TGC - Unbelievers on panel

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zsmcd

Puritan Board Freshman
I don't know if there any fans of The Gospel Coalition in here. I used to follow the blog a lot and watch a lot of the conference material but I have drifted away from it. There is a lot of chatter going around about the fact that they invited unbelievers onto a panel to discuss racial reconciliation. I find the idea to be unwise, especially being that this is supposed to be a Gospel coalition. But than again I am just a 23 year old dude who doesn't have much wisdom myself. Any thoughts? Below is the link to their blog explaining their reasoning.

Why Are Non-Christians TGC15 Panelists? | TGC | The Gospel Coalition
 

Bill The Baptist

Puritan Board Graduate
If I am not mistaken, a lot of the "unbelievers" were from law enforcement and were brought in for their perspective on ending police violence. While I am not a huge fan of TGC, I think this is a bit overblown.
 

Jack K

Puritan Board Professor
It's a panel discussion, not a teaching session. And TGC is a conference and think tank, not a church. So it's no big deal. If any of those people wrote an article on the topic, I might read it. So why not attend a discussion in which they participate?

By the way, I plan to be at the conference, though I imagine I'll use the time during that particular event to grab a nice dinner or hobnob in the exhibit hall.
 

Andrew P.C.

Puritan Board Junior
It's a panel discussion, not a teaching session. And TGC is a conference and think tank, not a church. So it's no big deal. If any of those people wrote an article on the topic, I might read it. So why not attend a discussion in which they participate?

By the way, I plan to be at the conference, though I imagine I'll use the time during that particular event to grab a nice dinner or hobnob in the exhibit hall.

Although in general I might be tempted to agree with your statement, I do find this a concern. Yes it is a panel discussion, but it is also coming from a focused group that are "experts" in a field, therefore people will see this as a "teaching" opportunity. Also, when we look at the culture, we come from very far ends of the spectrum with unbelievers. Think about this: from the unbeliever, law and culture is a matter of one's perspective; from the believer, law and culture is a matter of God's perspective. The unbeliever is at enmity with God. How could an unbeliever have the right perspective on culture when they hate God. They are talking about issues of race, ethics, and morality.

Here is the summary statement:
Not everyone on the panel is an ally—that is, a born-again Christian with whom we can go “a long way down the road.” All, though, are co-belligerents—that is, people committed to promoting justice in our neighborhoods, building trust between law enforcement and our communities, and finding a place for local churches to play a role in racial reconciliation efforts.

In Orlando, we hope to come together for a lively conversation about how local church leaders can best engage their communities for the common good and human flourishing when it comes to justice, mercy, and racial reconciliation.

Why is the church looking outside of the church in order to reconcile things or have "local church leaders...engage their communites"? Is this not a matter of gospel witness instead of some magisterial restraint put on people who can only be restrained by God Himself?

Yes we can ask experts in a specific field for specific things for observational purposes. Yet, when we look to unbelievers for cultural answers, we have started in the wrong direction.
 

earl40

Puritan Board Professor
May I ask why why a panel with pastors is getting involved with police matters? Do pastors get on plummer, or carpenter panels? I am asking knowing why they are doing such, :) and only wonder that the problem of vocation can go both ways? In other words, I know many churches put an undue burden on the laity in the church in some areas, and I wonder if the Eleders simply equiped the laity to do their role they (the Elders) could concentrate on their proper role?

As a sidenote....Where do the pastors on TGC get the time to do TGC stuff? Personally I wonder if the sheep in their flock suffers because of this?
 
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Bill The Baptist

Puritan Board Graduate
As a sidenote....Where do the pastors on TGC get the time to do TGC stuff? Personally I wonder if the sheep in their flock suffers because of this?

Typically pastors of large churches are only responsible for preaching and teaching. Other pastoral duties are generally delegated to associate pastors.
 

earl40

Puritan Board Professor
As a sidenote....Where do the pastors on TGC get the time to do TGC stuff? Personally I wonder if the sheep in their flock suffers because of this?

Typically pastors of large churches are only responsible for preaching and teaching. Other pastoral duties are generally delegated to associate pastors.

Only? ;) Seems like the larger the church the more teaching that ought to be done.
 

Bill The Baptist

Puritan Board Graduate
As a sidenote....Where do the pastors on TGC get the time to do TGC stuff? Personally I wonder if the sheep in their flock suffers because of this?

Typically pastors of large churches are only responsible for preaching and teaching. Other pastoral duties are generally delegated to associate pastors.

Only? ;) Seems like the larger the church the more teaching that ought to be done.

I'm certainly not trying to minimize the ministry of teaching and preaching. What I meant was they are typically only responsible to do one sermon a week, and generally are not responsible for pastoral care, visitation, counseling, etc.
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
Not everyone on the panel is an ally—that is, a born-again Christian with whom we can go “a long way down the road.” All, though, are co-belligerents—that is, people committed to promoting justice in our neighborhoods, building trust between law enforcement and our communities, and finding a place for local churches to play a role in racial reconciliation efforts.

Can there be true justice apart from Christ? Bringing in non-Christian understandings of 'justice' is just going to muddy the water.

This whole process doesn't look a whole lot unlike what the liberals in the mainline were doing in the 1950s. When I hear 'social justice', I can't but think of the line Johst penned in his play 'Schlageter' with regard to the word 'Culture'.
 
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