Posted tagged ‘Together for the Gospel’

2012 Band of Bloggers Audio

April 24, 2012

I haven’t had the opportunity to talk much about the 2012 Band of Bloggers fellowship this year because of other, larger projects colliding on the same season in the calendar this year.  We had a great gathering of 350 folks (sold out) and were able to give away 17 books per person (4 of them being e-books). Each year, I struggle to muster the energy required to do these gatherings, but each time they take place, I am reminded how much of a blessing the fellowship, books, and discussions are to folks who attend.

This year, the theme was on the “underestimated resurgence” with a look back on the past six years of the “young, restless, and reformed” movement and in particular the influence of blogging and social media played a role. Six years ago, I led the first Band of Bloggers fellowship in Heritage Hall on the campus of Southern Seminary, and so it is fitting that this year we could return back to our roots with the same panel speakers (Tim Challies and Justin Taylor) and include a few others (Collin Hansen and Owen Strachan).

The audio of the panel discussion was recently released, and you can download it by clicking here. I hope that you find it helpful and edifying to your interest and efforts to engage on the Internet, and especially through the blogosphere.

The Call of Our This Generation

April 16, 2012

It has already been said that the sermon below by David Platt is perhaps the greatest missions message ever preached. I was a freshman in college when the buzz about John Piper’s sermon “Doing Missions When Dying Is Gain” filled the campus of University of Mobile. Not long after that, I embarked on my first cross-cultural mission trip and have not been the same.

I was privileged to hear this with 8,000 other folks at T4G last week. But more than that, I eagerly long to be in the company of those who heed the message as what I anticipate will be the call of this generation.

You can download the audio or read the live-blogging notes of Justin Taylor, or watch the video below.  If you have not listened or watched this message, please carve out an hour of your life and have the Spirit ruin you for the nations.

2012 Band of Bloggers | An Underestimated Resurgence

February 14, 2012

Registration is now open for the 2012 Band of Bloggers fellowship. It’s a nice time at the biannual Together for the Gospel conference to connect with fellow brothers and sisters, many of whom we may only know online.

Here are the details:

What: 2012 Band of Bloggers: An Underestimated Resurgence

When: Tuesday, April 10th, 11:00AM

Where: Legacy Hotel (on campus of Southern Seminary)

Who: Tim Challies | Justin Taylor | Kevin DeYoung | Collin Hansen | Tim Brister | Owen Strachan

Food: Lunch is provided.

Cost: Registration is only $15 this year. Seated is especially limited. Register early because they will likely have to shut down registration before the event.

Books: They are being compiled at the moment! More info coming soon.


Six years ago, two movements began to gain significant traction-blogging and the young, restless, and reformed. Additionally, 2006 was the inauguration of the Band of Bloggers fellowship, and since that time God has brought gospel rental in many ways to evangelical life, including the development of organizations like Together for the Gospel and The Gospel Coalition, the upsurge of gospel literature in publishing houses, the growth of church planting and revitalization networks, and continued reformation in local churches. Throughout this period, the role of the internet, blogging, and advances in technology have played no small role. At the 2012 Band of Bloggers gathering, we will take a look back at the past six years and consider the impact-good and bad-of blogging and technology in the Young, Restless, and Reformed movement. We hope you’ll join us as we look forward to how we can best leverage our lives and steward the resources for the advancement of the gospel!

Register today!

Lig Duncan’s Message to Young Pastors at T4G

April 29, 2010

One of the most encouraging and challenging messages I heard while in Louisville during Together for the Gospel was the 10 minute talk by Ligon Duncan where he answered the question, “If you, an experienced pastor, had 10 minutes to exhort 200 of the next generation of ministers what would you say to them?”  His answer was laid out in the following six exhortations:

1. Preach the Word

“J.I. Packer says that for those of us who are conservative, evangelical Protestants, when we are faithfully preaching the Word of God, the Word is delivering God’s message through us to His people. It is not that we are delivering the Word of God to His people, it is that His Word is delivering through us His Word to His people.”

2. Love your people

“You cannot reform what you do not love . . . your people will receive even your rebuke when they know that you love them. But if they catch a whiff of your distance, detachment or cynicism they will not bear the wounds of a friend that you must deliver if you are going to be a faithful pastor. You must love your people passionately.”

3. Pray down heaven

“A young woman met me at the door of the church at the end of Sunday morning worship services with tears in her eyes and she said, ‘Dr. Duncan, what was it that he did (pastor Derek Thomas) in the middle of the service?’ I started going back over the order of service and it occurred to me that he prayed a lengthy, biblical pastoral prayer,” Duncan said. “I said ‘do you mean the prayer?’ ‘Yes, that thing’ she said. ‘What was that?’ I said ‘are you from a Christian background?’ ‘O, yes,’ she said. ‘Have you grown up going to church?’ I asked. ‘O, yes: my father is a pastor,’ she said. She grew up in church. But she had never heard a pastor assail the gates of heaven in prayer for his people.”

4. Promote family religion

“Did you know that Calvin and many of the Reformers wanted daily preaching?  After 50 or 60 years or so it became apparent that there was not going to be daily preaching regularly attended in Protestant churches so Matthew Henry and others recognized that they had to make every home a local church. If we do not family religion it will contradict what happens every Lord’s Day as you preach the Word.”

5. Equip your elders

“Whoever the shepherds are in your local congregation, you must pour your lives into them. Every follower of Jesus Christ in the local church is to be one who not only follows Jesus Christ herself or himself, but calls others to follow the Lord Jesus Christ. You must have a group of godly, qualified male elders, or shepherds, nurturing and admonishing that congregation, discipling alongside of the public ministry of the Word on the Lord’s Day.”

6. Live a godly life

“Robert Murray McCheyne said, ‘my people’s greatest need is my own holiness.’ We will contradict what we say from the pulpit if our lives do not bear it out. The Gospel cannot be preached wordlessly, but it can be contradicted wordlessly. Our lives can contradict what we speak.”

HT: Towers

POTW :: Swingin

April 9, 2010

View in Flickr (See it LARGE)

View in Flickr (See it LARGE)

Aiden had his first shot at the neighborhood swings, and needless to say, he loved it.  I’ve had some sweet moments with the boys this week, and I pray that I will always have front-row seats to watch them grow up.

My heart has been heavy all week with the passing of Michael Spencer.  I’m glad he is with Jesus.  Please continue to pray for his wife Denise, his children, and those whom he ministered to in Oneida, KY.

For those heading to 2010 Together for the Gospel in Louisville, I look forward to (re)connecting with many of you.  The Band of Bloggers gathering is ready to go with over 2,400 books ready to be given away, but more importantly spending time with a couple hundred gospel-centered folk discussing a very important topic (Internet Idolatry and Gospel Fidelity).  I’m looking forward to a great time next week.

Speaking of next week, I will probably not be able blog much due to a packed schedule, but I will try to give regular updates on twitter (including pics) and toss up more photos on Flickr.

Grace and peace.

Steve Lemke on “Four Streams” of Calvinism, Part 2

October 6, 2008

In Part 1 of my response to Dr. Steve Lemke’s “four streams” of Calvinism, I addressed the unhelpful nature of labels and his misrepresentation of Founders Ministries.  In Part 2, I want to briefly respond to the other three “streams” and show just how his definitions are superficial and stereotypical.  Let’s pick up with the second “stream.”

2.  “Together for the Gospel Calvinists”

“Together for the Gospel Calvinists tend to be well-trained theologically, and they give careful attention to Calvinism as a doctrinal system.  This branch has a number of persons in key positions of convention leadership, especially in seminaries.”

Lemke is right in saying that Together for the Gospel Calvinists are well-trained theologically, but to say they are the *only* stream that is well-trained is simply to create a false dichotomy between Baptist Calvinists.  There is a great overlap between T4G and Founders as seen both in their conferences and the Founders Journal.  Both enjoy fellowship with non-Baptists and agree in the soteriological framework of the Reformed tradition.  Furthermore, there are many “Reformed Relevants” that could also be included in this group.  For instance, Mark Dever, one of the founding four of T4G recently spoke at an Acts 29 Boot Camp in Chicago.  Daniel Montgomery, a leading “Reformed Relevant” and pastor of Sojourn Church in Louisville recently spoke in SBTS chapel (several professors and a large number of seminary students are members at Sojourn).  Numerous other examples could be given, such as Lig Duncan and John Piper who both have affiliated themselves with Founders Ministries and C.J. Mahaney (and his successor Josh Harris) who are closely related to Mark Driscoll and the conservative wing of the emerging church movement.  These examples but a small sampling to show how unhelpful Lemke’s classifications are to the discussion of Baptist Calvinists.

I should mention, also, that there are more missionaries being sent out through SBTS than any other seminary in the SBC.  By providence, I ending up sitting next to the International Mission Board (IMB) recruiter for SBTS on a connecting flight from Atlanta to Louisville earlier this year.  I asked him about Calvinism and missions, and here is what he told me.  He said that he could extend his visit by an additional two weeks and still not get in all the interviews and appointments with students seeking to go on mission overseas.  All of my roommates from college are “five-point Calvinists,” and all of them have attended seminary and currently on the mission field.  Oh, and they are all very well-trained theologically too.  🙂 It is possible to have a robust theology and also be missionally driven.  The fact that there is a dichotomy between the two has served much of the problem of pragmatism ruling our practice, not a faithful expression of biblical revelation.


Steve Lemke on “Four Streams” of Calvinism, Part 1

October 3, 2008

As I mentioned in my previous post, in 2005, Lemke attempted to make the case for two streams of Calvinists in the SBC – “hard hyper-Calvinists” and a “softer Baptistic Calvinism.”  In 2008, those two labels have been replaced and expanded into four streams.  Before I interact with Lemke’s labeling, there are some a priori matters to bring up in this regard.

For the most part, labels are not helpful.  They are usually generic, over-simplified, and do not factor in the flexibility or fluidity of a movement.  For instance, the label “fundamentalist” is one that is used for Mark Driscoll and Bob Jones, and there are a whole lot of differences between the two!  Furthermore, labels are often used as a way of speaking from the perspective of an expert.  From the information provided by Lemke, one would be led to believe that he is an insider among Baptist Calvinists, that he, more than anyone else, is entitled and privileged to be the one who creates the labels and categorizes people accordingly.  But the fact is, Lemke is clearly unfamiliar with the Reformed Resurgence.  Simple fact checking reveals that he does not state the title of Founders Ministries correctly (he refers to it as Founder’s Movement) and also wrote that the 2006 Together for the Gospel Conference “was held on the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary campus” when in fact it was held at The Galt House in downtown Louisville.  The misinformation on such easily verifiable facts lead one to question whether Lemke is qualified to make such classifications about the “four streams” of Calvinism today in the SBC.

But Lemke’s stigmatizing of certain Calvinists is not an unfamiliar practice in the SBC.  Consider the similar comments of Jerry Vines, Frank Cox, and Johnny Hunt as I juxtapose them for you (all comments were made in 2008).

2008 Band of Bloggers Audio (The Gospel Trust)

April 18, 2008

Just a quick note that the 2008 Band of Bloggers panel discussion, “The Gospel Trust,” is now available on the Band of Bloggers website.

Stay tuned to the BoB blog for more info of the continuing vision of developing a gospel-centered community in the evangelical blogosphere.

Also, in case you have not made it over there already, the audio from T4G08 is available as well.  Be sure to download them all!


April 3, 2008

No, that’s not the average number of words in each blogpost!

It is the final number of books we will be giving away at the 2008 Band of Bloggers fellowship. I am very grateful for all the publishers and ministries who have partnered with BoB by providing these books for all those attend this year’s event.  It gives me lots of joy to be able to give to others in this manner, and I pray these resources will bring greater joy in their relationship with God.

Here’s the list of what we will be giving away:

Giveaway #1: Dear Timothy (Founders Press)
Giveaway #2: The Mortification of Sin (Banner of Truth)
Giveaway #3: When I Don’t Desire God (Desiring God)
Giveaway #4: Christ Is All (Reformation Heritage Books)
Giveaway #5: reThink (InQuest Ministries)
Giveaway #6: A Tale of Two Sons (Grace to You)
Giveaway #7: Walking as He Walked (Reformation Heritage Books)
Giveaway #8: Young, Restless, Reformed (Crossway)

Registration closed yesterday, and we have 150+ people attending this year, more than double our 2006 attendance. Also, we are having one slight change with our panel speakers which I will announce later today.

Also, this Friday I hope to spend some time talking with Collin Hansen in a podcast interview which I hope to make available sometime early next week. We will, of course, be talking about his new book, as well as whatever else comes to my mind!

For those of you flying to Louisville for the conference, I would encourage you to carry an empty backpack (or something similar) to pack the books and then check as your second piece of luggage on your way back. Otherwise, I fear you will be over the weight limit with all the books you will be getting (not counting those you purchase on your own).

2008 Band of Bloggers :: The Gospel Trust

November 5, 2007

With less than a month before the first Together for the Gospel Conference, I kicked around the idea of having a gathering of bloggers to fellowship together and talk about the gospel of Jesus Christ. The idea was well-received with 70+ bloggers in attendance which, according to some estimations, was the largest evangelical blogging meet-up to date.

Many of you know that the 2008 Together for the Gospel Conference is fast approaching, and many have been asking whether there will be another Band of Bloggers fellowship to coincide with the conference. I am happy to announce that indeed, plans have been made for the 2008 Band of Bloggers fellowship, which will take place during lunch (11:30-1:30) on Tuesday, April 15, 2008 at the Galt House in downtown Louisville, Kentucky. Guest speakers and panelists for next year’s event include Tim Challies, Justin Taylor, Thabiti Anyabwile, and Mark Lauterbach–all men who I admire not just for their blogging but more so their passion for the gospel. The theme for next year’s conference, “The Gospel Trust,” will focus on what it means to be servants of God and stewards entrusted with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

We have created a new website specifically geared for the Band of Bloggers where you can find more information including bio sketches of the panel, articles, interviews, podcasts, and for those interested, registration for the event next year. The best way to stay informed on all the future developments regarding BoB is to subscribe to its feed. Seating will be limited, but we will do everything we can to make sure everyone interested can be a part of this event. As final plans and preparations are being completed, registration will open in the near future.

Said at Southern, a blog affiliate of which I am an editor, will be facilitating the event this year, and I am grateful for the help Tony Kummer and Owen Strachan are providing, along with other SBTS bloggers who are volunteering their time and energy to this event. If you believe in the vision of Band of Bloggers and would like to help spread the word, one of the ways you can help is to get the word out using your blogs. We have created a blog button (dimensions 190×50) which can easily be inserted to our template by copying and pasting the following HTML:

<a href=""><img src=""></a>

You can also go here for more blog buttons and headers.

For more information or to contact Band of Bloggers, please email to thegospeltrust[at]gmail[dot]com.

EDIT: The original post had the date for April 14, 2008.  The correct date is April 15, 2008.  I have updated the posts, headers, and buttons to reflect that change of date.