Well, my head was, and still is swimming from all the information! This was one of the most encouraging weekends that I've spent in quite some time. I'm still trying to assimilate everything that I heard. Also, after the conference was over, my family along with several others, took a tour of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. We heard a very educational message by Dr. Russell D. Moore who is the Dean of the School of Theology. It was so encouraging to hear that they are unapologetically reformed in their doctrine and their instruction at Southern. They are training the next generation of pastors, missionaries and leaders, and I am confident that these students are receiving sound biblical instruction from this school.
One additional note, after the tour of Southern, my interest in going back to seminary was renewed. So pray that the Lord will direct us in this decision!
To give you a brief summary of the conference:
The first message was by Mark Dever; "The Pastor’s Understanding of His Own Role". This message contained a lot of helpful information about why we do what we do. It was an expositional message of 1 Cor chap 4. A great example of expository preaching.
The second message was by Lig Duncan; "Preaching from the Old Testament". He started with 2 Tim 3:16-17, but went everywhere. Some very good examples of how to preach the Gospel from the Old Testament. Very encouraging and instructional!
The third was by Dr. Mohler; "Preaching with the Culture in View". This was by far, the most difficult and most abstract of all the topics, but loaded with good info. The most memorable quote was: "if you see a real angel, you'll wet your pants!" You need to hear this!
The forth was by R.C. Sproul; "The Center of Christian Preaching: Justification by Faith". This started out as a historical lecture on the differences between the Roman Catholic doctrine and the Protestant doctrine of justification. Again, lots of good info, very educational!
The fifth was by John Piper; "Why Expositional Preaching Is Particularly Glorifying to God" My notes were not so good on this because I was so captivated by the message. All I could do was listen. You could almost feel the words as John spoke. He expounded 2nd Cor 3:18 - 4:6. A wonderfully encouraging message!
The sixth message was by C.J. Mahaney; "Watch Your Life". This was the first time I had heard him speak. He is a wonderfully warm and funny man. He had me in tears several times during the panel discussions that took place after the messages. This particular message was also a very good one. His text was from 1st Timothy 4:16. Watch your Life, Watch your Doctrine, & Watch God at Work.
The last message was by John MacArthur; "Forty Years of Gospel Ministry". This was not an expository message, but rather an encouragement and an exhortation to pastors to do what God has called us to do. He did share a text; 1 Thes chapter 1 & 2, and drew several inspiring truths from it, but most of the message was simply insight from his many years in the ministry.
Every message was great and filled with instruction and encouragement for the pastor. The Music was also wonderful. It was provided by Bob Kauflin, the Director of Worship Development for Sovereign Grace Ministries. Very inspiring, and very scripturally sound. It was a relief and a blessing to hear theologically sound worship music coming from a choir of 3000+ pastors! I was moved to tears on more than one occasion by the music and the messages.
Another encouraging part of the conference was the panel discussions. These were basically an open discussion between all the speakers of the day. It was refreshing to hear them in this informal setting. I am not sure that these will be available to the public or not. I do think that much of this information will be later available in a book format, so keep your eyes peeled for that.
If you did not get to attend, let me encourage you to purchase the audio of the messages. I am confident that it will encourage and inspire you. Here are a couple of links where you can purchase all the messages from the conference in CD or MP3 format.
CD - More expensive, but you can play them most anywhere:
MP3 - Less expensive and if you're savvy, you could make audio CDs!:
Or go here for other download/purchase options:
Grace & Peace!
Dave Scarbrough ~ firstname.lastname@example.org