Some Brief Thoughts on “Together for the Gospel”
By now “Together for the Gospel” 2012 is receding from memory. You can still watch the videos or listen to audio at T4G. Many have commented & I thought I’d add my own. It was my first time but Lord willing I’ll go again.
Great preaching- especially David Platt on missions & Ligon Duncan on Elijah. In a day when the preaching of God’s word is dismissed, minimized, or distorted it is refreshing to hear proclamation with intelligence, passion, and faithfulness to the text. Even though I preach weekly, I was reminded once again that God speaks through his word.
Great Singing – There’s nothing like 8,000 voices singing out with full throated gusto especially when most are men. It was nothing like the vapid, anemic, metrosexual jingles that pass for praise music & song. Bob Kauflin on piano all by himself puts to shame the overdone reliance of most praise bands on volume, technology & pyrotechnics. One time I looked around me at the men singing and thought such a scene is just a glimpse of heaven when all the nations will sing in unison to the praise of the Triune God.
A Great Gospel – Many have tried to develop unity and fellowship around everything but the good news of Jesus Christ. At this conference, differences were evident but disagreements were handled with grace, humor, & courtesy without the ad hominem, polarizing either-or thinking that characterizes so much debate today, political and theological. The conviction and friendship of the leaders was clearly evident and an example for us all. 20 years ago Reformed theology and the doctrines of grace seemed to be written off as arcane, decrepit & irrelevant to the big-business, pragmatic marketeers of the church. It was a lonely time – no longer. My guess is that more than half of the 8, 000 attending were under 40 and a new generation of leaders & preachers are not afraid to speak, teach & preach doctrinally about how God saves through the gospel of his Son.
Of course listening to “celebrity” professor Carl Trueman on Luther, hearing John Piper before he “retires,” seeing old friends and making new ones, 17 new books and 2 visits to Waffle House (double hash browns, covered, chunked, peppered, & chopped) topped off a great week! And Blaine & Kevin – my texting skills are improving!