The Monday before T4G started, Russell Moore hosted a panel discussion on Christ-Centered Theology and Ministry. The participants were: Carl Trueman, Jefferson Bethke, J. D. Greear, Josh Harris, Russell Moore, Matt Pinson.
A wide range of views were represented and helpful discussions took place about the dangers of being gospel-centered, religion vs Jesus, Calvinism, Arminianism, baptism, and multi-site churches. I would highly recommend you listen or watch. Listen to it here. Watch it here.
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.
The theme, schedule, and speakers for the 2011 Gospel Coalition National Conference is now available.
I like the theme: They Testify About Me: Preaching Jesus and the Gospel from the Old Testament.
Some notable new session speakers: Al Mohler, Alistair Begg, James MacDonald, and Matt Chandler, along with Keller and Carson.
Three workshops (instead of two in 2009) with more new speakers: David Powlison, Ray Ortlund, Russell Moore, Mary Kassian, Keith / Kristyn Getty, Richard Lints, Kent Hughes, et al.
Should be a great conference. Read the schedule here.
I have returned from my first trip to T4G. The conference was excellent. Here are some of my favorite moments.
1.) My heart was stirred singing with 7000 other brothers and sisters in Christ. As I reflect on the words we sang, I was humbled at God’s goodness and thankful for Jesus.
2.) It was great to hang out with some old seminary friends and catch up with others. It is so good to hear how God is working in the lives of other men since seminary.
3.) I was deeply encouraged by the mere presence of other pastors; knowing that we all are facing the same challenges in ministry.
4.) I found what Dever, Anyabwile, MacArthur, and Piper shared to be very helpful. I thought the panel discussion that had Anyabwile and MacArthur to be insightful. MacArthur had some really good thoughts about ministry.
5.) Grateful for the many free books. I didn’t realize how many books they gave away. I planned on purchasing quite a few books, but the suitcase filled up quick with the free ones.
6.) It was a busy three days, but am very thankful for the opportunity to attend T4G.
The Unadjusted Gospel was the theme, but this line from the conference sums up my experience: “Hallelujah! All I Have Is Christ! Hallelujah! Jesus Is My Life!”
I’m back from the Gospel Coalition. I have a few random thoughts.
1.) The worship was God-focused. It was great to sing with some 3000+ brothers and sisters praises to Christ. I was reminded why corporate worship is so important–it is what we will be doing for all eternity (Rev 5:9-10).
2.) The preaching was encouraging. All the speakers had something helpful to say, but Keller, Ryken, Chapell, and Duncan were my favorites. Interesting–all four are Presbyterian guys. Of course, Carson was good as usual, and the two workshops I attended were helpful (Bullmore and Mahaney).
3.) It was great to see some seminary and pastor friends. It is uplifting to see so many brothers that I know (and many I don’t know) express a deep love for the gospel and the local church by their attendance to the conference.
4.) The book deals were great. I purchased some books and probably would have got more, but the suitcase couldn’t handle them.