Evaluation and Questions from the Grace Ministers Conference


Evangelical Joburg is spoilt for choice when it comes to Christian conferences and speakers at the moment. I mean last year alone we had Mark Driscoll, John Piper, Paul Tripp, Tim Keller and many other big hitters grace our shores. On the conference side there was the Grace Minister’s Conference, Rezolution, Shepherd’s Conference, Annual Sola 5 Conference and the Baptist Union Assembly; to say nothing of Lausanne. [editor: any noticeable additions I should diarize for this year?]

Which to attend and which to pass over has become an issue of time management and stewardship.

I found value attending the Grace Ministers Conference; the fellowship was exceptional, the venue was great, the speakers were good, there was worship. I loved being amongst a bunch of Reformed Pastors and the sideline chats were as edifying as the billboard speakers. Below is a synopsis of each address, a link to it and a question I wish I had the opportunity to pose in the Q and A session on Day 2.

Grace Ministers Conference Phillip Ryken

Dr. Philip Graham Ryken was wow. Really I mean it. Wow with a capital W.

His expository preaching animated Jeremiah for me. I was convicted; I was exhorted. A character from the text, Micaiah, and his Godly ancestors pricked my conscience as I considered my own relationship with my dad; my children; my extended family. I had to choke back the emotion just to stay in the game.

If he was a cricketer Phillip Ryken would have the batting average of Sir Donald Bradman. He’s really that good.

Could I encourage you to listen his exposition here: http://www.box.net/shared/sy855ooum1.

My question, “When you chatted about Bible translations you mentioned that there was a place for paraphrases. In my mind I couldn’t help wondering, “If paraphrases are ok what about gender neutral translations?” Do translations such as the New Revised Standard Version, the Revised English Bible, and Today’s New International Version have their place?”

Grace Ministers Conference Conrad Mbewe

Conrad Mbewe was on fine form as usual. This guy really hits the spot for me. His exegesis of Exodus 20 captivated my intellect. I would have loved to hear his response to the question below.

Could I encourage you to listen his exposition here: http://www.box.net/shared/o4gn7pp417

My question, “I found your division of the Decalogue interesting. The concept of the most important command being given first and the final command being a safeguard of sorts got me thinking, “What other examples in the Law are there where Moses uses a similar literary device?”

Dr P.J. (Flip) Buys

Flip Buys presented A Biblical and Reformed Perspective on Demonology.

It might have been that he was on the grave yard shift (20:30 – 21:30); maybe I was too well fed and too tired to give my undivided attention; maybe it was the Free State accent but I battled through the final address. Maybe because it was an academic lecture and I was expecting an expository presentation contributed to my state of mind.

I would have preferred to listen to him speak in his native language. While singing from the Psalms before he spoke I was reminded of how poetic Afrikaans is.

You can listen his lecture here: http://www.box.net/shared/uzr1yuc8oj

My question would have been, “Dr Buys, if I understand you correctly you implied that men and woman can be possessed, controlled and influenced by demons in our current day and age.

Given that Mark 16 is unlikely to be part of the original record of Scripture and assuming that Matthew 10:1 and 2 Corinthians 12:12 is an apostolic mandate what do we do with people that claim to be possessed by spirits?”

To answer the unposed question in the first three paragraphs, “What makes a conference worth attending” I’d have to say:

  • Exceptional worship (I’m not talking smoke machines and electric guitars but I am speaking about the gravitas and place that it’s given)
  • Great speakers
  • Good fellowship
  • A venue

Did Grace Ministers Conference measure up and would I go next year? I’ll certainly consider it.

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