I’m not going to attempt to cover all of what has been taught and preached because I don’t have the time for that and you can just visit Challies.com for that. What I thought I would do is share some highlites thusfar.
I have to say my favorite so far has to be CJ Mahaney’s message on Humility. For those of you who have not read his book on Humility, I would highly suggest picking it up. It’s a good read and doesn’t take long to get through. Most of what he spoke was in the book, but it it was really good to hear it preached. He spoke from the text of Isaiah 66:1-2. If you purchase one message, that’s the one to get.
The other messages were ok, Dever did well on preaching through various parts of the Daniel 1-6 and belabored the point of the opposition that pastors should expect to face. The last 10 or so minutes of his message were very powerful, as he called for the pastors to rethink their outlook on expecting to be accepted, but instead expecting growing opposition in our culture.
I was honestly a little disappointed with Mohler. He’s one of my heroes and actually spoke on one of my favorite passages, I Cor 2:1-5. It wasn’t the best I’ve heard from him. And Ligon Duncan preached from Numbers 5 as an example of how to preach from the OT. He seemed to find some things in the passage that weren’t necessarily there, though. I heard there are some interesting comments on Challies.com, so I’ll have to go check those out.
I have actually only attended one seminar, due to homework. The one I did attend was on prayer, taught by Andy Snyder. It was a good balance of the role of prayer in the pastor’s life and then how that is carried over into the life of the church.
I was planning on going to one taught by Steve Lawson on the life of John Calvin, but the guys from my church decided to head back to the hotel for some time together. We’re buying the audio, so I’ll have to listen to it later.
Well, this year they didn’t exactly give as many books, but there were a few that I’m pretty excited about. We got a couple MacArthur things. One was a NT Commentary, humorously bound to look just like a Bible. It was even given in a gold cardboard box. We thought that was pretty funny. Two other books by MacArthur were “The Second Coming” and “Because the Time is Near”, which is his reader friendly commentary on Revelation.
We also got one on I also got a book that was on my wishlist, which is a Piper book, “What Jesus Demands from the World”. I was also pleased to receive Steve Lawson’s book, “Foundations of Grace”. That came out last year, but I didn’t get around to buying it. One book that also perked my interest and will be a fun read is “Meet the Puritans” by Joel R. Beeke and Randall J. Pederson.
Other books that I do not have much of a knowledge of are “Life in the Body of Christ” (a book about the local church) by Curtis C. Thomas, “For teh Sake of His Name” (on missions) by David M. Doran, and “Assureed by God” edited by Burk Parsons. We also got a DVD by MacArthur called “Why We Believe the Bible Is True.”
As far as some books that I purchased, one I’m very interested in is “Growing Up Christian”. this is written by the principle of the school at Mahaney and Harris’ church. It is a book about kids who grow in up in the church and in Christian families. I was told it would be very useful for youth ministry.
I also bought a brand new book by Lawson, “The Expository Genius of John Calvin”. It was the first day it was available. I purchased a book on suffering by D.A. Carson (“How Long, O Lord?”) that was highly reccommended to me, as well as Piper’s new book on dealing with doubt called “Battling Unbelief”, which was taken from the book, “Future Grace”. I was also able to get “Praying Backwards: Transform Your Prayer Life by Beginning in Jesus’ Name” by Bryan Chapell. So basically, I need to get out of seminary so I can do my own reading.
Maybe the best part of this conference is the time that I’ve been able to spend with the pastors, some of the elders and other men from my church. Since Leah’s close to the end of the road, I’m not able to stay with them in their hotel, but i’ve still been here all day with them, and getting to eat and talk with them. Last year we were able to go to the “Together for the Gospel” conference in Louisville, Kentucky, which was an absolute blast.
We’ve shared quite a few laughs, as well as debating a literal six-day creation, dispensationalism, the NT use of the OT, the role of literal Israel in eschatology, as well as the mother of all debates. yes, that’s right, the most devisive debate we’ve had was our ‘Pie vs. Cake’ debate. It didn’t exactly go as I had envisioned it, and to save you the agony of putting you through the whole thing, I may have at one point yelled out “I’m surrounded by lunatics!” in the passanger van we’re cruising around in. Lets just say that I’m surrounded by very unreasonable men when it comes to their high regard for fake, dry cakes. Unfortunately, Geoff was not there at the time to get my back over pies, but the waitress at “The Cheesecake Factory” joined my side. (That also lead to the debate of whether a cheesecake is more of a pie or cake. I hold firm that despite is unfortunate name, it is more of a pie than cake.)
So, that’s all for now. I’ll write some closing comments on the week at another time.