Matthew R. Perry

A truly blessed time at T4G!

In T4G 2006 on April 29, 2006 at 3:18 pm

I am so thankful to Boone's Creek Baptist Church for allowing me these opportunities of refreshment and renewal. The Together For the Gospel Conference was an absolute treasure. Hearing the hearts of Mark Dever, Ligon Duncan, Al Mohler, R.C. Sproul, John Piper, CJ Mahaney and John MacArthur encouraged and inspired me no end.

A few words about the speakers:

Mark Dever. Dr. Dever serves as the pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. and is the Founder of Nine Marks Ministries which seeks to help the church reform to the pattern of the Scriptures. He spoke on "The Pastor's Understanding of His Own Role" based on 1 Corinthians 4. The three marks were that we must have a cross-centered message (1-7), a cross-centered life (8-14), and cross-centered followers (14 to the end). What struck me was that a pastor must be one to forsake his own comfort for the sake of others. This is something that many in the Corinthian church would not do (and note the sarcasm of the Apostle Paul in verses 8 and following — but he makes his point, doesn't he?).

Ligon Duncan. Dr. Duncan serves as the Pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Jackson, MS, and is the Moderator of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. He spoke passionately and persuasively on preaching Christ from the Old Testament. The comprehensive nature of this type of preaching must not be neglected — such as preaching Christ from the OT, preaching it as a Christian book, preach about the Christian experience (especially from the Psalms), and so much more. We have found this out to be true as I have spent the last 2+ years going through the Psalms on Wednesday night. Christ is there! Grace is there! Dr. Duncan reminded us of that.

Albert Mohler. Dr. Mohler serves as President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville. He preached on "Preaching With the Culture in View." He noted that expository preaching is ""That mode of Christian preaching which takes as its central purpose the presentation and application of a portion of Scripture." I loved the part where he noted that we should never think there was a "golden age in America." So many want to go back to the 1950s where marriage was defined properly and abortion and other ills were considered societal sins. Yet even during that time, whites and blacks had different water fountains, bathrooms, and seating arrangements in restaurants and city buses. That's no golden age! We much see the treasure of the Scriptures and be ready to apply it to the culture without harming the message.

R.C. Sproul. As the head of Ligonier Ministries, Sproul preached on "The Center of Christian Preaching: Justification by Faith Alone." He said he could do this in his sleep, and probably would since he was assigned the slot right after lunch. This doctrine is the "atlas" on which the Church and our individual faith stands or falls. He noted that the Reformation is not over, contrary to what so many think, and that we need to continue to demonstrate this crucial doctrine in our pulpits at ever opportunity.

John Piper. Dr. Piper serves as the Pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis and the director of Desiring God Ministries. He preached on "Why Expositional Preaching is Particularly Glorifying to God." What struck me was that we preachers often preach without passion. We speak on the glory of God, but our faces do not reflect this wonder! We must preach with zeal and conviction so that it will translate into the hearer's heart. Otherwise, we undermine His glory by not presenting it rightly.

C.J. Mahaney. Bro. Mahaney leads Sovereign Grace Ministries after serving for 27 years as pastor of Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, MD. After a few moments of self-deprecation (since he felt so unqualified to be among the T4G panel), he gave a wonderful sermon on the ministers self-watch based on 1 Timothy 4:16.  Tremendous.
 
John MacArthur.  Bringing over 40 years of experience as Pastor of the Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, CA, Dr. MacArthur refreshed me most of all.  A commitment to the Word and longevity in one place along with a desire for expositional preaching have mark his wonderful faith-filled career as pastor, Bible teacher, and author. 
 
I recommend going to Tim Challies website for a more in-depth review as he live-blogged the conference as it happened.  If would would like to buy the CDs or mp3s, go to http://www.togetherforthegospel.org and click on resources. 

This summer, you can register for T4G 2008, so I hope you'll take great advantage of it. 

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