Saturday, May 13, 2006

Back From Seattle

I spent the past week in Seattle at Mark Driscoll's Reform and Resurge conference for pastors. Six of us flew out early Tuesday and returned via red-eye on Thursday night. (Lord willing, I will never fly a red-eye flight again in my life. I felt like death warmed over when we stepped off that flight.)

We really enjoyed our time. It's been several years since I've been to Seattle and I'd forgotten what a gorgeous city it is. The combination of water, city skyline and mountain ranges is incredible. We spent a good bit of time at the famous public market. The picture was taken there (L-R, Kenneth Maresco, Corby Megorden, Grant Layman, Eric Simmons, Me and Brian Chesemore). The highlight of the trip was spending time with these men. I am so blessed to serve God with my dearest friends. There are no men that I respect more. And, boy, do we have a good time together.

I enjoyed the conference. It was fun seeing Mars Hill, the church I've read and heard so much about, for myself. (The photo is from the final evening during worship.) I was impressed with the kindness and servant-heartedness of everyone on staff that I met. It was also great getting to hear Tim Keller and Mark Driscoll preach in person. On Tuesday Mark hosted a dinner at his house for all the Acts 29 pastors and their wives which I enjoyed. It was great meeting men with a common zeal to spread the gospel and build Christ-exalting local churches. There is definitely a lot of energy and excitement in this young movement of churches.

My message, entitled "Humble Orthodoxy" was from 2 Timothy 2:14-26. Foolishblog, provides a succinct summary of the message. I pray God used it to encourage the people gathered.

I closed the message with the following quote from Mark Dever, pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church. He originally shared it on the Together for the Gospel blog. I share it here for your encouragement:
“What we need is humble theology—theology which submits itself to the truth of God's Word. “Liberal” theology—theology which does not view Scripture as finally trustworthy and authoritative—is not humble before the Word. Churches which are tentative and decry dogmatism may sound humble, but it is not truly humble to do anything other than to submit to God's Word. Christian humility is to simply accept whatever God has revealed in His Word. Humility is following God's Word wherever it goes, as far as it goes, neither going beyond it nor stopping short of it. The humility we want in our churches is to read the Bible and believe it—everything God has said, dogmatically, and humbly! It is not humble to be hesitant where God has been clear and plain.”
Amen. May God give us courage to humbly believe and obey his word.

For those interested in the messages, Resurgence will be podcasting the messages (I believe both audio and video) in the days to come.

Your Feedback: Any Seattle natives reading? I'd love to hear from you. And any pastors at the conference, feel free to share your perspective of the event, too. Finally, give me your thoughts on the Dever quote. Have you encountered the seeming humility of uncertainty that is so popular these days? I hope to hear from you.


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