Serious Sound Bites from Strong Men: Thoughts from Our Conference Speakers

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The Desiring God National Conference happens September 29-October 1, 2006 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Here is a flavor of what you will taste or what you will miss. Actually, you don’t have to miss it. We will put the messages up on the web as soon as we can for you to listen to for free. Pray for us. Fire can ignite passion or consume people. Light can blind or guide. We would like to be ignited on the clear path of truth.

Voddie Baucham on His Conversion and Christianity as a Worldview

The most influential factor in my life was my upbringing. I was raised in a Buddhist home in South Central Los Angeles and never even heard the Gospel until I got to college. I was saved in college, then discipled by two football teammates at Rice University. Because I came from a different worldview, I examined Christianity from a broader perspective, not just assuming it was true from the way I was raised. I think having investigated it from that more objective perspective has given me a greater respect for Christianity as a worldview. It has caused me to analyze things that many Christians who grew up in the church take for granted. So when I see certain behaviors and patterns in the church that are not Biblical, an alarm in me goes off. (

Mark Driscoll on Manhood

In Seattle, the young men are, generally, pathetic. They are unlikely to go to church, get married, have children, or do much of anything else that smacks of being responsible. But they are known to be highly skilled at smoking pot, masturbating, playing video games, playing air guitar, free-loading, and having sex with their significant others. However, the emerging-church massage-parlor antics of labyrinth-walking by candlelight will do little more than increase the pool of extras for television’s Will and Grace. (Radical Reformission, p. 184)

David Wells on Today’s Spirituality

While it is the case that the various religions are sometimes raided for their ideas, today’s spirituality remains a deeply privatized matter whose access to reality is through a pristine, uncorrupted self. And all this happens without any necessary reference to, or connection with, others. With its individualism, its wholly privatized understanding, its therapeutic interest, its mystical bent, its experimental habits, its opposition to truth as something which mediates the nature of an unchanging spiritual realm, its anti-institutional bias, its tilt toward the East, its construction of reality, and its can-do spirit, it is something which is emerging from the very heat of the postmodern world. (Above All Earthly Pow’rs, p. 152)

D. A. Carson on False Alternatives

So which shall we choose? Experience or truth? The left wing of an airplane, or the right? Love or integrity? Study or service? Evangelism or discipleship? The front wheels of a car, or the rear? Subjective knowledge or objective knowledge? Faith or obedience?

Damn all false antitheses to hell, for they generate false gods, they perpetuate idols, they twist and distort our souls, they launch the church into violent pendulum swings whose oscillations succeed only in dividing brothers and sisters in Christ. The truth is that Jesus Christ is Lord of all—of the truth and of our experience. The Bible insists that we take every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ. (Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church, p. 234)

Tim Keller on the Gospel

The gospel is: you are more sinful and flawed than you ever dared believe yet you can be more accepted and loved than you ever dared hope at the same time because Jesus Christ lived and died in your place. . . .

“True faith saith not: ‘What have I done? . . . What do I deserve?’ But it saith: ‘what hath Christ done? What doth he deserve?’ . . . Therefore he that apprehendeth Christ by faith . . . may be bold to glory that he is righteous. How? Even by that precious jewel, Christ Jesus, which he possesseth by faith.” (Martin Luther, Commentary on Galatians)

Irreligious people seek to be their own saviors and lords through irreligion, “worldly” pride. (“No one tells me how to live or what to do, so I determine what is right and wrong for me!”) But moral and religious people seek to be their own saviors and lords through religion, “religious” pride. . . . Both irreligion and religion are forms of self salvation.

To “get the gospel” is to turn from self-justification and rely on Jesus’ record for a relationship with God. The irreligious don’t repent at all, and the religious only repent of sins. But Christians also repent of their righteousness. That is the distinction between the three groups—Christians, moralists (religious), and pragmatists (irreligious).

“Lay your deadly doing down, down at Jesus’ feet.
Stand in Him, in Him alone—gloriously complete.” (Unknown)
(Partnership, June 1996: “Redeemer: The Centrality of the Gospel”)

Eager to listen with you,

Pastor John