What a weekend it was in center-city Philadelphia for the Philadelphia Conference on Reformed Theology. It was full of some of the best preachers of our day opening the Scriptures to us to show us Christ, the heavenly worship of the saints, great fellowship, excellent food and libations, and much learning and growing. I’m hoping to have a few blog posts with some of the specific highlights (if I ever have time), but in the meantime, here are a view general observations or comments I had from the conference.
-It was not exactly what we were expecting, but by no means are we disappointed. We were expecting a little more on eschatology – the last days – but instead we gladly received Christ preached to us from all of Scripture. Instead of indulging in curiosities or labels, the men preached on redemption, prophetic fulfillment, our resurrection hope, justification, and Christ’s past, present, and future work.
-Sinclair Ferguson has to be one of the best preachers in the country. His mastery of Scripture, his ability to weave everything together, and to do it in such understandable, Christ-centered ways was outstanding – and all without using any notes. We could listen to him and his Scottish accent for hours on end.
-Ferguson’s preaching gifts were only matched by by D.A. Carson’s intellect and exposition. He has insight into Scripture that renders listeners amazed.
-Not just the sermons from those two (two each!), but each sermon was a display of godly, engaging, powerful, gospel-centered, sincere expository preaching. I’d highly recommend obtaining copies of them and listening to them again and again.
-I’m pretty sure every speaker was somewhere in the amillennial spectrum, but it didn’t really matter because none of them were concerned with furthering the arguments of their camp. Instead, all of them were rightly concerned with proclaiming Christ crucified, raised, and coming again.
-Carson must have seen my dad preach, because the similarities in preaching style are uncanny. From hand and facial gestures to voice inflections, pronunciations, and display of emotion, it could have been my dad up there for all I know. Maybe it’s the Canadian connection?
-Mike Horton is sincere, kind, passionate, and shorter than I thought in person. He says hello.
-There is nothing like singing A Mighty Fortress, And Can It Be, Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken, or For All the Saints with thousands of brothers and sisters along with a huge pipe organ and the Westminster Brass. We literally could not hear ourselves sing, and we were singing at the top of our lungs. Truly heavenly worship. I have to admit that it would have been awesome to sing a psalm or two, though.