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Back from TGC

I am back from the 2011 Gospel Coalition conference in Chicago.  Here are a few of my observations and thoughts.

1.) My wife was able to attend with me, which was a blessing.  We missed our boys, but it was a great time for us to be together.  Actually, it was our first trip away without the kids.

2.) It was fun to hang out with old friends and make new ones.  Part of the blessings I receive from going to conferences is seeing ministry friends and catching up.

3.) There were several digs at dispensational hermeneutics.  I guess that shouldn’t be all too surprising, since the conference was on preaching Christ  (the true Israel) from the Old Testament.

4.) As usual the worship was encouraging.  The Getty’s led worship.  They sang some old and new songs.  They did a fantastic job and I enjoyed the concert on Wednesday night.

5.) The location of the conference was first class (McCormick Place).  The layout of the exhibits and bookstore were easy to navigate.  There were plenty of good books to choose from and many free giveaways.  

6.) I enjoyed all the speakers and they each brought something different to the conference, but five stood out in my mind.  Tim Keller was excellent.  If you have an opportunity to hear his sermon, do so.  It was a good mix of biblical theology and gospel-centered application.  By far Keller’s sermon was my favorite.  Al Mohler did a good job as well and offered some wise warnings about moralism and some good counsel on why preaching Christ from the OT is essential.  James MacDonald’s sermon was probably the least biblically-theologically oriented (at least in my opinion), but I felt like I could relate well to it because he talked about trials in ministry.  Matt Chandler’s sermon wasn’t much of an exposition, but his passion and gospel-centered focus made for an encouraging word.  Finally, I enjoyed Don Carson immensely.  Carson is so gifted and thinks so biblically that you can never go wrong listening to him.  All the other speakers were good, but those were a few that stuck out to me. Listen to all the sermons here.

7.) The panel discussion on preaching Christ from the Old Testament was helpful, but it revealed that  there is much diversity on what it means and how to preach from a biblical-theological perspective.  I was able to attend the post-conference on Christ and the City.  I primarily attended it to hear Keller and as usual he was very helpful.

8.) Don Carson received a Festschrift.  It was neat to be a part of that.  You can view it here.

9.) Finally, here is an announcement worth considering.  In an attempt to get good biblical-theological resources in the hands of foreign pastors you can text SPREAD to 50555 ($10 charge) and it will send out a copy of Don Carson’s The God Who Is There along with the accompanying DVD. 

Now its time to look forward to T4G 2012: The Under-Estimated Gospel.

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