ATC 2011

Thursday Evening: Mark Dever -- "Justified by His Blood"

After a great song set focused on the work of Christ (Come Thou Fount, The Power of the Cross, When I Survey, There Is a Fountain, and You Are My All in All), a pastoral intern named Garrett gave his testimony of faith in Christ.  Then, Mark Dever began his message.  (Personal Note: I have been really looking forward to this message, given the text and subject matter. The Lord has used it powerfully in my heart already.)

Text: Romans 5:8-10


  • Two powerful statements in v. 8 followed by two powerful rhetorical questions in vv. 9-10
  • Just before our verses in v. 2, Paul backs up the joy with his confidence.

1. The Future Benefits of Christ’s Substitution (9b-10)

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Thursday Afternoon: Speaker Panel

Speaker Panel: Tim Jordan, Dave Doran, Sam Harbin, Kevin Bauder, and Mark Dever

Question to Dever about the conservative resurgence in the SBC.  Dever said the churches were largely conservative, but the seminaries went liberal. In the 70s, men went around to churches alerting them to the problems in the seminaries. The election of a new president was important because of the tie to trustees who hired/fired at the seminaries. 10% were theologically liberal, 20-30% were theologically conservative, rest were conservative but didn’t care much about it. By 1984, it was clear that the inerrantists were winning the battle.  By 1991, the battle was over.  Regarding SBC liberalism, there may be individuals who deny fundamentals but now they are all innerantists or liars.

Follow-up question: could you explain the relationship b/w your church and the SBC?

Dever: No one tells our church how to give. We choose to send some of our money to the IMB.

Bauder asks: what criteria must be met to send to the convention? 

Dever: minimal contribution, $500. Out of 40,000 churches, there are maybe 500 that are classically liberal. They don’t typically give money.  They hate the SBC.  They appear to be SBC b/c of little old ladies who still contribute, etc.

Doran: in principle, a liberal resurgence could take place if they had enough messengers?

Dever: Yes, but they don’t care enough.

Doran: how does that jive with statements you made about SBC churches being largely unregenerate?

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Thursday Morning: Dave Doran -- "Proclaiming Christ for the Perfection of the Church"

After singing "I’d Rather Have Jesus," Dr. Dave Doran began his message:

Text: Col. 1:28


  • In advancing the church, there are many approaches taken:
    • Taking surveys, publishing the results, and then writing a book
    • Successful churches hosting conferences to share their secrets
    • These are not different from how the world approaches success.
    • Budgets, buildings, bodies, etc.—visible signs of success
    • It seems as though there are new answers at the end of every new survey, which seems suspicious and contradictory.
    • Some of the most significant books on business success are completely irrelevant now.
    • We would do better to start from the ground up and look to the New Testament.
    • Most would not disagree with this; however, many of us do not realize how much our culture and subcultures have shaped us.
  • Paul had never met the Colossians. The Gospel had gone there, probably through Epaphras.
  • From Col. 1:24-2:5, he uses personal pronouns and adjectives 18 times—very autobiographical.
  • He comes to this statement in v. 28 to explain what drives him.
  • Paul’s mission “for this purpose”

1. Paul had an eschatological goal. (“present every man”)

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Thursday Morning: Mark Dever -- "Creating a Culture of Discipling"

After singing "Day by Day," Tim Jordan invited Mark Dever to the platform. Another of his pastoral interns, Tripp, shared his testimony of faith in Christ and then Mark began his message.


  • At the Garden, the basic lie was that God could not be loving and still tell us no.
  • The temptation is to believe that there is no such thing as authority in a fallen world other than authoritarianism.
  • The truth is God is wonderful, all-powerful, and good, entirely to be trusted.
  • We want to use whatever authority He has given us to do good.
  • I want to talk about one fruitful way we should influence others.
  • I want to do three things
    • Think about the idea of growing members (growth)
    • Practical ways to grow disciples (discipleship)
    • What I personally do to try to grow disciples (mentoring)

1. Growth

  • Isa. 9:7, the Bible promises that God’s kingdom will grow.
  • 1 Thess. 3:11, when was the last time you prayed this way for your congregation…publicly?
  • Col. 1:10, this is what we want to see in our churches.
  • The church has an obligation to be a means of God’s growing people through grace.
  • 1 Cor. 3:6; 2 Pet. 3:18; Matt. 5:16

2. Discipleship (Membership)

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Wednesday Afternoon: Speaker Panel

At 2 PM this afternoon, the ATC Conference hosted a panel with the following men on the platform together: Dave Doran, Tim Jordan, Mark Dever, Kevin Bauder, and Sam Harbin.  I have to be honest, for the first 38 minutes I was completely bored.  It's not that the conversation was uninteresting, but the elephant in the room didn't emerge until that time. So here are a few notes from the panel session.

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Wednesday Morning: Tim Jordan "The Place of Expository Preaching in the Spiritual Advancement of the Preacher"

After singing "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms," Dr. Tim Jordan gave his testimony of faith in Christ, which is also his earliest memory.  "It was the first of thousands of times I asked Him to save me. (Laughter) God saved me the first time and tolerated the rest." He then moved to his message.  What follows is not a transcript but just some of the highlights from the message from my perspective.  Get the mp3.

Text: 1 Timothy 4:6-16


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Wednesday Morning: Mark Dever -- "The Sufficiency of the Bible about the Local Church"

After singing "How Firm a Foundation" and listening to another testimony from Jamie, a Bostonian who is a pastoral intern at Dever's church, Mark was given the pulpit.  These notes are not a transcript but highlights of the message from my perspective.


  • Could anything that two Bible-believing Christians disagree about be unimportant?
  • What should we do when we meet together? Does God care?
  • How should we make decisions in our church? Should we have members? Or is that too exclusive?
  • Over the centuries, Christians have generally made decisions by wisdom and prudence. For most today, it is just pragmatism.
  • How do we contextualize our message? What works best?
  • What will help us reach the most people? Extend our influence?
  • What about church polity? This is important but rarely addressed.
  • Not like last night, today will be more like an hour-long sword drill.


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