The Central Seven

In 1985 the Banner of Truth published a great little book about an inspiring band of college-aged men and their mentor. The St. Andrews Seven follows just a few years in the lives of 6 young men, led by the brains of the group who was only 19! These young men caught fire from a godly professor, Thomas Chalmers, who lifted their eyes to the cause of world missions for which they all devoted themselves. A noble cause for a gifted man to present to the next generation.

What books may eventually be written about a similar group loosely clustered around Central Seminary of Minnesota? Their cause is so worthy, that I’d like to introduce you to it.

As Chalmers’ fresh insights propelled the young men in the 19th century, Kevin Bauder set the helm of this ship on its course. He writes an insightful weekly column that you should sign up for if you don’t already see it each Friday. (Just follow the link and you’ll see an email button on the right.) Not all voices on the internet deserve a hearing, but this one does.

One of the hallmarks of his writing is a consistent emphasis on the role of the affections, or right feeling (orthopathy). Systematic theology texts teach us right doctrine (orthodoxy) and books on ethics teach us right actions (orthopraxy), but there is a void in evangelicalism on the subject of well-trained hearts. Bauder labors most effectively in this category, and apparently some gifted young men have noticed.

The rest of the group are young men who write cogently on beauty, culture, worship, orthopathy, and ordinate affections. Recently, they got together to clarify in print the most important conclusions on these matters. You can read their confession as a PDF or order a hard copy. For those who see virtue in unity, you can join a network of pastors and churches who subscribe to this confession.

Scott Aniol (and most of the Central Seven) writes at Religious Affections and has a book hot-off the press from Kregel By the Waters of Babylon: Worship in a Post-Christian Culture.

David de Bruyn is a South African pastor who authored Building Conservative Churches and Save Them From Secularism. They’re both better on culture than anything Crossway has published. He blogs about worship at Towards Conservative Christianity where you would not be wasting time to read every single article.

Other thoughtful men included in the Central Seven are Ryan Martin, Michael Riley, Chris Ames, and Jason Parker.

If all this is new to you, but you care deeply about worship and culture, then follow some of these links. After all, the voices are rare in the church today who call for sober worship. It may be that this group of unknowns has been sent by God as were the St. Andrews Seven. Is there not a cause?

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