Saturday, April 17, 2010

Best of this week entry 2

Goes to a very late entry, Eric Carpenter writing this very morning. Eric just got back from Together for the Gospel and shared a lot of thoughts, but he devoted a particular post to the biggest problem he sees with T4G, the assumption of what the church is. Here is are two pivotal paragraphs:

At the conference, however, the church was more assumed than anything else. The speakers, of course, mentioned that the church is people. The church is followers of Jesus Christ. The problem was that after that, when they spoke of the church, they seemed to rely more on tradition than bible. The church they spoke of is the traditional, institutional church that we see today in the modern West.

This is a significant problem. During a conference that spends a great deal of time looking to scripture to define the gospel, it seems that the speakers would also look to scripture to define church belief and practice. This did not happen.

I think that is excellent and very true. T4G is touted as a pastors conference and the assumption is that those who are there are well entrenched in the traditional institutional model of the church. Part of why I didn't go this year was that I felt that this assumption, underlying the whole conference, is an unwarranted and unhealthy one. I personally feel that the biggest problem with T4G is also what draws so many people: the cult of personality that attracts people to hear from the "best" speakers. I would still agree with Eric that there is a disturbing tendency to assume too much about the church that is not Biblical and that is underlying the entire conference at T4G.

Check out Eric's The Biggest Problem at T4G

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Eric said...

Thanks Arthur.

It would be fascinating to see a T4G conference focus on the church. I think, however, that we would be disappointed with the outcome.

Arthur Sido said...


I am unfortunately sure you are right. There could be a conference on plural elders or baptism or the externals but the form of the church, what the church really is, is considered a settled matter.

Tim A said...

When the church system devotes billions of dollars to hired "pastors", it has no option but to be pre-occupied with these hired "experts". Jesus said "where your treasure is, there will your heart be also". This is a law of where our hearts will go. Based on this law, the hearts of believers are chained to their hired experts. God's people cannot have anything but a mediocre heart for the gospel until their "giving" goes beyond themselves and their "needs" for a weekly Bible lecture, a youth pastor for their teens, an expert driven music "ministry" etc. The system is self-preoccupied. Just "follow the money."

Tim A said...

Regarding Celebrity Driven Church- I just finished reading Alan Knox on Philippians 3:1-6 about "not putting confidence in the flesh". The context here shows that confidence in the flesh refers to our listings of expert orientations and spiritual pedigrees such as seminary degrees etc - whatever one would give as a reason why one should be a dominant player in church life.