THE GOSPEL COALITION
For me, “Anglican” is an adjective, never a noun. So I would not call myself a Christian Anglican. I would call myself an Anglican Christian. Similarly, I would not call myself an evangelical Anglican. I am an Anglican evangelical. So while I am an Anglican by convictions, and take part in the common life of the Anglican Network in Canada, I do not restrict myself to my denomination. I believe it is important to work cross-denominationally. I also believe it is important to be linked with other churches cross-denominationally. One way I do this, and I hope we will do this more and more, is to be connected to The Gospel Coalition (TGC) movement, and in particular, The Gospel Coalition Canada (TGCC).
Before I go any further, I should let you know that I am an original Council member of TGCC. In fact, the two-day meeting of pastors from across Canada, that formed the TGCC, was hosted by Church of the Messiah. The two-day meeting took place in our ministry space at The Bible House. The TGCC Council has doubled in size from that first meeting. The Council now includes two other ANiC clergy: Ray David Glenn from St. George’s Burlington and David Short from St. John’s Vancouver.
TGC was started in the U.S. as a result of extended conversations and prayer between the Presbyterian pastor/writer Tim Keller and the Baptist New Testament scholar/writer Don Carson. They were concerned with the growth of “moral therapeutic deism” and “mere pragmatism” in the evangelical movement. By this I mean that increasingly the decisions and teachings in the evangelical was moving away from its Gospel-shaped, Gospel-grounded, Gospel-proclaiming, seriously biblical roots. Instead, there was the growth of moralism (especially political moralism), and the therapeutic and therapy, and “what-works-pragmatism” as the foundation for teaching and decision-making. So Keller and Carson thought they would form a council, primarily made of senior pastors leading local churches, which would seek to call the church back to unashamed, fully biblical, counter-cultural, Gospel witness. As well, they hoped that the Council could help in raising up resources for people, pastors and churches. The pastors met, TGC was formed, and there are now other TGC Councils/movements around the world. I feel honoured to be a part of TGCC. It is an honour to work across denominational lines to encourage and equip Gospel churches, and movements, and people in Canada.
So a couple of encouragements. First, I encourage you to check out the TGC Canada site and TGC U.S. sites. Both are really good resources. The U.S. site in particular, having been around longer, has lots of articles on all manner of relevant topics - and they have a great search function. Here you will find wise insights and teaching on both perennial questions/topics and the most current and pressing questions/topics of the day. So please check out the sites.
Second, please pray for TGCC. In the famous words of Psalm 127, “Unless the Lord builds the house, the labourers labour in vain.” So please pray for the Council members (me included!), and Wyatt Graham, TGCC’s Executive Director. Pray that the Lord will guide and provide for TGCC.
Third, please consider making a financial contribution to support TGCC. You can find details on their web page.
Fourth, consider attending one of the TGCC or TGC events. Once again check out the web sites. By the way, Wyatt Graham, TGCC Executive Director is also one of Ryle Seminaries adjunct faculty. He will be in Ottawa in late May, I will keep you posted if you would like to meet him; learn more; get involved.