Archive for the Clarus 12 Category

May 10

Clarus ’12 Video Now Online

2012 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Clarus 12

Apr 25

Rest in the Gospel or Strive Unto Holiness? – Clarus Panel Video Now Online

2012 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Clarus 12

At our recent Clarus conference, speakers D.A. Carson and Fred G. Zaspel spoke on our theme, “The Cross-Shaped Christian Life.” In his recent post over at The Gospel Coalition Blog, “Rest in the Gospel or Strive Unto Holiness?“, Ryan followed up on an issue that came up during the Clarus panel discussion: the nature of effort in the Christian life:

During the recent Together for the Gospel conference, Kevin DeYoung delivered an excellent message, “Spirit-Powered, Gospel-Driven, Faith-Fueled Effort.” My prolific friend and fellow Council member for The Gospel Coalition also has a book coming out on the subject, The Hole in Our Holiness: Filling the Gap between Gospel Passion and the Pursuit of Godliness. Anyone attuned to the reformed evangelical blogosphere will know that Kevin’s sermon and book spring in part from lively in-house discussions over the last year about the nature of sanctification: its relationship to justification, the gospel, effort, and so on. (If that’s news to you, start here.)

Those who have been tracking that ongoing discussion might be interested to know that many of these sanctification-related issues were recently addressed by D. A. Carson and Fred G. Zaspel at Clarus ’12, a TGC regional conference.

Ryan’s post continued with a partial transcript of his discussion with Carson and Zaspel on this particular issue. His post concluded with a list of the questions that guided the 83 minute conversation, largely focused on the doctrine of sanctification:

  • How do you understand Paul’s struggle with sin in Romans 7:17-25? (Fred and Don have differing views of Rom. 7—and neither is the most popular view!)
  • What is the relationship between justification and sanctification? Are they tied or separate?
  • Can we see our own growth? Or is growth only the further, deeper acknowledgment of our need for the gospel?
  • If we have only one nature, why do we still sin?
  • What is “perfectionism”? And what is the “higher life movement”?
  • Warfield wrote a work called Miserable Sinner Christianity. What is “miserable sinner Christianity”? Is that the kind of language we should use to speak of Christians?
  • Concerning indicatives and imperatives, how do we avoid neglecting or distorting one or the other?
  • How do we teach new believers the basics of discipleship without promoting check-list Christianity?
  • What are some encouraging and concerning trends in North American Christianity?

The 83-minute video of our panel discussion is now online:

Audio for the this year and previous Clarus conferences is available here.

For a nice summary of the conference and a round-up of helpful links, photos, and audio, check out Matthew Barnett’s recap of Clarus over at Credo Magazine.

Mar 27

Clarus ’12 Recap: “The Cross-Shaped Christian Life”

2012 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Clarus 12

From March 9-11, Christians from Albuquerque, New Mexico, and the surrounding Southwest region gathered at Desert Springs Church for Clarus ‘12, a Regional Conference of The Gospel Coalition. Our speakers, D.A. Carson and Fred G. Zaspel, addressed this year’s theme, “The Cross-Shaped Christian Life” showing how the cross transforms and continues to transform God’s people for His glory.

In addition to a panel discussion led by Ryan Kelly (Audio; Blog Recap), both men spoke a total of three times. For those who couldn’t join us, video will be available in the weeks to come. Audio is available now along with blog summaries for each session:

D.A. Carson

  • “Living in a Difficult Time” – 2 Thessalonians 1 (Audio; Blog Recap)
  • “The Saving Word” – James 1:12-25 (Audio; Blog Recap)
  • “Christians Living in the Last Days” – 2 Timothy 3:1-4:8 (Audio; Blog Recap)

Fred G. Zaspel

  • “B.B. Warfield on The Doctrine of Sanctification” (Audio; Blog Recap)
  • “Serving as He Served” – John 13:1-17 (Audio; Blog Recap)
  • “Forgiving As Forgiven” – Matthew 18:15-35 (Audio; Blog Recap)

In addition to a number of other ministries and publishers, we were joined Rick Friesen with Peacemaker Ministries for a special session on Saturday, “Handling Everyday Conflict” (Audio; Blog Recap). And Jim Tomaszewski joined us from Children Desiring God to host our annual pre-conference Pastor’s Luncheon and Q&A with our speakers.

Photos of the event are available here and here, and at the TGC: Albuquerque Facebook Page.

Mar 13

Many Thanks to Our Clarus ’12 Sponsors!

2012 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Clarus 12

We will do one more wrap-up post for Clarus after this one, pulling together links to audio, blog recaps, and photos from the weekend. But before we do that we simply must devote a post to thanking our sponsors.

Though it might not be immediately obvious, our sponsors not only help make Clarus great but they also help make Clarus possible. And it is an investment on their part to partner with us, shipping their materials and, for some, sending a representative with all the expenses that come with that.

The organizations that join us are the kind of organizations that we want to join us. They serve the agenda of our conference by encouraging and resourcing the church with God-focused and Word-faithful material. We love these organizations and encourage you to visit their sites and take advantage of the excellent services and resources they provide in loving support of Christ’s church.

Visiting Ministries

Jim Tomaszewski, from Children Desiring God

Ben Krueger, from Crossway Books

Jimmy Davis, from Cruciform Press

Rick Friesen, from Peacemaker Ministries

Jerod Harper from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Kevin, from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

Ministries That Gave Away Books

Baker Publishing, The Cross and Christian Ministry, by D.A. Carson

9Marks Ministries, Finding Faithful Elders and Deacons, by Thabiti Anyabwile

Christian Focus Publishing, Jonah: Navigating a God-Centered Life, by Collin Smith

Cruciform Press, Cruciform: Living the Cross-Shaped Life, by Jimmy Davis

Crossway Books, Warfield on The Christian Life: Living in Light of the Gospel, by Fred Zaspel
*This giveaway was for pastors who joined us at the Friday Pastors Luncheon

Visiting Publishers

Bags, Mags, and Ads

Crossway Books was gracious to supply the conference with conference bags, and White Horse Inn was generous to supply a copy of Modern Reformation Magazine to all conference attendees. Many of the organizations above published ads in our conference booklet, but there were several others, including, The Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, B&H Publications, The Holman Christian Standard Bible, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and Westminster Theological Seminary.


Mar 12

Sunday Recap: Carson, “Christians Living in the Last Days” – 2 Timothy 3:1 – 4:8

2012 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Clarus 12

On Sunday morning, the last day of Clarus, Dr. Carson delivered a message, “Christians Living in the Last Days,” from 2 Timothy 3:1-4:8. Originally written from Paul to Timothy, this text is timely for all those living in the “last days,” the time between the resurrection and the return of Christ.

Sunday’s sermon was an excellent example of what both of our speakers this year are famous for – expositional preaching. Dr. Carson’s outline made clear what Paul said to Timothy and impressed on us the timeless weight of four imperatives critical for God’s people in these last days.

These last days, says Paul, will be characterized by “terrible times” (3:1). These times will be terrible because of the havoc brought about by the violent and wild rebellion of the ungodly – those who are set against God and his ways (3:2-9). Paul describes people with a string of eighteen traits. They are selfish, “lovers of themselves,” and “proud.” They are socially destructive, “abusive,” and “disobedient to parents.” They are “ungrateful,” “unholy,” and  their speech is “slanderous.” The list goes on. Many are even leading people astray with a form of godliness that is void of the gospel’s power, and some of them prey on the vulnerable.

As those who live in the last days, Paul’s exhortation to Timothy is God’s exhortation to us until the return of Christ:

1) Hold the Right Mentors in High Regard (3:10, 11)

In 3:10 and 11, Paul held himself before Timothy as an example worthy of following. In fact, with the preaching of the gospel, it is a string of one Christian following the example of another that explains the perpetuation of the Christian faith among us and throughout the world. What should we look for in a mentor? We should look for people who have their Bibles sorted out, who are characterized by faith, patience, love, and endurance. And as we grow into this maturity we should hold ourselves out as an example for others to follow, always following and leading others as we follow Christ.

2) Hold Few Illusions about The World (3:12-13)

In 3:12-13 Paul warns against persecution as evil seducers go from “bad to worse.” This is true, of course, of evil people in every generation and Christians should never be surprised by great evil in this world. The last century was the bloodiest in human history and there is no reason for us to expect that the next century should not be as bloody or worse. Of course, none of us are as bad as we could be. Even Hitler, for example, could have kicked the dog one more time. But we’re all on a trajectory. Neither Hitler nor the world’s other murderous dictators started out as bad as they ended up. If we are in Adam our trajectory is that of greater evil and a harder heart over time. If we are in Christ, our trajectory is that of greater godliness and a more humble heart over time.

3) Hold On to The Bible (3:14-17)

In 3:14-17, Paul reminds Timothy of his heritage and exhorts him to continue in that heritage of godly faith. Timothy’s first Bible lessons were from his mother and his grandmother, who related the Scriptures in a way that readied his heart to receive the cross-work of Christ has his saving hope. These Old Testament Scriptures, which lead to Christ, are nothing less than the very words of God, breathed out by Him through human authors so that what He wanted written was written down for us. It is to these Scriptures that Timothy must hold in the last days, and Timothy’s godly heritage is nothing to be taken for granted. Of course, that is true for us as well. While instruction at a young age does not guarantee faithfulness later, those who grew up learning the Bible have God to thank for that marvelous and irreplaceable gift.

4) Hold Out The Bible to Others (4:1-8)

In these terrible times, Paul makes an emotional plea: “I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus Christ, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word” (4:1-2). This is the way that the characteristics of the age are countered in the church. There are many good things we should be doing by way of social and political involvement, but the one thing we must do is preach the Word and teach the Bible to the next generation. In time, none of us will be here, no matter how well known, and a new generation will take our place in holding fast to and heralding the Word of God.