In our secular culture many people see Christianity as something that has been tried and found wanting. This is something new and it is not easy for Christians and Churches to adapt. What does it take to be faithful and fruitful in this new situation?
To help us with this we are running a series of seminars that will use Tim Keller’s book ‘Center Church’ as a syllabus. You don’t need to buy the book but you can get one here if you want one.
The big idea is that in a secular context there are three commitments we need to have: ‘Gospel’, ‘Community’ and ‘Movement’. This series looks at the first commitment: ‘Gospel’.
It will all be very relaxed and easy to understand. Just drop a line to Ian to say you’re coming (find contact details here) and bring a Bible. You can drop in or out at any point during the course. Each session will be held in the Church Office (find the address here).
Session 1 – What is the Gospel?
7.45pm, Friday 26 Sept 2014
Then Gospel will never penetrate our hearts (or the hearts of others) unless our perception of it is kept clear and sharp. So how sharp is yours?
Center Church pp29-31
Session 2 – The Gospel has two equal and opposite enemies
7.45pm, Fri 24 Oct 2014
Just as a drunken man keeps slipping off his horse, first on one side and then the other, so we keep slipping off the Gospel of grace into legalism on the one side and laxity on the other.
Center Church pp31-32
Session 3 – The Gospel has chapters
7.45pm, Fri 28 Nov 2014
God has given us the Gospel in the form a story. This makes the Gospel a very rich and multifaceted jewel which can be described in many ways. In our diverse city we need to know how to do exactly that.
Center Church pp32-37
Session 4 – The Bible doesn’t give one standard Gospel outline
7.45pm, Friday 30 Jan 2015
This session tries to hold up the jewel to the light so we can see how the different facets sparkle and refract the light of grace into our lives (and the lives of others) in many different ways.
Center Church pp39-45
Session 5 – The Gospel affects everything
7.45pm, Fri 27 Feb 2015
The Gospel is not just the doorway into the Christian life. You never leave it behind. Progressing and growing is about moving deeper into it. But what does that mean and what does it look like?
Center Church pp36-37, 46-53
Session 6 – The need for Gospel Renewal
7.45pm, Fri 27 March 2015
One implication of our fallen-ness is that we get bored even with the most glorious of things. This means that we need to seek to establish cycles of renewal both individually and in our church. The next three sessions highlight key areas where renewal is needed.
Center Church pp54-62
Session 7 – Three ways of responding to God
7.45pm, Fri 24 April 2015
The choice is not just to believe in God or not. There is much more to it than that. Even as genuine believers we constantly drift away from a living experience of God into something unreal or second hand.
Center Church pp63-66
Session 8 – Changing: for better or for worse
7.45pm, Fri 22 May 2015
It is not just change that we need. What motivates us as we change matters. Doing the right thing for the wrong reasons will only drive us deeper into sin and set the stage for disaster at some future point.
Center Church pp66-70
Session 9 – Displacing our Idols
7.45pm, Fri 26 June 2015
We all worship. And what we worship will shape us. It follows therefore that we had better be aware of what it is that dazzles us and inspires our hope and trust. Only Christ can bear the weight of our hopes, but even when we know him other ‘trusts’ will always intrude.
Center Church pp70-71
Session 10 – Signs of Gospel Renewal
7.45pm, Fri 10 July 2015
Revival is a sovereign work of God. But is there anything we can do to prepare? What happens when a person rediscovers the Gospel? What happens when a church rediscovers it?
Center Church pp73-83