The leadership of The Gospel Coalition is changing on February 1, 2020. D.A. Carson who has been the President since its founding it appears is stepping down and in his place will be Julius Kim. Kim, who is a second generation Korean will likely bring a more international flair to the The Gospel Coalition. This blog is still hoping that D.A. Carson will admit his error for attacking a sexual assault victim in the Sovereign Grace Ministries scandal through a statement by The Gospel Coalition in 2013. An opportunity to teach humility and right a wrong is being lost.
“As a professor, my hope and prayer is that my students would take the Apostle Paul’s words to heart when he said: ‘However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given to me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.’ (Acts 20:24)
Julius Kim from the Westminster Seminary website in California
If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.
James 1:5 NLT
There is a change coming to the leadership of The Gospel Coalition that will take effect on February 1, 2020. D.A. Carson will no longer be the president of the organization and Julius Kim will step into the lead role. This evening I have spent time reading up and researching on the new leader of The Gospel Coalition. D.A. Carson will still involved in The Gospel Coalition but his new role will be as Theologian-at-Large. He will still be remembered for founding the organization. This blog expects to see articles by Carson at The Gospel Coalition in the course of time.
Who is Julius Kim?
Julius Kim is becoming the second President of The Gospel Coalition effective on February 1, 2020. Previously he was on the Council of The Gospel Coalition. Julius was born in Los Angeles, California in 1959. After two years his family moved back to South Korea where he lived until he was 12. Afterward he returned back to the United States. From my research he struggled with his identity during his teenage years. Julius went to undergrad in Vanguard University in Orange County, California and then earned a Masters of Divinity from Westminster Seminary in California. He then studied at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois outside Chicago. Julius Kim taught communications at Trinity International University and church history at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He also was a Visiting Scholar at Cambridge University in England and Torch Trinity Graduate School in Seoul, South Korea. Since 2000 he has been a professor at Westminster Seminary in California where he enjoys teaching and working with students today. In addition to teaching practical theology he is interested in homiletics, cross-cultural ministries, pastoral ministry and the history of preaching. He also serves at the Dean of Students. Julius has served on the boards of Covenant College in Georgia, Cambridge School and Peacemaker Ministries. Julius is the Pastor of Outreach and Community Groups at New Life Presbyterian in Escondido, California. Julius has published a number of articles or been on panels at The Gospel Coalition which you can read and watch here, here, here and here. You can read 9 Marks thoughts on his work here. And he has also been active in Desiring God Ministries and at least one conference which you can watch here. In November of 2015 Kim published, “Preaching the Whole Counsel of God: Design and Deliver Gospel-Centered Sermons.” Julius is married and has two daughters and calls Escondido, California home.
Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra’s Write Up of Julius Kim
At The Gospel Coalition Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra wrote a biographical post of Kim. The Senior Editor at The Gospel Coalition wrote a narrative that looks at the interesting life of a second generation Korean-American. It gives a good overview of Julius and describes a life that has seen quite a bit and one that has experienced a lot of turmoil. The article ran on January 20, 2020 and is called, “The Unlikely Pilgrimage of TGC’s New President.”
D.A. Carson Will Still be Respected and Admired by the Neo-Calvinist Crowd
D.A. Carson is still teaching at the flagship seminary of the Evangelical Free Church of America called Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in a part time capacity. Carson is admired inside the Neo-Calvinist community and is an accomplished author. In spending sometime looking into the well known theologian I read an older article where Tim Challies interviews Andy Nasselli in 2012 about Carson. You can read that article and see his perspective on Carson here. In his career by 2012 Carson had published at least 62 books and that has only grown. Carson will still be speaking and teaching for The Gospel Coalition and upcoming EFCA theology conferences and other events.
However a Lost Opportunity for Carson to Teach and Ask for Forgiveness for Attacking a Rape Victim From the Sovereign Grace Ministry Scandal Remains
However here is what troubles me as I watch this transition about to take place. I acknowledge that Carson has contributed quite a bit to the Neo-Calvinist world. He has contributed a lot and that can’t be denied. But here is the problem that still looms and its disappointing that it has to keep being raised by this blog. In that video up above you hear Carson talk about how important that Gospel is and how central it is to The Gospel Coalition. The fact remains that in the Sovereign Grace Ministry scandal Carson threw his weight behind protecting C.J. Mahaney. The Sovereign Grace scandal dealt with child sex abuse and the allegations that Mahaney was involved in covering it up. When a female from Sovereign Grace shared how she was raped inside the ministry at 13, it was Carson who used his platform to attack that sexual assault victim. For me that remains deeply disturbing. You can read the entire story and all the details in, “From D.A. Carson to Steve Estes the Following Question Must be Asked: Is the Evangelical Free Church of America a Safe Place for Sexual Assault Victims?”
This blog is not trying to tear Carson down, instead its hoping that one day a terrible wrong can be righted. As someone on the edge of faith I often remain baffled to hear all this talk about the Gospel but I see a huge disconnect between those who teach it and not living it out. People will make mistakes, but what happened to the art of admitting error and seeking to right a wrong? Carson is already an accomplished teacher in evangelicalism, but what would happen if Carson apologized for his attacking of a rape victim in 2013? What could Carson teach not only Trinity but also the EFCA and The Gospel Coalition as well? That is a lost opportunity to show remorse, allow grace to be shown and allow for people to be healed. And yet it remains as an unresolved issue. This blog will continue to write about this topic for the long term.