There is a book coming out in about a month and a half that I have been anticipating for the past year. John Piper's conference last year, the Supremacy of Christ in a Postmodern world is coming to a bookstore near you (or amazon.) I have all the promotional interviews on my computer and refer to Driscoll's and Keller's often.
here are two quotes.
I know this heading [“Gospel Humiliation”] sounds pretty strong, but I want to get your attention. In Jonah 3:1–2 we read, “Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying, ‘Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it the message that I tell you.’” In Sinclair Ferguson’s little book on Jonah [Man Overboard] he comments on the broken, humbled prophet who hears the second call to Nineveh and answers it. He says:
God intends to bring life out of death. We may well think of this as the principle behind all evangelism. Indeed we may even call it the Jonah principle, as Jesus seems to have done. . . . [I]t is out of Christ’s weakness that the sufficiency of his saving power will be born. . . . [So] fruitful evangelism is a result of this death-producing principle. It is when we come to share spiritually—and on occasions physically—in Christ’s death (cf. Phil. 3:10) that his power is demonstrated in our weakness and others are drawn to him. This is exactly what was happening to Jonah.
What does this mean? A man recently shared with me how he was trying to talk about his faith with his neighbors, to little avail. But then some major difficulties came into his life, and he began to let his neighbors know how Christ was helping him face them. They were quite interested and moved by this. It was the Jonah principle! As we experience weakness, as we are brought low, Christ’s power is more evident in us.
Lloyd-Jones once gave a sermon on Jacob’s wrestling with God. In the talk he told a story of a time when he was living in Wales. He was in a gathering of older ministers who were discussing a young minister with remarkable preaching gifts. This man was being acclaimed, and there was real hope that God could use him to renew and revive his church. The ministers were hopeful. But then one of them said to the others: “Well, all well and good, but you know, I don’t think he’s been humbled yet.” And the other ministers looked very grave. And it hit Lloyd-Jones hard (and it hit me hard) that unless something comes into your life that breaks you of your self-righteousness and pride, you may say you believe the gospel of grace but, as we said above, the penny hasn’t dropped. You aren’t a sign of the gospel yourself. You don’t have the Jonah principle working in you. You aren’t a strength-out-of-weakness person. God will have to bring you low if he is going to use you in evangelism.
(Tim Keller - Desiring God Blog)
To create a contemporary analogy: If I’m called to preach the gospel among a lot of people who are cultural teetotallers, I’ll give up alcohol for the sake of the gospel. But if they start saying, “You cannot be a Christian and drink alcohol,” I’ll reply, “Pass the port” or “I’ll think I’ll have a glass of Beaujolais with my meal.” Paul is flexible and therefore prepared to circumcise Timothy when the exclusive sufficiency of Christ is not at stake and when a little cultural accommodation will advance the gospel; he is rigidly inflexible and therefore refuses to circumcise Titus when people are saying that Gentiles must be circumcised and become Jews to accept the Jewish Messiah.(DA Carson to Mark Driscoll - Between Two Worlds)