Patrick Schreiner’s Review of “The Great Commission Resurgence”

The Great Commission Resurgence is a fourth level movement of the Conservative Resurgence within the Southern Baptist Convention which began in 1979.  The Great Commission Resurgence is a book recently published by B&H, written by Southern Baptists, and edited by Chuck Lawless and Adam Greenway.  My friend, Patrick Schreiner, has written a review of the book at the Gospel Coalition (see in blog links tab above).  His treatment is informative and judicial, while identifying – I think rightly – that though this book moves in the right direction, it has some holes that need to be filled.  Go here to find them.

What it Will Take

“We need to stop calling people for their contributions, and start calling people for their lives.”

– Herschel York, concerning the Great Commission Resurgence

The Great Commission Resurgence as a First Love Resurgence

The Southern Baptist Convention is seeking to fulfill the Conservative Resurgence that began in 1979.  Praise God that on most fronts it has happened.  The only problem is this: it has not brought about a significant uptick in Gospel endeavor, and thus, as it is reported, the percentage of conversions has been largely unchanged; now, it is true that without the Conservative Resurgence, Gospel endeavor might have all but ended!  Nevertheless, as I read a book about the Great Commission Resurgence, I am wondering if the emphasis has been placed upon the wrong impoverishment.  Now, what follows is no slam on the GCR; I am all for that.  But as I read, I am getting a little wary of devotion to a concept, indeed, a Commission, rather than the Christ who authored it.  Inevitably, much is said about the Commission, and then, towards the end, the Christ of that Commission.  He is an attachment.  One is being asked to devote themselves, to commit themselves to the GCR, while devotion to Christ is almost assumed . . . but perhaps that is an unwarranted assumption when only six of sixteen million Southern Baptist members attend their local church regularly . . . and how many of those actually serve and participate in Gospel labors?

When we read Matthew 28:18-20, it must first be recognized that the Great Commission are words that are spoken by a Person.  That Person is no less than the Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ.  Indeed, any effectual labors tied to the fulfillment of the Great Commission is one hundred percent dependent upon the authority that has been given to Jesus by the Father on account of His meritorious life, and triumphant death, resurrection, and intercession.  Our Lord spoke quite plainly about this, that if we love Him, we will obey His commandments; and I think that we should understand that to include His Commission as well.  If we love Christ, if we by God’s grace maintain our first love, then we will work out the Great Commission in our lives, churches, communities, nations, etc.; then, there will be a Resurgence of Gospel endeavor, and Lord help us, that He might meet (in fact, He upholds and governs) all of our efforts with His sovereign and saving grace.  Let me assert once more, I know that the men who have gotten behind and propagated this Resurgence are godly men, that they know more of the knowledge and grace of Christ than I could ever hope to attain to, and that they certainly love our Lord Jesus Christ.  With that said, I would, first, call for a FLR, a First Love Resurgence, and trust that the GCR will follow.  All this I write with the humblest of intentions.  May God be praised!

Good Article by a Good Friend

The Journey of an Unlikely Southern Baptist by Bryan Barley.  Growing up in the United Methodist denomination before becoming a Southern Baptist and attending The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, I completely resonate with his well-worded sentiments regarding unity through the Great Commission Resurgence.