Together for the Gospel (PT 3)

The Together for the Gospel conference was a great experience. Seven of Evangelicalisms brightest lights gathered together to encourage, admonish, motivate, and convict thousands of church leaders (and some future church leaders). Whenever you bring together Mark Dever, Al Mohler, C.J, Maheny, Ligon Duncan, John MacArthur, R.C. Sproul, and John Piper it’s an occasion to rejoice in.

Pastor Mark Dever talked about “the pastor’s understanding of his role.” He did a quick exposition through 1 Corinthians 4 showing the “Three Marks of a Real-Minister.” Those marks were a cross-centered message (vv. 1-7), a cross-centered life (vv. 8-15), and a cross-centered follower (vv. 16-21). Mark reminded us that the cross is the center, but praise God it is not the end!

Ligon Duncan lectured on the importance of preaching from the Old Testament. He gave 8 major points during his lecture: 1. Please do not neglect the O.T. 2. Preach the O.T. expositionally. 3. Preach Christ from the O.T. 4. Preach one plan of Redemptive history from the O.T. 5. Preach grace from the O.T. 6. Preach the character of God from the O.T. 7. Preach experientially from the O.T. 8. Preach the Christian life from the O.T.

Dr. Al Mohler lectured on “preaching with the culture in view.” This was a very well balanced lecture, one that every Christian minister should listen to. Mohler pointed out 2 extremes we need to avoid: 1. Simply ignoring the culture altogether (e.g. Amish paradise). 2. Allowing culture to dominate our ministries (e.g. the Emergent church movement). Dr. Mohler reminded us that you can not withdraw entirely from culture even when you try. Culture allows human beings to relate to one another (so don’t view it as an entirely negative concept).

Like many other areas in the Christian walk this is all about balance friends; “Culture can’t be our main concern, but it can’t be avoided either.” Mohler suggested we read Augustine’s “City of God.” We must realize that people are part of culture. Therefore, “we can not withdraw from the people because THEY are the object of God’s love.”

Mohler ended his lecture explaining why culture (right now) presents some serious problems from the Christian preacher. Understanding these matters helps the preacher to be precise and more relevant (biblically speaking). Ultimately we have to respond according to whatever culture God places us in. We live in perilous times but we have the Holy Scriptures to protect and guide us on our way. The gospel is a transcultural message and it is essential for every person to embrace it in faith.

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