Here we go again! Let the propaganda begin!
(For those who have not been here before: This project has as a distinguished group of advisers ALL card carrying calvinists; associated with major calvinist leading groups in the SBC and in general. That part is FINE. If LIFEWAY thinks there is a need for such a project then that is one thing. My point is, LIFEWAY ought to label such a project as The Gospel Project: A Reformed Perspective. I am NOT saying that the project is sub par or theologically incorrect; I just believe there is a reason ALL who are associated with this project to date are not just casual calvinists. The majority of SBC churches are non-calvinist; not ANTI-CALVINIST and they do not need to be purchasing literature NOT KNOWING what it is that they are buying. I make this very clear in other posts below but in case anyone comes here, I wanted to reiterate my concerns and my only concern.)
I want to encourage ALL Southern Baptists to take a look at The Gospel Project for yourselves and decide if it is indeed a curriculum you want being used in your church. If it is, GREAT! Just be sure to check it out. Don’t just think, “It is from LIFEWAY, we ought to buy it.” Not this time.
Dave Miller at SBC Voices opens a blog post with the following statement: His article can be read in its entirety by CLICKING HERE.
Here is his opening paragraph.
There has certainly been a wide divergence of opinion about the LifeWay Sunday School curriculum, “The Gospel Project.” The Gospel Project identifies itself as a “ Christ-centered curriculum that examines the grand narrative of Scripture and how the gospel transforms the lives of those it touches.” In a three-year plan of study, the curriculum traces the gospel story from Genesis to Revelation, attempting to do more than just present unrelated moral stories, but to weave them all together to explain the gospel, the theological underpinnings of the gospel and the missional life to which Christ calls those who have been transformed by that gospel.
Who could oppose that?
Here is my response.
I will begin with a quote from a comment posted on the blog.
“Should a one reject teaching on the whole of Scripture because he disagrees with the author on a subject that is not even covered in the material. Do we not have enough in common with each other to share the same gospel?”
You cannot have “The Gospel Project” without covering the material. You said, “If this were an openly Calvinist curriculum, there would be no problem with that at all.” I adamantly disagree.
The Gospel Project is an openly calvinist curriculum because it is written and advised by an openly calvinist group. This whitewashing of that FACT is pathetic. It as if calvinists are proud to be calvinist one minute and then the next all of a sudden they are not. This project is written by calvinists… well… not really calvinists… some may be but we did not ask… we all adhere to the BF&M2000… but keep this minuscule minor fact in the back of your minds… those same folk claim that the BF&M2000 is Calvinist confession…
Check out LIFEWAY’s information on the writers YOURSELF….
General Editor: Ed Stetzer Managing Editor: Trevin Wax
The Gospel Project Advisory Council
These Christian leaders were part of a team who consulted on the creation of The Gospel Project.
Don’t get me wrong; it is GREAT that LIFEWAY published this list and were at least forthright in making this list public, otherwise it might have really gotten a clean pass with NO CRITICISM whatsoever. I applaud them for that.
It amazes me that a carefully constructed group of calvinists could be assembled to write a “theologically deep, Christ-centered, gospel-honoring curriculum” and it NOT reflect their theological underpinnings. In my opinion that in and of itself is enough to scrap the project… if that is the case. If TGP does not reflect the writers convictions about what the Bible says, then shame on them!
I can assure you if I were writing a SS curriculum for SB’s on The Gospel Project I would NOT write from a Reformed Theology perspective… and I would be open and honest about it. There would be no doubt about that.
You cannot write about the Gospel without being soteriologically centered! If this were a project about basket weaving then I could care less if the writers were calvinist or not. It is clear that Calvinists are NOT going to be upset that this project is available. I fully understand that and applaud that fact. I have no problem with it being produced and being bought by folks that believe the RT tenets.
The truth is this will probably be bought by churches that have no idea WHAT Reformed Theology is all about… they have no idea who T4G or TGC even are… if you asked them about regeneration they would look at you with this deer in the headlights look… they will have NO clue about what the distinguished writers associated with this project believe…
I have NEVER ONCE ever checked to see who it was that was writing SS material for our churches printed by Lifeway. Shame on me. If this project has done anything, it has opened my eyes to the fact that you cannot take anything for granted in this day and time. Thank you Lifeway for that timeless lesson.
Do I expect this project to be OVERTLY Reformed? Of course not. Will it inflame a lot of folks? Once again, No. Will it have subtle nuances that will reflect a RT mindset… I have no doubts that it will. A subtle suggestion here and there… there is NO way that it will not and everyone knows that is the case…
BUT… how dare anyone criticize a project BEFORE it comes out… just because everyone associated with the project represents a particular theological mindset that is diametrically different from the majority of folks the project is being marketed to.
AMAZING. Simply AMAZING.