Wednesday, April 16, 2008

T4G - Day 3 (Wednesday)

12:30 - An even earlier start today with the first session beginning at 8:00AM. I was up and around and at the convention center by a little after 7:00, waiting for the doors to open to get some good seats. Then heard a message from Dr. John MacArthur on the doctrine of depravity and the total inability and unwillingness of the sinner to believer the Gospel. It was a great call to hold fast to that which we already know to be true from the Word. I really felt Dr. MacArthur's heart for the Gospel and for pastors as he spoke.

This was followed by a break and then a message from Mark Dever regarding the need to keep the Gospel clear and not allow it to become confused or changed. He outlined five attempts to "improve" the Gospel that call out to the church today and that we must resist. First, the call to make the Gospel public. In other words, to turn it into a social good news rather than a redemptive good news. Second, the call to make the Gospel larger, by expanding what is included in the Gospel to other things that are in fact implications of the Gospel. This would be things like political influence, cultural influence and the like. Which in and of themselves may be good, but they are not the Gospel of Christ. Third, the call to make the Gospel relevant, to contextualize the message beyond recognition. Fourth, to make the Gospel personal, focused on individuals at the expense of their inclusion in and involvement with the local church. And lastly, the call to make the Gospel kinder, to remove the offensive aspects of the Gospel of Christ to improve its acceptability.

Here's a few of the HPEFC gang waiting for one of the sessions to start.
9:30PM, just got back to the hotel after this evenings last session. This afternoon we heard R. C. Sproul give an extraordinarily moving message regarding the curse motif of the cross of Christ. I was moved to tears as Sproul so passionately described the truth of Christ becoming a curse for us. I have to say that I think this was the best message I have ever heard from R. C.

This evening's session featured Al Mohler speaking on the topic of why so many hate the doctrine of the cross, specifically penal substitutionary atonement. As usual, Dr. Mohler was brilliant, although I think he included so much material that many of us went into brain overload as he cited many theologians and the like and their reasons for rejection of these doctrines. As he pointed out, we expect those in the unbelieving world to despise the cross, but the objections he spoke of are coming from those who would call themselves Christian. And he also made it clear that a rejection of the atonement is a rejection of all the other core tenets of the Gospel.

Everyone is gathered in our room for the evening debrief time. Yes, picture 18 people in a hotel room. Having a great time listening to what God's been teaching each of us the past few days. Here's a few of today's pictures:

Up early Thursday morning to get ready for the final sessions and the long trip home.

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