In response to Adrian's challenge I have now completed my review of the Introduction to the T4G statement. There are 5 parts to my response and below I have the resulting Altogether for the Gospel Introduction.
So to read the full detail see:
- A4G: Introduction part 1
- A4G: Introduction part 2
- A4G: Introduction part 3
- A4G: Introduction part 4
- A4G: Introduction part 5
My Altogether for the Gospel introduction reads:
We are Christians united in one great cause - the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. We stand with Paul who wrote in Romans 1:16-17:
I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith."
Our concern for the gospel and our desire to stand altogether for that gospel lead us to challenge the Church around the world where it falls short of the full gospel. We therefore call the church to repent for its failings to live and preach the gospel. We remind the Church of Ephesians 4: 1-6 where we read:
As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
We urge the Church to repent of its failings to live by this scripture and to commit itself again to its Lord through all aspects of its life and teaching.
We are also Christians united in deep concern for the Church and the Gospel. This concern is for every trend where Churches fail to live the Gospel in all they do, where they get lost in or against the culture around and where they are seduced by the ways of the world. We recognise that no Church is yet perfect and without fault and we seek with the help of all other Churches to move ever closer to being the Church of Christ in every age and place.
We are concerned that sometimes Churches get distracted from living and preaching the Gospel. They also sometimes lose sight of their common beliefs and the scriptural requirements for unity. When these things happen the witness and work of the gospel is damaged.
We wish to stand united with all Christian Churches for a full and gladdening recovery of the Gospel in the church. We are convinced that such a recovery will be evident in the form of faithful churches, each bearing faithful witness to the glory of God and the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.