John Piper explains further why he asked Rick Warren to the Desiring God National Conference

Also of note: Al Mohler, RC Sproul, Thabiti Anyabwile and Francis Chan will also be speaking (along with John Piper, of course). This year’s theme is Think: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God. It sounds like it will be a great conference.

HT: Desiring God

Rick Warren and John Piper: What’s going on with the 2010 Desiring God National Conference?

Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life and pastor at Saddleback Church, is not a guy who resonates in Reformed circles. So, the word that’s been leaking out the last week or so that John Piper had invited him to be the keynote speaker at this year’s Desiring God National Conference has caused quite a buzz. Ben Terry has the audio (also below) of Piper talking to a group at Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist Church about what he likes (and what puzzles and confounds him) about Warren.

More will probably come from this as Piper will host a Q&A live tonight at the Desiring God site.

What is Hitchens thinking? Doug Wilson discusses ‘Collision’ with John Piper

‘Collision’ premiered Friday at the 2009 Desiring God National Conference. If you’re not familiar with it, “Collision” is a documentary on the series of debates between pastor/theologian Doug Wilson and atheist/author Christopher Hitchens on their book “Is Christianity Good for the World?”

After the movie was shown, Wilson sat down with pastor John Piper to answer a few questions about the film:

  • Christopher Hitchens said at the end of the movie that, given the chance, he wouldn’t convert the last theist. Why do you think he said that?
  • What is Hitchens’ best counterpoint to the claim that he is getting his morality for judging Christianity from Christians?
  • What is the relationship between doing apologetics and evangelizing?
  • In the video you speak about having “copiousness.” Describe what that is and whether you think it is important for pastors to cultivate.
  • What is your hope for this film?
  • What about the “s” word at the end of the film? Why do you allow for it here but don’t tolerate it from your children?
  • Why the recent upsurge in the New Atheism?
Click on the image to view the video
Click on the image to view the video

The 2009 Desiring God National Conference is going on this weekend in Minneapolis. The theme of this year’s conference is “With Calvin in the Theater of God.” You can follow along with the conference’s messages and find audio and video here.

Taking issue with Obama’s speech at Notre Dame

Don’t worry, this isn’t demonizing. It’s just taking issue with some of the things the president said Sunday during his commencement speech at Notre Dame. From Wesley Smith at Secondhand Smoke:

President Obama spoke at Notre Dame today, an invitation that created divisions within the Catholic Church that are beyond our scope or concern here. But in reading about the president’s speech, I was reminded of how adept Obama is in saying one thing while doing just the opposite; such as claiming in his speech to support a conscience clause for health professionals on the issue of abortion (which would also apply to assisted suicide, etc.). From the story:

He called for an effort to “honor the conscience of those who disagree with abortion, and draft a sensible conscience clause, and make sure that all of our health care policies are grounded in clear ethics and sound science, as well as respect for the equality of women,” Obama said.

Obama plans to revise a Bush-era “conscience clause,” which would cut off federal funding for hospitals and health plans that didn’t allow doctors and other health-care workers to refuse to participate in care they believe conflicts with their personal or moral beliefs. Women’s health advocates and abortion rights supporters say it creates a major obstacle to family planning and other treatments.

No, Obama–or at least his administration (is there a difference?)plans to revoke the Bush conscience clause, not revise it. That is hardly honoring heterodox thinkers’ consciences.

And if we are going to base policies on “sound science,” how about starting with the biological fact that embryos and fetuses are living human organisms? Alas, during the campaign, then Senator Obama said such determinations are above his “pay grade.” (Not anymore, they’re not.) Pretending that human embryos and fetuses are not “human life” (what are they, Martian?) may not resolve these contentious ethical issues, but if our policies are going to reflect “sound science,” so that we can create policies based on “clear ethics,” then the biological facts should quit being fudged.

Lectures on ‘The Pastor as Scholar, and the Scholar as Pastor’

On Thursday, April 23, 2009, at Park Community Church in Chicago, IL, the Carl F. H. Henry Center for Theological Understanding of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School hosted Dr. John Piper ofBethlehem Baptist Church and Dr. D. A. Carson of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Titled “The Pastor as Scholar, and the Scholar as Pastor: Reflections on Life and Ministry with John Piper and D.A. Carson”, the evening featured hour-long lectures by Drs. Piper and Carson offering reflections of a theological and personal nature on the work of the pastor and the scholar, respectively. Below are video links to their talks.

Carson talk

Pastor as Scholar


Town Hall for Hope is tonight

Dave Ramsey will bring some financial advice to the masses tonight when the Town Hall for Hope nationwide event takes place tonight. Ramsey will also take questions at the event, which you can attend for free at various locations throughout the country. Here in Grand Island, you can attend it one of three places: Third City Christian Church, St. Pauls Lutheran Church and the Salvation Army. The town hall starts at 7 p.m. Contact the location for more details. If you have questions for Dave Ramsey, you can submit it here at askdave@townhallforhope.com

Just Do Something

Just out from Amazon.com is a new book from Kevin DeYoung, who previously gave us Why We’re Not Emergent (By Two Guys Who Should Be). DeYoung, who is the senior pastor at University Reformed Church in East Lansing, Mich., has written his latest book, Just Do Something: A Liberating Approach To Finding God’s Will or How to Make a Decision Without Dreams, Visions, Fleeces, Impressions, Open Doors, Random Bible Verses, Casting Lots, Liver Shivers, Writing In The Sky, Etc., for those in this day and age who have become paralyzed by indecision. DeYoung will be one of the speakers at the Next conference May 23-26 in Baltimore. From an excerpt from Just Do Something, he explains why being decisive matters:

 

We’re not consistent. We’re not stable. We don’t stick with anything. We aren’t sure we are making the right decisions. Most of the time, we can’t even make decisions. And we don’t follow through. All of this means that as Christian young people we are less fruitful and less faithful than we ought to be. … 

The hesitancy so many of us (especially the young) feel in making decisions and settling down in life and therefore diligently searching for the will of God has at least two sources. First, the new generations enjoy—or at least think they enjoy—“unparalleled freedom.” Nothing is settled after high school or even college anymore. Life is wide open and filled with endless possibilities, but with this sense of opportunity comes confusion, anxiety, and indecision. With everything I could do and everywhere I could go, how can I know what’s what?  Enter a passion to discern “God’s will for my life.” That’s a key reason there is always a market for books about the will of God.

Second, our search for the will of God has become an accomplice in the postponement of growing up, a convenient out for the young (or old) Christian floating through life without direction or purpose. Too many of us have passed off our instability, inconsistency, and endless self-exploration as “looking for God’s will,” as if not making up our minds and meandering through life were marks of spiritual sensitivity.

As a result, we are full of passivity and empty on followthrough. We’re tinkering around with everyone and everything. Instead, when it comes to our future, we should take some responsibility, make a decision, and just do something.

To learn more about Kevin DeYoung, who he is and what Next is all about go here.