Check Out Grace Church and Their Gospel-Driven Pastor

Tim Brister —  October 17, 2007 — 4 Comments

This morning I received an email from my friend Mark Lauterbach of their new church’s website. If you do not know who Mark is, let me encourage you to take some time and listen to some of his sermons. When I think of the gospel-centered life, the first person I think about is Mark. He and Grace Church are passionate about the gospel and find it to be the sum and substance of all they do. Grace Church is a Sovereign Grace church that is doctrinally solid, missionally focused, and distinctively Reformed.

If you are in the least be interested in the gospel-centered life, Mark’s blog is one you will definitely want to subscribe to. You can also subscribe to their sermon podcast.

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  • JamesL

    Check out his blog entry on September 26 on 1 Thess 4:1-12, “Would You Dare Say This?” Awesome!

    http://mrlauterbach.typepad.com/gospeldrivenlife/2007/09/would-you-dare-.html#more

  • http://www.markpemberton.com Mark Pemberton

    In fear of getting flamed or thrashed by those wanting to wield their theological expertise, I have to ask some questions because I’m apparently missing some things. First, I claim to be a simple man, no theologian but a growing Christian.

    1. On their website, I really didn’t get the impression they are big on evangelism. I did see the comment that they “proclaim the Gospel through the multiplication of churches”. What does this actually mean? I’m all for church planting, but evangelism is more than that. Maybe they do more, but didn’t see it on their website. In Matt 28, Christ made it clear what we were to do.

    2. I am in total agreement of the importance of the Gospel, but being “stuck” there seems a little rigid. The statement that a “Christian never gets beyond the message of Jesus Christ crucified and risen” is a little scary for me. Again, I really understand the importance of the Gospel, but the Word of God is complete; it instructs me, teaches me, guides me, and so much more. Maybe I simply don’t understand what they mean by being “Gospel centered”.

    3. I am all for spending time with other Christians, and it is important that we encourage each other, but Christ didn’t come down to spend time only with those who believe in Him. He ate with the Tax Collector, those who were looked down upon, sinners who needed to repent. After reading the site’s front page and watching the video, I almost got the impression their church is a “commune” or something. One quote from the video was something like “those who we go to church with, we also spend our time with”. Seems like they are distancing themselves from the world. And you have to be a Christian to be part of “their” family. Seems to draw a religious line in the sand. I’m not saying that we as a Christian family have to conform to a standard, especially a worldy standard, or for that matter be tolerant of non-Christians, but show love to those who don’t know Christ. Iron sharpen Iron, but we also need to work the field of sinners.

    That’s it for now. As time permits, I’ll try to listen to his sermons. Maybe my perspective is wrong. But when there is any doubt in something, I have to go back to God’s Word to see if there are contradictions.

    Timmy, I hope you or some of your readers can shed some light on where I am wrong. I don’t know the pastor, nor his heart, and that really isn’t in question. But what is in question is how he’s leading the church. I hope you don’t take offense to my questioning these beliefs, since it appears that you know him. I simply am looking from my perspective (which has been known to be wrong). But I have to trust God’s Word to lead me and teach me what is God honoring and what is not.

    Mark

  • http://www.gracechurchsd.org Mark Lauterbach

    These are excellent questions brother and certainly will help us clarify our website. YES, we believe in evangelism. Our pastors lead by example in this and we are seeking ways to relate to people outside of Christ. We MUST do this for biblical reasons. We tell the church that we want to be overrun by new people, new in the faith. If we have given any other impression on our website, we will seek to change it.

    Second, I think Gospel-centered means what the NT means — take any apostolic letter and read through it and you will find that all doctrine and practice is founded upon the person and work of Christ. There is no abstract systematic theology and there is no abstract set of moral principles. All of life, all of God, all of the cosmos is now viewed from the cross and the empty tomb and the Savior at the right hand of God. We think that when we miss this, we miss a great deal.

    My own theological journey in this regard was posted in the first month of my blog (mrlauterbach.typepad.com). You may also benefit from listening to Tim Keller at Redeemer Presbyterian in NYC.

  • Mark Pemberton

    Mark,

    Wow, didn’t expect you to reply. Thank you for providing some clarification. I plan on doing some additional reading on your blog. Please understand my intention isn’t (and wasn’t) to try to find something wrong, there were some things that simply didn’t make sense to me, or may have been inadvertently left out from your website.

    Blessings,
    Mark