Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary Conferences Online

All of the Spring Conferences of GPTS dating back to 1998  have been made available online.

The full messages posted for these conferences:

1998 Southern Presbyterian
1999 Did God Create in 6 Days
2000 Written for our Instruction: The Sufficiency of Scripture for All of Life
2001  Sanctification: Growing in Grace
2002 Reformed Spirituality: Communing with our Glorious God
2003 The Worship of God
2004 The Covenant
2005 The Doctrine of the Church
2006 The Triumph of Christ: The Missionary Enterprise of the Church
2007 The Christian Worldview: Thinking God’s Thoughts

Only a sampling of messages posted for these conferences:

2008 A Reformed View of End Times
2009 John Calvin: 500Years in Retrospect
2010 The Nature and Sufficiency of Scripture

GPTS Conference Audio >>>

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With Calvin in the Theater of God Conference

Last year we saw a great many conferences and events giving attention to John Calvin and his tremendous influence in Christianity.  Calvin is one of those men who tend to polarize people, not that this is a detriment.  Most influential men, particularly preachers, do the same — just look at Paul.

Unfortunately, a great deal of the negative portrayal of Calvin is that of a superficial caricature, not a knowledgeable one. A lot of Christians have opinions of Calvin without ever having read anything he wrote. What a tragedy.  Hopefully this past year many Christians were impacted by some of these conferences and have developed an appreciation for Calvin.

Desiring God’s conference ‘With Calvin in the Theater of God’ was one of the best.

From the website:

John Calvin saw the world as a theater where the glory of God is always on display. This conference showed how the vision of God that Calvin lived and taught is relevant in all our lives for the parts we play in God’s drama. Through the teaching of each of the conference speakers, we grew in our understanding of John Calvin, and more, we grew in our understanding of God’s word, the purposes of God in human suffering, our glorious hope for heaven. The content of this year’s conference was amazingly helpful.

There’s a lot to be said about the messages, but I will limit my comments to just a few.

Doug Wilson’s message was absolutely phenomenal. He had the subject of Calvin and Scripture, and right off the bat he staked out some clear points that are worth repeating.  First, he said that after he came to understand and embrace the doctrines of grace, he spent the next year denying that he was a Calvinist, simply stating that these were Biblical truths, not Calvin’s truths. He gave up after a year when he realized that there is a difference between having a party spirit (I’m of Apollos, I’m of Cephas, etc.) and helpful theological shorthand. We all need human teachers.  Scripture teaches that.  Those who say they only need their Bibles and no human teachers are self-refuting because the Bible they say they are reading teaches that we need human teachers.

Wilson’s second introductory point is that Calvin never separated God from Scripture, as so many do today. People often look at Jesus condemning the Pharisees for searching the Scriptures and missing Jesus.  The implication they draw is that we should not be bibliologists at the expense of devoting oneself to God.  But this is a misunderstanding of what Jesus said.  Jesus wasn’t condemning them for diligently searching the Scriptures to find him, he was condemning them for missing him in the Scriptures — for being unregenerate and self-serving.  Their Scripture reading in and of itself wasn’t wrong, rather the way they approached it was wrong.

John Piper concluded the conference with a look at how the theater of God supremely glorifies God. Everything in this world around us is part of God’s theater, and it is all designed to give him glory. John takes us to Romans 9 to explain that even the unregenerate were created for a day of destruction, and this too gives glory to God.

The panel discussion spent some time looking at what has historically been one of the black marks on Calvin, and that being the execution of Servetus. Mark Talbot provides some very important information often overlooked about Calvin and Servetus, and it becomes pretty clear that Calvin had nothing to do with Servetus being burned at the stake, and in fact did what he could do to prevent the execution of this troublemaking heretic.

Piper spends time explaining how he understands tragedy and what God is saying to a people through any tragic event — a loud “repent before something happens to you.” Just as tragedy speaks, so does peace and blessing, in the kindness of God, just as his severity speaks. A timely reminder as my listening coincided with the earthquake distaster in Haiti.

This is a fantastic conference you shouldn’t miss.

With Calvin in the Theater of God >>>

God Exposed Conference

Don’t miss the God Exposed Conference, a pastors conference focusing on expositional preaching.  This is a much needed conference which was co-sponsored by 9Marks ministry and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

To begin with, Dan Akin’s message is one of those defining messages that set the standard for what preaching is meant to be.  Akin looks at the preacher in Ecclesiastes.  He begins his message by stating the phrase, ‘The most important thing about any message is what you say, but how you say it has never been more important.’  Akin comes down hard (helpfully so) on the need for preaching to engage and hold interest in the listener. He even goes so far to say that it is a sin for a preacher to be boring. This is a message you will want to listen to twice (which I did).

Mark Dever opens the conference with a good anticipatory message and concludes it with a fantastic message.  In fact, all of the speakers made very thoughtful and engaging contributions to the conference.

One of the unique qualities of this conference is something that I first heard at T4G, and that is that immediately after the message all the speakers gather to discuss the message–a very helpful practice.

God Exposed is a pastors conference on expositional preaching that

  • Session 1: Mark Dever – “The Power of God’s Word” (Mark 4:26-34)
  • Session 2: Daniel L. Akin – “The Preaching on Preaching” (Eccl. 12:9-14)
  • Session 3: Michael McKinley – “The Centrality of the Word” (Luke 10:38-42)
  • Session 4: CJ Mahaney – “Expository Faithfulness” (2 Timothy 4:1-5)
  • Session 5: Thabiti Anyabwile – “Will It Preach? Exposition in Non-White Contexts”
  • Session 6: Mark Dever – “Expositional Preaching: A Defense and Charge”

Sessions 1 – 4 >>>

Sessions 5 – 6 >>>

God Exposed Conference >>>

Nashville Conference on the Church & Theology 2009

John MacArthur and Bruce Ware join Bryon Yawn at the 2009 Nashville Conference.

Right off the bat MacArthur delivers some of the best messages I’ve heard this year.  He begins in session one by reflecting over the core convictions of his ministry that he formed early on and have not let go of since.  These convictions happen to be Trinitarian:  The Glory of God, the Lordship of Jesus Christ, and the work of the Holy Spirit in Scripture.

There is so much to talk about regarding his messages.  But perhaps the most needed, is he relates the story of when he met a ministry friend who told him about this incredible book about how IBM was structured, and why pastors needed these lessons.  MacArthur asked this man, “Why, is the Word of God deficient somewhere?”

MacArthur also talks about why he does church discipline.  Again, early in his ministry other pastors told him he would empty his church.  It never happened. If you are a church planter or pastor who buys a lot of contemporary books on how to “do church” you need to listen to a pastor who saw God build His church apart from all the books, programs, polls, and expert opinions.  Listening to MacArthur is like a breath of fresh air in a day when the church looks more to Starbucks for it’s ecclesiology than it does the Apostle Paul.

Above Every Name pt. 1, John MacArthur

Above Every Name pt. 2, John MacArthur

Above Every Name pt. 3, John MacArthur

Beholding the God of Merciful Holiness; Transcendence, Immanence & Ministry, Bruce Ware

An Overwhelming Greatness, Bryon Yawn

Beholding the God of Self-Sufficient Fullness; Humility, Satisfaction & Ministry, Bruce Ware

Beholding the God of Sovereign Supremacy; Good, Evil & Ministry, Bruce Ware

Slaves of Christ, John MacArthur

NCCT 09 >>>

Resolved 2009

This years Resolved Conference was on the popular subject of sin, and the messages are excellent.   The speakers spoke about understanding sin and how to fight sin in your life.   The theme of the conference is from John Owen who wrote “Be killing sin, or it will be killing you.”

The War Against Your Soul, Rick Holland
Blessed Bankruptcy, Steve Lawson
Who’s Really at Work, C.J. Mahaney
Blessed Purity, Steve Lawson
A Theology of Creation, John MacArthur
God’s Sovereignty Over Satan’s Fall, John Piper
A Biblical Strategy for Fighting Sexual Sin, Rick Holland
The Sanctifying Shepherd, John MacArthur
The Troubled Soul, C. J. Mahaney
How Sin Serves the Glory of Christ, John Piper

A few messages worth noting:

Steve Lawson’s message “Blessed Bankruptcy” looks at Matthew 5:3, “Blessed are the poor in spirit” and is one of the best messages I’ve heard on this beattitude. Don’t miss this one.

John MacArthur’s message “The Sanctifying Shepherd” is fantastic, and desperately needed in our current climate of wild and crazy church planting and evangelism techniques.  MacArthur brings us back to take a sober look at the shepherding of our Lord Jesus Christ who alone has the power to save and sanctify.  I think many honest church strategists will listen to this and discover they are operating outside of the pasture that Christ is.

MacArthur’s message “A Theology of Creation” is the same message he gave at the Shepherd’s Conference.  Though a repeat, if you have not heard it, it is a look at how a literal 6 day creation is the only honest way to deal with Genesis 1-3.  MacArthur makes a great case for the miraculous nature of creation which is beyond scientific means of measuring and explaining.

Rick Holland takes a hard look at the problem of sexual sin in the church and presents a biblical strategy for fighting it.

All in all, this Resolved Conference continues to affirm that Resolved is one of the best conferences in the evangelical world, not just for college students, but for anyone who likes sound theology powerfully proclaimed.

Resolved 2009 >>>

Sovereign Grace 2009 Pastors Conference

There’s a wealth of audio material online now from Sovereign Grace’s Pastors Conference held early in April.  Many good men speaking:  Mark Dever, C.J. Mahaney, Jeff Purswell, Mike Bullmore, Dave Harvey and more.  I haven’t had a chance to listen to any of these messages.  But here it is.

Sovereign Grace 2009 Pastors Conf >>>

Advance 09

John Piper gathers a group of men who have a heart for the church to talk about various issues facing the church:  Bryan Chapell, Matt Chandler, Ed Stetzer, Danny Akin, Tyler Jones and Mark Driscoll.

There were some messages that stood out to me. Piper always is a treat to listen to and learn from.

As much as I have been struggling with Driscoll lately, his message “Mission Idolatry” was good stuff, much of the material drawn from G.K. Beale’s book We Become What We Worship, but applied to church and missions.

Ed Stetzer’s message “Keys to Understanding the Church” and the Kingdom does a good job of examining how many church plants and missional (I’m really getting sick of this term) movements have derailed from the purpose of the church.

Advance 09 Conference page >>>

Twin Lakes Fellowship 2009

This years Twin Lake Fellowship was held in April. I’ve been slowly listening to these messages since April, and while many are very good, there are a few that stand out.

Ligon Duncan gave two messages that deal with the incredibly important issue of theology, what it is for, and how systematic theology is important for pastoral ministry.  He has touched on these issues in other conferences, but here we have two very strong messages dealing with this head on.

Ligon Duncan’s message is a tour de force of a defense of the need for systematic theology.  In a day when the spirit of the age is to assert “deeds, not creeds,” and views theology with suspicison, this is a much needed message.  Duncan unravels many arguments raised against systematic theology.  The major falacy is that you cannot not have a theology.  Everyone operates on a theology.  And to think you can act without theology, you’re just kidding yourself.  We are all theologians.  The question is, are you a good one or a bad one.

Two other messages not to miss:  Doug Kelly’s message on Deuteronomy 23 and David Robertsons message on Emergent Calvinism.

Doug Kelly–God Turns Curses into Blessings (Deuteronomy 23:3-6)
Derek Thomas–The Majesty of God (Romans 11:33-36)
Ligon Duncan–What is Theology For? (Titus 1:1, 1 Tim 6:2-4)
Ron Gleason–on Herman Bavinck
Ligon Duncan–Systematic Theology and Pastoral Ministry
David Robertson–Emergent Calvinism
Terry Johnson– Biblical, Historical, Theological Case for Reformed Worship
Jonathan Leeman–What in the World is the Missional Church?

TLF2009 >>>