Wednesday, April 09, 2008

New Word Alive - midweek report

So, it's wednesday morning in the team lounge. Just back from Don Carson on 1 John 2. New Word Alive has the feel of a family gathered because of our love for the gospel. A few brief highlights:

We opened with Terry Virgo on reigning in life by grace. What an awesome way to kick off this new conference with it's vision to bless the church. We're in Christ - married to him, dead to law. What a great saviour we have.

Highlight of day two was John Piper's breathtaking exposition of Romans 8 on treasuring Christ and the call to suffer. Stopped in my tracks. Exhilirated by the gospel. It's all Jesus. John stopped us mid verse to drink in the awesome realities of being heirs before leading us into the logic and centrality of penal substitution to our new "no condemnation" life - a life we now have! Adrian blogs the Piper preach here. Tim Chester also blogged it.

I've loved the way things are fitting together, the cohesion and sense of passion for the gospel as we've heard the word preached and sung God's praises. Great to have Stuart Townend, Phatfish, and Soul Survivor guys (Sam Parker, Lisa Francis and others) serving us too. John Piper was very strong on showing us how vital it was to hold to God having condemned our sin in Christ and so having no condemnation but only favour for us in Christ! What a glorious and pastoral doctrine.

After the Piper talk I ran into Adrian Warnock who I'll hopefully be interviewing tomorrow before I teach my seminar on language: taming the tongue. I imagine I'm somewhere in this audio of responses to Piper but no audio here to listen to that.

Everyone seemed to be buzzing with what we've seen of Christ but with questions to ponder further about how to reign in life, how stunning grace is and how God uses suffering. Many questions unresolved and we wait for part 2 of Romans 8 tonight. We love the cross and we want to treasure Christ more! That's what new word alive is about. 

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