Archive for the ‘Conferences’ Category
Posted on June 11th, 2015 by Jonathan
We live in a time where we are exposed to more news headlines than at any time in human history. In the ancient days of news, anchors checked the AP newswire for stories and reported on them and people in their homes watched or people in their cars listened to radio. Today, everyone, is essentially checking the wire, all day, through social media. We also live in a time when it’s has never been easier to publicly express an opinion. Before the Internet, if something happened, you might have picked up the phone to call someone or perhaps you might discuss it at work, around the water cooler. But today we are all pundits, all with commentary on what is happening right now.
Quite often this new reality is leveraged for good. If a disaster strikes, more people can be informed than in previous generations. Social networks can be good conduits for raising money for important charity, for networking and communicating with wider groups of people. In many ways, the new paradigm has flattened leadership, forcing organizations to be more transparent and less hierarchical. All this is good.
Still, followers of Christ need to think through how they process the news, particularly how we react to the headlines that come across our screens every day. Here are three tips I think that might help:
1. Don’t react to headlines, get the full story. I think James 1:19 is instructive here. If I could paraphrase, I’d say we should be “swift to hear, slow to tweet, slow to outrage.” We often get it backwards. Two things work against us slowing down and getting the story right: confirmation bias and our need to be the first and most clever to speak. First, because we can tailor our news intake (more on that below) to our specific point of view and bias, we tend to gravitate to news headlines that confirm what we already want to believe about people and personalities we might not favor. Secondly, there is a human instinct to want to be the first to comment and to have the most clever reaction (measured in retweets). There is an inherent danger in being so reactive to headlines. If you have not read the full story and, perhaps, ready other stories about the topic, a quick reaction can make you appear foolish. It also works to divide the body of Christ. There is nothing wrong with principled, sharp engagement with news stories. Christians need thoughtful commentary on cultural events, but we need it to be critiquing things that actually happened, not caricatures of things that happened. There’s a difference here. Before you start a brushfire online, before you email your allies with damning information about someone with whom you disagree, before you forward and post negative things, make sure you are actually getting the full story.
2. Don’t consume news from only one point of view. It’s a good habit to follow, on Twitter and in our other consumption of news, people from other “tribes” (though I hate that word now) and from other ideological perspectives. It’s good to have a mix of people in your twitter feed: advocates, opponents, and straight-up journalists. This gives you a much more nuanced view of what is actually going on. It also keeps you from tin-foil hat conspiracy theorists that seem to dominate on all sides of various issues. You should also have an operating principle of not reacting to a story unless you’ve read two or three versions of it from diverse news outlets. In other words, don’t just take the news story that best confirms what you already believe about something or someone. Get the full picture here. I can think of one story in particular that I thought was newsworthy, even worth commissioning an article for ERLC. But then I asked a few folks, read a few more articles, and realized there was more to it.
3. Try to see the human side of the news. This is especially important when news stories involve personalities, whether politicians or preachers. There’s a lot of tabloid journalism out there, both in the larger culture and in the church world (unfortunately). Remember that the person you are about to destroy online with a clever hashtag probably has a family who can google their name. Do you want to be the one who caused their daughter pain? Followers of Christ should operate by different principles. This should have two effects on our public witness: First, when expressing public disagreement, we are to consider every person, even those with whom we viscerally disagree, as people created in God’s image and worthy of respect (James 3:9; 1 Pet. 2:17 ). We’re also supposed to be especially charitable to fellow Christians (Gal. 6:10 ). Secondly, to knowingly spread false witness about someone by not getting the facts right says to the world that we don’t value some humans like we value others. It’s also sin. All of us are wise to consider our platforms and how we are influencing those who follow us.
– By Daniel Darling of the ERLC
For more on how we as Christians should engage in the politically charged issues that dominate the headlines, check out the ERLC’s upcoming National Conference, The Gospel and Politics. But register quickly if you’re interested in attending… the early rate expires Monday.
Posted on September 8th, 2014 by Jonathan
ISIS overrunning Iraq and Syria. Church buildings razed in China. Boko Haram bombings and kidnappings in Nigeria. Labor camps in North Korea. Imprisoned Christians in Iran. The persecution of Christians is on a tragic rise, but it is not a new phenomenon. In fact, each Fall, the International Day of Prayer has highlighted persecuted Christians, encouraging churches to pray for them as well as for their persecutors. Such prayer has always been important, but as this year’s headlines makes clear, the need for such prayer has never been more urgent.
In light of this, Open Doors is hosting a live webcast on November 1 and 2 to inform and encourage people toward this end. Special guests include David Platt and Nik Ripken, and worship will be led by Selah. The first night (Saturday, Nov 1) will give you the opportunity to interact with believers from all over the world. The second night (Sunday, Nov 2), there will be a time of worship geared toward churches. Such a webcast allows for the persecuted to hear directly from the people praying for them (and vice versa) as they worship their God together . . . and Open Doors is making the event completely free.
You won’t want to miss this. RSVP here so that you can have all the info you need participate and even get your church involved. But go ahead and begin praying for the persecuted. Open Doors has suggested five ways for you to get involved in the International Day of Prayer, and this is just one of them!
Posted on September 4th, 2014 by Jonathan
On October 27-29, the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) will host a conference in Nashville titled, “The Gospel, Homosexuality, and the Future of Marriage.” Maybe this synopsis from the ERLC website will give you a better idea of what you can expect and why you should be sure to register . . .
Are you and your church prepared for the moral revolution surrounding homosexuality and same-sex marriage happening across America? While human sexuality and social institutions are being redefined before our very eyes, the Bible presents marriage as an unchanging picture of the gospel through the union of one man and one woman. The gospel announces that the story of Jesus is greater than the sum total of our sexual desires.
We’ll equip you to defend marriage in the culture and strengthen marriage in the church by preparing you to address issues like:
- How do we effectively minister to those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender?
- How has the divorce culture impacted marriage in our communities and our churches?
- What does sexual faithfulness look like for a same-sex attracted Christian?
- Why did God create marriage and why did he design it for the common good?
- How should a pastor counsel a same-sex couple that wants to join his church?
- How can churches minister to those who are single, dating, divorced or celibate?
- How can Christians show the love of Christ to gay family members or neighbors?
Speakers include Russell Moore, Trillia Newbell, Danny Akin, Trevin Wax, Alber Mohler, Rosaria Butterfield, J.D. Greear, Denny Burk, Jim Daly, Ryan Anderson, Kevin Ezell, and many more. Our own David Platt will be delivering a message titled, “Marriage and Missions: How Singleness and Marriage Connect to the Great Commission.”
It has never been more important for Christians and churches to have a good grasp on these things in order to biblically respond. Register HERE to attend, but do so before the end of the day Friday, when the price will increase.
Posted on April 25th, 2014 by David Burnette
Be sure and check out the TGC 2014 National Women’s Conference coming up on June 27-29, 2014, in Orlando, Florida. This year’s conference is based on the book of Nehemiah … God’s Word, Our Story.
The folks at TGC were kind enough to take off $25 for those who follow Radical. All you have to do is enter the following code at registration: WC14RADICAL
As usual, this year’s conference has a great lineup of speakers, including: John, Noel, and Talitha Piper, Tim and Kathy Keller, Nancy Guthrie, Kathleen Nielson, D.A. Carson, and over 20 others.
Here’s a description of the TGC 2014 National Women’s Conference:
A conference for women, all about the Word! Plenary speakers will unfold the book of Nehemiah—the story of God’s people returned to a broken-down city and called to trust God’s Word at a point of great need. It’s about God redeeming a people for himself through his Son. This is our story. We’ll focus on listening to this Word…living in light of it…helping others hear it…worshiping according to it…waiting on the Spirit who inspired it…exalting Jesus at the center of it.
Posted on March 3rd, 2014 by David Burnette
Be sure and check out Verge’s 2014 Conference: Redeemed to Redeem. March 27-29. Austin, TX.
Go here for more on registration, speakers, and other information.
Posted on February 26th, 2014 by Eric Parker
All throughout history, God has worked mightily through his Word. You need not go any further than Genesis 1 to see this in action. However, in today’s American evangelical context, God’s Word tends to be minimized for the sake of practicality. If you want to reach the crowds, if you want to have a good quiet time, if you want to grow your church or ministry, then the cry is usually, “We need more!” That is, we need more than what the Bible has to offer in order to meet with God.
But, when the Word of God is read or heard carefully, thoughtfully, and prayerfully, its logic and meaning have the power to transform us. And when this Word is proclaimed, its message may even produce something like a graphic image of the truth in our hearts and minds. It’s analogous to adding color to a black and white picture. The content of the picture has not changed, but the image has been deepened and sharpened to help the viewer see more vividly the reality it portrays.
In the video below from Session X of the CROSS student missions conference, pastor David recites Romans 1-8. This is a good example of the power of God’s Word proclaimed, even without explanation. You can access the entirety of the message, “Mobilizing God’s Army for the Great Commission,” by going here.
To learn more about the blessings of Scripture intake and Scripture memory, join us for Secret Church 14 “The Cross and Everyday Life.”
Posted on January 9th, 2014 by David Burnette
Posted on December 27th, 2013 by David Burnette
On the first day of CROSS, John Piper talks about the conference and the unstoppable mission of Christ (DG):
Cross is a new student conference on missions. It begins this evening.
This conference is a dream come true for me. I give four reasons for why in my message tonight. So I won’t give them here. You can live-stream all the main sessions at desiringGod.org/live, beginning at 8:15 PM (EST) tonight (full live-stream schedule below).
The premise of the conference is that biblical Christians care about all suffering, especially eternal suffering. We believe that God sent his eternal Son into the world to bear sin’s penalty for his people and to rescue them from eternal suffering, and to give them ever-increasing and everlasting joy in the glory of redeemed bodies, on a redeemed earth, free from all misery and all sin. Everyone who receives this gift through faith in Christ will have it. It is offered to all, and free for all.
Focusing on the Unreached
God’s purpose is to gather this redeemed people from all the peoples and tribes and languages of the world. Frontier missions is the heralding of this news to the remaining unreached peoples of the world. That’s our focus at Cross.
It is not a conference about evangelizing people in general. It’s a conference about the peculiar task of missions: the task of crossing cultures, and learning languages, and, by the miracle-working grace of God, establishing biblically faithful churches among the unreached peoples.
Radiant with Hope
Cross is radiant with hope, because it is built on the absolute sovereignty of God in the salvation of the hardest sinners. If sinners were decisive in saving themselves, the outcome of missions would be up for grabs. It’s not.
The “musts” and “wills” and “shalls” of God are inviolable.
- “I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd” (John 10:16).
- “This gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14).
- “All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations shall worship before you” (Psalm 22:27).
Christ has ransomed a people among all the peoples of the world. “By your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation” (Revelation 5:9).
Missions Cannot Fail
They are his, and he will have them. He has chosen and destined them for adoption from the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4–5).“Those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified” (Romans 8:30). None will be lost.
The way he calls his sheep is missions. And it cannot fail. When a people group seems distant, hidden, resistant, hostile, Jesus has a word to say about that. When the skeptic, and the doubter say, “Who then can be saved?” Jesus responds, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God” (Mark 10:25–27).
God’s Unstoppable Gospel
Cross aims to kindle a confidence in God’s unstoppable gospel built on the absolute sovereignty of God in calling workers, raising funds, ruling nations, turning the hearts of kings, opening doors, arranging marriages, sustaining singles, healing diseases, giving courage, throwing Satan down like lightening, taking out hearts of stone, removing spiritual blindness, conquering unbelief, creating death-defying faith, gathering worshiping saints, turning all sacrifices into seeds of triumph, and making every martyr a catalyst for thousands more, until the task of missions gives way to the coming King who says, “My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose” (Isaiah 46:10).
You can tell I love what this is about. If you are not coming, please pray. If you are coming, please pray. “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of hosts.” (Zechariah 4:6).
Posted on December 9th, 2013 by Jonathan
“Throughout history, God, in his sovereignty, has chosen to bless gatherings and movements of college students for the cause of the Great Commission.”
College students… CROSS is fast approaching! Make sure you register ASAP at CrossCon.com. December 27-30, Louisville, KY.
Posted on November 27th, 2013 by David Burnette
After looking on the crowds with compassion, Jesus said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest” (Matt 9:37-38). With this command in mind, Cross (a new student missions conference) is launching #PrayForWorkers, a call to pray to the Lord to send His people to unreached peoples across the globe with the gospel of Christ.
Even if you won’t be attending Cross, you can sign up to indicate that you are praying for workers here. Cross is sending the bracelet above (for FREE) to those who sign up as a reminder to pray. Here’s more about #PrayForWorkers:
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