Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Expositors' Conference 2009 Day One

I am currently attending the Expositors' Conference hosted by Steven Lawson in Mobile, Alabama. This is my third pilgrimage here and things are exceeding my expectations already. This particular conference is relatively small. I am not exactly sure, but it is around 500. Other conferences such as the Shepherds or Together for the Gospel have about 5,000. I actually prefer the smaller number. It gives you a chance to interact more with the speakers, hosts, and other pastors.
Last night we heard from Steve Lawson and Joel Beeke. I knew what to expect with Steve. He taught a fiery exposition of encouragement from two great preachers, Luther and Calvin. Steve pointed out that these men were different in demeanor but similar in passion. Both had a passion for the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth. We were challenged to stand in our pulpits and proclaim the whole counsel of the living Word of God from the shore of Genesis to the shore of Revelation and all the shining sea of truth between.
This was my first encounter with Joel Beeke. His presentation was just as riveting, perhaps even more so. Joel’s mission was to give us a sense of Puritan preaching. The Puritans were those divines who renewed and expanded the Reformation a 100 years after the fire started and during a time when the flames began to wane. They stoked the fire of Reformation by calling God’s people to apply every aspect of God’s Truth to every aspect of their lives. The Puritan pulpits were on fire with truth and the pews caught that the ember of those passions and applied the principles taught to every aspect of their lives.
Joel encouraged me to look at the Puritans in a new light. They were a people who loved sermons. Perhaps one of the reasons the folks would sit for hours listening or reading sermons is because the content was compelling. The content of their sermons was not based on stories or anecdotes but the living breathing Word of God. The Word of God has a saving and sanctifying power. May it be unleashed as we preach as the Puritan Richard Baxter said as “a dying man to dying men.”
They feed us well at this conference. It is time that I go off to be fed a great Southern breast of sausage gravy, biscuits, eggs, pancakes and such. The volunteers at Christ Fellowship are so special. It is a joy to see them serve us with joy and treat us as if we are special servants. Following this meal we will be served another message about the Puritan divines. I am looking forward more to the second meal. That is saying a lot for a guy who doesn’t miss many meals.

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