Shepherds’ Conference Recap – Days 1 & 2

Recap of Day 1 (March 3, 2015)

After finally figuring out how and where to register, we were surprised to find the quality of breakfast items (all part of the conference fee) available to us. It was far better than our hotel in Burbank. As we made our way through the breakfast line and to locate a table, we passed by many of the amenities Shepherd’s Conference is known for: free shoe shining, conference book store with the ability to ship your books home and their free books area, beverage carts constantly stocked throughout the day, barrels of salt water taffy to snack on, ice cream parlor, charging stations for your electronic devices, a coffee house where you can order specialty drinks (the only thing not free it seems), an “Ask the Pastor” booth where you have access to the pastoral staff at GCC, and refreshments everywhere. All of this, by the way, is more or less “free.”

 

Session #1 – John MacArthur – He gave an overview of the conference and answered the question of why the theme of inerrancy was chosen for the conference. He gave 4 reasons.

  1. The Scripture is attacked and we are called to defend it (Gen 3; Deut 13; I Kings 18; Jer 5; Matt 18; John 8; I Cor 2; II Cor 10; I Tim 6; II Pet 2; Jude).
  2. The Scripture is authoritative and we are called to declare it (Ps 19, 33, 119; Prov 30; Matt 5; John 3, 10; Rom 9; Gal 3; II Tim 3-4; I John 5).
  3. The Scripture is accurate and we are called to demonstrate it (Gen 1; Job 36; Ecc 1, 5; Isa 40, 43, 53; Jer 23, 26, 33, 38; Ezek 36; Rom 8).
  4. The Scripture is active and we are called to deploy it (Isa 55; John 17; Rom 1, 10; I Cor 2; I Thess 1; I Pet 1).

Memorable quote – “There are lots of books that will change your thinking; only one can change your nature.”

 

Session #2 – Alistair Begg – Beginning with the famous quote from Spurgeon on letting the Scripture (or the lion) defend itself, Begg preached with the sermon title “Let the Lion Out” (I Tim 4:1-5). In this exposition, he talked about our charge to preach the Word (vs. 1-2) as a solemn, and yet simple one. He spoke of preaching being culturally relevant; in other words, people all around the world and throughout history are comfortable with the idea of someone getting up to teach or speak about something. He then moved from the charge to preach the Word to our challenge (vs. 3-4) to do it “in or out of season,” where he wittingly remarked that it doesn’t matter how you interpret that phrase because we are to always be preaching. He ended by talking about the 4-fold character necessary for those who preach the Word (vs. 4): sober-mindedness, suffering, evangelism and finishing the work.

Memorable quote – “Scripture is not always comfortable, but it will always be profitable.”

 

Session #3 – R.C. Sproul – His message was pre-recorded – so we figured we could watch that at a later date.

 

Session #4 – Stephen Nichols – His address was an historical answer to the question, “How did we get here” on the subject of inerrancy.

 

Session #5 – Ligon Duncan – His exposition of II Timothy 3:16-17 was very helpful. He spent much time unpacking the relevance of the phrase “all Scripture” and how we are talking about words directly from God when we reference the Scripture. He closed his address by discussing the idea that disobedience to God’s Word always leads to error or heresy.

Memorable Quote – “If it is from the mouth of God who cannot lie, then Scripture cannot lie.”

 

Recap of Day 2 (March 4, 2015)

Session #6 – Miguel Nunez – His task was an interesting one: preach on the implications of inerrancy on the Great Commission (Matt 28:16-20). His message was very insightful as he spent most of his time on vs. 19-20 and spoke about the empowerment we ought to receive as we seek to make disciples because the message we take is without error.

Memorable Quote – “If the Scripture is errant, the senders and goers and message are questionable. And the nations have no reason to listen.”

 

Session #7 – Carl Trueman – This was a surprise! After never hearing Trueman speak (only write or blog), I was quite encouraged by his discussion on the view of inerrancy by the Reformers like Martin Luther and John Calvin. His clear teaching and “painting of the picture” of the impact that Scripture had on the Reformation is something I will remember for a long time.

 

Seminar Session #1 – Steve Lawson – For two of the days, we are sent out to seminar sessions and there are about 6 or so to choose from. I attended Lawson’s talk on the life of William Tyndale, the translator of the English Bible. What encouragement this was! I had just purchased his recently released book a few minutes before and now I cannot wait to dig into it. Tyndale was a resolved man who did not let the conveniences or the persecution of the world stop him from getting the Bible to an English-speaking world. And he paid the ultimate price for this “crown jewel.”

 

Session # 8 – Ian Hamilton – We needed a mental break so we didn’t hear this session.

 

Session #9 – Mark Dever – His assignment was Psalm 119! Yes, you read that right – the entire chapter! He opened by spending 15 minutes reading it in its entirety, which is the 1st time in my life I have ever witnessed that from a preacher. What a joy it was to hear the Word of God publicly read in such a fashion. He then answered 4 questions from Psalm 119: (1) What is God’s law? (2) What is God’s Word? (3) What does God’s Word do? (4) How should we respond to God’s Word?

Memorable Quote – “The only way to know God apart from the Word is as Judge.”

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