The Together for the Gospel guys (C.J Mahaney, Albert Mohler, Mark Dever, & Ligon Duncan) have released the final version of their list of affirmations and denials. Here are a few questions I would ask them, if I could. They’re not in any particular order.
- You guys are together for the ‘gospel’. How is expository preaching central to the gospel, or central to the witness of the gospel? [cf. Article IV]
- On a similar note, while the doctrine of Biblical inerrancy may be important in many ways, is it really central to the message of the gospel? [ cf. Article I and II]
- You use the word ‘gospel’ a lot. What do you mean by it? God’s plan of salvation? Justification by faith alone? Is what you mean by ‘gospel’ the same as what Jesus meant by ‘gospel of the Kingdom’? Why not define this term? Is your list of affirmations and denials your definition of ‘gospel’?
- How exactly does holding an egalitarian position toward the role of women in the church ‘damage’ ones witness to the gospel? [cf. Article XVI]
- You use the phrase ‘gospel Church’ a few times. Is this a church that could sign your statement? Can a church with an egalitarian position be a gospel Church? If not, why do you feel the issue of the role of women so important while you obviously feel that the issue of infant baptism is not so important? Do you not feel that setting some churches apart as ‘gospel Churches’ based on issues of doctrine is divisive? What exactly are non-gospel churches? Are they Christian at all?
- Your stand against racism is commendable and your specific mention of the injustice done to African-Americans doubly so. However, what about Native Americans? What about those in Latin America? Of course, I am not American so perhaps I’m out of place commenting on this. Still, it bears pointing out, I think. [cf. Article XVII]
- You say that the doctrine of justification by faith alone is both ‘essential’ and ‘central’ to the gospel. While I can certainly understand what you mean by ‘essential’ (and I wholeheartedly agree that justification by faith alone is essential to the gospel) I am confused as to what you mean by ‘central’. What is the difference in your mind(s) between ‘essential’ and ‘central’?
- What about the Holy Spirit?
I probably have more, but these come immediately to mind.