MacArthur recently gave an excellent 3 message series on what a Pastor is supposed to be, what he is supposed to be committed to, and what he’s supposed to do. This is a rewarding series that reminds what a pastor is called for.
Sovereign Grace Ministries is somewhat of an anomaly in the church today, and I mean that in a good sense. We live in a day where we are seeing denominations shrink, but Sovereign Grace Ministries is planting healthy, growing churches based on solid reformed teaching. They are also heavily involved in writing new, theologically sound, worship music. God is doing amazing work through this organization. So, when they put on a leadership conference, I want to know about it. All three general session speakers, Sproul, Powlison, and Mahaney, delivered messages you will want to hear.
R. C. Sproul opened the general sessions. C. J. Mahaney was correct when he said nobody can preach about the holiness of God like R. C. Sproul. If you’ve never heard Sproul preach on the holiness of God, you’re in for a treat.
David Powlison brought a message that has been deeply embedded in his mind of late. He confronted the unfortunate tendency within the church to follow the culture in it’s unhealthy habit of introspection. Powlison argues that our introspection should be short lived and our focus on God and Scripture should be more weighty. The message he brought was like a lightning bolt to our age. If you only buy one MP3 from this conference it must be Powlison’s message.
C. J. Mahaney’s message title ‘Trinitarian Pastoral Ministry’ might be somewhat misleading, but his lecture was timely and needed. I won’t go over the spine of his message, but will cover two important points he raised. First, he brought much needed clarity to the ‘charismatic’ issue, and offering a clarifying term for his position which he calls ‘continuationism’ (as opposed to cessationism). He also called for the church to stop trying to redefine itself to be ‘relevant’ to the culture. He calls for churches to recover lost ground in the face of post-modern church thinking.
When you order the conference, order the whole conference, general sessions and seminars. The full package is only $4.oo more and there are some excellent seminars. Powlison returns of a seminar. Other seminar speakers include Mark Dever, Joshua Harris, and Mike Bullmore. For the ladies, Carolyn Mahaney brings a message titled ‘Watch your Man’ and then is part of a panel discussion.
The conference consists of 4 General Sessions and 16 Seminars.
Mark Dever at 9 Marks has brought in John Piper and Bruce Ware for some enlightening discussions.
John Piper and Bruce Ware discuss the fine points of limited atonement which is better termed ‘particular redemption’. Piper also relates his differences with N.T. Wright and the New Perspective on Paul which challenges the historical understanding of the doctrine of Justification by Faith.
Piper also relates a little bit about Bethlehem Baptist Church’s Bethlehem Institute. He also discusses why he doesn’t like the new term ‘missional’, and relates how the church should affect the culture, including a thoughtful discussion on abortion.