Together for the Gospel is a conference that offers many panel sessions. In fact, this year there will be five of them. The first one is the only one that featured only the four leaders of Together for the Gospel. And it began with C.J. explaining why he will be leading the panel discussions this year. The reason is classic C.J.. He is the one, he says, who doesn’t really know anything and who will ask the questions out of a sincere desire to learn from these other men. Unlike Mark Dever, he does not actually know the answers. Unlike Mark, he will not ask questions and then answer himself if the answers aren’t quite right.
C.J. began by asking for a health update from Al Mohler (who has suffered some illness). He asked for an update from Ligon Duncan on his hometown of Jackson, Mississippi. A week ago they had five tornadoes which did quite a bit of damage to the area. Duncan also provided an update on his father-in-law who has gone to hospital with respiratory failure and who is in very serious condition in hospital. And then C.J. asked Mark Dever to explain how Together for the Gospel came together (and especially the relationships between the four men who lead it).
With the preliminary matters out of the way, they spent some time discussing Duncan’s session and added some further thoughts on systematic theology and its importance to the faith and to pastors. They spoke about this at length and we saw quickly why C.J. really is an ideal moderator for these discussions as he is adept at honing in on areas that are hugely practical and practical for the “average” pastor. Panel discussions are usually only as good as the moderator and I think in this case the pastors in attendance will learn a lot from them.