What a conference. It was a long weekend, but one that was well worth it. Our friends at Southeastern Seminary continue to prove why they are one of the leading seminaries in SBC life with this collegiate conference. With speakers like Danny Akin, Matt Chandler, J.D. Greear & David Platt it's difficult to go wrong, and each of these men faithfully delivered God's Word. The media for the conference should be posted soon. Once it is I'll update the post to either include links, or to embed the files here on this site. Matt Chandler Matt couldn't be there in person due to his cancer treatments and so he recorded a video message instead. Much shorter than his typical messages, this message was incredibly powerful despite it's brevity.
Looking at Colossians 1:13-23 Chandler attempted, as he is prone to do, to take us immediately to the Gospel. Weaving in a variety of powerful statements Chandler helped us to understand the value of the Gospel, the immediacy of the need for the Gospel as well as the power of the Gospel to transform. In reference to what we have often taught about the Gospel, Chandler said, "What is the Gospel? In our Bible belt churches, we have consistently spoken about morality, and behaviors and we have confused people about the Gospel."
Speaking to the topic of our righteousness and how that impedes our embrace of the Gospel he offered the following, "God is righteous, and we are not. It's not the fact that our sinfulness is unclean that should rattle us, but rather it is the fact that our righteousness is unclean that should rattle us. We must be saved from both our sin & our righteousness. The Biblical Gospel is that we are hopelessly wicked, with nothing inside ourselves, that would allow us to transform ourselves. This runs counter to what we often value within the evangelical church today."
At the end Chandler really dug in and addressed our fear of engaging those who are desperately apart from the Gospel. He also addressed the danger of abandoning the Gospel for the ever popular "social concern" Gospel. In one of my favorite quotes he said, "Instead of taking the Gospel to culture, we withdraw because we're scared of "getting a little adultery on us". However, the flip side is equally dangerous. The Social Gospel is not the Gospel. Serving people is good, sending money to Haiti is important, but it's not the complete Gospel."
Dr. Akin has become one of the men I deeply respect within our SBC life. A man of unquestioned character, not to mention intellect, all partnered together with a great passion for the Gospel. As the President of Southeastern Seminary he is uniquely positioned to influence the world through his efforts to train men and women to faithfully advance the Gospel.
In a message that was by far the most passionate message I've ever heard from Dr. Akin, he dealt with the issue of Romans 12:1-2 and the implications of having the Gospel. In a message that challenged as much as any I've ever heard Dr. Akin offer, I particularly liked this quote. "Revelation brings responsibility. The more you know, the greater your responsibility. If you are hear and you have no intention of obedience you should not come back to worship. It will keep you from greater judgment."
In one of the more powerful quotes from his message, Dr. Akin dealt with those who call themselves believers but who are not committed to the Gospel when he said, "To do anything less than offer your entire self to Christ is insane. Too many churches are filled with cultural Christians who are comfortable with their existence and, if I may be clear, aren't worth spit. The culture won't pay any attention to that at all. The culture is not against us. The culture ignores us. We're no threat to them."
I am extremely grateful for his passion for educating men and women to take the Gospel to the nations!
David Platt Like so many others, David Platt is quickly becoming one the preachers who I am blessed by every time I hear him. This weekend was no exception. Dealing with the issue of risking for the Gospel, Platt walked through the early part of Acts and called the audience to radical sacrifice for the sake of the Gospel. "I want to call us this morning to forsake hopes, plans, dreams, possessions and ideas of nice, comfortable, safe middle-class American Christian life. To forsake it all in radical abandonment for Jesus Christ. I want us to envision what it would look like when the church is a radically Gospel-centered community that is spending ourselves for the spread of God's glory among the nations."
Platt identified two issues in the early church that shaped the way they approached the world. He said they were, "Radical concern for the needs around them Radical confidence in the One who saved them." By walking us through a discussion about these two topics were driven home as vital components of God's purpose.
J.D. Greear I really enjoyed hearing J.D. Greear spend his time debunking modern arguments, that really aren't modern at all, against Christ and His Gospel. Unofruntately I didn't get notes because I was a bit late from his session and didn't get a seat where I could plugin my laptop.
Due to the need to get to the airport I was unable to hear Clayton's message.
All things considered it was one of the most encouraging, challenging and refreshing trips I've been on in quite some time, even despite the difficult schedule. Throwing in the fact that I got to stay with my friend Nathan Finn made it an even better weekend. He and his wife Leah are incredibly gracious hosts!
Click here for more information about The College at Southeastern