I have finally had a few minutes to sit down and think about the past 2 days here in Chicago at The Gospel Coalition and all I can say is, WOW!
Trying to take in all that has been shared by the speakers and workshop leaders is like trying to drink from a fire hose. It has been a great 2 days and the things learned truly are life changing if allowed to be. Whether it was the amazing talk on idols by Tim Keller, the genuine humility and honesty of Mark Driscoll, the fire and passion of John Piper and K. Edward Copeland, the pastoral exhorts from Phil Ryken and Bryan Chapell, or amazing testimony of A. Fernando, it has truly been a blessing to hear from such men.
Here are a few reflections:
1. John Piper's message was by far one of the most inspiring and exegetical messages I have heard. His call for pastors to fan the flame with the Word of God, "the white hot" flame of the gospel.
2. Mark Driscoll is a teachable, humble and growing pastor. His talk while probably being criticized and dissected by many was yes filled with 40 points, but also filled with humility and recognition of his own inadequacies. Driscoll has taken many shots from every side, but he is a man of integrity and passion for young men who want people to know Jesus. Men that have been influenced by Mark have become some of the most loving and willing mentors I know. I could not imagine what it felt like to be Mark and know that the group he talked to last night was probably filled with many who were waiting for him to slip, to do that with grace and love is a praise to God for Mark.
3. God has spoken to me along with many others through these men, and the message has been clear and convicting. Preach the gospel, proclaim God's truth to ALL, be courageous and fan the flame of the gospel, the power of God, in face of persecution, criticism and suffering, and do it in love and gentleness.
4. On a personal note, I still feel like a fish out of water at these conferences. I did not grow up in the church, I don't wear khakis and I don't get the Christian sub-culture sometimes. These times though have always provided a great world of learning and humility which I need, always.
All in all it has been a great conference and I feel like I have learned a lot and like always conviction and encouragement is what I take back with me.
Here are a few links to notes from some of the talks: