We divide our energies and activities between doing and thinking. Some of us would rather think, and some of us would rather do. Some of us would rather study the Bible in our small groups and churches. Some of us would rather love one another, enjoy fellowship, and reach out to neighbors with the good news of Jesus Christ. Since we don’t always understand how God has gifted others in different ways, we tend to judge one another for inclining in one direction or another. We blame those fat and lazy Christians for sitting around debating theology while the world falls apart. Or we blame those shallow and weak Christians for ignoring theology while the world falls apart.
Why do we seek to separate what God holds together? Without leading to action, knowledge merely puffs up. But if not based on knowledge, action dries up. That’s why the most practical thing you can do to love God and your neighbor is study the Bible. Only there will you learn who God is, what he’s done for us, and what he asks us to do in this world.
At the National Conference of The Gospel Coalition, starting one week from today in Orlando, we believe that serious action will follow serious biblical exposition of the Gospel of Luke. As Mark Mellinger and I discuss with TGC president Don Carson in the latest podcast, we trust that as thousands see how Jesus set his face toward the cross and resurrection that awaited him in Jerusalem, they will understand the centrality of this gospel in all things. And with this knowledge they can work out what it means to share that message in every culture, whether back at home or around the world. They will learn how to teach about the Son of God in Muslim contexts that reject him. They will be encouraged to withstand the judgment of bigotry on university campuses where Christians endure the intolerance of tolerance. And they will rejoice in the acts of God then and now with hopeful reports of the advance of the gospel around the world. Listen to the whole interview for Carson’s perspective on the conference and all these issues that will be addressed next week in Orlando. With 300 seats still available, we hope to see you soon.
As the podcast continues, The Gospel Project managing editor Trevin Wax talks with Halim Suh, pastor of teaching and theology at The Austin Stone Community Church. They discuss the faltering faith of Abraham, through whom we can see that perfect faith sometimes wavers but still saves. We’re not saved by the quality of our faith but the object of that faith. Then Mark and I conclude the podcast discussing how The Gospel Coalition National Conference aims to practically equip teachers in Orlando that they might return home and do likewise. To that end, TGC has teamed up with LifeWay to release a new study called The Gospel of Luke from the Outside In. Written by David Morlan, a Lucan scholar and Denver church planter, and edited by Carson, this 12-week group study will be on sale in Orlando. Below you can watch Carson preview the curriculum, which features his video teaching on Luke. You can also order the leader kit and member books. Using this study guide, we hope you’ll see how Jesus loved the unknown, outcast, and hopeless—like you.