Why I Love TGC!
I believe the Gospel Coalition Hawaii may be a movement of evangelical churches that God could use to finish the Great Commission. If you want to know what all TGC churches believe, check out the confessional statement and theological vision for ministry. First of all, I must say that I, personally, hold to that statement and vision, but cannot speak for every member of Kailua Baptist Church. However, I have taught along these lines for over three years and it seems the majority, if not all, our church could happily affirm these two documents. What I love about TGC is their desire to be extremely clear about the gospel. Many churches believe the gospel, but are not clear in their proclamation. The gospel is the power of God unto salvation, so clarity is of utmost importance. But there is also clarity on secondary issues that are still very important:
- TGC is basically Reformed. This what I mean: We are constantly having our minds shaped by the culture around us. God said we live “in the world.” So we must constantly have our minds ‘reformed’ by the Scriptures. What that often looks like is that we look very distinct from—though always loving toward—the culture. We do not shy away from preaching the sovereignty and grace of God in the election of sinners unto salvation. It also means we are not afraid to call sinners to repentance as long as we make the gospel very clear. Among other things, it also means we have a great respect for history, while always seeing Scripture as the sole final authority.
- TGC is complementarian, meaning we honor God’s chosen design in men and women roles, and we see the beauty and glory of it. Men and women roles protect the gospel, as marriage is one of the ultimate pictures of Christ and the Church.
- TGC is passionate about conversion by the preached Word. So we do not take debates about the baptism of the Holy Spirit lightly. All believers are baptized in and by the Holy Spirit at conversion, meaning all believers are empowered for conquering sin and thriving in some sort of ministry.
- TGC is also passionate about the local church. The goal of TGC is to equip churches for gospel-centered ministry, meaning everything we do is attached to the gospel, whether word or deed. The gospel is not merely a prerequisite, nor is it an afterthought; the gospel must be at the center of everything churches do. If that happens, TGC believes churches will be strengthened. And because of that I believe denominations would be strengthened. Also, because the local church protects the gospel (1 Tim 3.15), TGC thinks even church polity is an important issue.
There are other great things about this movement of God, but basically, that’s just it: I see this as one of the clearest, most encouraging, movements of God Himself.