The Gospel in Life: Grace Changes Everything, a DVD series by Timothy Keller is a must for some groups of individuals, but I would suggest passing over on it for other individuals.
The content is great. I am not sure anyone in today’s churches are more qualified and able to do such a series. I am sure it was a significant challenge for Keller to break down this series into 8 small bites. Each segment is about 10 minutes in length and seeks to share how the gospel changes hearts of individuals, communities of individuals and then how those communities change the world.
The segments break down as follows:
- City: The World That Is
- Heart: Three Ways to Life
- Idolatry: The Sin Beneath The Sin
- Community: The COntext for Change
- Witness: An Alternate City
- Work: Cultivating The Garden
- Justice: A People For Others
- Eternity: The World That Is To Come
I did not go through this study in any group, but just by myself. The DVD’s were very well done. You don’t get lost in the video having to disregard the content. I am no cinematographer, but I felt that the DVD’s contributed to my learning experience. Once again, to include so much good content in 10 minutes must have been difficult, but I am sure Keller did not intend this study to be an end in itself, but a launching pad for future study on the gospel and its implications individually, communally and for the world as a whole.
The Study Guide added to the value of this study in two main ways. First, each section contains a short treatise to prepare the reader/viewer for what he or she is about to see on the video. It is a short theology/biblical study on the topic that Keller would be teaching on during the video. This helps a lot to give a bit of a foundation for the viewer, especially valuable for someone without much church experience. Secondly, the Study guide helps the viewer/reader to reflect on the teaching session with some pointed questions, delving into the heart issues surrounding each topic of teaching.
I would highly recommend this resource to a number of different types of groups. The Gospel is key to all that the church does as well as to what we do as individuals within and outside the church.
This resource would be good, first, for individuals who are interested in learning about the Gospel and Christianity. As noted above, it is not exhaustive, but it is a good foundational work to lead someone into learning more about the Gospel and what God has done.
Second, this work would be good for churches, especially churches who might be looking for resources to share in a new believers class, assimilation ministry, or membership class. Understanding the key components of the Gospel are pertinent to how churches function and what believers do. It is out of the gospel that we are to do anything.
Third and finally, I would recommend this to small groups. As a small group this resource would be great to unify, clarify, and go out into the world with a message to share. The Gospel is a work of God, but it is also a message to share, that believers have been commanded to share more importantly, and Keller’s work here would be a great foundational tool.
Please do not disregard the value this work would have for someone who has been in the church for a while, understands the gospel and or has studied a fair amount. The Gospel is for everyone, unbeliever and believer. We all need the Gospel. We all need reminders and if a reminder is what you need, please pick up this work as well!
We have done one week of this study so far and I love it!