Thursday, April 27, 2006

Why I'm not at "Together for the Gospel"

The much anticipated "Together for the Gospel" mega-conference for Pastors is going on in Louisville (Wed-Friday), hosted by Mark Dever, Al Mohler, Ligon Duncan, and C. J. Mahaney. "Guest" speakers will include R. C. Sproul, John Mac Arthur, and John Piper. You can read a live blog of the meetings from Tim Chalice. My friend Travis Hilton is there and I thought about going with him but chose not. Why? Too much travel and time away from church and family. Too little conference money when I am going to the Richmond HEAV homeschool conference in June, the Greensboro SBC meeting in June, the Evangelical Forum and BGAV meeting in VA Beach in November, and the ETS meeting in DC in November. There will be another T4G meeting in 2008. Maybe then.
Another hesitation about this meeting is the whole notion of conferences to hear "celebrity" preachers. I know that this is the farthest thought from these men's minds and that their intentions are wholly good and godly for this conference, but it does perpetuate, even unwittingly, this mindset. Perhaps we are doing the same thing with our Evangelical Forum meetings (Dever spoke for us last year). But is this not the same sort of thing that worldly, seeker-sensitive, purpose driven evangelical types are criticized for? Come hear this great speaker, or attend this conference, and your ministry/life will be changed!
Another pet peeve: At the T4G blog you can read the conversation taking place between the four (Mohler, Dever, Duncan, and Mahaney) but you can't really take part (you can give comment but they are not posted). Though it is nice to overhear their conversation on ministry and theology, should we not be pursuing our own conversations with people who actually have the time to know us and who are not just trying to influence us?

1 comment:

Brian Hamrick said...


At least they didn't call it "in-flight entertainment!"

But seriously, this sort of "buzz" over who is speaking is a bit unavoidable. It happened when Jesus came to town. It happened when Paul traveled.

I hear your heart on this- the danger that these men would become more prominent than the Gospel. It seems they have taken the precautions themselves as best they can against that danger.

There is a side to this that I think is wholly good- if you preach God's Word well and faithfully, you will gain the respect and admiration (and interest) of your brothers and sisters around the world who may know of you. What an encouragement I pray that this is for men such as Piper, MacArthur, Dever, Mahaney, etc. to remain faithful to their calling.