20 October 2009

Sovereignty of God conference in Rio Rico, AZ

by Dan Phillips

I had the pleasure of being the speaker at the South Arizona Grace Bible Conference over the weekend. My host was Pastor Jim Kirby, of Sovereign Grace Baptist Church in Rio Rico, Arizona.

Every bit of it was a blessing of one kind or another. Being invited was a blessing, the hours of hard study and prep were a blessing, and the trials that constituted spiritual prep were a blessing.

I told Jim (not entirely joking) that I didn't think I wanted to do a conference on the sovereignty of God again. In addition to the reading and praying and thinking and writing, there was the suffering that God graciously saw fit to send as preparation. Some of it was in the form of heartaches on a personal level, some was in the form of a number of what a pagan would call "misfortunes" — things just going wrong for me and/or my family. The collateral damage even extended to poor Pastor Kirby, whose truck broke down as he came to pick me up at the airport.

It's the collateral damage that is the more painful, as any pastor who loves his family will attest. My dear wife sacrificially made sure I had time to study and prepare, but hardship came her way as well.

But seeing the good brothers and sisters again, and meeting new friends, was a joy; and bringing the messages was also a joy. As an added treat, pianist Sam Rotman gave his testimony, and a brief performance on the piano.

Old septic [sic] that I am, I greeted Sam's promise of a five-minute testimony with a raised eyebrow. But the man was every bit as good as his word, and it was a gripping testimony — as was his piano performance at the next session. (Further inevitable humbling came my way as I went 'way overtime in my own session; I knew I would on this one, though — it should have been two messages, but I felt compelled to give it all.)

The four messages I brought on Saturday had me so worn out that I asked the Kirbys if we were "still in California," as we drove to dinner. Oops. People who think preaching isn't hard work — well, I understand their thinking it, but I think they think it because they haven't done it.

Or if they've done it, and it wasn't hard work, they did it wrong.

My public thanks to Jim Kirby for inviting me yet again, to him and his wife Paulette (who the Lord has used to bring a number of sisters to Himself, though her personal Bible studies) for hosting me, and to the good folks of their church for making me feel welcome.

Jim is a fellow-Calvidispiebaptogelical, and so he also knows how it is sometimes to feel like a lonely sparrow on a rooftop.

In case anyone cares to hear them, the messages are online. Of course you're free to listen to none, any, or all, just as you wish. But there is a designed progression. Each is premised on what proceeds

Here you go:
The Sovereign God and Creation

The Sovereign God and Free Will
The Sovereign God and Evil

The Sovereign God and the Plan of Redemption

The Sovereign God and Salvation

The Sovereign God and Christian Prayer and Endeavor

Dan Phillips's signature


Even So... said...

People who think preaching isn't hard work — well, I understand their thinking it, but I think they think it because they haven't done it.

Or if they've done it, and it wasn't hard work, they did it wrong.


John said...

But it's a good kind of hard work.

I'm going to download this fruit of your hardwork and God's dealing with you. Thanks for sharing.

JG said...

I'll have to listen to these later, but thanks for providing them. Downloading as we....type....

Penn Tomassetti said...

Hearing about your family's suffering is moving to me since I do not know what happened, and that is alright, so I will pray. I'm right now praying that our Sovereign God would comfort you and them, and that He would strengthen you (plural) in faith, love and joy in the Holy Spirit.

May His grace be with you and I'm going to listen to your messages. Thanks,
Penn T.

DJP said...

Thanks, Penn. We're fine, thank God. Ranges from vexing inconveniences to 2 Timothy 3:12.

JackW said...

Old "septics" should know that in music, timing is everything.

Rebecca Stark said...

Woohoo! I've got a big boring job to do today and I've run out of sermons/lectures/talks to listen to. I came online to find something to download to the iPod but decided to check my feeds first.

Your timing is perfect; God is sovereign.

~Mark said...

Thanks for sharing these Dan, and thanks for verifying that when all those "horrible" things precede a service it's opportunity for growth! :D

Penn Tomassetti said...

The two message I have now listened to are thoroughly Biblical. Thanks for doing the hard work to put together such Scriptural studies.

and may God's confirming grace be with you all (Phil. 1:27-30).

David_and_Goliath said...

Hi Dan, it was a pleasure meeting you in person and chatting more about the Sovereignty of God together. I told you I'd send you a post...so here I am.

Thanks for the hard work and good materials you gave us.

God Bless - David E.

DJP said...

Thanks so much for going to so much trouble to be there, David. It was a real pleasure meeting you!

Unknown said...

How sad Dan's compromise of ultimate Biblical authority concerning chronology in his first lecture on "The Sovereign God and Creation" by only mentioning the rank and bogus deist bastard "intelligent design" and not the only even rational, much less Biblical, creation position of young-earth/universe creation exhaustively defended at places like www.creation.com and www.answersingGenesis.org. It's one of my main reasons for having so little respect for the falsely-so-called "sovereign grace" position that only rarely holds to it being sovereign over chronology, usually compromising with the world when it comes to falsely-so-called "science" that is far more "barking mad" than even Dan describes it, were the truth known.
It has been a great grief for me to see those who taught me to love God's Word abandon it over this issue (e.g. Walter Kaiser, John Ankerberg and the late Gleason Archer and Jim Boice), deluded into imagining modern so-called "scientists" have anything rational or intelligent to say on this subject, most professing "christians" stupidly still allowing these manifestly lawless Romans 1 quacks/snake oil salesmen (e.g. fascist "global warming" & "climate change" hogwash) to trump ultimate Biblical authority over chronology. How sad the inconsistency of creationists in usually rejecting the ultimate authority of God's Word for synergism and monergists rejecting it for evolution or its deist bastard ID versus the only reasonable position of young-earth/universe creation unanimously held by the Church before Darwin's apostasy and collapse (http://e-sword-users.org/users/node/1919).

Morris Brooks said...


You could have used a few more adjectives/invectives.

RichardS said...

Russ, some people take Genesis 2 as the Word of God also. Gleason Archer's position is that it is impossible to take Genesis 2 literally without understanding Genesis 1 as something less than a strict chronological sequence of events. If you take Genesis 1 as strictly chronological, it contradicts Genesis 2 which does not follow the same chronology. Your appreciation for God's Word is commendable, but I would suggest a very close reading of Genesis 2 as well.

Genesis 2 has God creating the man in v. 7. In verse 18 He said that it was not good for the man to be alone and that He would make a helper for him. But v. 19 has God forming the beasts of the field and the birds of the sky out of the ground. Verses 21-23 have God creating the woman out of man’s rib while the chronology of Genesis 1 has God creating the animals before the man or the woman. God is indeed sovereign and all of His Word is God-breathed. He is sovereign enough to use literary devices to make His points. After all, the Psalms tell us that trees clap their hands.

DJP said...

Oh my gosh, it's like the unfunniest characters from a humorless comedy invading a drama, grimly intent on ruining it.

Mike Riccardi said...

Dude, where's Russ's pastor on that one? That's just ridiculous.

DJP said...

Anyone who actually sanely listens will think the same, Mike. His rant has almost nothing to do with the session, which wasn't about how to interpret the days of Genesis, and didn't even mention the issue.

Even sillier, given that I — this week's target of Russ' towering indignation — am a young-earth, literal-day guy. It just wasn't the topic of the session, and didn't even come up. He completely missed it.

Stefan Ewing said...

Pastor Dan:

Thanks to the church and to you for making these sessions available.

Thanks also for pointing me to a musician I hadn't heard of before—and what a great testimony!

lawrence said...

I listened to some of the first clip as well, and since you didn't mention anything about the Gifts ceasing, I am extremely happy to welcome you to the charismatic camp.

DJP said...

Thanks, Lawrence. I'm always gratified when someone takes time out of his busy day to give me a careful and fair hearing.


Unknown said...

Dan's comment in his 2nd talk on "free will" isn't quite correct. It's not really that the issue of so-called "free will" is really so complex as much as that man has made it so, as with antitheism-misotheism (including Doug Wilson's clever definition: 1 there is no God and 2. I hate him), his desperate attempt to escape the divine "trap" to the point of gnawing off his leg or committing intellectual suicide to escape, where it is so simple that a child can joyfully grasp it (an infant can easily wade in it) and at the same time so deep as to exhaust the mental resources of all theologians (an elephant can easily swim in it).

DJP said...

So, too many Bible verses in that talk for you, Russ?