Archive for the ‘Conferences’ Category

Bruce Ware conference on the Trinity

If you are in my neck of the woods (North Alabama-Tennesse Valley) this weekend (Aug 26-28), Bruce Ware will be leading a conference at Grace Church-Huntsville on the Trinity. The conference is free but we ask that you register so we can plan accordingly. If you are a pastor and want to attend a special leadership luncheon with Bruce on Saturday, please contact me (see my address under “contact” at the top of this site). I hope to see you there.

Yes Minister!

One of my congregants once pondered after attending a conference, “I wonder if these folks run to the front of their churches every Sunday to get a seat the way they do here.” Is there a “rock star” culture amongst evangelicals, especially evident in its conference machinations? My reasoning is that if we’re even entertaining the question then the answer is probably “yes.” I believe this is all Carl Trueman, professor and dean at Westminster, is attempting to say.

I have seen the VIP seating, the special dinners, and the perks for speakers reach gross proportions. I have watched “great expositors” who can’t carry a conversation with an average Joe be heralded for their communication abilities. Yes, Trueman overstates a few points but this easily excusable once one discovers that he’s British (this is where you usually find the obligatory “just kidding” remark). The question remains as to whether we are stuck with the status quo or will this celebrity culture ever be seen for what it is. For your reading pleasure, Phil Gons does a nice job of rounding up the relevant posts on the subject.

Exalting Christ Conference in Vallejo, CA

Dates: September 15-17, 2010

Location: Community Bible Church in Vallejo, CA

Speakers: Bruce Ware, Anthony Carter, Steve Fernandez, Brian Shealy

Cost: $99

Purpose: “to assist and encourage pastors and church leaders to preach and exalt Christ as they shepherd their local churches and spread the gospel in their communities and beyond”

Check out the conference website.

Ekklesia Conference in Jupiter, FL

Dates: September 17-19, 2010

Location: Grace Immanuel Bible Church in Jupiter, FL

Speakers: Jerry Wragg, Jon Anderson, Rick Holland, Jesse Johnson, Smedly Yates

Cost: $35

Purpose: “to instruct Christians in the inseparable truths of Christ’s church and His gospel” so that “believers would passionately serve and commit to the advancement of those realities with lifelong conviction”

Check out the conference website and the promotional video.

Your role in the kingdom of God

Dr. R.C. Sproul offers some encouraging words to church leaders. 

While always initiated and empowered by the work of the Holy Spirit, history tells us that the most powerful periods of church renewal and reformation follow the efforts of Christian leaders to teach the Word of God accurately. Certainly, the Protestant Reformation would not have traveled far and wide if men like Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Knox, and others had not systematically explained the gospel and dedicated themselves to the training of churchmen. But let us not forget the efforts of unnamed persons who were used of God to bring renewal through their faithfulness to Scripture. It is hardly possible that the Reformation would have spread apart from the work of knowledgeable men who handed the faith on to other men and the labor of educated women who instructed women and children in the church and at home.
Famous and unsung alike, these heroes held in common a solid grounding in the essential truths of the prophetic and apostolic writings, the foundation upon which Christ builds His church. Christian leaders today must likewise be established in truths like biblical inerrancy, divine sovereignty, the person of Jesus, the work of the Holy Spirit, man as the fallen image of God, salvation by grace alone, the nature of the church and sacraments, as well as the hope of our final resurrection if the church would enjoy a new reformation.”

This is a great conference to consider attending.  I attended years ago and was very blessed.

Wayne Grudem responds to Justin Taylor and Sam Storms (almost)

Justin Taylor posted a brief comment this moring following the Desiring God Conference’s round table on eschatology. Taylor stated that premillenialism is weakened by the fact that sin and death remain after the parousia. Taylor reasons:

I don’t want to be insensitive to my Premillennial friends, but it struck me a few years ago that the Premillennial position seems relatively depressing: Christ returns–but death and sin and rebellion continue. Now I know that our feelings can’t determine our exegesis (i.e., Premillennialism seems depressing, therefore it can’t be true)–and yet at the same time I think I feel that way precisely because the consistent testimony of the NT leads one to confidently expect that judgment, resurrection, and the death of sin and physical death will all happen at the blessed and glorious return of Christ.

Could it be that the reason for this feature of premillennialism is that exegesis of texts like Isaiah 65 and Revelation 20 might warrant such a conclusion? Jim Hamilton who was a part of the round table has responded to Taylor/Storms here. Writing in his well-known Systematic Theology (1994: pg. 1127), Wayne Gruden said the following:

Several Old Testament passages seem to fit neither in the present age nor in the eternal state. These passages indicate some future stage in the history of redemption which is far greater than the present church age but which still does not see the removal of all sin and rebellion and death from the earth.

As a footnote to this discussion I would highly recommend Michael Vlach’s paper, “Is Revelation 20 the Only Supporting Text for Premillennialism?” which is where I was reminded of the Grudem quote. See here.

But the Puritans didn’t have air condition and other strains of logic

Within days of Spurgeon and MacArthur celebrating the same birthday (see previous post), the current, long-time pastor of the Metropolitan Tabernacle (Spurgeon’s church) has come out swinging at just about every American who dares call himself “reformed” in any shape of the word. Unlike some folks, if the world stopped employing the word “reformed” or “calvinist” I would somehow manage to move on with my life.

It seems that Peter Masters wants to define the word backward to such an extent that the next thing he will have to do is sell his automobile because after all the Puritans didn’t drive cars. Such logic may seemed strained but that is exactly the kind of logical skill one finds in this “review” of Collin Hansen’s Young, Restless, Reformed. What Masters fails to realize is that there is no one leading figure, central publishing arm, seminary, or conference that makes up this broad thing some are calling a movement. Yet that doesn’t keep him from painting with the broadest brush he can find in his quiver. The problem with movements, especially those of a political or theological nature, is that viewed too broadly there is something for everyone to hate. So Master’s looks at everything that gets near the word “reformed” and seeks to, well, hate it. You can read the review for yourself but here is one sampling that is so wrong it doesn’t want to be right:

Resolved is the brainchild of a member of Dr John MacArthur’s pastoral staff, gathering thousands of young people annually, and featuring the usual mix of Calvinism and extreme charismatic-style worship. Young people are encouraged to feel the very same sensational nervous impact of loud rhythmic music on the body that they would experience in a large, worldly pop concert, complete with replicated lighting and atmosphere. At the same time they reflect on predestination and election. Worldly culture provides the bodily, emotional feelings, into which Christian thoughts are infused and floated. Biblical sentiments are harnessed to carnal entertainment. (Pictures of this conference on their website betray the totally worldly, showbusiness atmosphere created by the organisers.)

Men’s Conference with Rick Holland (audio)

The audio from Grace Community Church-Huntsville (Fall Men’s Bible Conference) with Rick Holland is now online here (there is also a link for the podcast of the conference).

Rick’s Sunday morning sermon on David and Goliath is here. He also delivered a wonderful overview of the meaning and historical importance of communion during Sunday School (here).


Pastor’s Forum and Men’s Conference with Rick Holland

Our church is hosting a Men’s Conference October 10-12 with Dr. Rick Holland from Grace Community Church in CA. The conference is free and men can sign up here.

We will also host a Pastor’s Forum (lunch provided) with Rick that same Friday. If you would like to attend, please let me know as as soon as possible (see contact info).

Huntsville is located in North Alabama and is under two hours from Chattanooga, Nashville, and Birmingham.

A Gift to ET’s Readership


I have in my possession one paid admission to T4G. A friend who had signed-up and paid was called away on business and is not able to go. His loss is your gain. I am giving his seat away to the conference FREE (got permission from SGM to do this) to the first [correction] second person to respond to this post. I thought about having a contest but I don’t have time to judge, nor do I really care to.

The caveat(s): You’ll have to go as him, they cannot change the name-tag at this point. You’ll have to provide your own transportation to the event and you’ll need to find a place to stay. Sharing my bed is NOT an option. I’ll email you his name and info so that you can get access to the event.

Let me close with this. I would like to give this away especially to an expositor who lives close to the event, who is not in a financial position to go. My friend really wants this to go to someone who will be blessed by it, who normally can’t attend these events. So please be judicious in your response.

God bless!

Rich Ryan

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