Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Ft. Lauderdale, FL was an epicenter of the religious right and by many accounts one of the countries most prestigious pulpits. Led by Dr. D James Kennedy, until his death in 2007, the church was political powerhouse for much of the last two decades. After going without a pastor since Kennedy’s death, the Church board decided to merge with New City Church – a new church plant led by Billy Graham's grandson, Rev. Tullian Tchividjian.
It’s clear that Tullian Tchividjian is different than Dr. D. James Kennedy, but I think he also provides a further glimpse into the changing face of the church. Two things stood out to me in a recent profile of Tchividjian by Christianity Today. CT says, “Tchividjian credits Anabaptist theologian Stanley Hauerwas for showing him how the church should be the church and not worry about winning cultural approval.” As a fan of Stanley Haurewas, I see that as a hopeful sign. But even more interesting is his thoughts on gospel. Tchividjian says, "The gospel is both individual and communal....The gospel is not simply the story of Christ dying on the cross for sinners. It also involves Christ rising again as the first fruits that will eventually make all things new. There is a universal dimension to the gospel." As CT points out, this sounds more like John Stott than Billy Graham or D. James Kennedy. It will be interesting to see what the future holds for Tchividjian and Coral Ridge Presbyterian.