A Gospel-Centered Reader

Tim Brister —  August 27, 2009 — 59 Comments

One of the things I learned to do while in seminary is create “readers” for myself on research topics.  Basically, a “reader” is a compilation of shorter works (articles, essays, sermons) that is put together in a Table of Contents and bound together.  Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been working on a Reader on the subject of “Gospel-Centered.”  I thought I’d share the contents with you.  If there are others out there that I could add, please let me know!

1.  Gospel Coalition Foundation Documents
2.  The Gospel of Jesus Christ: An Evangelical Celebration
3.  Together for the Gospel Statement (PDF)
4.  The Centrality of the Gospel by Tim Keller (PDF)
5.  The Biblical Gospel by D.A. Carson (PDF)
6.  Gospel-Driven Sanctification by Jerry Bridges (PDF)
7.  The Transforming Power of the Gospel – Steve Childers (PDF)
8.  The Gospel and the Poor by Tim Keller (PDF)
9.  Fight Clubs: Gospel-Centered Discipleship by Jonathan Dodson (PDF)
10. The Gospel Centered Life by Bob Thune (study)
11.  Gospel-Centered Ministry by Tim Keller (PDF)
12.  How to Preach the Gospel to Yourself by David Fairchild (Sermon MSS)
13.  The Gospel: Key to Change by Tim Keller (PDF)
14.  God Strengthens Us by the Gospel by John Piper
15.  Advancing the Gospel in the 21st Century Part 2 by Tim Keller
16.  Gospel-Centered Preaching by Steve Childers (not online)
17.  Gospel Christianity (1.0) (2.0) (3.0) by Tim Keller (studies)
18.  The Gospel in Its Many Forms by Tim Keller
19.  How Does the Gospel Save Believers? (Part 2) (Part 3) by John Piper
20.  Gospel-Centered by Joe Thorn
21.  Being the Church in Our Culture by Tim Keller (PDF)
22.  Preach the Gospel to Yourself by Tim Challies
23.  What Do I Mean by a Gospel-Driven Life? (Part 2 | Part 3) by John Fonville
24.  The Gospel-Driven Life by Harry Reeder III

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  • http://www.waderials.wordpress.com Wade Rials

    Good stuff. Thanks for the list.

  • http://expositorythoughts.wordpress.com/ Paul Lamey

    A Gospel Primer for Christians by Milton Vincent

    • http://timmybrister.wordpress.com/ Timmy Brister


      I *love* GP and read it regularly. Do you know if it is available online anywhere? I’m going to put together a list of books, of which GP would be near the top, but I didn’t include it because I thought it is not available in article/essay format.

      • http://expositorythoughts.wordpress.com/ Paul Lamey


        I don’t believe it is available online. I have only seen the front matter including the table of contents and forward (see here: http://www.wtsbooks.com/pdf_files/9781885904676.pdf).


        • http://timmybrister.wordpress.com/ Timmy Brister

          Thanks, Paul, for the reply. I trust things are going well in Huntsville (assuming you are still there!).

      • http://schmamy.blogspot.com amy

        To my knowledge, it hasn’t been available as a free PDF file online ever since it was published in book form by Focus Publishing. definitely worth the $10 it now costs, though!

        great post, by the way–I’ll look forward to going through these!

  • CornDog

    Great list, thanks for the links!! Have you checked out http://www.eucatastrophe.com/blog/gospel-centeredness/? Dan’s one of my good friends & he lives out the Gospel. Especially check out the 1st article that Ted Tripp endorses.
    Thanks again for posting these resources!

    • http://timmybrister.wordpress.com/ Timmy Brister

      Thanks CornDog. Yeah, Dan is a friend of mine as well. I first met him at the 06 Band of Bloggers and have appreciated his work especially as it relates to adoption and T4A. Thanks for plugging his blog.

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  • Leslie

    Cool! Thanks so much!

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  • http://beholdingandbecoming.blogspot.com Jamie Fugate

    Timmy, this list seems really helpful I would be interested in seeing more of the contents of your other readers.

    • http://timmybrister.wordpress.com/ Timmy Brister

      Most of my other readers are kind of academic in nature (e.g, Carl Henry on social action, soteriological inclusivism and religious pluralism, open theism, emerging church movement, etc.), so I’m not sure how interested folks would be in stuff like that. :)

      Of course, I could be wrong.

      • Jamie Fugate

        I would be interested, but I’m kind of nerd so don’t assume anything about anyone else.

  • http://www.rethinkmission.org Jonathan McIntosh

    This is a great resource, Timmy. Thanks for compiling.

    I would love to hear a discussion about how a gospel-centered church is not just defined by doctrine (what we believe & preach) but also what kind of people or disciples we’re producing.

    That’s why I really like Joe Thorn’s marks of a gospel-centered life: confidence, intimacy, transformation.

    I hear a lot about gospel-centered churches, but often the tone of a lot of these churches doesn’t seem to be gracious (enthused with grace).

    I’ve been trying to nail it down in http://www.rethinkmission.org/about-rethink-mission-what-is-a-gospel-centered-church/ but I think so more could be said.

    Without it becoming a new legalism – how do we say that a gospel-centered church has to produce people that are in awe of grace, people that exude grace towards both those inside & outside the faith?

    • http://timmybrister.wordpress.com/ Timmy Brister


      Those are some great questions. I don’t know if you’ve read it yet, but I’m currently reading How People Change by Paul Tripp and Timothy Lane. The first chapter, called “The Gospel Gap,” is worth the price of the book. I think he addresses some of your questions there, especially when he talks about identity replacement and gospel amnesia.

      In short, I believe we need to develop a mindset where we there is a full appreciation and appropriation of our identity in Christ and union with Him. As I’m sure you’ve read Lovelace, he argues that the fountain of all gospel renewal is a right understanding of our union with Christ.

      If our identity is in the gospel, then the exchange of our lives, no matter the sphere we’re in, will be that of the gospel because of its preeminence in our lives. I think that is what Paul is saying in 1 Cor. 15:3 when he said “I delivered to you of first importance what I received . . .”. There is a giving and receiving taking place–an exchange if you will–and the content/subject at hand is the gospel which they have believed, are standing in, and are being saved by (vs. 1-2).

      The manifestation of the present tense work of the gospel (“I am being saved . . .”) is determined by a thorough formation of gospel identity in thought, affection, and deed. When our identity is expressed in other ways (or where the gospel identity is replaced), then there will be manifestations of legalism, antinomianism, materialism, etc. that are contrary to living “in line with the gospel” (Gal. 2:14).

      I’d love to talk more about this with you, and I hope to write about it more in the future. Thanks for your thoughts, and for Rethink Mission as well.

  • http://churchplantingnovice.wordpress.com/ Jonathan Dodson

    I agree, Jonathan and Timmy, we do need to further both the theological (clarifying “Gospel-Centered”) and the practical (being gospel-centered) churches. As you know, my little contribution to the latter has been Fight Clubs; however, our church is working on this on a larger scale for discipleship and leadership development.

    On the note of the Gospel Gap, I recently completed 2 of 3 counseling courses for a CCEF certificate that helped me think this through a bit more for our context. I wrote a brief paper on how to develop gospel-centered life, a culture of counseling, for ACL. If that might be helpful, feel free to email me. Also, if you further this discussion, I’d like to be involved also.

    • http://timmybrister.wordpress.com/ Timmy Brister

      Jonathan D.,

      I’d love to hear more about what you are guys are doing on a larger scale (I also want to follow up on our last correspondence). I will drop you an email soon.

      Thanks for your contributions to this topic, and I’d love for others to benefit more from your offerings.

      • http://churchplantingnovice.wordpress.com/ Jonathan Dodson

        Sounds good, man!

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  • Ron Davis

    Very useful “Gospel-Centered” reader. Thanks for sharing this.

  • http://jollyblogger.typepad.com David Wayne

    Timmy – many thanks for this.

    I was curious about one other thing. Have you seen the “orphans vs. sons” stuff from World Harvest Mission? I thought I remembered that Darrin Patrick or someone else in the A29 network had done their own little take on that, maybe in the form of a chart or a two column format? Or am I imagining things.

    God bless you my friend.

    • http://timmybrister.wordpress.com/ Timmy Brister


      First of all, I have been praying for you brother. I trust that you are doing well. What I’m aware of on the lines of sons and adoption is the study called sonship. Here’s a link:


      I know that DP is working on some writing projects, but I’m not aware of anything on this subject. Perhaps someone with more insider info than I could chime in on that. :)

      • http://www.rethinkmission.org Jonathan McIntosh

        Honestly, I can’t remember DP doing an orphans vs. sons chart. I know he’s done his own take on Keller’s gospel vs. religion and of course his repent/believe idols trampoline.

        Maybe Daniel Montgomery or Bob Thune?

      • Justin S

        check out WHM’s Gospel Centered Life: http://www.whm.org/gcl and their Gospel Transformation: http://www.whm.org/grow/gospel-transformation

  • http://physical4christiansoul.com David Zook

    Great list…

    Thanks for sharing. Keep up the good work and keep the readers coming. I thrive on stuff like this, but don’t have the time to put them together.


    • http://timmybrister.wordpress.com/ Timmy Brister

      Thanks for the encouragement David. I will try to keep rolling out compilations like this.

  • http://ecclesialthoughts.blogspot.com Jp


    Thank you for compiling this list of “Gospel-Centered” sources. I did, however, notice an important omission–not necessarily a source but a person who is a “Gospel-Centered” source producing machine. Michael Horton is one of the staunchest contenders of “the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints” in general and the “glorious gospel of the blessed God” in particular.

    Horton, as the editor in chief of “Modern Reformation” magazine and host of the White Horse Inn, has produced a plethora of “Gospel-Centered” resources–both written and audio. Much of Horton’s work is usually quite incisive; he is particularly adept on matters of relating to the nature, content, and implications of the Gospel. He is also a great teacher for those struggling to understand the crucial and necessary distinction between Law and Gospel. Three permanently archived examples of such are titled: “The Word Proclaimed: Romans 10: How the Gospel Comes,” “How Did We Get Here?” and “The Crisis of Evangelical Christianity.” They all can be located, eventually, at modernreformation.org

    Yours in the Lamb,


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  • http://www.relentlessgrace.wordpress.com Robbie Schmidtberger

    I made a reader akin to something like this for the doctrine class I teach at a Christian school. The reader includes John Calvin, Martin Luther, Martin Lloyd Jones, Scott Sauls (Redeemer NYC), Tim Keller, Jerry Bridges, B. Kuiper, RC Sproul, Clowney, Horton, and Tripp.

    I can email you a pdf of the table of contents and how I organized it if you like. It is supplemented by Christian George’s Godology.

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  • http://www.4ways.org.za Tony

    fantastic…thanks for this

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  • http://www.humanitasremedium.wordpress.com humanitasremedium

    Great List. thanks. I will take some time over the next few months to work my way through this stuff.

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  • http://www.aramblingguy.wordpress.com Michael Tinker

    Maybe check out Steve Timmis and Tim Chester – ‘Total Church’ is a good place to start, or the earlier study guide ‘Gospel-centred Church’ (produced early 00′s)

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