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 >>>

 

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Counterfeit Gods and Tim Keller

Christ the Center interviews Tim Keller about his book Counterfeit Gods. This is a great little book that will help you think about idolatry in your life.

Keller answers  a wide range of questions, and spends quite awhile indirectly talking about how he started Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York and the struggles he and his wife faced.

Counterfeit Gods >>>

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 >>>

Twin Lakes Fellowship 2008

What is the Twin Lakes Fellowship? From the website…

The Twin Lakes Fellowship is a ministerial fraternal devoted to the encouragement of Gospel ministry and ministers, and to the promotion of healthy biblical church planting. The Twin Lakes Fellowship is a ministry of the Session of the historic First Presbyterian Church, Jackson, MS (in conjunction with several other PCA sessions and ministers in Mississippi, Georgia, Tennessee, and South Carolina). This fellowship is designed to pursue a twofold purpose: (1) to encourage ministers and churches to promote the work of church planting through their local congregations and (2) to encourage ministers in their personal growth in grace, so as to maximize their effectiveness in promoting the work of the Gospel.

Ligon Duncan kicked off the conference with a very strong, clarifying call for faithful expositional preaching.

David Meredith, who is a pleasure to listen to, took on the subject of evangelism, and gave his impressions of the Evangelism Explosion material. Don`t miss this one.

Doug Kelly, Carl Trueman, Sean Lucas, Derek Thomas and Terry Johnson all gave messages worth a listen.

Ligon conducted 3 wonderful telephone interviews.  He interviewed Thabiti Anyabwile about his two books: The Faithful Preacher, and The Decline of African American Theology.  Tim Keller was interviewed about his best selling book The Reason for God.   And finally, David Wells was interviewed about his book (then forthcoming) The Courage to Be Protestant, and Wells gave an excellent summation of the 3 divisions of the church today:  Truth-lovers, Marketers, and Emergents.  Wells must be listened to.

Twin Lakes Fellowship audio >>>

The Prodigal God: Tim Keller

The Parable of the Prodigal Son has been a popular subject of books of late.  Both John MacArthur and Tim Keller have tackled this parable in their own fashion and both produced stellar works, each tremendously grand in their own rights.

Keller takes some effective cues from Augustine by looking at the two sons as engaged in idolatry, and helpfully builds the categories of the younger son idolatry of immorality and the older son idolatry of self-righteousness.  Both are hard to identify.  But when compared to each other in light of the father’s conduct clarity is found.

Sonship is a big theme in Keller’s message, and it is one of the most memorable aspects of this series.  In the hands of good preachers, this parable can be a very power picture of the gospel.  The audio of the original sermons delivered at Redeemer Presbyterian Church are available.

Get the book The Prodigal God at Amazon.com >>>

The Prodigal God >>>

Keller & Clowney: Preaching Christ in a Post Modern World

Tim Keller and Edmund Clowney together taught a class called ‘Preaching Christ in a Post Modern World’, and is now on iTunes as part of Reformed Theological Seminary Worldwide.  This is going to keep me busy for some time. You can download the entire course, including Q&A sessions, a total of 35 audio files.

Preaching Christ in a Post Modern World on iTunes >>>

You can find the handouts for this course on Google Docs (thanks Mark), or on Scribd.

Keller: The Trouble with Christianity; Why is it so hard to believe?

Tim Keller has written a new book called ‘The Reason for God’.  On the book’s website is a series of sermons Keller gave at his church Redeemer that form the basis for the book.  I have not read the book yet, but I have listened to these messages and must say there is some really good stuff here.  Keller is great at engaging secular presuppositions and skeptical assumptions.  This is a great series of sermons and I look forward to reading his book.

The messages are:

Exclusivity: How can there only be one true religion?
Suffering: If God is good, why is there so much evil in the world?
Absolutism: Don’t we all have to find truth for ourselves?
Injustice: Hasn’t Christianity been an instrument for oppression?
Hell: Isn’t the God of the Christianity an angry judge?
Doubt: What should I do with my doubts?
Liberalism: Isn’t theBible historically unreliable and regressive?

The Trouble with Christianity >>>

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 >>>