Image: Scene from 2011 GPTS Spring Conference.
Last day at the GPTS conference.
The first morning session was Dr. John Carrick of GPTS on "Spirit and Revival." He traced the First Great Awakening and contrasted it with the weaknesses of The Second Great Awakening (Finney-ism, "new measures," etc.).
The second and final session was Dr. Pipa on "Spirit and Preaching." He defined preaching as "the verbal proclamation of the Word of God by the man that has been set apart for that purpose, the ordained minister of God." Focused then on two aspects of preaching:
1. Preparation. He reminded us that sermons are not research papers. Preachers must pray over their exegesis, pray over their sermon crafting, pray for the message, and pray for the people.
2. Proclamation. Here he stressed the unction in preaching given by the Spirit. Quoted Marcel: "If the Spirit is absent, there may be a sermon but not a preaching." Another Marcel remark was that if the minister feels he must stick to his notes or manuscript he makes two prisoners: the preacher and the Spirit. No matter what he takes into the pulpit (notes, outline, manuscript, memorized text) the preacher must be free to depart from it as the Spirit leads.
He closed with practical effects: (1) preaching must be plain, hiding human wisdom; (2) preaching must be with fervent passion that is consistent with the preacher personally.
Conference ended at lunchtime. Very encouraging and inspiring. Can "old school" Baptists do what the "old school' Southern Presbyterians at GPTS have done?
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