? Could you briefly outline the difference in emphasis?

  3. That was a bit cryptic, wasn’t it, Colin! Sorry.

    Confession: I have recently read Iain Murray’s Evangelicalism Divided (Banner of Truth, 2000), and a good sampling of the review literature surrounding it. Mulling over that reading sparked the sense of irony I saw in Driscoll’s comment.

    The “hope” to which Driscoll refers was not to the GC conference, as it turns out, rather the “theological colloquium” in which he participated last year in preparation for the conference which just took place. While pondering a reply, I wondered whether in fact Driscoll was identifying three different strategies for centering evangelicalism, but seeing the quote in context (here), I don’t think that’s the case. I think Driscoll thinks the three names given were on the same side of clarifying an evangelical centre.

    My “1966” reference has (mainly) to do with the (in)famous meeting in October 1966 of the National Assembly of Evangelicals when Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ appeal for tangible, ecclesastical unity among evangelicals was met by a short, sharp rebuttal by John Stott.

    The issue, as I see it, has to do with the nature of evangelical partnership between the church visible (institutional structures) and invisible (the body of saints known only to God). And this is where the “irony” comes in, IMO. Francis Schaeffer took up a position not so very different from ML-J’s: evangelicals should as much as possible work with fellow believers, and this requires some insight (provided by scripture and doctrine) into the makeup of the invisible church. John Stott, on the other hand, remained a firmly committed Anglican vicar — thus the breach with ML-J’s invitation to join a more meaningful “church” than the “doctrinally suspect” C of E. Billy Graham’s breadth of inclusivity is well known and, apart from the obvious evangelist’s appeal to conversion, it’s difficult to see what his legacy is in terms of “redefin[ing]] a clear center for evangelicalism”, as Driscoll puts it.

    Sorry for the length of the comment: it’s probably both too long and too short at the same time! That, at any rate, was what was in the back of my mind in my first comment above.

    I see from Justin Taylor’s blog that the version of the GC document that Justin Buzzard circulated might not be the final draft. There will be lots more to explore as the GC materials come on line “officially”, I’m sure!

    SHALOM! David.

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