Coming Home; New Heaven & New Earth: The Gospel Coalition 2015 National Conference

This years TGC National Conference “Coming Home” is now available online. The usual suspects gathered in Orlando in April to talk about Heaven. Don Carson, Tim Keller, John Piper, Phil Ryken, Ligon Duncan, Mark Dever, Voddie Baucham, and a new face, a pastor from Brazil, Augustus Nicodemus Lopes, gave the plenary addresses.

From the website:

The conference titled Coming Home: New Heaven and New Earth sought to stir longing for our ultimate home in heaven as we explored the sweep of redemption from creation to consummation, from Genesis to Revelation. Through times of worship, prayer, fellowship and instruction, we sought to reaffirm the Bible’s teaching on eschatology and declare in word and song with joyful hope that Jesus is returning soon. Along with the nine main plenary sessions we had more than 50 workshops and focus gatherings led by speakers addressing topics including evangelism, homosexuality, student ministry, sexual abuse, faith and work, and more.

Don’t miss Al Mohler’s workshop address “Aftermath”, or G. K. Beale & Ligon Duncan’s workshop “The Gospel and Eschatology.”

Coming Home, The TGC 2015 Conference >>>


Enrusted with the Gospel 2009

What a privilege it is to be ministered to by God, through the likes of the men that are involved in the Gospel Coalition.  This years conference was focused on Paul’s second letter to Timothy.  The title should be gripping for those in ministry: Living the Vision of 2 Timothy.

It seems the headliner for Entrusted with the Gospel is Tim Keller’s message on idolatry, using Acts 19:21-41 as his text.  Tim looks at how Paul always seemed to attack the idols of the culture or place he preached before giving them the gospel.  Keller takes quite a detailed look at what constitutes idolatry and gives some very helpful thoughts and examples to help us think through this issue of idolatry. Tim points out that we live in a very idolatrous age, and even in the church we have our own systems of idolatry.

John Piper (2 Tim 1:1-12) tackled the subject of courage, as he examines the timidity of Timothy, and the boldness that Paul calls Timothy to.  Piper understands the gift that Timothy received through the laying on of hands was the white hot flame of courage to stand alone in the face of opposition.  Piper calls all pastors to be bold and courageous, because that is what Paul modeled, and it’s what the sheep need.  The sheep need bold leaders who will stand up courageously without wavering.  And Paul’s final motivation for Timothy is the fact that before the foundation of the world God chose Timothy to be his man.

Phil Ryken’s message (2 Tim 1:13-2:13) ‘The Pattern for Sound Words’

Mark Driscoll gave a very helpful look at rightly dividing the word of truth (2 Tim 2:14 -26).  Mark’s message has the flavor of coming from the battlelines as he looks at quarrels about words, irreverent babble, and ignorant controversies,  and he humbly admits some of it comes from his own hand of failing.  A significant part of his message looks at categories of people who bring quarrels, babble and controversies into the church.  These categories are quite humorous and can be helpful, but we have to take care that we don’t put people so quickly into boxes as they struggle to grow into their faith.

K. Edward Copeland (2 Tim 3:1-9) looks at the subject of godlessness in the last days when men are ever learning but not able to come to the knowledge of the truth.  His message title is verycaptivating: Shadowlands: Pitfalls and Parodies of Gospel-Centered Ministry.

Brian Chapell (2 Tim 3:10-4:5) looks at what it means to preach the Word.  Chapell has a very rich section of 2 Timothy about all Scripture being God-breathed, and preaching the Word, being ready in season and out of season.

Aijith Fernando is National Director for Youth for Christ in Sri Lanka, and he has a unique perspective having come from a country that once was very Christian while under British rule, but the new nationalist fever in Sri Lanka is seeing a new wave of persecution of the church as a move to cast off the relics of the British occupation.  New legislation in their parliment attempts to make it illegal to evangelize anyone under the age of 18.  This has some serious implications for Aijith’s work with Youth for Christ, and his subject of missions is very gripping.

Ligon Duncan (2 Tim 4:6-22) looks at the subject of Finishing Well.

Don Carson concluded the conference with a discussion of what Paul meant in 1 Corinthians 9 when he said he became all things to all men, a widely abused scripture both liberally and conservatively. Carson does a masterful exposition of the text to draw the correct understanding of what Paul was saying, and how we should shape our ministry efforts by this principle.

The Q&A session was just marvelous.  The main focus was on how 2 Timothy and a Scripture-focused ministry works itself out in the ministry of the church.  Piper, Keller and Loritts provide impassioned pleas for church leaders to stay true to the teaching and preaching of Scripture at all points, and from that flows the shape of ministry.  Loritts said it best when he said, “We have to be careful that we believe that God is articulate.”  In other words, Scripture is God’s wise and powerful articulation to his people, and it should be treated as such.  Piper said, “If Scripture bores you, get out of the pulpit.”

If you are in ministry, this conference will challenge, instruct and encourage you.

Entrusted with the Gospel >>>

Videos at Christianity Today >>>

Workshop on Biblical Exposition

This is just what it says, a workshop on Biblical Exposition.  This is a very good workshop for both beginners and experienced expositors.  Phil Ryken, Kent Hughes and David Helm provide excellent encouragement and raise some needed challenges to preachers.

Phil Ryken kicks the workshop off with a very practical exhortation to preach expositionally.  Phil spent many years under the wings of James Montgomery Boice, and Ryken is certainly fit enough to fill Boice’s shoes.  The information Boice provides should be information every preacher of God’s Word understands.

Phil’s following addresses are no less exciting.  In one he looks closely at how to preach Christ from the Old Testament, and gives a very impressive consideration of typology, in fact, one of the best I’ve ever heard.  In another address Ryken explains how to find the “melodic line” of any book of the Bible, which brings understanding in how a book it put together.

David Helm calls preachers back to basic biblical exposition.  His main thrust was to highlight the need for expositors to find the spine of each passage of Scripture before attempting an outline.  During this session there are pauses while the attendees work though a few exercises.

UNFORTUNATELY, the Simeon Trust has moved the audio files that I downloaded and now I can’t find them.  HOWEVER, you can go to the Simeon Trust website and find a plethora of audio from many of the other workshops, which include speakers such as Don Carson and Paul House.  The site is very nice.

Workshop on Biblical Exposition >>>

Phil Ryken’s Ordination message for Nicholas Batzig

If you have been enjoying the Christ the Center programs, you will be familiar with Nic Batzig.  Nic was recently ordained, and none other than Phil Ryken gave the ordination message from 1 Corinthians 16.

Ryken draws a number of parallels between his knowledge of Nic and the similarities of what Paul faced in Corinth.  He also drew heavily from John Calvin’s ministry.  Nic will be planting a church in Georgia, and Ryken deals heavily with the nature of the warfare he will face as a church planter.

Ryken’s Ordination message >>>

Phil Ryken discusses Thomas Boston and the Fourfold State

The folks at Christ the Center invited Phil Ryken to discuss his doctoral dissertation on Thomas Boston and Boston’s teaching of the fourfold state.  This was a lively discussion about a very popular Puritan era preacher who wrote many books for the common Christian while avoiding the purely scholarly level of writing.  But with a book titled “Human Nature in its Fourfold State” one would be tempted to think this was a scholarly work.  However, this was a popular work, testified by the fact that it was the widest selling English book in the 17th century.

The ‘Fourfold State’ is simply a way to work out the different states of man as taught by Scripture:  The state of innocence enjoyed by Adam and Eve, the state of sin after the fall, the state of grace as a man under the grace of salvation, and the state of glorification after we shed our human bodies and go to heaven.

The discussion about the fourfold state takes relatively little time.  The great value of this discussion is what we learn about the life and character of Thomas Boston, as a faithful pastor, as viewed by a faithful pastor — Phil Ryken.

Phil Ryken on Thomas Boston >>>

Gospel Coalition 2007 Conference

What is the Gospel Coalition? At the heart of this coalition is this question posed by D. A. Carson, “What can we do to promote a robust, gospel-centered evangelical center in our increasingly diverse country, particularly for the arising generation?”

Mark Driscoll has written briefly about it on his blog here.  Also information and conference blogging notes at Buzzard Blog. 

The conference consists of 20 pastors/theologians, 5 general messages, and 12 workshops. Some of the speakers include Don Carson, Tim Keller, John Piper, Mark Driscoll, Ray Ortlund, Phil Ryken, Michael Lawrence, and Mike Bullmore.

Audio is now available here >>>

Gospel Coalition website >>>

Doctrines of Grace 2007 Conference

doctrinesofgrace.jpgThe Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals Conference this year focused on the Doctrines of Grace. The speakers include Sinclair Ferguson, Phil Ryken, Ligon Duncan, Carl Trueman, Derek Thomas and others. Four of the sessions were devoted to ‘Reformed Biography’, biographical lectures about B.B. Warfield, John Owen, Thomas Boston and John Knox.

Doctrines of Grace MP3 page >>>

Pastoral Priorities: The Life and Ministry of Phil Ryken…so far.

Mark Dever of 9 Marks delivers a fantastic interview of Phil Ryken, pastor of the historic Tenth Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia, infamous pulpit of the late James Montgomery Boice and Donald Grey Barnhouse.  A very rewarding recording.

Pastoral Priorities