Stylos is the blog of Jeff Riddle, a Reformed Baptist Pastor in North Garden, Virginia. The title "Stylos" is the Greek word for pillar. In 1 Timothy 3:15 Paul urges his readers to consider "how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar (stylos) and ground of the truth."
Tuesday, October 01, 2013
Orientation to the 2013 Keach Conference
Image: Jeff Riddle, Rob Stovall, and Steve Clevenger at the 2013 Keach Conference
Note: It has become a custom for me to offer an "Orientation to the Keach Conference" on the opening evening of our meeting. Below is the "Orientation" for this year's meeting. You can also read the orientation to the 2009 meeting (the last one under the name "Evangelical Forum") and the 2012 meeting.
I extend to you greetings and welcome in the name of the Lord
Jesus Christ, on behalf of our host church which I serve as Pastor, and on
behalf of the Reformed Baptist Fellowship of Virginia.
It has become a custom for me to present some orientation to
this annual meeting.This is the twelfth
consecutive year that such a conference has been hosted in the Commonwealth of
Virginia for the purpose of stimulating fellowship, encouragement, reformation,
We have met under different names, as the “Evangelical Forum”
from 2002-2009 and as “The Keach Conference” from 2010 to present.
We have met at different times, though always in the fall of
We have met in different places, from large church meeting
houses to smaller non-traditional venues.
We have met in different formats, but since 2007 we have met
in a two-day format (Friday evening and Saturday morning) and since 2008 our
meeting has been scheduled to start on the last Friday of September (BTW, mark
your calendars now for Friday-Saturday, September 26-27, 2014).
We have addressed different topics, though in 2007 we
commenced an extended journey through the historic Puritan Baptist Second London Confession of Faith (1689)
taking each chapter consecutively as our annual theme.This year our theme is chapter seven, “Of
God’s Covenant.”At this rate, as the
Lord wills and if Christ tarries, we will complete the journey in 2038.This year as I perused the confession, I
noted that in my 72nd year the topic would be “Chapter 31:The State of Man after Death and the
Resurrection” and in my 73rd year we would complete the journey with
“Chapter 32:The Last Judgment”!Some of us may need to read ahead.We shall see what the Lord has in store.
We have had different speakers, but one constant has been the
high quality of the men who have spoken to us and the messages they have
delivered.This year will be no
exception as we welcome Dr. Richard Barcellos, a respected Reformed Baptist
pastor and theologian and veteran Pastor Ron Young, Sr..Ron has been preaching the Doctrines of Grace
in Virginia for over 60 years!I can say
of Ron as I said of Lloyd Sprinkle last year—paraphrasing the country song—he
was a Calvinist when Calvinism wasn’t cool.These men are among my heroes.One new wrinkle in our program this year is that for the first time we
are asking our keynote speaker to devote four messages to our central theme in
hopes of developing a more concentrated and sustained meditation on the topic.
We have met as different people.Each year the participants have been
different.One constant, however, has
been the fellowship we have enjoyed.
At the close of the “Enchanted Ground” scene in Bunyan’s
classic Pilgrim’s Progress, Christian
who has been in “conference” with Hopeful along the way, sings this song:
When saints do sleepy grow, let them come hither,
And hear how these two pilgrims talk
Yea, let them learn of them, in any
Thus to keep ope their drowsy slumb’ring
Saints’ fellowship, if it be managed
Keeps them awake, and that in spite
Indeed, may the “Saints’ fellowship” we
share in this 2013 Keach Conference be part of the means God has provided to
keep us awake and alert as we make the pilgrimage through this life.