Posted tagged ‘The Gospel Centered Life’

What Does It Mean to Be Gospel-Centered?

August 26, 2009

In the coming days, I am going to post some thoughts on the subject of living gospel-centered lives.  This past Sunday, I began teaching the nine-week study “The Gospel Centered Life” by Thune and Walker at Grace.  My co-teacher and I had a great discussion in our preparations about what it means to be gospel-centered.  We don’t want to throw words or phrases out there and assume people automatically understand what we are talking about.  If we are not careful, those phrases can become so commonplace and cliche that we reference them with little tangible reality and substance.

Last Saturday, I asked my Twitter followers the question, “If you were to explain to a new Christian what it means to be gospel-centered, what what would you tell them?” Below are some (not all) of the responses I received:

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The Gospel-Centered Life by Thune & Walker

July 15, 2009

“Gospel-centered” is something I whole-hearted believe in yet realize has become all the rave in recent years.  I recently mentioned that Jonathan Dodson is coming out with a pamphlet called Fight Club: Gospel-Centered Discipleship, and today I want to direct your attention to a study authored by Bob Thune and Will Walker called The Gospel Centered Life.  This is a nine-lesson study intended to shape “gospel DNA” in the church “in a way that is accessible to both Christians and non-Christians.”  These nine lessons are developed around three themes:

1.  “What is the Gospel?”
2.  “What does the Gospel do in us?” and
3.  “How does the Gospel work through us?”

The authors add that the study is “intended to help Christians understand how the gospel shapes every aspect of life and conduct.”  The study’s advantage is its flexibility, ideal for such groups as:

  • Pastors and leaders who want to spur gospel renewal in their churches and ministries
  • Church planters who want to form gospel DNA in the churches they start
  • Students and campus ministers who are looking to live out the gospel on campus
  • Christians who want to be more deeply formed around the gospel
  • Small group leaders who are looking for content that “works” with diverse groups of people
  • Missionaries who are looking for simple material to disciple new Christians

The format of the study includes Bible conversation, article (the teaching content of lesson), group discussion, exercises (practical application), and wrap up.  Here are the nine lessons from the Table of Contents:

  1. The Gospel Grid
  2. Pretending and Performing
  3. Believing the Gospel
  4. Law and Gospel
  5. Repentance
  6. Heart Idolatry
  7. Mission
  8. Forgiveness
  9. Conflict

World Harvest Mission is currently making a review copy of the Leader’s Guide available for free (PDF version) when you sign up for their newsletter.  The offer expires July 31, 2009.  I encourage you to check it out.