Sinclair Ferguson examines the life and preaching ministry of John Flavel. Flavel was a non-conformist preacher in the 17th century who was exiled from Dartmouth during the Great Ejection. He, along with many others, was not allowed to preach within five miles of any major population center. Consequently, he was devoted to ministering to a single flock in an out-of-the-way place in the south of England.
Flavel epitomized the Puritan style of preaching, which was characterized by three dimensions.
The ministry of the gospel is a ministry of the Word of God
The ministry of the Word of God is a ministry to this particular world.
The ministry of the Word of God to this particular world by this particular worker.
This last dimension is something that is not well understood in our contemporary day, as sermons are reduced to mere facts and figures independent of personality. This didn’t sidestep the importance of carefully preaching the text. The Puritan sermon was a carefully wrought piece of work that began with a clear introduction to the text, an analysis of the key points of the text, an exposition of the truths enshrined in the text, and a clear explanation of how the particular truths arise from the text, and sensitivity in the handling of any difficulties. All of this would be done using plain speech and manifest love for the congregation.
Flavel was a remarkable illustration of this.
In fact, Flavel’s preaching and writing was very popular. A number of his books have remained in print and are available today.
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.”
The Shepherd’s Conference has finished with a bang by MacArthur. This years conference has been titled The Inerrancy Summit, and it has assembled a stellar gathering of speakers: Alistair Begg, R. C. Sproul, Steve Nichols, Ligon Duncan, Carl Trueman, Mark Dever, Steve Lawson, Greg Beale, Derek Thomas, Al Mohler, Sinclair Ferguson, Iain Murray, Kevin DeYoung, and no I didn’t make this up.
Most of the sessions are on Vimeo, and more audio and video options will be coming later, I presume.
Speaking at this years conference are Voddie Baucham, Sinclair Ferguson, Robert Godfrey, Steven Lawson, Albert Mohler, Stephen Nichols, R.C. Sproul Jr., R.C. Sproul, and Derek Thomas. These men consider some very difficult question as it relates to our contemporary culture. How are we to confront this present world? How do we live faithfully as godly remnant in such a world? How should we defend the faith? How do we stand up for and champion biblical ethics in a society that is hostile to our ethics?
From the website:
As has been true in every generation, the church today faces many challenges from the world. The intellectual and moral opposition that we face can seem overwhelming at times, which is why we need to remember that Christ has already overcome this opposition. By His life, death, and resurrection, our Savior has conquered our enemies, and by His Spirit He has granted us to share in the victory. The Lord, in His Spirit, comes alongside us to strengthen us for the battles we face. This strengthening occurs as we are grounded in His truth (John 17:17).
Ligonier is offering this years conference free for online viewing, it is also available for purchase.
Sinclair Ferguson, Michael Horton, and Paul Tripp join Jaren Wilson, Sam Crabtree and John Piper to give the keynote addresses for this years Desiring God Pastor’s Conference titled “The Pastor, the Vine and the Branches: The Remarkable Reality of Union With Christ.”