Here you’ll find some answers to questions you probably weren’t asking but which we thought were important enough to answer anyway!
We’ll be adding to this page in the coming weeks but if you happen to have any questions we would be more than happy to answer them.
Who Are The Contributors at Gospel Convergence?
This is a question we would encourage everyone to ask – not only at Gospel Convergence, but before reading anything by anybody. Who are the writers?
We (plan to) have personal profiles available for each of our contributors so you can get to know a little about each of them.
When it comes to our contributors we have two criteria that must be met by anyone who writes for us.
1. All of our contributors must be members in good standing of a local church. Gospel Convergence isn’t non-denominational, but cross-denominational. There is no particular denomination that all the contributors belong to. However, they all belong to an Evangelical church.
This is important to us at Gospel Convergence because one of our aims is to write for the benefit of the church. Our contributors must therefore write out of a love for the church. This love is best exercised by those who belong to a local church because love is principally expressed in the context of commitment. Mark Dever has said,
‘If your goal is to love all Christians [the church], let me suggest working toward it by first committing to a concrete group of real Christians with all their foibles and follies.’
As such, all of our contributors are committed to a concrete group of real Christians with all their foibles and follies.
2. The majority of our contributors will be writing within the context of Northern Ireland/Ireland. We will not tie our hands on this, but the vast majority of contributors will be writing from a Northern Ireland/Ireland context.
This is important because all that is written is aimed at this context. While blogs and online resources such as The Gospel Coalition, Resurgence, The Proclamation Trust, etc. are of huge benefit, they do not speak directly to our context. Therefore, our contributors will primarily be people who live and work in this context because they are best placed to write with wisdom and insight for our particular context.
Can I Write For Gospel Convergence?
At Gospel Convergence we want to have a broad range of voices from different denominations all over Northern and Southern Ireland. So we would encourage you to get in contact if you would be interested in joining with us.
That being said we have several conditions that must be met by all our contributors and their content:
- All our contributors must be in agreement with our Confessional Statement and Theological Vision.
- All our contributors must be members in good standing of the church to which they belong.
- All our contributors must care about our country. The majority of our contributors will be people who are living here but all of them have an interest in the well being of our country and the expansion of the gospel on our island.
- All our content aims to be constructive. We love the church and want her to be built up, not torn down. Therefore all of our content must be shaped with this in mind (1 Corinthians 14:26).
- All our content aims to be excellent. We don’t simply want to provide content but excellent content. We hold our content to high standards through a thorough editing process which means published content is always reviewed and often revised in order to produce the best quality content for publication.
Why Do We Love The Church?
We here at Gospel Convergence love the church, and specifically the local church. We hope this has come through both in our iFAQ’s as well as in all the posts you find on our blog.
The reason we love the church is, first and foremost, because Jesus loves the church (Ephesians 5:25). Jesus values the church immensely and so do we. This is why we have decided that only those who are committed members of their local church will be illegible to join us as co-authors. Practically, this fleshes itself out in the form of church membership because the greatest expression of our love for Jesus and his church is through the public commitment of church membership.
Even though church membership has fallen out of vogue in recent years, especially among younger Christians, we remain committed both to the church and the practice of church membership because we believe both are important to Jesus. We do not believe it is enough for someone to simply say they love the church because a feeling without a commitment is worthless. The best way we can express our love for the church is in coming under the authority of our local church through church membership.
We stand alongside pastors and theologians throughout church history who likewise placed a high value upon the church (local and universal) and church membership such as Cyprian of Carthage who wrote, “He can no longer have God for his Father, who has not the Church for his mother” (On The Unity of the Church, 6). And John Calvin, “to those to whom he [God] is a Father, the Church must also be a mother” (Institutes 4.1.1).
Furthermore, we heartily agree with John Stott when he says, “The church lies at the very centre of the eternal purpose of God. It is not a divine afterthought. It is not an accident of history” (The Living Church, pg 19).
For these reasons, and many more, we love the church and believe her to be important.
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansingher by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church — for we are members of his body.” (Ephesians 5:25-30 NIV)
Why Another Blog?
Honestly, there are a lot of blogs out there. Many are good and many are not. So why another blog?
First of all, we have to admit that we do have a lot of great blogs out there and that is fantastic! Great blogs are a terrific blessing to the church as they allow for the free and straightforward dissemination of information to anyone who is interested. We love other blogs and we try to learn from them.
However, as we have spent time with other Christians we noticed that the blogs we were all reading originated, for the most part, from North America. We really appreciate the breadth and depth of material that has come out of North America which has benefited so many churches here in Ireland and Northern Ireland. But at the same time we recognised the need to create indigenous material specific to and addressing our unique context and culture.
This is why we began Gospel Convergence. We want to provide quality material for the church in Northern Ireland. To address issues that arise in our context and to apply the gospel specifically to our culture.
Our hope is to encourage Christ-Centred, Mission Orientated, Doxologically Driven theological, ecclesiological and cultural engagement within Northern Ireland. We believe there is a need in Northern Ireland for this kind of forum and we hope and pray you will join with us to realise this vision for our country.