From Freed-Hardeman (7:38 pm).
When I accepted this exciting challenge I did not consider when I would actually do my postings. I’ve written all day (and quite honestly) attended more actual lectures this one day than I normally do in a whole week of lectures J. Frankly I’m writing this post as I listen to my good friend Steve Baggett deliver the evening keynote lecture (I’m sure Steve can handle it while I multi-task).
It’s been a pretty amazing day. At 8:00 this morning I went by the book display (I’m always tempted to say “the tent” but it hasn’t been in a tent in probably 20 years now). It’s now in Bader gym – must better than the old tent or the basement of the Gardner Center). It’s sort of lectureship central. If you’re looking for someone among the thousands here they’ve probably been through there in the last 2 hours or so and will be back shortly. I think some guys actually move in during the lectureships. The energy is palpable during this week. It is a place of hugs and reunions.
I’m trying to figure out the best way to do this. I think I’ll post a series of shorter updates rather than really long ones.
The lectures are big on suits. There’s even a guy there who sells them, presumably in case you left yours at home and realize you’re the only one without one on. And get this, the guy who sales them, his name is “Coats” – yep, for real. Now, special announcement: For those of you who didn’t get the news – Monday is “Suit Monday!” You wear a suit on MONDAY so everyone knows you still have one and then the rest of the week you don’t have to be so formal J.
LECTURE 1: Dave Phillips, Memphis, Tennessee:
My first lecture this year was hearing Dave Phillips as I listened to Dave, the longtime and effective preacher for the Germantown congregation speak from John 20 on “That You May Believe” I was struck by several things about his presentation and by several things he said. Dave had prepared meticulously. He spoke from the “Book” to the heart! His message was both real and relevant as he challenged the students to “make their parents faith their own”. Brother Phillips did not shy away from those who have brought challenging threats to “our faith”. He quoted from A.J. Jacobs “The Year of Living Biblically” from the more serious Christopher Hitchens “god is not Great” and the more vicious attacks of Robert Brandon “A Guide to Universal Truth”. To those who cast the term “homophobic” at Christians Dave said: “I am a sinaphobic, I’m afraid of sin.” Then he turned to those who believe that compromising with world religions is an acceptable course to chart as he stated: “Christianity is exclusive”
A few other good quotes from Dave:
“I can’t see how God forgives sin, but I believe He does, I can’t see how God answers my prayers, but I believe He does. If you can see it, it’s not faith. These signs (in John) are given to us that we might have faith.”
“Some say ‘you can have Jesus without the Bible’. Really? You wouldn’t even know He existed with the Bible.”
As he closed he challenged the faith of the ministers and elders present: “Do you believe that Jesus is the son of God?” It is belief that leads to life.
God has a vested interest in us! He loves us. You see 400 students go across the line in graduation and you really don’t see any of them until your grandchild’s name is called. Your child brings home their class picture and you only see your child. There’s a school play and you are on the front row. Why? You have a vested interest in that person. God has a vested interest in us.
From Freed-Hardeman (7:38 pm).