GARBC Conference '09 - Day 3

And many church members think this is a vacation?!

Tonight, I’m on overload, and I need sleep more than you need to hear what I have to say.

So here is a brief synopsis of Wednesday at GARBC 2009:

1) Dr. John Hartog III’s workshop on leadership was excellent. He rocketed through

a number of passages in Mark, honing in on Peter. Excellent stuff. I asked him a question about his reading habits. His answer? He is normally reading 4-5 books at once. He will keep one in the car … one in the office … one in the bedroom … and one in another room! He also shared that he is usually reading multiple genres simultaneously—from theology to leadership to secular novels. Great stuff.

2) I attended Dr. Bauder’s break-out session on issues in dispensationalism. He fielded questions from the 30-or-so attendees in the room, and answered each thoughtfully and respectfully. When asked about the inherent weaknesses in the dispy system,

he stated that there is a tendency among some dispys to downplay the importance of the OT and especially the Law in relation to the NT believer. He also noted that some dispys are simply “silly” in their sign-watching and elaborate eschatological schemes (and rapture movies and end time novels!). I was humbled to be a part of this discussion, and to hear Dr. Bauder’s balanced view of dispensationalism (even disagreeing with Showers on some of the finer points). My father attended Dr. Hartog’s break-out session across the hall and reported that Hartog explained the covenants and their relationship to the NT church. He also dealt with the traditional dispy problem passages (i.e., Galatians 3; Hebrews 8; 1 Peter 2; Ephesians 2-3). Hartog also stated that there is room for disagreement on many of the finer points and nuances of dispensationalism.

3) For detailed descriptions of Showers’ and Bauder’s General Session addresses, please see the Twitter tweets. It’s late; I’m tired; and we all would be better off if I refrained from editorializing. Showers did make some rather shocking assertions in this morning’s address. This evening, Bauder came as close to my (not sure what label I espouse) views by explaining that Israel and the church are parallel peoples of God (I hope I am representing his view correctly). Therefore, terminology such as “a kingdom of priests” (1 Peter 2) can be used to identify Israel as well as the church. Check out the tweets for more accurate quotes.

4) This evening’s service was as enjoyable a GARBC gathering as I can remember (I’ve only missed a handful since 1984). The auditorium was packed … as was the 400 seat overflow. The 200 voice choir was electric (ok, no guitars … but it was an awesome, God-glorifying experience to hear them sing). And Bauder was as charged up as I’ve seen him … even if tonight’s crowd refrained from applauding as he climbed to the pulpit! It was a wonderfully God-glorifying and soul-stirring service!

That’s a wrap on Wednesday’s GARBC 2009 report. Don’t forget … check out the tweets HERE.


[KenFields] And many church members think this is a vacation?!
I’m sure it would be a little more vacation-like if you weren’t pounding out reports for all of us. Thanks again for helping out in this way… now I’ll get back to one of the five books I keep handy that I’m reading simultaneously :D

(I think I will have some actual reading time today!)

BTW, I expect to be at the conference this afternoon and evening so maybe I’ll see you there.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

Today was one of the better days of conference in my recent memory. Thanks for giving. Such a detailed and fair analysis and reporting of the goings on. Your tweets and blogs have added a rich experience to the messages and teaching in realtime. Thanks brother!

Philippians 1.6

One comment I overlooked in my post.

Yesterday, during the round table, town meeting discussion, Bauder made the following comment (I am doing so from memory, so I hope I get this right).

“Both Covenant Theology and Dispensational Theology find their roots in the Reformation. In reality, they are kissing cousins.”

Great quote … although I’m sure it will most certainly rankle a few non-reformed dispys!!

Ken Fields