Christian Conference Reflections – New Attitude and Others

Tim Challies has served us all so well this year with his live-blogging of many of the major US reformed conferences. He has come to the end of a long spring season of live-blogging and posted reflections and comparisons of the various conferences. Here is a list of the conferences he has blogged the past few years, and it’s impressive:

Desiring God Conference 2005
Desiring God Conference 2006
Ligonier Conference 2007
New Attitude 2007
Resolved 2007
Shepherd’s Conference 2006
Shepherd’s Conference 2007
The Basics Conference 2007
Together for the Gospel 2006
Twin Lakes Conference
WorshipGod06 Conference

I will share some quotes from Tim and coverage from others of the most recent of these conferences — New Attitude — in a moment, but before I do, I want to highlight two more conferences — one that occurred, but which Tim didn’t attend, and the other that I am delighted to be attending in just a few weeks.

What happened at this conference? The Gospel Coalition foundation document has been circulated online (I found my copy linked from Justin Taylor). Justin also posted some great live blogging notes he took on each of the sessions, but the audio has not yet been posted. The program looks awesome – Piper on The Triumph of the Gospel, Carson on Defining the Coalition, Sandy Wilson on Christ and Culture, Lorrits on Passing on the Gospel, and Tim Keller on Gospel Centered Ministry.

Together On A Mission (TOAM 07)

I will be live blogging this newfrontiers conference taking place in Brighton from 10th to 13th July. If you can get the time off then make sure you get your booking in there whilst there is still some space. If you are planning to be there let me know and perhaps we can meet up!


Now back to New Attitude. The requests for free audio downloads fried the Sovereign Grace store, so they have now made them available to download without registration.

Here are some quotes from Challies coverage of the conference

“Piper said that God’s saving love is His commitment to do everything that must be done, no matter the cost, to make Himself the everlasting and all-satisfying treasure of sinners. The link with this message is that when we see what had to be done so that God could make Himself the treasure of fallen sinners, this determines what kind of obedience pleases or displeases God. If you see what He did at Calvary, you will know two kinds of obedience that God cannot abide and two kinds of corresponding obedience that He loves and delights in. What God did through Christ to make Christians treasures Him governs the kind of obedience that pleases and displeases Him.

Here are the two kinds of obedience God hates. The first kind of obedience that God abominates because of the work He did in Christ to make Himself the treasure of sinners is obedience offered to Him as grounds of our justification. If you take your obedience to the Word of God and commend it to God as the basis of why He should count you as righteous He hates that obedience because it usurps the place of His Son’s obedience. If you come up with obedience that nullifies the death of His Son He will not accept it.

The second kind of obedience God hates is obedience that conceives of itself as payback for God’s grace. The reason He cannot abide this obedience is because what Christ did in order to make God our everlasting treasure was to provide a rock solid ground and guarantee of all future grace including the grace that includes our obedience.” John Piper

“..when I go to conferences I often challenge whoever accompanies me to guess how long it will take before we sing “In Christ Alone.” We usually guess by sessions (i.e. “I guess it will be in the third worship session” or “I guess it will be in the fifth worship session.”). It took us until the fifth worship session at this conference, but that has now given this song the distinction of being the only one that has been sung at each of the six conferences I’ve attended this year.” Tim Challies

“My heart typically wants to define the pleasure without examining my motives. We need to put the general issues aside and look at motive. We need to ask ourselves the “why” questions because the key to gray matters is asking about motives. Your motive is critical to discernment. You often require the help of others to see motives. If you’re submitted to God and are in a local church, you have these types of people who can test your wisdom and your discernment.” Eric Simmons

There is much more where that came from, but I will leave you to find it for yourselves!

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