Have you even been so captivated by a speaker that time seemed non-existent and the space you occupied faded from your conciousness? That has been our experience at the Prince Center the past few days. We walk into the conference room, take our seats, and then find ourselves transported to another time, another place, desiring to take up mental residence there indefinitely. So you can imagine how we felt when the last hymn was sung and the last prayer was prayed.
We shared the opening conference day in the last post; here’s a small recap of Friday. The morning began with a beautiful sunrise which we enjoyed during an early run.
Next, the goodness progressed as Carl Trueman lectured on Martin Luther. Here are some of the highlights from “What Luther Teaches Us Today.”
1. Creation is a linguistic action of God; Divine speech is creative speech.
2. Reality is what God says it is.
3. There are two accounts of reality given in Genesis—God’s and Satan’s. The question is, whose speech would Adam and Eve believe?
4. It is the speech of God that declares a man to be righteous; God brings into being a state of affairs, making it reality.
5. Don’t look at the world and think that’s how God is. Look to the cross.
6. God’s love doesn’t find what is lovely, it creates what is lovely.
7. Faith can be defined as acceptance of God’s proclaimed reality.
8. The soul can do without anything except the Word of God.
Joel Beeke followed Dr. Trueman, speaking on the subject “What William Perkins Teaches Us Today.” William Perkins is considered the father of Puritanism. His published writings in England (during the 16th century) exceeded the published works of Calvin, Luther, and Beza combined. Here are some highlights from Dr. Beeke’s lecture.
1. In every sermon there are two ministers—the external minister and the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit shoots the arrows into a person’s heart.
2. We should find great comfort in the sovereignty of God.
3. One should always be preparing for death. Don’t delay the good you plan to do.
4. Pray for God to use you and expect suffering.
5. Balance unity and controversy—be quick to comfort and quick to exhort.
6. The scriptures are our counselors. Take the principles of the Word and apply them to life circumstances.
7. Preaching is the primary means of grace.
Dr. Beeke brought along a volume from Perkins Works to share with us. Would you believe this volume came from the personal library of Charles Spurgeon? And not only that, the entire three-volume set transferred ownership to Arthur Pink following Spurgeon’s death. Pink’s personal notes are written throughout the book’s pages.
I couldn’t believe I was holding in my hands a book that Surgeon and Pink held in theirs. I even brushed my fingers over Spurgeon’s personal seal imprinted on the title page. I know, I know, it’s just a book. But I’m one of those people who spend days rummaging through antique book stores. I come alive at the smell of dusty old books, so this was a special moment for me. And of course, I took lots of photos.
There was a gentlemen sitting in the section next to ours that looked so familiar. I knew I had met him before, but I couldn’t place where. Then it hit me—he was the guest speaker at our church’s mission conference a few years back. He also turned out to be the next speaker we were privileged to hear. So after we sang my favorite hymn, “How Sweet and Awesome is the Place,” Dr. Elias Medeiros spoke to us on the subject “The Reformers Commitment to the Propagation of the Gospel to All Nations.” He served as our break-out session leader as well. Here are some highlights of his lecture.
1. Although historians claim that the Reformers lacked missionary zeal, the opposite is true. Calvin never limited his ministry to Geneva.
2. The definition of “mission field” is all unsaved people in the world.
3. Use terminology carefully. Submit every term to the Scriptures.
4. To be missional is to live as a sent one of God, manifesting His name.
5. The word “work” is better than the word “mission” and more biblical.
6. The Scriptures are a vineyard in which we should all be workers.
7. Evangelist is an office, not a gift. We are all witnesses.
8. Live sacrificially. You can’t do the work without giving your life.
9. Deny yourself for the sake of the cross.
Friday evening Dr. Michael Haykin spoke on “William Tyndale and Sola Scriptura.” Dr. Haykin is a professor of Church History and Biblical Spirituality as well as a prolific writer. I was so enthralled by his lecture that I probably missed a few things in my notes, but here’s some points of interest.
1. There are a limited number of Tyndale Bibles in existence. One of them sold for $2 million in 1994.
2. There are things in life for which we must be prepared to die. God’s authoritative Word is one of them.
3. Tyndale was created to be a translator.
4. The Kings James Bible is 90% Tyndale.
5. Tyndale’s Bible made the Scriptures live for the English people for 400 years.
6. Tyndale was betrayed and burned at the stake in 1536. The Bible comes to us at the cost of blood.
After a full day of Reformation history, we met again in the evening for one more lecture and then a Q & A time with all the speakers.
And a few more photos. . .