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prov·o·ca·tion - something that provokes, arouses, or stimulates. pant - to long eagerly; yearn. a collection of thoughts intended to provoke and inspire. these posts are hoping to encourage people to think, especially Christians, and pant even harder for the waterbrooks of the Lord. If you are not a believer in Christ Jesus, I welcome your perspective and encourage your investigation on these matters.

Monday, January 30, 2006

An Upper and a Downer

Upper: Desiring God has announced the line-up for the 2006 National Conference with the theme of "Above All Earthly Powers: The Supremacy of Christ in a Postmodern World" which will take place on September 29 through October 1, 2006. Here's the line-up of speakers: David Wells: "The Supremacy of Christ in a Postmodern World" D.A. Carson: "The Supremacy of Christ and Love in a Postmodern World" Timothy Keller: "The Supremacy of Christ and the Gospel in a Postmodern World" Mark Driscoll: "The Supremacy of Christ and the Church in a Postmodern World" Voddie Baucham: "The Supremacy of Christ and Truth in a Postmodern World" John Piper: "The Supremacy of Christ and Joy in a Postmodern World" I do not think I have seen a better line up with a better theme! If there are any weaknesses in this conference, it is that it is so far away (for me, that is)! Oh well, I've got time to save . . . (HT: Justin Taylor) Downer: The schedule for the 2006 Southern Baptist Pastor's Conference has been announced, and I was particularly interested in how their were going to present the "not-a-debate" deal with Drs. Mohler and Patterson. They have entitled it, "Reaching Today's World Through Differing Views of Election." Now isn't that nice. Is there an intentional toning down of the matter? I don't know, but I am disappointed nonetheless. I really don't think the point is "reaching today's world." The point is the growing ecclesiastical divide in the SBC over the doctrine of election and the intentional emphasis of denominational leaders to demonize those who believe in Reformed theology. What can't we just tell it like it is? I guess we just have to chalk this one up for being politically/theologically correct in the SBC. Before this announcement, there had already been a persistent downplaying of the event as an attempt to temper the enthusiasm that finally the Reformed view of election will be on even playing field in the SBC. I want to think that this is still the case, but I am beginning to have my doubts. This "deal" should not be a side-item in the convention, chiefly because it is not a side-item in the denomination. It is a big deal and deserves more than being a menu item in the shopping list for ministers at the convention. I mean, if I had to sit through an eight hour course on the Cooperative Program in order to graduate from Southern, then surely the SBC can work in similar fashion to deal with serious theological issues in the denomination. Calvinists have patiently sat through caricature after caricature, straw man after straw man and have been on the defensive for years. Since the conservative resurgence has won the battle of inerrancy, denominational leaders have, in the spirit of conspiracy, worked to eradicate Calvinism from the SBC by taking every advantage to blast the doctrines of grace. So what are we to expect from this break-out session? Do you think it will receive the same degree of attention it formally was expecting to have? Will the end result work towards a clarifcation of the doctrine of election as understood by Reformed theology and end in a greater respect, cooperation, and understanding among all Southern Baptists? (HT: Tom Ascol)

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