reFocus Conference (IV)

Day three of the reFocus conference began with a talk from Ken Davis. Ken is a humorist–a comedian, really. I don’t quite know what to say about this session. He drew out a couple of messages he wanted to communicate to the pastors here and did it with a whole lot of laughter. My best efforts at blogging this comedy sketch fell flat (as I’m sure you understand). He did a great job of mixing the poignant and the hilarious. …

reFocus Conference (III)

It’s a question I’m asked fairly often. “Have you ever blogged a conference and heard a speaker you really disagreed with?” I’ve always been able to say “no.” Until today. Now I want to be careful here. Flip Flippen, a life coach and psychotherapist, did not ever claim to be preaching. He did not bring his Bible to the front of the room and did not seek to preach from Scripture. Yet speak he did, and this in front of …

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reFocus Conference (II)

Because this conference is held on the campus of Moody Bible Institute, everything happens in a pretty small area. My room is within a two minute walk of the main auditorium and the cafeteria. Only the exhibit hall takes some effort to get to. Last night the conference kicked off with a talk by Michael Easley, Teaching Pastor of Fellowship Bible Church in Brentwood, Tennessee and a former President of Moody Bible Institute. And I’ve got to say, this was …

reFocus Conference (I)

Yesterday afternoon I hopped on a flight to Chicago so I could get to reFocus, Moody Bible Institute’s pastors’ conference. This is going to be a slightly different experience for me, I think. It is bound to be a different than the “average” conference I go to at any rate. It’s a long story as to how I got here, but it involves a) being asked to lead a breakout session b) learning that my book was being going to …

The Basics Conference (VI)

And just like this we’ve come to the end of this year’s Basics Conference. It always seems to go by so quickly. I think I say this every year, but this really is one of my favorite conferences of the year (and perhaps even my absolute favorite). Many conferences geared to pastors are intense, packing every day full of teaching and preaching. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it does leave some people feeling a bit worn out …

The Basics Conference (V)

This evening, after rather an excellent dinner, we gathered again to hear from John Lennox. In his first talk (yesterday afternoon) he spoke of the use of the mind in engaging the world. In this one he wanted to use Scripture to address the mind; and not only the mind but also the imagination. One of the wonders of God’s creation of the human mind is its ability to imagine. Parts of the Bible are written so we can imagine …

The Basics Conference (IV)

John Piper’s second (and final) session was taken from John 3 and dealt with the topic of preaching the doctrine of regeneration undiminished. This is just the briefest overview. You know the audio will be available at the Desiring God site before the day is over. Piper’s outline followed this pattern: What happens in the new birth; why the new birth is so necessary; how it happens. What Happens in the New Birth? Life happens! God does not give new …

The Basics Conference (III)

The second day of The Basics Conference began with Alistair Begg speaking from 2 Corinthians 5 and focusing on verse 20. He wanted to consider the matter of preaching that confronts people’s stubborn wills; to think about persuasive preaching. To do this, is to place ourselves in good company for the apostolic precept pushes us in this direction (see Acts 18:4 by way of example). Scripture also urges people by way of precept, such as what we see in 2 …

The Basics Conference (II)

After a great dinner, and a few worship songs courtesy of Keith and Kristyn Getty, John Piper took to the pulpit to explore the theme of preaching the doctrine of justification from the Scriptures in an undiminished way. For ten years he has been very exercised about this doctrine and he began by offering five reasons why this has been the doctrine that has most consumed him over the past ten years. Here they are: First, for eight of those …

The Basics Conference (I)

Today marks the beginning of the 2009 Basics Conference at Parkside Church in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. This year’s speakers are Alistair Begg, John Lennox and John Piper. I intend to bring you six updates through this conference, one for each of the keynote addresses that will happen between now and Wednesday morning (that’s two today, three tomorrow and one on Wednesday). John Lennox had the privilege of teaching the first session. Lennox is Professor of Mathematics in the University of …