Rezolution Conference 2015: False Prophets and True Prosperity

“False Prophets and True Prosperity: a biblical response and remedy to the Prosperity Gospel” is the title of the 2015 Rezolution conference featuring Conrade Mbewe, Steve Lawson and Phil Johnson. The conference was hosted in Johannesburg, South Africa.

From the website:

This year REZOLUTION tackles the biggest threat to the Church in Africa, ‘False Prophets and True Prosperity: a biblical response and remedy to the Prosperity Gospel’.

That we may be warned and equipped, REZ has called in three foremost watchmen,Conrad Mbewe, Phil Johnson and Steve Lawson to sound the alarm.

REZ has always been about rallying Christians together around great doctrines through great preaching and great singing.

The pinnacle of REZ is a Friday night and all day Saturday feast of rich exposition and passionate worship.

In the three-day build up to REZ we offer the following tailored to pastors, church leaders and all who want to dig deeper:

On Wednesday the 2nd of September our three keynote speakers address a Pastors Seminar surveying today’s spiritual landscape and minefields, arming us with biblical solutions.

On Thursday the 3rd and Friday the 4th Steve Lawson bring us his superb Institute for Expository Preaching, ‘Preaching with Precision and Power’.

Resolution 2015 Conference >>>

Strange Fire Conference

The Strange Fire Conference has exploded with a brilliant fireball and started wildfires across Christendom. The blogosphere and twitter feeds have flashed with shining lights of support and burning embers of anger, frustration and sadness.

Whatever your position on the charismatic issue, this conference is initiating an important examination of doctrine and charismatic practice. It’s clear that this isn’t some pet peeve of MacArthur. This conference sold out quickly and the amount of people who have tuned in to watch the live feed appears to be enormous. MacArthur and his fellow speakers spoke to an issue that many Christians have been waiting for for a long time. MacArthur may be the face, but behind him are legions of God’s people who are immensely grateful that a group of men have taken a stand against things that have been frustrating and saddening them for decades.

The conference raised a lot of very good questions that the charismatic movement should answer.  Conrad Mbewe asked why there are no healings that conform to Matthew 11:4-5. Where are the deaf who are hearing? Where are the lame who are waking? Where are the blind who are seeing? This was followed up by MacArthur posing the question that if these gifts continue why do continuationists believe they continue in a lesser degree than is found in the New Testament? Phil Johnson asks the charismatics why they aren’t policing the abuses of their own movement? Anyone under the “charismatic” brush should be more concerned about the abuses than the cessationists are, right? Some bloggers have responded to this by saying they don’t have time to address the abuses, but given the size of the movement, and the large number of churches in the movement that are bigger than MacArthur’s church somebody in the movement should be should be doing something, no?

I’ve been watching the blogosphere for how those in the line of fire are responding.  So far I have been very disappointed in what I’ve seen. There has been far too much ad homonim, misrepresentation and superficial argumentation. Far too many have even jumped into the waters of criticism without having listened to the conference.

The church throughout history has seen explosive and divisive issues far greater than this conference. When the church responds with anger and juvenile mud slinging nothing is solved. But when the church gathers to examine the arguments in light of the careful exegesis of Scripture, it can produce a wise and reasoned and articulate response that is biblically clarifying, truth magnifying and God exalting.

To those in the charismatic and continuationist camps, I say you have a golden opportunity handed to you on a platter. Respond to the arguments and biblical exegesis of MacArthur and colleagues with strong, clear, well articulated biblical responses that support your position. If you do, and you’re right, the church will be stronger for it.  A lot of Christians are going to be looking for a well reasoned biblical response from your camp. It’s time to step up to the plate like Christian, godly men, and give a ready defense of your position. God’s people will be watching.

There have been a number of good articles written about how Strange Fire should be responded to. Tim Challies attended the conference and has a very helpful article titled Lessons Learned at Strange Fire. Trevon Wax has written The Right and Wrong Way to Engage John MacArthur’s “Strange Fire” Conference at the Gospel Coalition website. Thabiti Anyabwile has written an article about why you should care about the discussion of the Strange Fire Conference, here. He closes his article with this exhortation:

I hope you’re following with careful concern to know the truth rather than to vindicate your party. I hope you’re listening with rapt attention because you’re eager to hear God’s voice more clearly and to walk with your Savior more closely.

If you decide to skip listening to these messages you should at the very least listen to Joni Eareckson Tada’s incredible testimony to a life of disability and suffering.

Strange Fire Conference media >>>

Strange Fire short video comments >>>

Piper 2 Pastors Conference

John Piper and Conrad Mbewe presented three messages and one Q&A to a pastors conference in Zambia.  Piper’s messages were titled “Feel” and “Think”, two messages he has given at a previous Desiring God Pastors Conference, but nonetheless, wonderful to hear them again. And Conrad is an absolute pleasure to listen to, and his message “Christ and Him Crucified” is timeless.

Piper 2 Pastors >>>

Rezolution Conference 2010 Piper & Mbewe

Johannesburg, South Africa, John Piper and Conrad Mbewe reflect on the conviction of Jonathan Edwards in keeping his famous resolutions.

Piper opened the conference with a message on “For His Name’s Sake” which considers the sweep of redemptive history which demonstrates God’s zeal and love for himself.

Piper’s second sermon was vintage Piper, and was fitting, as Piper talked about one of the most significant things Edwards said that had a tremendous impact on Piper’s life.  “God is most glorified in you when you are most satisfied in him.”  If you’ve never heard Piper on this subject, then this is one you will want to hear.

Conrad’s messages surrounded Romans 12:1.  In his  first message he asked 2 questions:  1. What keeps Edwards resolutions from being mere legalism? 2. What motivated him to define and keep these resolutions?  The answer is that the fountain of grace brought in a fresh supply to him.

In Conrad’s second message he asks 1 question:  What should have Edwards resolved to do in the light of the mercy God showed toward him? Bringing it home to us, he asks if we as Christians are merely giving God a contribution from our lives, or have we completely sacrificed our lives for him. Conrad considers that most of us, if we are honest, are Christian contributors rather than living sacrifices.  A phenomenal message.

The Saturday night Q&A was wonderful.  I love Q&A’s because it’s entirely unscripted and allows me to see how these men think through issues in a candid manner. The questions discussed what their typical day is like, how we should think about some pastors being less gifted than others and the discouragement that might bring.  On the issue of dating, Piper believes dating as a matter of having a boyfriend or girlfriend without any intention of marriage is wrong because it is courting danger. But dating (whether you label it courting or not) should be restricted to seeking a marriage partner. On the issue of tithing, Piper said the “tithe” system of 10% that is so prevalent in America is robbing God. If 10% satisfies our sense of giving, we are misled. Giving is to be above and beyond tithing, and to simply set the bar so low that tithing 10% is sufficient for most Christians is Pharisaical.

Piper closed the conference on Sunday morning with another vintage Piper message: “You exist to spread a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples.”  He focused his message on 2 Corinthians 8:1-7.

Conrad writes about the conference, and provides photos from it, on his blog A Letter from Kabwata.

Rezolution Conference 2010 >>>

Conrad Mbewe: The Gospel of John

Conrad MbeweYou cannot help but love Conrad Mbewe, who pastors a church in Zambia.  Not only does he have a strong South African accent, and a comforting preaching style, he is a good expositor of Scripture and strongly stands for God’s Word.

Heart Cry Missionary Society has a portion of Conrad’s messages series on John and Romans.  I haven’t got to listen to his Romans series yet, but I am enjoying John.  Unfortunately, all that is available is John 12:20 through John 17:18.

One memorable point was in his sermon titled “The Danger of Spiritual Self-Confidence”  where he reflected on Peter asserting to Jesus that he would follow him even to death.  Conrad suggests that to question Peter’s sincerity and to call him a hypocrite in light of his denial of Jesus that very night is to draw a superficial conclusion.  We make this same mistake in the church today.  When we hear about another believer falling into serious sin our response to that reveals our theology.  A response of condemnation and pride will believe “How could they do that? I would never fall into that.”  We must realize that we carry with us a nature that is capable of any sin.  And any sin that you just now though would be exempt, add that back to your list.  You are capable of any sin.  If you don’t believe that then you are decieving yourself.  He who stands now, take heed lest you fall.

Conrad continues this line of thought regarding our natures.  He uses the example of women who watch the soaps, or men who look at pornography.  To do so is to watch scandal and deception.  “Don’t you realize you are FEEDING a nature?”  We carry with us a nature prone to sin.  When we feed it such things it will eventually lead to exercise those sins.  Be careful what you feed to your sin nature.

This is a fabulous series that will feed your soul.

Conrad Mbewe: The Gospel of John >>>

By the way, Conrad has a very interesting blog of his work in Africa called A Letter from Kabwata.

Conrad Mbewe, the African Spurgeon

Widely regarded as the African Spurgeon, Conrad Mbewe is faithfully and powerfully proclaiming the Word of God in Zambia from Kabwata Baptist Church in Lusaka.  Like Spurgeon, he works himself to exhaustion.

Banner of Truth has written an informative article about Conrad.  An excerpt from the article:

Conrad Mbewe slices the air with his hands. His booming baritone soars to a frenzied pitch. “I ask, what is your attitude to authority in your home?” he says. “What is your at-ti-tude? If that’s what characterizes your life, stop cheating yourself that you’re a Christian.” The congregation’s eyes follow every jab of his finger, every sweep of his hands. They’re hearing – and watching – a regular Sunday sermon from their pastor. But he also happens to be the Spurgeon of Africa.

Kabwata Baptist Church >>>