After fighting our way downstairs this morning (the Galt House hotel always has elevator problems, and they are exacerbated on the last day of a conference when everyone is trying to leave at the same time-all the elevators coming down were full, so we eventually caught one going up and then rode it back down) we had a nice breakfast with Collin Hansen, who is a writer for Christianity Today and the guy who wrote the “Young, Restless, Reformed” article that was so widely read last year. It was great to meet him and his wife and to spend a bit of time with them. And then we headed over to the conference center once more.
This is the last session of the last conference I’ll be attending for a long time. The spring conference season is just about over and most of the major ones have already happened. C.J. Mahaney was given the privilege of delivering the closing message here at New Attitude. It fell to him to help the people who attended this conference to prepare to take all of the theology they’ve learned back to real life. He helped them prepare to think about how they will live what they’ve learned. This was less of a sermon and more of what Josh Harris termed sitting down with C.J. for a cup of coffee and just listening to him.
Because of the intensely personal nature of this message it did not lend itself well to a quick summary. He framed it around the priority of application and the practice of application, first showing the importance of application (while still affirming the beauty and value of correct doctrine) and then teaching three aspects of the practice of application, saying effective application is specific, requires patience with others and must be done in the shadow of the cross. If you know of C.J.’s ministry you’ll know that he is most gifted when it comes to making doctrine practical so this message was, as we’d expect, particularly convicting and useful.
We were told today that all of the conference audio will be available by Monday through the New Attitude site. I really do feel that anyone can benefit from these messages, but certainly younger Christians in particular will benefit from them. In just a few hours Aileen and I will head back home. By tomorrow I should be back to real life and back to our regularly scheduled programming at this site.