07 March 2008

In Case You Missed It. . .

by Phil Johnson

Evers Ding has been liveblogging the Shepherds' Conference. Great summaries; tons of information and pictures. He has really captured the flavor of the week.

There's more at the Pulpit blog. (See right sidebar).

Phil's signature

17 comments:

Sled Dog said...

Is Sheperd's Conference for Calvinist Pastors only? I ask because the past two years the word "Calvinist" has been in the title of the opening message given by John MacArthur. I guess I'm unclear why the issue of Calvinism is so prominent?

Janet said...

He is doing a great job! It's been fun to follow along. My hubby is there!

Strong Tower said...

That was a nice summary- clear, succint, definitive.

Dings is a nice spot.

sleddog- No, it's for non-Biblicists only;)

JMacArthur's was hitting on being bought by Christ. The closing chorus was "I'm a doulos, you're a doulos, wouldn't you like to be a doulos, too? Be a doulos, come be a doulos."

I suppose then you're right. A doulos doesn't do his own will, cause it ain't free to do so.

Ron said...

Phil

Amen and kudos. Your message addresses an issue that's presently attempting to creep into my church in a much clearer way than I have been. May God be glorified by His sword, the Word.

Sharon said...

to be sure, the closing message last night was amazing and powerful.

Oh, and the music wasn't bad, either. :-)

A Musician by Grace

Stefan said...

Thanks for the link.

Mike Riccardi said...

Sled Dog,

Substitute "the gospel" for "Calvinism," and it should all become clear.

Sled Dog said...

Mike,

Wow. How did people come to Christ before Calvin?

The gospel is the cross, which goes back 2000 years, not 400. Not one person has ever been saved by a theological system. Only by Jesus.

Is not the Gospel being obfusated by calling it something else?

DJP said...

First time here, SD?

Rileysowner said...

Sled dog, while Calvinism has become a convenient term used today, the roots of Calvinism go back through the early church to the apostles and even to Christ himself. When one studies Calvin the two things that stand out are first how he goes to the scriptures and second, how knowledgeable of the writings of the early church fathers he was.

Strong Tower said...

Paul calls it my teaching, in fact the word teaching, or message, faith, word, are equivalents.

But specifically, is it fair to call the Gospel Paulism?

Would it change one bit the meaning to change the name? What is meant when Calvinism is called the Gospel? Has the understanding of the Gospel changed? Are you sure? Are you a Husky because you have called yourself sled dog? Do you wolf your food from a bowl on the floor rather than sit at the table and wolf your food?

Are you obfuscated, feeling a little fuzzy, unclear, kinda like the Shaggy Professor. Ever been called, honey- that must feel strange! How does changing the name change the substance. Is there a difference between the Gospel of the Kingdom, the Gospel Christ, The Gospel of Jesus, "our" Gospel, what does it matter?

Isn't it obfuscation to call it the Gospel in the first place? Why not the Promise, or just the Message, or perhaps so as not to confuse it, the literal, rather than a transliteral rendering, and keep to "good news" or maybe go more oldish and call it the Evangel or, Evangile, if you're Frank, or go ancient and call it what it was: "The gospel is the cross, which goes back 2000 years, not 400," the euaggelion. But wait, if the Gospel is the cross, maybe we should call it the xulon (dszulawn).

Or just quit obfuscating the reality with silliness...

Sled Dog said...

1 Corinthians 2:1-2: When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.

Amen.

Sled Dog said...

Simply put, I am dismayed with the ministry of John MacArthur in his twilight years. I'm expecting to hear more Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, but instead I hear calvinism and dispensationalism in the forefront. It seems to me, IMHO, more about theology (which is highly important) than the wonderful, amazing, good news of the Gospel.

Calvinism is not the Gospel.

Sharon said...

S.D. I don't know what "MacArthur" you have been listening to, but having sat under his ministry for all of my born-again years (37 years now), I can say without hesitation that John MacArthur preaches Christ, and Him crucified; in season and out of season.

You learn best of the Lord Jesus through the study and teaching of His Word. That is John's passion. And we are the better Christians for it!

A Musician by Grace

Libbie said...

So, sled dog, could you explain the gospel without theology?

Or did I just ask you to paint a rainbow without using colours?

Sled Dog said...

To all,

I'm not looking to come in here and be a MacArthur basher. I'm a former GCC member and plenty of J-Mac books line my bookshelf. I'm not saying that he doesn't preach the biblical gospel message.

But I do find it a little concerning that MacArthur never seems to receive any criticism from these circles. He is often praised, which he often deserves, but it appears to me that questioning or challenging him is unthinkable. Just my unimportant opintion.

I actually think MacArthur's message was thought provoking, but I felt that adding Calvinist to the title was unnessecary, and that he overplayed his hand on the danger of contextualization (which is an issue of great concern.)

Libbie,

Of course the gospel is theology. But I didn't even hear the words calvinism or dispensationalism until ten years into my Christian life. I certainly was saved without the knowledge of these two theological schools of thought. I'm not against theological discourse, but may my passion for these things never superscede my passion for the simple Gospel message of a crucified Savior for our sins.

Last thought, and then I will leave this discussion. I find it interesting that the Apostle John, one of the "Sons of Thunder," in his later years of ministry was known to go into the churches and simply preach to the followers of Christ, "Dear children, love one another." It doesn't mean he didn't deal with theological error, but his heart for the church was that they demonstrate the grace and love of Christ.

Strong Tower said...

sled dog- you need to check out my other blog- A Rose By Any Other Name- You can navigate there from here- See the post on essentials. TUAD or Jugulum, I can't remember, which one, maybe both, do not agree with my position, one which I took in defense of the inerrancy of Scripture at P&P, but I am not hurt. Well, its nothing I cannot get over or get better by...and I don't feel like choking them...much...

I have been critical of JMac many times. I won't have you research my comments of Pulpit Magazine. I have been critical of him here. Shhh, don't tell anyone...

However, I still appreciated very much what he does and represents. I recommend him highly to friends that are "non" Calvinist, because of his wonderful books and guides to understanding the faith. He performs a valuable service by being the "traditional" man with whom even those who oppose Calvinism can be comfortable. Unlike me... Then there is this issue also: He is Phil's Pastor and Boss- That really puts the stops on beating up on him. We have been asked not to out of deference to Phil. I can appreciate that. My mom is an unbeliever, and I get down right nasty when my sibs get down on her, ya know?

I have no problems with Phil's request. I would guess if you avoid names you might get away with criticisms of his various positions...

Anyway, that's how I see it. And, I hope you don't mind me picking on you, I like fleas...

I didn't hear of the Cal/Arminian Divide until my old radio mentor Walter Martin mentioned that he was a Calvarminian, oh about twenty-five years ago, and it wasn't until about five years ago or so that I came to a moment of crisis in my theology when I found my self disputing the omnicience of God defending free-will. I disagree with Walter now, and I trust that he knows better, but thank God I loved how he taught and set me free from a bunch of bogus teaching by his faithful exegesis of Scripture. Now, looking back, I wish I had heard more, earlier, it would have saved me and my family a gazillion headaches and sorrows. But, the case is that those who oppose Calvinism are loathe to talk about it unless they're forced into a corner. Praise be to God that He has, always, emphatically made all things to be brought into the light.