Introduction – Hold Fast the Gospel

What is the gospel? That is a fundamental question that one would expect a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ to readily and rightly answer. The sad reality is that many Christians today cannot give a full and healthy response to the question “What is the gospel of Jesus Christ?” We engage in “gospel-talk” incorporating the word into our vocabularies but lack the biblical content and understanding of the significance of the gospel. The anemic state of churches in our land exposes that there is wide-spread gospel illiteracy in our churches making the question “What is the gospel?” vitally important in our day. Have we lost the gospel? To assume the gospel is to lose it. If we have lost it, what else matters?

In this issue of the Founders Journal, the contributors consider crucial realities of the gospel. Dr. Phil Newton asks the important question, “What are you Teaching?” and gives a clear apologetic for “The Gospel is About Words” showing the practical implications of that truth. Dr. Ken Puls stresses the importance of carving out time to lay hold of the truth of God’s Word, particularly in a day when we have so many sources bringing input into our lives through TV, radio, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Though much more could be said, this issue of the journal attempts to sound the alarm while providing a concise practical treatment of the vital priority and centrality of Christ’s gospel in not only ministry but all of life, affirming Paul’s assertion of the gospel being “the power of God for salvation” and our need to be emphatically proclaiming it with accuracy and in its entirety (Romans 1:16).

Tom Ascol has served as a Pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, FL since 1986. Prior to moving to Florida he served as pastor and associate pastor of churches in Texas. He has a BS degree in sociology from Texas A&M University (1979) and has also earned the MDiv and PhD degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas. He has served as an adjunct professor of theology for various colleges and seminaries, including Reformed Theological Seminary, the Covenant Baptist Theological Seminary, African Christian University, Copperbelt Ministerial College, and Reformed Baptist Seminary. He has also served as Visiting Professor at the Nicole Institute for Baptist Studies at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida. Tom serves as the President of Founders Ministries and The Institute of Public Theology. He has edited the Founders Journal, a quarterly theological publication of Founders Ministries, and has written hundreds of articles for various journals and magazines. He has been a regular contributor to TableTalk, the monthly magazine of Ligonier Ministries. He has also edited and contributed to several books, including Dear Timothy: Letters on Pastoral Ministry, The Truth and Grace Memory Books for children and  Recovering the Gospel and Reformation of Churches. He is also the author of From the Protestant Reformation to the Southern Baptist ConventionTraditional Theology and the SBC and Strong and Courageous. Tom regularly preaches and lectures at various conferences throughout the United States and other countries. In addition he regularly contributes articles to the Founders website and hosts a weekly podcast called The Sword & The Trowel. He and his wife Donna have six children along with four sons-in-law and a daughter-in-law. They have sixteen grandchildren.
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