Saturday, May 3, 2008

Together for the Gospel

Smokey and I are enjoying listening to the free audio recordings of the Together for the Gospel conference during our commute to work. I commend them to you.

For those of you who aren't familiar with Together for the Gospel, our pastor, who attended this year's conference, provides a good description on his blog. Here's an excerpt:

The word “gospel” literally means “good news.” This good news of God’s salvation through faith in Jesus Christ is revealed in Scripture. Sadly however, Satan is constantly working to distort, diminish, and decentralize the power, hope, and riches of the gospel. This is tragically evidenced in many churches where the clear, precise, bold, authoritative, and gracious proclamation of the gospel no longer holds central place in the life of the church. As one saint from the past has said, “the main thing about the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” Well, THE main thing is the gospel, and the church in every age must labor diligently to keep the main thing the main thing!!

To that end, one of the marvelous works God is doing in our day to help us keep the main thing the main thing surrounds a conference known as “Together for the Gospel” (”T4G” for short). This is a bi-annual conference that was first held in April of 2006 in Louisville, Kentucky, and then again this past April 15-17. The purpose and heartbeat of the conference grew out of the deep friendship of four men who share a common passion for the gospel: Dr. Albert Mohler, Dr. Mark Dever, Dr. J. Ligon Duncan, and C.J. Mahaney. Their vision has been to champion the centrality of the gospel, and to encourage friendships among believers, pastors in particular, who share a common passion for the gospel (even though there may be differences in secondary areas of doctrine and understanding). Each of these men spoke at the conference, along with messages from Dr. John Piper, Dr. John MacArthur, Dr. R.C. Sproul, and Pastor Thabiti Anyabwile.

I had the privilege of attending this year’s conference with my son Zach. Additionally from our church, Chuck Meadows, and with his son Ryan and son-in-law Dan attended. We joined about 5500 other people, mostly pastors, who attended the conference. Suffice it to say that the conference was profoundly refreshing and impacting. But rather than trying to describe it all for you, I would encourage you to go to the T4G website at There you can learn more about the men who spoke at the conference, see pictures, read the T4G statement of affirmations and denials concerning the gospel, and also listen to and/or download the messages. I was encouraged, convicted, and helped by all of the messages.


Sharon said...

Dave, how do you feel about being "T4G" with paedobaptists?

David said...

If they're articulating the true gospel, that's great. My concern with paedobapists has to do with the fact that so many folks are running around thinking they're saved simply because they were baptised as a kid. I'm assuming anyone at T4G would take great pains to avoid this misperception in their churches, right? But why not abandon the practice entirely to avoid even the possibility of confusing the gospel message? Enlighten us, please!

Sharon said...

I also see the possibility of this confusion for any child raised "in the church."

The reformed position holds that baptism is non-salvific and similar to circumcision as an external identifier of God's people. However, as is always the case:

"no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly..." Rom 2:28

For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but "Through Isaac shall your offspring be named." This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring. Rom. 9:7-9

So, it's not circumcision (or baptism) which saves, but they're signs of identification with God's people.

Anyway...more thoughts, no more time...

Stacy said...

psst...i hate to be unrelated but I was checking out James Hudson's site and was feeling nostalgic about the RCG River Cats night...any chance we'll get a group together again??

David said...

Great idea, Stacy. Are you volunteering to organize it?

Sharon said...

are you guys waiting to post again until you have some big news or announcement or something?

Christina said...

Sharon -
We usually do wait to post until we have something to say... =)