Frame Book Cover Volume 2Good news! Dr. John M. Frame’s Selected Shorter Writings, Volume 2 (P&R) has just been released.

Dr. Frame has distinguished himself as a prolific author and one of America’s foremost theologians and philosophers—significantly shaping the thought of Evangelicalism today. Many of today’s most influential Christian leaders and authors, like Tim Keller and John Piper, readily acknowledge the significant impact John Frame has had on them. He is also a dear friend and colleague who has significantly shaped my theology, life, and ministry for many years.

Although widely known and deeply respected in church leadership and academic circles for decades, his works are now, finally, becoming more known to the general public.

After publishing his massive (1276 pages), award-winning Systematic Theology in November 2013 he began following the tradition of John Calvin (Tracts and Treatises),[1] Jonathan Edwards (Miscellanies),[2] B. B. Warfield (Selected Shorter Writings),[3] and Herman Bavinck (Selected Shorter Works),[4] finishing his writing career by publishing “everything he’s always wanted to write but hasn’t” in his Selected Shorter Writings.

Frame’s Selected Shorter Writings Volume 1 was published in March 2014. The second volume was published this month by P & R Publishing. This volume (384 pages) contains 26 short, pointed essays summarizing some of Frame’s central (and a few peripheral) ideas about Scripture, theological education, theological method, apologetics, ethics, and the church, along with some essays regarding some interesting personal reflections. Frame’s Selected Shorter Writings, Volume 2, begins with:

“Inerrancy: A Place to Live,” one of Frame’s shortest and clearest presentations of this aspect of the doctrine of Scripture. This essay is complemented later in the book by

“Let God Be True: Scripture and Certainty.” Other essays include

“Why Theology Needs Philosophy,” (presaging Frame’s epic History of Western Philosophy and Theology),

“The Academic Captivity of Theology,” (Frame’s highly controversial evaluation of the traditional model of seminary training for pastors),

“The Demise of Systematic Theology,”

“The Heart of the Atonement,”

“The Bible on the Problem of Evil,”

“Tolerance,”

“Two Levels of Divine Blessing,”

“What Denomination Should I Join?,”

“Worship That Pleases God,”

“My Exceptions to the Westminster Standards,” and (just for fun)

“Triperspectival Dieting,” and much more.

As in his first volume, in volume 2 you’ll find a wide array of important topics written in Frame’s inimitable style of clarity and robust charity. You’ll learn new ways to apply the Scriptures to real life and ministry (“Theology is application!”). And along the way you’ll be inspired and challenged as you mine the riches of these winsome and provocative essays.

If you’re interested in learning more about the life, theology, and ministry of John Frame, I’ve written these 4 brief blog posts I hope you’ll find helpful:

Coming Soon: The 100 Books That Have Most Influenced John Frame’s Thought by Frame and Childers


[1] John Calvin and Henry Beveridge, Tracts and Treatises of John Calvin (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2004).

[2] Jonathan Edwards, The Works of Jonathan Edwards, vol. 13, The Miscellanies: A–500, ed. Thomas A. Schafer (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1994); vol. 18, The Miscellanies: 501–832, ed. Ava Chamberlain (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2000); vol. 20, The Miscellanies: 833–1152, ed. Amy Plantinga Pauw (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2002); vol. 23, The Miscellanies: 1153–1360, ed. Douglas A. Sweeney (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2004).

[3] Benjamin Breckinridge Warfield, Selected Shorter Writings, ed. John Meeter (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 2001).

[4] Herman Bavinck, Selected Shorter Works (Portland, OR: Monergism Books, 2011).

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DO YOU WANT TO LEARN HOW TO PLANT OR GROW A CHURCH?

Most church leaders would love to learn the nuts and bolts of how to plant and grow a church but they don’t know where to start. They have the desire, but not the tools. That’s where Steve Childers’ church planting and development course* will help you.

*the course will be offered live (in person on the RTS-Orlando campus only), not by video streaming.

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Christian leaders from more than 50 countries, representing over 300 denominations and mission agencies, have taken this training.
 
 
For the past 25 years Dr. Steve Childers has trained thousands of church planters, pastors and missionaries (in 7 languages on 5 continents) to start, grow, and multiply gospel-centered churches.

 

NOW YOU CAN TAKE THIS TRAINING AT RTS-ORLANDO THIS SPRING!

Lectures, discussions, and learning activities will allow you to formulate your own culturally contextualized vision, philosophy, mission, values, and strategy that can find immediate application in the field.
The primary outcome of the course will be a personalized Church Planting and Development Plan the student can actually use in planting and growing a gospel-centered church. Note: This Church Planting and Development Plan normally meets the required criteria of most denominations and mission agencies for church planting or development.

SIGN-UP NOW!

The first weekly training session is on Tuesday, February 10 from 6pm-9pm and will continue to meet weekly until May 12th. If you or anyone you know would like to take this course, please contact RTS Orlando’s registrar at lconley@rts.edu or you may call 407-278-8832.

Although this accredited course is being made available for those pursuing an M.A. or M.Div degree, it is also being made available to the general public for the special audit price of $150.00–that’s $1200.00 off the normal price of the course. Please let the RTS registrar know if you want to take the course for credit or audit.

 

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Pastor Larry Kirk (Right) baptizes a new member at Daytona Beach. Childers & Kirk are best friends for 30 + years.

As a Baptist pastor, Bill Kynes offers 3 reasons why he believes Baptists should not deny church membership (and require adult baptism) to adult believers baptized as infants.

This is an excerpt from a blog post on the Gospel Coalition website (June 2014), “Why I am ‘Baptist’ (With a Small ‘B’)” by Bill Kynes, the senior pastor of Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church in Annandale, Virginia and a Council member of the Gospel Coalition.

Senior Pastor Bill Kynes

Senior Pastor Bill Kynes

So if I hold to this theology of believers’ baptism, then why am I not a Baptist (with a capital “B”)? Why would we as a church accept the baptism of a believer who was baptized as a infant as a valid baptism for the purpose of church membership? I offer three reasons.

 Humility

I recognize that paedobaptism has been the practice of the overwhelming majority of Christians throughout most of church history. This includes the practice of the Protestant Reformers to which I owe a great theological and spiritual debt.

I humbly recognize that I could be wrong about paedobaptism (and the conclusion that the great majority of Christians through history were never really baptized), and for this reason I am hesitant to insist upon my position on baptism as a grounds of church fellowship.

Charity

Even if the baptist position is correct, I still want to receive my paedobaptist brothers and sisters as fellow believers based upon our common understanding of the gospel. Evangelical paedobaptists recognize the three aspects of the gospel I have outlined, but in their practice of baptism they separate them in time. They baptize the infant children of Christian believers—objectively declaring the gospel to them before they can understand it.

They do this with the prayer that their subjective and personal response of faith will come at some point in their life (whether it occurs at a clearly recognized moment in time or not). And then later, at some public act of confirmation, the social aspect of that personal faith is recognized as, upon their profession of faith, that person is received as a communicant member of the church.

Our unity in the gospel outweighs our differences in the practice of baptism in relation to the timing of those three aspects of the gospel. Charity in the gospel calls me not make those differences a barrier to church fellowship.

Theology

Baptism presents a visible and objective declaration of the gospel, and its validity as such is not nullified by the absence of the proper subjective response of faith. In those cases in which that subjective response is not present at the time of baptism, it remains a valid baptism, though not an effective and completed one. This is similar to the preaching of the gospel. Its validity is not nullified by a failure of the hearers to repent and believe. But when they do, that preaching achieves its appointed end.

On this ground, I can accept the paedobaptism of someone who has come to faith as a valid baptism, though only their subsequent response of faith and the recognition by the church of the reality of that faith complete that baptism and make it effective.

However, since I am convinced that baptism properly ordered according to God’s design embodies in one act the objective promise of God in the gospel, the (Spirit-inspired) subjective response of faith, and the social recognition of that faith by the church, I practice the baptism of professing believers. Furthermore, I will “re-baptize” those previously baptized as infants who so request it, though I believe this is a matter of personal conscience of the believer and is not required.

That’s how I operate as a “baptist with a small ‘b.'” I recognize that this understanding has its own problems as we seek to work it out in the life of our church, but I offer it as a way of allowing our common grasp of the gospel to overcome our historical and theological differences with regard to baptism that prevent us from welcoming one another in the fellowship of the church. I long for our “Gospel Coalition” to be realized in the context of the local church so that we might live out that statement made famous by Richard Baxter:

“In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity,”

and that we might better embody that more recent rallying cry:

“Together for the gospel!”


Click here to read the entire blog post “Why I am ‘Baptist’ (With a Small ‘B’)” by Bill Kynes, the senior pastor of Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church in Annandale, Virginia and a Council member of the Gospel Coalition. On this post by Kynes there are also links to other blog posts on differing views of baptism in Evangelicalism.

Click here to read the related post by Steve Childers, “My Brother(s) in Error About Baptism”

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Steve Childers baptizing his granddaughter.

While in a small gathering of church leaders, one of the leaders jokingly referred to me, in a truly good-humored manner, as “…Steve Childers, my brother in error.” Everyone in the room received the comment as it was meant, a friendly-jab, and laughed out loud–including me. The error he was referring to was my belief that baptizing infants is biblical. I suddenly realized that I was the only one in the room (among 15-20 leaders spending that day together studying the bible, praying, and sharing) who believed in infant baptism.

Even though I bit my lip and resisted the temptation to respond with more than laughter and a smile, I must admit it was hard for me not to mention several other “brothers” (especially one theologian (deceased) whom I knew this leader had the highest respect) who join me in this “error.” I was reminded that, although my belief in baptizing babies is the minority view in Evangelicalism in North America today, the opposite is true when looking back at the history of Christianity—especially the Reformation and the 18th Great Awakenings. R.B. Vincent writes,

“…The overwhelming majority of Christians whom God has used in the past centuries of the Church not only practiced infant baptism but did so because they believed the Scriptures taught it. The great evangelical theologian of the Ancient Church, Augustine, held to the practice and so did the great Reformers: John Hus, Martin Luther, John Calvin, and John Knox. Those devout scholars, John Wycliff and William Tyndale, who labored to give us the English Bible, and all the translators involved in the King James Version held that the practice was biblical.

When we come to the Eighteenth Century, we find both John and Charles Wesley, George Whitfield and Jonathan Edwards, men whom God used in the conversions of untold thousands, all practiced infant baptism. This is true also of the overwhelming majority of the Christians who were involved in settling and founding the United States—from the Pilgrims on the Mayflower to the Huguenots from France.

These were not people who did things because of tradition; they laid down their lives that they might worship God strictly according to the instructions given in Holy Scripture. They held to justification by faith and the necessity of the new birth. To their number must be added most of the authors of the great Evangelical hymns which have stirred the hearts of so many Christians, hymns such as “Amazing Grace” and “Rock of Ages…[1]

After 2000 years of church history, guess what? True followers of Christ, who embrace the essential doctrines[2] of Christianity, still have disagreements regarding non-essential doctrines (not essential for salvation). So what should we do? I’ve always loved this historic phrase:

“In essentials, unity;

in non-essentials, liberty;

in all things, charity.”

This phrase has been called “the watchword of Christian peacemakers[3]” by the distinguished 19th century church historian, Philip Schaff. And I love that no one knows for sure who originally wrote it. Although it’s often been wrongly attributed to Augustine, its origin is most likely rooted in the early 17th century where we find it in the Latin writings of relatively unknown church leaders. Many believe that the English Puritan Richard Baxter (1615-1691) is responsible for popularizing this phrase throughout the English-speaking world of his time.

Whatever the origin of this phrase, it sets before us a desperately needed way for followers of Christ to demonstrate to the watching world the unity we all share in him (“the communion of the saints”). But we must not try to achieve this by reducing what we believe to just a few doctrines we can hold in common with all followers of Christ. History has proven that normally puts us at risk of losing all orthodox Christian beliefs. Nor must we allow ourselves to continue bringing shame on the name of Christ by isolating ourselves from and wrongly criticizing Christians with whom we don’t agree on all the “non-essentials.”

The Christian leader who poked fun at me recently for believing in infant baptism, was doing so in the context of lovingly and graciously including me in an inner-circle of leaders who did not believe what I did about baptism. Why did he do that? Because he believed what desperately needs to be recaptured in our day: “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; and in all things, charity.” This is why I really look forward to my next time with him and these dear “brother(s) in error.”

Click here to read a related post, “A ‘Baptist’ (With a Small ‘B’) On Infant Baptism”


[1] Reference: http://rbvincent.com/BibleStudies/Infbapt.htm

[2] I consider examples of essential doctrines as including affirmations in the Apostles Creed, Sola Fide (salvation by faith alone), Sola Gratia (by grace alone), Solo Christo (through Christ alone), Soli Deo Gloria (Glory to God alone).
[3] Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, vol. 7, p. 650

Marsden PhotoProfessor of History Emeritus at Notre Dame, George Marsden is one of today’s foremost historians and award-winning authors who has written extensively on the relationship between Christianity and American culture—especially American Evangelicalism and Fundamentalism (Understanding Fundamentalism and Evangelicalism, Reforming Fundamentalism, Fundamentalism and American Culture, etc).

He is most well known for his award-winning biography of Jonathan Edwards (Jonathan Edwards: A Life), a prominent 18th century American pastor, theologian, and philosopher who played a critical role in the First Great Awakening and Christian revivals in Colonial America.

Marsden has recently written another groundbreaking book reflecting on how American public life might better accommodate the rise of religious pluralism. In The Twilight of the AmericaMarsden Twilight Bookn Enlightenment (Perseus Books, Feb 2014) he seeks to explain why Christianity has become increasingly excluded from the public sphere, resulting in an assortment of religious crises and “culture wars.” Marsden offers an insightful analysis of the decline of culture in America since the 1950’s along with thought-provoking ways to consider applying Protestant principles from the early republic to today. For more, read the Amazon summary below:

In the aftermath of World War II, the United States stood at a precipice. The forces of modernity unleashed by the war had led to astonishing advances in daily life, but technology and mass culture also threatened to erode the country’s traditional moral character. As award-winning historian George M. Marsden explains in The Twilight of the American Enlightenment, postwar Americans looked to the country’s secular, liberal elites for guidance in this precarious time, but these intellectuals proved unable to articulate a coherent common cause by which America could chart its course. Their failure lost them the faith of their constituents, paving the way for a Christian revival that offered America a firm new moral vision—one rooted in the Protestant values of the founders. A groundbreaking reappraisal of the country’s spiritual reawakening, The Twilight of the American Enlightenment shows how America found new purpose at the dawn of the Cold War.

Course Summary

  • What: Spiritual Formation for Church Leaders Course (5-day intensive)
  • Who: Taught by Steve Childers, RTS-Orlando professor
  • Where: RTS-Orlando Campus
  • When: January 12-16, 2015
  • Learners: M.A., M.Div Credit Students - AND – Lay and Clergy Auditors (Non-Students)
  • Registration: Limited registration from November 1, 2014 to December 31, 2014
  • Information: For more information contact Lanny Conley at lconley@rts.edu
  • Syllabus: To see the complete syllabus and credit requirements Click Here

Course Description

“My people’s greatest need is my personal holiness.” – Robert Murray McCheyne

Church leaders must lead from character before skill. One of the greatest needs in the church today is for church leaders to recapture the primacy of developing Christian character (holiness) first in their lives, and then in the lives of those they serve. But to do so, without falling prey to the classic errors of legalism, moralism, and/or antinomianism (easy-believism), is very difficult.

Spiritual Formation is a course Steve Childers has taught for many years both in the classroom and on the field, in the USA and abroad, in English and other languages, for credit (masters and doctoral) and just to help church leaders not give up when drowning under the life-crushing load of personal and ministry demands.

In this course emerging and seasoned church leaders will be encouraged and equipped to be continually growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ through experiencing a safe place where the riches of the gospel are deeply and refreshingly explored, and applied to real life and ministry.

Course Instructor

Steve Childers is Associate Professor of Practical Theology (since 1995) at Reformed Theological Seminary, in Orlando, Florida, where he regularly teaches evangelism, spiritual formation, church planting, church renewal, and missions. He has earned masters degrees from Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Chicago, and a doctorate from Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando. Steve has a1 Steve Childers Headshot 2014 1.1 MB - Version 2lso done doctoral studies in leadership development and global missions at Fuller Theological Seminary’s School of World Mission in Pasadena, California.

Steve is the founder and President of GCA, continuing as Pathway Learning (http://www.PathwayLearning.org), a church leadership training organization that provides innovative educational pathways for church leaders. Steve has planted and pastored two churches. Since then he has written church planting, renewal, and multiplication training curriculum and helped train thousands of church leaders from more than 300 denominations representing over 50 countries in 7 languages on 5 continents. Steve’s book, All Things New: The Gospel of the Kingdom and parallel ecourse are scheduled for release in 2015. Steve and his wife Becky live in Orlando, Florida, and have three adult daughters and one granddaughter.

Course Objectives

  A Mind for Truth

  • To understand and articulate a biblical theology of personal spiritual growth and renewal, especially as it relates to the centrality of the cross and the gospel
  • To understand the biblical imperative for personal holiness and the priority of ongoing spiritual growth and renewal in the life of the church leader today
  • To understand the biblical nature of the gospel’s transforming power, especially as it relates to the Kingdom of God and mission of the church
  • To understand, evaluate, and appreciate various principles, methods, and models used today to help people grow spiritually
  • To be acquainted with the literature relating to personal spiritual growth and renewal (especially English Puritan literature, e.g. John Owen, Richard Baxter, et al.) and be able to think biblically and critically about how it can be used properly and effectively in the student’s life and ministry

  A Heart for God

  • To experience spiritual growth and renewal through applying the biblical concepts of gospel-driven spiritual formation to the heart
  • To diagnose and repent from the core idols (sin beneath the sin) that draw the student’s heart affections away from Christ
  • To appropriate the transforming pardon and power of the gospel of Jesus Christ through setting the student’s heart affections on Him by faith
  • To show love for God and others by loving God’s Law, obeying it by God’s grace, and allowing it to lead the student to Jesus Christ for transformation into His image
  • To practice spiritual disciplines (such as meditating on Scripture, prayer, journaling, fasting, witnessing, etc.) as a means of setting the student’s heart affection on Christ
  • To be an agent of personal spiritual growth and renewal in the lives of others

  A Life for Ministry

  • To lay a strong foundation for future studies in the dynamics of how the gospel brings spiritual growth and renewal both personally and corporately
  • To lay a strong foundation for the practical development of church–based ministries of spiritual growth and renewal, especially for those planning to be church planters, pastors, and missionaries
  • To obtain a set of criteria for evaluating spiritual growth and renewal principles, methods, materials, programs, and trends

Course Readings (Optional for Lay and Clergy Auditors)

  • Baxter, Richard, The Reformed Pastor. Banner of Truth.
  • Bridges, Jerry, The Disciplines of Grace. Navpress.
  • Keller, Tim, The Prodigal God. E.P. Dutton.
  • Lovelace, Richard, Dynamics of Spiritual Life, An Evangelical Theology of Renewal. [Chapters 2-8]. (200 pp), Renewal as a Way of Life, A Guidebook for Spiritual Growth. Wiph and Stock Publishers. (204 pp)
  • Miller, Jack, The Heart of a Servant Leader. P & R Publishing (319 pp)
  • Miller, Paul. A Praying Life. NavPress (260 pp)
  • Packer, J.I., Keep in Step with the Spirit: Finding Fullness in our Walk with God. Baker Books. (256 pp), The Quest for Godliness: The Puritan Vision of the Christian Life. Crossway Books (368 pp), Knowing God. InterVarsity Press. [Chapters 15, 18, 19] (55 pp).
  • Prior, Kenneth, The Way of Holiness: The Study in Christian Growth. InterVarsity Press (172 pp).
  • Smith, Scotty, Objects of His Affection: Coming Alive to the Compelling Love of GodSimon and Shuster (260 pp)
  •  Wright, N. Thomas: Surprised by Hope. Harper Collins (356 pp)

DG Conference Banner

Where Sin Increased: The Rebellion of Man and The Abundance of Grace

Minneapolis Convention Center

Come Hear the Good News of a Big Savior for Big Sinners

Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 5:20-21

Sin is a very powerful, deadly ruler and enemy of our souls. It prevents us from seeing the profound depth of our helplessness and moral ruin. It blinds us from seeing the profound magnitude of God’s grace toward us in Jesus Christ.

If you see yourself as a little sinner, you will inevitably see Jesus as a little Savior. But if you see yourself as a big sinner, you will see and draw near to Jesus as a big Savior.

Come and revisit your soul as a desperate sinner so you might cherish and worship him anew as a magnificent Savior.

Why You Should Come to This Conference – by John Piper (A Look at the Book video)

Plenary Speakers

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John Piper

John Piper is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For over 30 years, he served as senior pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He grew up in Greenville, South Carolina, and studied at Wheaton College, Fuller Theological Seminary (BD), and the University of Munich (DTheol). For six years, he taught Biblical Studies at Bethel College in St. Paul, Minnesota, and in 1980 accepted the call to serve as pastor at Bethlehem. John is the author of more than 50 books and more than 30 years of his preaching and teaching is available free at desiringGod.org. John and his wife, Noël, have four sons, one daughter, and twelve grandchildren.

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Bryan Chapell

Bryan Chapell is Senior Pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church in Peoria, IL and President Emeritus at Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri, where he has served in leadership capacities since 1985. Dr. Chapell is an internationally renowned preacher, teacher, and speaker, and the author of many books, including Christ-Centered Worship, Each for the Other, Holiness by Grace, Praying Backwards, The Hardest Sermons You’ll Ever Have to Preach, The Gospel According to Daniel and Christ-Centered Preaching, a preaching textbook now in multiple editions and many languages that has established him as one of the nation’s foremost teachers of homiletics. He and his wife, Kathy, have four children.

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Steve Childers

Steve Childers is the Founder and President of Global Church Advancement continuing as Pathway Learning (www.PathwayLearning.org) with the mission to educate aspiring church leaders to start, grow, and multiply gospel-centered churches among all nations. He is a seasoned church planter, pastor, and educator of church leaders from many denominations and countries. Steve is also a professor at Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando where he teaches evangelism, discipleship, church planting/renewal, and missions. He’s a graduate of Covenant, Trinity, and RTS seminaries. Steve and his wife, Becky, have three adult daughters and one granddaughter.

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Conrad Mbewe

Conrad Mbewe is the pastor of Kabwata Baptist Church in Lusaka, Zambia, Africa. He is the author of several booklets distributed within Zambia and has two books on the international market: Maintaining Sexual Purity and Foundations for the Flock. Conrad has contributed to a number of books including Dear Timothy – Letters on Pastoral Ministry and is the editor of Reformation Zambia magazine. He is the principal of the Lusaka Ministerial College and is the chancellor of the African Christian University in Zambia. You can follow Conrad on his blog at www.conradmbewe.com. Conrad and his wife, Felistas, have three children and two foster daughters.

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Sam Storms

Sam Storms has spent over 40 years in ministry and since 2008 has been Lead Pastor for Preaching and Vision at Bridgeway Church in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Sam is founder and president of Enjoying God Ministries and regularly blogs at www.samstorms.com. He has authored or edited 22 books. Sam is a graduate of The University of Oklahoma (BA), Dallas Theological Seminary (ThM), and The University of Texas at Dallas (PhD). He and his wife, Ann, have been married for 42 years and are the parents of two grown daughters and have four grandchildren.


 Pre-Conference Speakers

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Jen Wilkin

Jen Wilkin is a speaker, writer, and teacher of women’s Bible studies. During her fifteen years of teaching, she has organized and led studies for women in home, church, and parachurch contexts. Jen and her family are members of The Village Church in Flower Mound, Texas. She is the author of Women of the Word: How to Study the Bible with Both Our Hearts and Our Minds.

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Mike Bullmore

Mike Bullmore serves CrossWay Community Church as Senior Pastor. Prior to leading the launch of CrossWay Community Church in 1998, Mike served for 15 years as an Associate Professor of Homiletics (preaching) and Pastoral Theology, as well as chairman of the Practical Theology Department at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. Mike earned a diploma in Bible-Theology at Moody Bible Institute and a Bachelor’s Degree in Biblical Studies from Wheaton College. He then earned a Master of Divinity and a Master of Theology from Trinity, followed by a PhD in Rhetorical History and Criticism from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. Mike, a Kenosha native, lives in his childhood home with his wife, Beverly, and their three children, Abigail, Madeline, and Graham.


Workshop Speakers

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David Matthis – Speaker Panel Moderator

David Mathis is an elder at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis and executive editor at Desiring God. David and his wife Megan have three children. He is author of several articles and chapters, a regular contributor to desiringGod.org, and co-author of How to Stay Christian in Seminary. He is co-editor with John Piper of six books, including The Romantic Rationalist: God, Life, and Imagination in the Work of C.S. Lewis (most recently) and Cross: Unrivaled Christ, Unstoppable Gospel, Unreached Peoples, Unending Joy (forthcoming).

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Eric Bancroft

Eric Bancroft serves as the Senior Pastor of Castleview Baptist Church in Indianapolis, Indiana. Prior to his ministry at Castleview, Eric served on the pastoral staff at Grace Community Church in Los Angeles, CA and taught as an adjunct professor at The Master’s College. Eric has earned degrees from Trinity International University (BA) and from the Master’s Seminary (MDiv). Eric is currently pursuing his Doctorate of Ministry at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Eric and his wife, Danelle, have been married for 18 years and have three sons: Isaac (14), David (12), and Jeremiah (9).

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Elyse Fitzpatrick

Elyse Fitzpatrick (MA, Trinity Theological Seminary) is a counselor, a retreat and conference speaker, and the head of Counsel from the Cross Ministries. Elyse has authored over 21 books, including Because He Loves Me, Comforts from the Cross, and Give Them Grace. She and her husband, Phil, have three adult children and six grandchildren.

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Gloria Furman

Gloria Furman is a wife, mother of four children, and writer. In 2008 her family moved to the Middle East to plant Redeemer Church of Dubai where her husband, Dave, serves as the pastor. She is the author of Glimpses of Grace and Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full.

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Greg Gilbert

Greg Gilbert is the Senior Pastor of Third Avenue Baptist Church in Louisville, KY. He earned his BA from Yale University and his MDiv from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is the author of What Is the Gospel? and the co-author of What Is the Mission of the Church, Preach: Theology Meets Practice, and The Gospel at Work: How Working For King Jesus Gives Meaning and Purpose to Our Jobs. He also often writes for 9Marks Ministries. Greg is married to Moriah and they have three children: Justin, Jack, and Juliet.

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Nancy Guthrie

Nancy Guthrie teaches the Bible at conferences around the country and is currently pursuing graduate studies at Covenant Theological Seminary. She and her husband, David, are the co-hosts of the GriefShare video series used in more than 8,500 churches nationwide and also host Respite Retreats for couples who have experienced the death of a child. Nancy is the author of numerous books including Holding on to Hope and Hearing Jesus Speak into Your Sorrow, as well as the Seeing Jesus in the Old Testament Bible study series.

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 Joe Rigney

Joe Rigney serves as Assistant Professor of Theology and Christian Worldview at Bethlehem College and Seminary, where he teaches Bible, theology, history, philosophy, history, and Jonathan Edwards. When he’s not teaching college and seminary students, he spends time enjoying his lovely wife, laughing with his two sons, reading medieval theology, playing flag football, and eating fish tacos. He is the author of Live Like a Narnian: Christian Discipleship in Lewis’s Chronicles and The Things of Earth: Treasuring God by Enjoying His Gifts.

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Jeramie Rinne

Jeramie Rinne has served as the senior pastor of South Shore Baptist Church in Hingham, MA for the past 17 years. He is the author of Church Elders: How to Shepherd God’s People Like Jesus and How Will the World End? Jeramie is an instructor with the Simeon Trust. He is married to his wife Jennifer and has four children.

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Chuck Steddom

Chuck Steddom oversees the MDiv worship pastor concentration at Bethlehem College & Seminary. He has also served as Pastor for Worship and Music at Bethlehem Baptist Church since 1997. Prior to this, he served as both minister and teacher in Minnesota and Iowa, including chairing the music department at Prairie Bible Institute. His wife, Carol, is the principal accompanist at Bethlehem’s south campus. The Steddoms have four children: Daniel, Allison, Alexander, and Kiandra. Chuck is committed to seeing the nations come together in the worship of King Jesus this side of heaven in the North American context.

westerholm

 Matthew Westerholm

Matthew Westerholm serves as Pastor for Worship and Music at Bethlehem Baptist Church’s downtown campus. Prior to moving to Minneapolis, he served as Dean of the Chapel at Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, Michigan and as a Worship Pastor at Harvest Bible Chapel in Rolling Meadows, Illinois. Matthew is pursuing a PhD in Christian Worship from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Matthew enjoys writing songs, but adores his wife, Lisa, and their three boys.


Cost

  • $135 if you register by November 3
  • $150 if you register by January 2
  • $175 if you register by January 29
  • Student Rate – $120 if you register by January 29
  • Group Rate (four or more people registered from the same church, e.g. pastor, pastor spouse, elder, worship leader, ministry leader, group leader, et. al.) – $120 if you register by January 29

 

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