Tag: Gospel-centered

Books I'm Reading


  • Culture Making, Crouch – a significant contribution to discussion on Christ and Culture, emphasizing not so much the transformation of existing culture, but the creation of new culture.
  • Transforming Worldviews, Paul Hiebert – anything by Hiebert will rock your mind and change your missiology…for good.


  • A Praying Life, Miller – one of the most realistic, encouraging, prayer inspiring books I have read in a long time.
  • You Can Change, Chester – an accessible, transforming book on gospel centered change
  • Relationships: A Mess Worth Making, Lane – great book on how the gospel shapes and renews all kinds of relationships from family to friends.
  • How People Change, Lane – more nuanced, technical book on how the gospel can lead us into cross-centered change


  • Justification, N.T. Wright – thoughtful reflections on Justification that aim at keeping the gospel central, clarifying previous statements on justification, and a much needed emphasis on the Spirit in Justification.
  • Christ, our Righteousness, Seifrid – excellent contribution to the NPP debate, particularly his contribution to justification as resurrection, not imputed righteousness
  • Romans, Moo – superb commentary on Romans

ONE EP: Gospel-centered Worship

Austin City Life musicians have written some remarkable songs over the past 12 months. Now, after singing them and experiencing the transforming presence of God through them, we are excited to announce that our first EP, ONE, is coming out.

The album includes:

  • Songs that focus on Gospel, Community, and Mission
  • A Martin Luther hymn re-write on the Holy Spirit
  • Colossians 1:15-20 to progressive, soul-stirring music

Go here for more info on Austin City Life Worship album ONE.

How to Keep the Gospel in Your Community

In an effort to deepen our church in personal and communal gospel living, we will be working through Tim Chester’s You Can Change this summer. We have cast vision and trained our leaders on cultivating communities that speak the truth in love to one another. However, it has become apparent that we also need to equip our communities to help one another live in the gospel. When someone shares a pattern of sin or a false belief they need to be encouraged or challenged by someone else in their City Group to believe what is true, to live in the pattern of grace. I believe You Can Change will help us do that. Here are a few reasons why:

  1. It is about Gospel-centered change: “The secret of gospel change is being convinced that Jesus is the good life and fountain of all joy.”
  2. It heads off Gospel-distorting approaches to change: 1) Proving ourselves to God 2) Proving ourselves to others 3) Proving ourselves to ourselves.
  3. Personal Change Project: Every chapter includes Reflection Questions for discussion and a Personal Change Project that helps us identify an area of sin in which we need gospel-centered change. This a powerful process.
  4. Ten Key Questions: Each chapter raises an important question that leads us through the process of gospel-centered change. See Table of Contents here.
  5. It emphasizes Faith and Repentance as key to change: “We begin the Christian life in faith and repentance, and we continue the Christian life in faith and repentance.”
  6. Chapter 7 changed me on the spot: “If you let any of those gods down, they will beat you up. If you live for people’s approval or your career or possessions or control or anything else and you don’t make it or your mess up, then you’ll be left feeling afraid, downcast or biter. But when you let Christ down, he loves you still. He doesn’t beat you up; he dies for you.”

Read chapter five free. Also, Tim and Steve Timmis will be releasing a book on The Gospel-centered Life in about a month. Tim’s newest book Ordinary Hero releases Friday.

Timmis on Gospel Communities

Steve Timmis is an innovative leader in The Crowded House and Porterbrook Traning Centre and now European Director for Acts 29 in the UK. I’ve had the joy of working with Steve on a few things and my respect for him grows each time. Here are some outstanding resources on cultivating gospel-centered missional communities.

Resurgence has provided three sessions on Total Church traning on Gospel Communities.

  • Session 1: Gospel-centered Principles – an outstanding explanation of the Gospel summarized as: “Jesus, God’s promised Rescuer and Ruler, lived our life, died our death and rose again in triumphant vindication as the first fruits of the new creation to bring forgiven sinners together under his gracious reign”.
  • Session 2: Gospel-centered Practices – focuses on the “how tos” of GCs, addressing language, structure, mission.
  • Session 3: Gospel-centered Practices – focuses on more best practices on leader development, etc.