Monergism Conference 2005-2006
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
All this I tell you because I covet your prayers that God would uphold
this ministry. There are multitudes of speculations which set themselves
up against the knowledge of God, some of the worst being within the
church itself. Pray that I would remain sound, and would never fall
victim to them; that I would be balanced, compassionate, gentle, and
respectful and have no fear of man; and that God would bring glory to
Himself in all my weaknesses. Pray that the gospel would prosper in
spite of the dishonor I may personally bring to the Lord in the areas
I still lack and that I might continue to remain thankful that my sins
do not stand against me, for my righteousness is in Christ. May I never
tire of the gospel that must be applied every day as my healing balm.
And may we all never attempt to grow beyond the simple gospel, for our
life is hidden in Christ and not in something God sees on our resumé.
I am going to leave the end of this letter open to post the thoughts of anyone who desires to comment on this. If you would like to send me a short email, I may add it to the end of this for all to read. I would like to gauge the interest in such a conference before we expend effort into putting an event like this together. We have the people and resources to make it happen, but need to know if there is sufficient interest. What and who would you like to see? and where? Please do not hesitate to share your thoughts.
(One example of a possible topic would be the preaching of the gospel
and the work of the Holy Spirit)
Your brother in Christ,
I believe there is an urgent and growing demand
for a Conference of the sort you describe. It is exciting to hear that
it is in the planning stage, as you seek to find out what interest there
will be. The growing influence you are having at the monergism.com website
will always be available in cyber space, but there are some who need
to hear the message as well as read it. As Romans 10:17 says, "Faith
comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God." That's true concerning
salvation, but also for an understanding of sound doctrine. Understanding
comes as God's word is proclaimed faithfully and accurately. For these
precious folk to see a living, breathing man of God open up the Scriptures,
and a place where questions can be raised and answers given in various
workshop settings that a Conference can provide would, I believe, prove
invaluable. How do I know? Because it was a question and answer session
at a Conference like this that first impacted my life in the year 2,000.
I spent the first 13 years of my ministry as an Arminian, but through
attending Conferences such as these, my traditions were exposed to the
light of Scripture. The consistent exegesis of Scripture, all in its
proper context, made me dreadfully alarmed at first, as I realized that
there was far more to Reformed Theology than I had ever imagined, and
that I may have taught error in former days. I thought I would be able
to dismiss the teaching after just a few minutes of hearing texts spoken
out of context - but such was not the case. Texts that I thought were
arguments against the doctrines of grace were explained in a gracious
way, in their proper context, I have to say, much to my annoyance at
first. I didn't like to hear my traditons being exposed by proper hermeneutics.
Though it meant I had to analyse many of my sacred cows of tradition,
it was the Conference setting that sparked the need for it in my mind.
Though the journey to understanding the doctrines of grace took many
months, it was two days at a Conference that proved to be the start
of the whole process. How grateful I am now to those who organized that
first Conference I attended. I believe many will also, over time, be
very grateful to God, and also to you, for stepping out in such a faith
venture. I know that God has His hand on your life John and I am so
glad the Lord has put such plans in your heart. I commend you John for
your willingness to host such a Conference and offer my continued prayer
for its success. If I can be of any help at all, just let me know.
It seems to me that there is a "new Reformation" taking place. Based upon my research, I believe it to be a worldwide move of God. Some would call it "revival", I prefer to refer to it simply as a "calling out".
As you know, I facilitate a discussion group of 10 businessmen on Tuesday mornings who have only recently been introduced to "the doctrines of grace" (Calvinism). Each of them has wholly embraced what I like to call "historical biblical Christianity. The "Amazing Grace" DVDs that you carry on monergismbooks.com have been instrumental in presenting the historical context of the roots of Reformation and have thoroughly challenged their capacity to understand scripture in light of "election" and God's "sovereignty".
These men are diligently pursuing the Lord and are asking how to apply what they have learned and embraced to their everyday lives. They are asking how to approach their church leaders with the idea that the gospel being preached in most of their churches is in a very real sense a "false gospel". They want to know how they should be thinking about their responsibility to "rightly divide the word" with other Christians and why it is important to do so.
I am strongly in favor of Monergism.com sponsoring a conference on "Monergism". There is no doubt that many of us, especially those who have grown up with a semi-Pelagian view of salvation, need a touch point with other like-minded individuals. We need the leaders of the modern day Reformation to teach and instruct us. We need to be fully equipped to answer the questions that this group of men I have referred to are asking.
Isn't it ironic that the very thing the Reformers protested against is the very thing being taught in our "evangelical churches" today. So, what are we waiting for? It's time for the Protestant church to return to its roots as "protestors". Let's make plans for a conference as soon as is practical. I'm excited about the possibilities and about what God is doing through Monergism.com. Thank you for your diligence and hard work and may God bless your continued efforts to provide an excellent resource for reformed theology.
If Solomon could say that, Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body. (Eccl 12:12) imagine what he would think of the Internet! There are great resources that often lay undiscovered amid the junk. Thanks for providing a way to cut through the clutter and for giving me tools that have added life and depth to my thinking (and preaching!).
That being said, I will definitely be at the conference. The work of the Holy Spirit is the hidden treasure of Reformed Theology. There is life, passion and fire behind every line of our theology. One of my goals in ministry is to incorporate this fire into the life of the church. The work of salvation is an awe-inspiring miracle, and I find myself and many other evangelicals often boiling it down to a mechanical process. God forgive me! When we offer simple prayers, easy models and four-step sermons, people get the idea that being a disciple is something they can do. Its not! It never will be. The power of Christ in us is our only hope for glory! The daily empowerment of the Holy Spirit is requisite! Lets strive to develop men and women who live a life of daily dependence on the Word & Spirit.
Also, a conference on this topic would allow me to bring non-reformed friends who share a passion for the work of the Spirit. At times theology can be divisive (often necessarily so!), but the Holy Spirit, as a topic, is a point of unity among many flavors of evangelicals. If we can draw together a group of people who will honestly search the Scriptures together, we will have done a great thing!
Thanks again for your work.
Your brother in Christ;
Monergism.com is an oustanding resource and one
I pray God will continue to use for His glory. It was with great excitement
that I read about the possibility of a Monergism Conference and it is
an event I would definitely be interested in attending. Such an event
would no doubt be of great service to the church and it would be my
honor to pray that God will give you His guidance in this matter.
This might sound very odd, but I am a Pentecostal preacher and a Calvinist! Within the last year or two, God has gloriously opened my eyes to the truth of the Doctrines of Grace. Monergism.com has been a blessing in my studies. I think the monergism conference would be great even if I couldn't be there personally!
If you held a conference, I would attend, no doubt. I live in the Puget Sound area, so if it was held in Portland, that would be great. I know a few brothers that would come along too. Keep up the fine work with your website, God has used it to bless me for quite a while now.
Many thanks in Christ,
If you decide to hold a Monergism Conference, I would definitely want toattend, unless the time and location make it impossible for me.
If I can have my pick, I would be most interested in hearing people like Vincent Cheung, W. Gary Crampton, David Engelsma, John Frame, Robert Reymond, John Robbins, Brian Schwertley, and maybe several others that I cannot think of right now. But I have no idea whether these speakers are hard to get. And of course, I would love to hear from YOU too!
Besides hearing competent speakers that faithfully uphold the Reformed faith, one benefit of a conference on monergism is that it will allow Reformed believers to, for a lack of a better term, "network," so that we may motivate one another and to discuss the possible ways that we can promote the true gospel, and to, as you say, re-evangelize the church.
And I will expect a big book table with great discounts when I come!
Thanks for what you do.
Count me in!!!
I would strongly encourage you to proceed with your idea for a monergism conference. Depending upon the date and location, I would be most interested in attending. Monergism.com is essentially my home page. I visit it daily and have used the resources there to help with everything from Sunday School lesson preparation to theological research papers. May God continue to bless you and your ministry.
I am very interested in attending your conference if it is feasable
for me at the time. I feel it would be a great blessing and encouragement
to all who attend.
you have my full support, prayers, and encouragment for such a conference. We would definitely attend if the Lord grants the means to do so, and I know many others who would attend as well. The focus of the conference is what really caught my attention, what a monumental blessing this would be to all in attendance! I look forward to hearing it's a "go"!
SOLI DEO GLORIA,
C. Rolfe www.here-we-stand.com
I add my hearty approval to the idea of such
a conference. As a layman and novice to Reformed and Calvinistic theology,
might I suggest a monergism-lite track? Like me, millions of people
in mainline evangelical churches have grown weary of the man-centered,
purpose-driven theology that predominates. We hunger for something richer
and deeper that dates back