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.

A Great Visual of The Power of Making Multiplying Disciples

 The Power of Multiplication

(adapted from Keith Philips, The Making of a Disciple, p. 23)

Year                Evangelist                   Discipler

1                      365                              2

2                      730                              4

3                      1095                            8

4                      1460                            16

5                      1825                            32

6                      2190                            64

7                      2555                            128

8                      2920                            256

9                      3285                            512

10                    3650                            1,024

11                    4015                            2,048

12                    4380                            4,096

13                    4745                            8,192

14                    5110                            16,384

15                    5475                            32,768

16                    5840                            65,536

 

*Keith’s chart compares the numeric difference between one person coming to Christ a day and one person a year being discipled to maturity. Catch the vision and start making disciples now!

Book Review: Reason to Believe by R. C. Sproul

This excellent apologetics and faith building resource was formerly titled “Objections Answered.” It is my understanding that eminent theologian, Dr. R.C. Sproul was asked by D. James Kennedy (then pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Ft. Lauderdale) to answer the 10 biggest objections that non-believers had in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s to the Christian faith. This book is the result of R. C. Sproul answering the questions submitted to him by Dr. Kennedy. Even though we find ourselves with increasing skepticism, and postmodernism in the 21st Century – I still believe this is one of the finest primer’s available for Christian’s to answer these objections in today’s climate.

Here are the ten objections Sproul tackles in this book (according to Evangelism Explosion – these were the 10 most popular objections to the Christian Faith in the early 1980’s):

1)    “The Bible Contradicts itself. It’s Just a Fairy Tale.”

2)    “All Religions are Good. It doesn’t matter what you Believe.”

3)    “What About the Poor Native Who Never Heard of Christ?”

4)    “Christianity is a Crutch for Weak People.”

5)    “The Church is Full of Hypocrites.”

6)    “I Don’t Need Religion.”

7)    “There is No God.”

8)    “If There is a God Why Is There So Much Evil in the World?”

9)    “Why Does God Allow Suffering?”

10) “When You’re Dead You’re Dead! There Is No More!”

Dr. Sproul handles these ten questions by beginning with his own personal testimony of how he came to have a personal relationship with Christ, and then proceeds to handle these objections with great skills in logic, Biblical exegesis, an understanding of popular culture, helpful illustrations, and concludes each chapter with a helpful summary of how to handle each objection. I highly recommend this book as educational, encouraging, and helpful in equipping Christians to share their faith with confidence because we have excellent reasons for why we believe what we do about the Christian faith.

On Christians Impacting Culture

“There needs to be infiltration into our communities – identification with our communities rather than isolation from our communities. For there can be no significant impact without significant contact. We need to get close enough to people to make shouting unnecessary.” – Alistair Begg