Rick Phillips, senior minister at Second Presbyterian Church, was kind to invite me to speak at the conference. Pray for me as I prepare messages from 1 Peter 2:4–10 and from Psalm 121.
Besides these wonderful Scriptural texts, here are three reasons why I’d be so glad if you came.
First, come for the conference theme, “The Sovereignty of God.”
There are few biblical doctrines that revolutionize our understanding of God and his ways more than the doctrine of God’s sovereignty. That is, the truth that God is before all things, over all things, and working in and through all things. There is no atom of space and no minute of time that is outside of his providential control. This is, of course, a doctrine that raises a host of questions. What does it mean when the Psalmist writes, “Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases” (Ps. 115:3)? What does it mean for my own salvation? What does it mean for our evangelism of our neighbors? What does it mean for our prayers? These are the kinds of questions we’ll address at this year’s conference. The conference talk titles and schedule are available on the conference website.
Second, Kevin DeYoung and Rick Phillips are rare gifts to the church.
Friends, I commend these brothers to you. They are faithful pastors, preachers of God’s Word, and allies for the gospel in our region. Many of you are familiar with Rick Phillips, this past year’s men’s retreat speaker. I commend you to his many helpful books. Rick has been a friend to Heritage and a friend to me. As for Kevin, there are few more reliable and readable pastor-writers than Kevin. When someone expresses interest to me in pursuing pastoral ministry, I’ll often point him to Kevin’s blog for regular reading. From children’s books, to a book for the crazy busy, to a book on Scripture, to a book on homosexuality and the Bible, to a book for church leaders on the mission of the church, Kevin is serving the church well. Read the bios on the conference speakers for more information.
Third, the joy of gospel partnership.
You’ll remember that when Paul wrote to the church at Colossae, he reminded them of the gospel which “is bearing fruit and increasing” throughout the whole world (Col. 1:6). We need the perspective that comes through simple partnerships like a conference weekend such as this. You’ll notice that I’m speaking with two Presbyterian ministers. I share many doctrines in common with these men, but we differ at important points, especially when it comes to, as an example, the question of infant baptism or church polity. For purposes of church life and leadership, it’s good for us to do things apart. But for purposes of the advance of the gospel in our region, it’s great for us to do some things together.