Wow. I am tired, but enjoyed the trip. The conference was very good and I am glad I was able to go with friends from Grace and hang with people I dont normally get to see. Guys like Challies have, of course, given you the run down of the messages and all the happenings of the event. All I want to do is give you my impressions of the event and our trip. The Crib: Louisville is a great place and I was glad to be back. Rick, Chris, Pat and I stayed at the Galt House in the West Tower that was apparently decorated by the Elvis Presley Aesthetic Noir Design Company... in the 1970s. The decor is like a mix between Graceland and the creepy hotel from The Shining. I actually liked the look of it, but they are set to remodel. The only down side to our accomodations were no Wi-Fi in the rooms, and the demon-possessed drawer that kept pinching my finger every time I tried to get out a new pair of socks. Honestly, we spent all of our free time with people until late, so I didn't have time for blogging anyway.
The Conference: I was struck by the humility evident in the speakers, and I was blessed by all of the men who addressed us. Seeing Reformed Evangelicals from different churches come together to exalt Christ and his Gospel was both profitable and exemplary. Charismatic, Presbyterian, Baptist and Bible Church leaders can work together. CJ, Al, Ligon and Mark are friends who love, respect and bust on one another like all good friends do. This was great to see.
They really encouraged "conversation," something I value immeasurably, but the conference format didn't allow much time for it. The panel discussions were good, but the first one brought the session to 10pm. We decided to forgoe them in order to allow for more conversation between friends. We spent days and early evenings in the conference room, and our late evenings at the Jockey Silks Bourbon Bar on the second floor of the West Tower (comfy chairs, free popcorn, and decent beer).
We received a lot of free books. Good, free books like The Reformed Pastor by Baxter, God is the Gospel by Piper, Humility by Mahaney and about 10 other titles. This was a great surprise.
The Conversation: I was able to connect with Richard Bailey, John Divito, Kevin Cawley and friends (Matthew, Matthew and Chris), James Galyon and friends (Gunny and Doug), Marc Heinrich and briefly chatted with Timmy Brister, Jason Robertson, Doug Williams, Scott Lamb and others. I was surprised at how many people approached me to admit to reading this little blog... and that you could pick me out of the mass of younger pastors with shaved heads. Thanks for the encouragement!
A number of you wanted to know what my thoughts were of Dr. Mohler's lecture on culture. I was asked in three different group settings (at the Irish Rover, then at the Hard Rock, than again at the pub in the hotel), and I plan on posting some thoughts on the topic later. But the short version is this. If I have understood his central point (which I think I do) I loved that. It was helpful for me as I interact with culture myself. But I would like some clarification on other connected points, and have some ideas that I believe Dr. Mohler would agree with. More on all this later.
Well, there is my little blurb on the whole. It was a good, refreshing time. I am ready for the SBC, The Founders Conference and the Desiring God Conference now.