An Announcement from Standpoint Conference

This year’s conference, originally scheduled at Heather Hills Baptist Church in Indianapolis, IN, is being re-invented as a web-based discussion only. While there was much interest in web-based conferencing, registrations for actual physical attendance at the conference were underwhelming. In the interest of not wasting the Lord’s money, we have cancelled the conference as such. All registrations will be refunded.

What went wrong? A few theories have been offered. It’s clear that a group of several small church pastors don’t have time to promote a conference adequately. It’s also possible that our web-conferencing option leached interest from actual presence at the conference. But ultimately, we suspect that a theology conference is less interesting to some than the issue of who is discussing various issues in theology. We do, however, still believe in what we are doing.

Beginning in mid-April, we will begin to release video and audio of sessions each speaker will make on his own, along with the supporting papers, at a rate of about 1 per week. Each speaker (including Phil Johnson) will make himself available for the web-based discussion to follow, here on SharperIron!

More details to come at, and here at SI.

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Standpoint Conference Takes a New Direction

In 325 AD, the Council of Nicea was faced with the responsibility of determining the accuracy or inaccuracy of the Arian teachings concerning Christ. They ruled it a heresy. The arguments presented by Athanasius were primarily drawn from Scripture—as were, oddly, the mistaken arguments presented by Arius. The debate itself demonstrates something that has been shown again and again—that the very nature of theological development is that doctrines are tested in the crucible of crisis. It is not that councils or tradition decides what is true, but that crises force us to the Word, where we find clear answers to all of our questions. Out of Nicea arose a clearer understanding of what the Sonship of Christ means, and what it does not mean. And that discussion set the stage for the later clear definition of the Trinity.

Between 1910 and 1915, 64 authors wrote 94 essays defending the faith against the onslaught of Modernism. This series, The Fundamentals, was a series of articles, a series of addresses, and finally, a 12-volume book series. On your own bookshelves most of you who are serious students of the Word will find books that outline the doctrines of the Faith.

Abraham Lincoln observed, the “dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present.” The history of Theology, particularly the Modernist onslaught of the late 1800s and early 1900s was anything but quiet, but we would be foolish to think that we are in a quiet period, and that the lists of doctrines so thoroughly defined at that time to combat the forces of Theological Liberalism are well-defined enough to face all the challenges of today.

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"The Fundamentals" Rebooted

A few weeks ago, Standpoint Conference began to actively promote our conference for 2011, entitled “The Fundamentals II.” There are actually a number of compelling reasons to “reboot” The Fundamentals,* re-analyzing good doctrine in light of certain attacks of our time.

Before listing those reasons, let’s allay any fears regarding this subject.

Some might fear that we are suggesting that major doctrinal formulations need to be changed or adjusted. “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire!” Or is it mirrors? The suspicious always imagine a conspiracy. We do not propose that orthodoxy needs any kind of re-definition or adjustment. But we believe that the doctrines so well defended in the past need to be more clearly defined in the light of modern challenges, not altered in keeping with the spirit of our age.

Some might cynically suggest that we may have difficulty finding the quality of scholarship among conservative theologians that was available for the original Fundamentals between 1910 and 1915. But we believe that the scholarship exists for another set of great works on doctrine. And we believe that this will be borne out in the next few years as we take on this important project.

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