Monday, November 12, 2007

WOW!!!!


If I could sum up in one word the way I felt after attending the 2007 Miami Pastor's Conference, the above title would say it all. I mentioned in my first ever post that I was syked to attend this event and, after it ended on Saturday afternoon, I was immediately craving November 6-8, 2008 (the dates for next year's conference). As usual, Pastor Armstrong and the Glendale Baptist Church family, was extremely gracious to all the participants in all their labors--from directing us to our hotels to the wonderful meals they provided for us (I still have those collard greens from Thursday night on my mind).

Another thing that I loved about the conference was the personal interaction that I had with my African-American Reformed heroes. I was literally starstruck in meeting and talking with Rev. Ken Jones, Thabiti Anyabwile, and Sherrard Burns. I was also re-introduced to Anthony Carter and met (for the first time) such wonderful men like Dr. Hensworth Jonas, Louis Love, Robert Benson, Lance Lewis, Reddit Andrews, Michael Horton, and Michael Leach.
I owe these men so much for empowering me to finish Seminary, and it was an amazing honor to tell them this in person. It was also really cool to meet other participants such as Quincy Jones from Ft. Worth (TX), Kelvin Tarver from Sacramento (CA), and Allen Bynoe from Atlanta (GA).

As far as the preaching goes, I wish I could explain each sermon and workshop in the conference, but time would not permit (however, I will make comments about each one separately during the next few weeks on this blog). But here are some of the sermons and workshops that I will treasure from this event:

African-Americans making the case for Reformed Theology: Coming from Acts 17, Anthony Carter encouraged us, as African-Americans, to find common ground with other races within the same theological perspective. He demonstrated this in many points, one being by showing that our faith entails the same historical figures (such as Augustine, Wycliffe, Luther, Calvin, etc.) as our white brothers ans sisters. And thus, we should use this as a way to build harmony that will ultimately break the racial separation that has plagued the church for centuries. Another convicting point that Rev. Carter brought up was the necessity of writing. He correctly stated that, as African-Americans, we have very little material that comes from our Reformed perspective. Thus, it is our job--not just to support each other's work--but to leave a legacy for the next Reformed African-American generation that will give them the means to tie their experience with their faith. Lastly, this workshop also had the funniest moment of the conference in which Pastor Hensworth Jonas stated that he wanted to know more about the "hoop" in traditional black preaching.

The Gospel and the Fall of Man: Michael Leach set the church on fire with this message on Thursday Night. He beautifully showed how God has been so gracious with His giving of the Gospel by focusing on the condition of Adam and Eve (and thus, ourselves) after they fell in the Garden. This sermon brought my appreciation of God's goodness to a whole new level.

Limited Atonement/Particular Redemption: This was a workshop held Friday afternoon by Rev. Sherrard Burns. Using John 10, Rev. Burns showed how the Scripture truly teaches that Christ died for a particular people and not the world as a whole. He addressed "proof texts" from the opposing side (such as 2 Peter 3:9; John 3:16), and encouraged us to praise the God of Heaven and Earth for being loving enough to choose us as His peculiar people.

The Comfort of the Gospel: I have heard Anthony Carter preach before, but this was--without question--one of my favorite sermons from him, if not of all-time. Coming from Isaiah 40:1-5, Rev. Carter stated that, on Sunday, we as preachers need to understand that the people we minister to have been in a battle with Satan all week long. And a lot of times, they come in discouraged, beat up, and weary from the affairs that being in Christ produces. It is here that we need to inform them that while the battles may be hard, the war is over due to the person and work of Christ. So, we must encourage our people in this fact to give them renewed strength in their walk with the LORD Jesus.

As the next few weeks come along, I will give more info about this life-changing Conference. And I would like to encourage you now to set aside November 6-8, 2008 for next year's Pastor's Conference at Glendale Baptist Church. I promise you it will revolutionize your life and doctrine.

2 comments:

Debra-Anne said...

Great coverage! Looking forward to the detailed accounts in the weeks to come. Be sure to share with us what actions you are (and will be) taking as a result.

Cubanbybirth-ReformedbytheGraceofGOD said...

Yes my friend you were starstruck. I was trying to get you to come out of your shell. :) I am still uncertain of Knox' accreditation status though. Come on now you couldn't give me a shoutout? ;)