Tuesday, 24 December 2013

2013 Conference Talks

We live in a great age where we can listen to audio from conferences around the world from anywhere. I normally listen to talks while driving to and from work. Below are a list of conferences which I listened to, mainly in my car in 2013.

The Gospel Coalition 2013 National Conference - By far this was the biggest conference this year. In fact it was broken into three conferences. The pre-conference was about missions, the main conference had plenaries on the book of Luke and break out sessions on a whole host of ministry topics. The post-conference was about work (in the secular sense). I listened to all but two of the talks. That was probably overkill, and you maybe better looking over the topics and picking what you would like to hear. I liked the workshop talks by Zane Pratt on helping overseas and the debate between Al Mohler and Bryan Chapell on Adam and the seven days of creation (I side with Chapell). Also I can't go past anything by David Platt, John Piper, Don Carson, Tim Keller, Stephen Um, Kevin DeYoung, J. D. Greear, Matt Chandler and Tullian Tchividjian. This conference is well worth a look.

Advance 13 - (can't find the right link http://www.advance13.com/sessions seems to be down - here are the videos) This was a great conference on building the local church. It looked at things like the mission of the Church, discipleship, leadership and contextualization would look like. The talks also didn't feel that long, like they were trying to cram in as many speakers as possible. This was good as the talks really has one or two points and were pretty direct. Speakers include Steve Timmis, Bryan Lorrits, John Piper, David Platt, Tyler Jones, J. D. Greear, Matt Chander and more.

9Marks at SBTS - This looked at how and why expository preaching is a good thing for a church. There were also some good discussions and examples on how not to make some Old Testament texts relevant by jumping straight to the self, but rather by going through Christ. Speakers include Mike Bullmore, Mark Dever, K. Edward Coplan, Albert Mohler, David Helm and Ryan Fullerton. (Also this year there was 9Marks at Southeastern 2013 which I never got round to listening to.)

Keswick 2013 - John Lennox gave five talks on the first chapter of Genesis 1. I haven't read his book 7 days that Divide the World, but I would imagine that the content of the book would be similar to these talks. These talks are on Genesis 1, but also about how to respond to the intellectual challenges that the world throws at Christianity in general.

Desiring God 2013 National Conference: The Romantic Rationalist: God, Life, and Imagination in the Work of C.S. Lewis - This was a whole conference celebrating 50 years after C. S. Lewis. It was an interesting conference as the speakers did not align directly with some of the theology of Lewis, but still they saw the great impact he had on the Christian (and non-Christian) world. Some of the talks were a bit academic and historical, but I really enjoyed the talks by the two Wilsons' and Joe Rigney. There were also a bunch of workshops that looked interesting, but again, I didn't get round to them. Speakers include David Mathis, Jonathan Parnell, N. D. Wilson, John Piper, Tony Reinke, Sam Storms, Doug Wilson, Kevin Vanhoozer, Randy Alcorn and more. (Also this year there was the Desiring God 2013 Pastors Conference: Brothers, We Are Still Not Professionals: Reclaiming the Centrality of the Supernatural in Ministry which looked alright).

KEC 2013: Unconditional Surrender  (audio is not free) - I attended this conference (blog post) and enjoyed the talks. Each of the three speakers had their own little series. Kirk Patson gave some great talks about people from the Old Testament as models of character we should mimic (in some areas), David Jones talked about how we should live in light of eternity and Peter Jensen spoke on the Sermon on the Mount.

CMCC: Courage - I also attended this conference (blog post). Nigel Fortesque talked about how we should be strong and courageous in God as he would never forsake us, flee from sin and trust in God's love for us, even if it doesn't look like but trust in Him because he told us He does love us.

Strange Fire - This was a whole conference arguing for cessationism and arguing against the charismatic movement. Before this conference I would have called myself a continuationis (like Piper and Grudem). I agree there are some crazies in the charismatic movement that should be shot down. I also agree that the modern gift of tongues is un-biblical, and I hold to the completion of God's word so "new" prophecies are wrong. After this conference I think I am now more a cessationist, which doesn't believe that the Holy Spirit doesn't work today, just that the gifts of tongues, prophecy and healing (in a certain way) have stopped. This is worth a listen to, even if you don't agree. Speakers include John MacArthur, Joni Eareckson Tada, R. C. Sproul, Steve Lawson, Conrad Mbewe, Tom Pennington, Nathan Busenitz, Phil Johnson and Justin Peters.

Cross - This conference hasn't happened yet (27th-30th Dec), but it looks like it would be worth a listen to. Speakers include D. A. Carson, Matt Chandler, Thabiti Anyabwile, Richard Chin, Kevin DeYoung, John Piper, David Platt and many more.

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