The Power of Words and the Wonder of God; 2008 Desiring God Conf. online

This years Desiring God Conference was unexpected and wonderful.  It was one of the most unusual, and yet very practical conferences I’ve heard.

Piper’s message on Christian eloquence was very helpful in wrestling through issues that I think we seldom wrestle with as preachers and teachers.  John brought us face to face with a proper dividing of the term eloquence, in the negative as words used to self glorify, and in the positive as words that glorify God with powerful and effective communication.

Driscoll came out swinging with humility, as he turned to Scripture’s rough language.  Mark did a masterful job at explaining when rough language is appropriate and when it is not.  He also shared some amazing things that are happening at Mars Hill, both good and shocking.  This was one message not to miss.  Highly practical and sobering.

Dan Taylor brought a helpful perspective on the power of story and the place of creativity in the lives of Christians.  I had not known of Dan before this conference, but since then, I’ve ordered his book ‘Tell Me A Story’ to further my understanding of his perspective of story. 

Sinclair Ferguson did an amazing and very helpful broad exposition and application of the tongue, as found in the book of James.  This is one message I will have to go back and take notes for, because there is just so much information packed into Ferguson’s message.

Bob Kauflin gave one of the most easily digestable arguments for the place of contemporary Christian music that I’ve ever heard, by using his piano to make his points. Bob also very wisely explained the role and place of music in Christian worship.  A very helpful and clarifying message. 

Paul Tripp tackled the truth that our words and our talk is a reflection of our hearts.

2008 Desiring God Conf. page >>>

Theology-Driven Ministry Conference

Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary recently held a conference on the subject of sanctification and ministry, presented by Sinclair Ferguson and Paul Tripp. Tripp focused his messages on the theme of relationships and progressive sanctification. Sinclair took to the subject of sanctification in the life of pastors.

Some noteworthy quotes from Ferguson: “The single most important thing for the minister of the Gospel is that the minister of the Gospel be more and more shaped and fashioned in the likeness of Jesus Christ. Otherwise, the Christ the people come to believe in is not the Christ of the Scripture. Either become more like Christ or get out of the Gospel ministry because, if you don’t do the former, you will do great damage to the latter.”

“God is never afraid to test His workmanship, Ferguson said, noting that a believer is molded by the trials he or she endures. “What a privilege it is to be tested by the Holy Spirit.” (quotes from Baptist Press)

Both Tripp and Ferguson tackle the subject of how God uses suffering to sanctify his people, particularly his ministers of the church. Ferguson states that every single one of his Scottish minister friends, without exception, has endured unusually high degree’s of trials in their lives. And he concludes that it’s because those are the kinds of ministers who God is able to use effectively in advancing his kingdom. Both Christ and Paul lived lives of ease, so why do we think it will be much different for us? This is bitter, but needed, medicine for our age of ease in the West.

Theology Driven Ministry Conference >>>