Arminian Today

A Jesus-Centered Arminian Blog

Are We Really Together For The Gospel?

The Gospel Coalition states in its statement of purpose to be an evangelical group committed to the gospel being the focus.  It seeks to build off the Reformation.  The statement also acknowledges that there is a broad consensus of the gospel despite disagreements within the evangelical movement over non-essential issues.  This would be the fact that TGC has, for example, members who baptize by immersion only believers and those who baptize infants.  There are also differences over church government, end times views, etc.

However, what I find odd about TGC is the fact that they have no Arminians represented.  None.  They would say that evangelical Arminians are Christians and part of the Reformation movement but the fact is that they not one Arminian on their board of directors, not one Arminian on their speakers, and not one Arminian as a blogger.  They claim that the gospel is what should unite us yet they clearly believe from their actions that TGC is a Calvinistic movement that unites Calvinists.  It seems that this movement is another movement that embraces Calvinism as the gospel.

TGC also teams up and does Together for the Gospel.  Yet once again we find no Arminians in their list of speakers.  Can Arminians not preach the gospel?  Would not godly Calvinists claim that non-Calvinists are brothers and sisters in Christ?  I have no doubt that Arminians would gladly welcome godly Calvinists to come and preach at their conferences.  An example of this is the Expect Pastors Conference.  The lineup of speakers includes Carton Conlon (who would likely claim non-Calvinist above Arminian though he is an Arminian) and yet includes Tullian Tchividjian who is clearly Reformed in his theology (whom I actually went to college with).  I firmly believe that I could sit in a conference with my fellow Calvinists (and have done so with John MacArthur and Steve Lawson) all while not fully agreeing on all issues.  The gospel is neither Arminianism nor Calvinism.  The gospel is the gospel (1 Corinthians 2:1-5).  God has used godly Arminians such as John Wesley to reach souls for His kingdom as well as godly Calvinists such as George Whitefield (1 Corinthians 3:5-9).

If the gospel is what unites us in Christ (Galatians 3:26-29) and if the gospel is what saves us in Christ (1 Corinthians 1:18) then can we not unite under the gospel?  I see no reason to make Arminianism nor Calvinism the gospel.  The gospel is the gospel as I have stated above.  Jesus saves and not Arminius or Calvin (Matthew 1:21).  Jesus alone is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6) and He alone is the one mediator between men and God (1 Timothy 2:5-6).  We can debate election as to whether it is unconditional or conditional but we must agree that God elects.  We can debate the issue of whether God’s all to salvation is resistible or not but we agree that God calls sinners to repent.  We can debate the nature of the atonement as to whether it is limited or unlimited but we agree that only those who have faith in the atonement are saved.  The gospel is not about predestination or about whether we hold to perseverance of the saints or not.  The gospel is all about Jesus Christ and His glorious work on the cross.  I love the way 1 Corinthians 15:1-3 puts it:

Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.

3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures.

That is the gospel in a nutshell.  Nothing about Arminianism or Calvinism or any other ism.  Paul’s gospel focused on Christ and His saving work.  I pray that we would do the same.  I pray that TGC would embrace Arminians as brothers and sisters in Christ who love the gospel and desire to see souls saved for the glory of the King.

HT: Jesse Owens

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Written by The Seeking Disciple

05/02/2013 at 10:05 AM

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