My Experience at Shepherds 360

For the third October in a row, it was my privilege to attend the Shepherds 360 Church Leaders Conference in Cary, N.C., and to help oversee an exhibit there for The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry.

I had heard of this conference previously, but I was specifically encouraged to attend by Dr. Tim Sigler, who had become the new provost and dean at Shepherds Theological Seminary. He and I were once fellow students at Faith Baptist Theological Seminary. STS is housed in The Shepherd’s Church, and the school has hosted the conference each year since 2014.

From the first time I attended, I have felt like this conference was sort of a homecoming event—even though my three visits there are the only three times I have been in North Carolina! I immediately saw several people that I knew—whether it was through The Friends of Israel, IFCA International or other connections that I already had. In the years that followed, I have become very comfortable at the conference, and have made new friends and important ministry connections, as well.

This year I was joined by Cameron Joyner, an FOI church and field ministries representative from Georgia, and I was able to spend much time with him, as well. For the second year in a row, I also had the opportunity to present a workshop at the conference. I count this as a truly great honor, and one which I have thoroughly enjoyed.*

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A Report on the IFCA Annual Convention (Part 2)

In the previous installment, I began to share a report on this year’s IFCA International Annual Convention, which was held from June 28 to July 2, in Lincoln, Neb.

The convention theme was “The Soon & Coming King—Biblical Eschatology.” Convention attendees ratified a resolution that complemented that theme, titled, “Resolution on Dispensational Premillennialism.”1

The convention afforded plentiful opportunities for teaching and discussion. In addition to the four general sessions, there were two theological panels, and 23 workshops in six different timeslots.

There were also five business sessions and three women’s conference sessions, along with children’s programs.

Additionally, there were specialized meetings for chaplains.

Dr. Richard Bargas, executive director of IFCA International, set the tone for the week with his general session message on Monday evening.

“Dispensational premillennialism was the majority view,” Bargas said. “But with the rise of the ‘Young, Restless, Reformed’ crowd … there was a backlash against dispensationalism. Now the popularity of the Left Behind series is used to mock dispensationalists.”

However, Bargas emphasized: “Those who reject our view cannot do it on exegetical grounds.”

He said that the theological opponents of dispensationalism do simply end up mocking it.

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A Report on the IFCA Annual Convention (Part 1)

During the week of June 28 to July 2, I attended the annual convention of the IFCA International, where I oversaw the exhibit for The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry.

The theme of this year’s convention was “The Soon & Coming King—Biblical Eschatology.” General session speakers were Dr. Richard Bargas, executive director of IFCA International; Dr. Thomas Ice, executive director of the Pre-Trib Research Center and professor at Calvary University; Dr. Michael Vlach, who was in the process of moving from The Master’s Seminary (where he taught for 15 years) to Shepherds Theological Seminary (where he is now professor of theology); and Dr. Larry Pettegrew, research professor of theology at Shepherds.

“We need to plant flags as IFCA members,” Bargas told the crowd of more than 300 that assembled for the first general session on June 28. “We have some convictions.”

“The name ‘IFCA’ means a lot to us,” Bargas added during the first business session on June 29, referring back to the adoption of a 2020 “Resolution on Dispensational Theology and Hermeneutics.”* “We didn’t do anything new,” he stated regarding that resolution. “We just put a flag up to say, ‘This is who we are.’”

Bargas said that the IFCA’s bold stand has made it more attractive to some who are looking at the options along the ecclesiological landscape—especially those who are “tired of the sliding, tired of the compromise.”

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The unofficial Voices irreverent guide to #SBC21

"The SBC Annual Meeting will be off with a gavel slam in 15 days. I’ll be there along with around 15,000 other messengers, guests, media, and protesters... This is the unofficial SBC Voices guide to the Annual Meeting. Unofficial because I couldn’t get the other guys to sign on to it. Sometimes they don’t see the things I do." - SBC Voices

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