These Two Paragraphs Have Nothing To Do With Each Other

I am concerned about popular evangelical Christianity. No, that’s not right, I’ve always been concerned about popular evangelical Christianity for a number of reasons. I am concerned about popular, theologically-minded evangelical Christianity. Better. Anyway, my concern is that while we may distance ourselves from megachurches with rock star CEO pastors, we are falling for a different sort of rock star. While we may not be impressed with megachurches, we do seem to be a bit enamored of megaconferences. T4G, Desiring God National Conference, Resurgence, etc. draw crowds and a lot of buzz. The regular group of speakers are the stars. I’m not saying that these conferences are bad or that they are not helpful. I have been tremendously blessed and challenged by DGM conferences and the Gospel Coalition conference too. What is beginning to bother me is that we make it an event. "I was at T4G" rather than "Lig Duncan’s message at T4G really shook me. It lead me to focus more on Jesus in some significant ways…" It isn’t that Lig was wrong or didn’t say stuff, it is that the significance we find in the conference might begin to be attendance and the event rather than the content. We might begin to treasure the event as much as the preaching or teaching we receive there. When T4G started a contest to give away free registrations and it showed up in a number of my RSS feeds, it just kind of hit me that we may be beginning to distort what is truly important at these things.

Just the other day I got to spend some time listening to the messages from Redeemer that lead to Keller’s book Reasons for God. In the excellent message on hell, Keller mentioned Miroslav Volf and his book Exclusion and Embrace. That kind of rekindled my desire to attend the upcoming Wheaton Theology Conference. Volf will be the keynote speaker and the topic will be Rediscovering The Trinity. I think I’m going to use some income tax refundage to attend this one. I really got a lot out of a couple of Volf’s books in seminary. Also, one of my favorite teachers, Kevin Vanhoozer, will be speaking too. As will be Gordon Smith whose book Beginning Well really got me thinking about conversion. It is on my shortlist of books to read again.

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