This week, I am in Louisville, Kentucky for T4G – Together for the Gospel. 7,000 men are gathered to reaffirm the biblical gospel, celebrate the truth of the gospel, and to worship the God of the gospel.
Mark Dever kicked the conference off by warning, “You can lose the gospel by no proclaiming it clearly or living it.” A faithful proclamation includes four key components, namely, God, man, Christ, and response.
God is holy and calls his church to be marked by holiness. He is also the God of authority. Therefore the church must clearly reflect God’s nature by rightly using authority in a way that honors him.
Man is sinful and has broken God’s holy law. Consequently, man’s depraved condition must be presented, i.e. a proper diagnosis must be given.
Christ is the solution to man’s sin problem. “We the church must make him visible.” The person and work of Christ must be clearly portrayed to sinners who need a mediator, forgiver, and Savior.
Sinners must respond to the gospel call. Churches must teach and model faith and repentance.
Dever reminded us that preaching God’s Word is central to the life of the church. Indeed, the church is the gospel made visible.
R.C. Sproul preached a powerful message entitled, The Defense and Confirmation of the Gospel. Dr. Sproul reflected on fifty years of ministry and reflected on two concerns that have threatened the message of the gospel.
R.C.’s first concern: “the danger of messing with Mr. Inbetween.” He focused on the Old Testament problem with syncretism and chronicled the history of intellectual thought including the twisted worldviews of Kant, Hegel, Marx, Barth, Bruner, and Bultmann. Sproul gave special consideration to the rise of neo-orthodoxy that does not leave room for inspired, inherent Scripture.
He presented a bird’s-eye view of other movements that have infected our culture, namely, liberation theology, logical positivism, death of God theology, and open theism.
Sproul’s second concern: “the danger of messing with the gospel.” His chief concern is the Reformation reality, sola fide. Three concerns emerged here including the so-called lordship controversy, the ECT document, and Evangelicals who seek to improve the gospel.
R.C. concluded by strongly encouraging pastors to remain faithful to the gospel. His admonition was timely, especially in light of the situation we find ourselves in where crucial doctrines such as justification by faith are either being compromised or discarded all-together.
Thank God for men like Mark Dever and RC Sproul who faithfully wield the Word of God and encourage pastors to guard the good deposit.