Together for the Gospel

Together for the Gospel

This week, I and our three pastoral interns will be attending the Together for the Gospel conference in Louisville, KY.  Two years ago was my first occasion to attend this conference (2006 was the first).  Over 7,000 are expected for this year’s conference and the line up of speakers looks excellent.  You can keep tabs on the conference through the web-site.  It does not appear they will be livestreaming the sessions, but each will likely be available afterward online. Here’s 5 things I most looking forward to at this year’s T4G: 1.  Powerful Preaching.  The preaching is from our generation’s best expositors addressing crucial issues in keeping the gospel central in life and ministry.  I am still deeply affected by John Piper’s message two years ago and its effects in my ministry are taking shape even as we speak. 2.  God-centered Singing.  I cannot say enough about the singing at the last conference.  Every song seems to lyrically fit the message previously given.  Each song was played with simplicity and beauty so as to highlight what we were singing and the voices rose above the instrumentation – one mighty choir of 5500 men singing incredible words together. 3.  Stimulating Resources.  Rumor has it that some 20 books will be given out.  These are not publisher left-overs.  These resources are those which the main speakers want to put in the hands of each of the attendees because of what the intended impact.  I look forward to digging into them. 4.  Ministry Focus.  These conferences provide an opportunity for me to be evaluated, evaluate ministry, and refocus my heart and mind...
Two 9 Marks Books You Need

Two 9 Marks Books You Need

9Marks is putting out some phenomenal material from their small army of excellent writers.  Two books I am especially looking forward to reading and using in future are Jonathan Leeman’s The Church and the Surprising Offense of God’s Love and Greg Gilbert’s What is the Gospel? Here’s two interviews and links to purchase the book: Jonathan Leeman:  The Church and the Surprising Offense of God’s Love Greg Gilbert: What Is the...
The Cross in My Preaching

The Cross in My Preaching

How significant is the cross of Christ in my regular preaching?  The following quote brings a great conviction and I pray an even greater intentionality and change: This distinction between an “objective” and subjective” understanding of the atonement needs to be made clear in every generation.  According to Dr. Douglas Johnson, the first general secretary of the IVF, this discovery was the turning point in the ministry of Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones, who occupied an unrivaled position of evangelical leadership in the decades following the Second World War.  He confided in several friends that “a fundamental change took place in his outlook and preaching in the year 1929.”  he had, of course, emphasized from the beginning of his ministry the indispensable necessity of hte new birth.  But after preaching one night in Bridgend, South Wales, the minister challenged him that “the cross and the work of Christ” appeared to have little place in his preaching.  He went “at once to his favourite secondhand bookshop and asked the proprietor for the two standard books on the Atonement.  The bookselller produced R. W. Dales’ The Atonement (1875) and James Denney’s The Death of Christ (1903).  On  his return home he gave himself to study, declining both lunch and tea, and causing his wife such anxiety that she telephoned her brother to see whether a doctor should be called.  But when he later emerged, he claimed to have found “the real heart of the gospel and the key to the inner meaning of the Christian faith.”  So the content of his preaching changed, and with this its impact.  As he himself put it, the basic question was not Anselm’s “why did God become man?” but...
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