Archive for the Clarus 12 Category

Mar 5

Clarus Week is Here: Conference Schedule

2012 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Clarus 12

On Sunday, Ryan preached a sermon, “How to Really Talk to Yourself,” in which he said that preaching truth to ourselves is a main piece of the Christian life. Clarus, which starts this Friday, is something of a crash course for the kinds of things we should be saying to ourselves in the course of our daily self-preaching. Speakers D.A. Carson and Fred G. Zaspel will unfold the Scripture’s teaching on how the cross bears on every aspect of the Christian life. If you haven’t registered yet, click here.

In addition to nine publishers with hundreds of books, we will be joined by Children Desiring God, Peacemaker Ministries, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Here’s a schedule of the weekend with talk titles:

Friday, March 9

6:00 PM  Singing

6:15 PM  Welcome and Introduction

6:30 PM  Session 1 with Fred G. Zaspel
“B.B. Warfield on the Doctrine of Sanctification”

7:30 PM  Break

7:45 PM  Session 2 with D.A. Carson
“Living in a Difficult Time” – 2 Thessalonians 1

Saturday Morning, March 10

8:45 AM  Singing

9:00 AM  Session 3 with Fred G. Zaspel
“Serving as He Served” – John 13:1-17

10:00 AM  Break

10:30 AM  Session 4 with D.A. Carson
“The Saving Word” – James 1:12-25

11:30 AM  Break for Lunch

Saturday Afternoon, March 10

1:30 PM  Saturday Special Session: “Resolving Everyday Conflict,” with Rick Friesen from Peacemaker Ministries

3:00 PM  Afternoon Break

Saturday Night, March 10

6:00 PM  Singing

6:15 PM  Session 5 with Fred Zaspel
“Forgiving As Forgiven” – Matthew 18:15-35

7:15 PM  Break

7:30 PM  Session 6, Panel Discussion with D.A. Carson and Fred G. Zaspel

Sunday, March 11

9:00 AM & 10:45 AM  Corporate Worship with D.A. Carson
“Christians Living in the Last Days” – 2 Timothy 3:1-4:8

Mar 2

The Cross, Church Architecture, and Spiritual Disciplines

2012 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Clarus 12

Over the past few weeks, we’ve posted excerpts from the free books that will be given to Clarus attendees during the conference (Book 1, Book 2, Book 3). The last book, compliments of Cruciform Press, has a title that matches our conference theme nicely.

Cruciform: Living the Cross-Shaped Life, by Jimmy Davis, is rich with quotes like these:

“Here in the 21st century we need more cruciform churches. Not lavish cathedrals but living communities of disciples being shaped by the cross into the shape of the cross for the glory of God and the good of our neighbors, the nations, and the next generation. Our best hope is to cooperate with The Architect, who promised he would build his church, as we join him to form our families, small groups, and churches into “cruciform communities.” Such com­munities visibly show and verbally share the message of the cross because they are made up of people who have been vibrantly shaped by that message.”

“At one particular point in my life I realized I had been practicing ‘cross-less devotions.’ I was working hard at spending time with God while forgetting the very gospel that permits and prompts me to do so. We are not to practice Bible reading, fasting, solitude, prayer, and other disciplines to make God happy with us but to make space to hear how happy God is with us because of Jesus. When I have a quiet time in order to get God to love me, I am a legalist who “slaves away” to earn the favor of God, not a loved son who enjoys fellowship with his Father. The purpose of spiritual disciplines is to make room in my life to “repent and believe in the gospel” . . .Cross-shaped spiritual disciplines enable me to hear God the Father say that I already have his accep­tance and approval through God the Son, so that I can now work with him in the resurrection power that God the Spirit supplies . . .When my spiritual disciplines are shaped by the cross, then whatever spiritual discipline I practice, my aim is the same: to feed by faith on Jesus Christ as he is offered in the gospel.”

Visit the Cruciform Press website for more books by this fine new publisher, and read about their unique vision for publishing. Conference discounts will be available on numerous books by Cruciform Press in the Clarus Books and Resources Room.

Clarus is a Regional Conference of The Gospel Coalition taking place March 9-11 with speakers D.A. Carson and Fred G. Zaspel. Visit the Clarus page for more information or to register for this year’s conference.

Feb 29

Biblical Church Leadership, Sheep, and the Blood of Christ

2012 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Clarus 12

Mark Dever, pastor at Capital Hill Baptist Church, has published a fine little book, A Display of God’s Glory: The Basics of Church Structure, which unfolds the Bible’s teaching on how the church should be organized and led. Dever also founded 9Marks Ministries, a ministry devoted to helping churches pursue biblical priorities and so reflect the glory of Christ.

9Marks Ministries has published numerous books to this end. A new book by Thabiti Anyabwile, Finding Faithful Elders and Deacons, will be our third free book for those who attend Clarus (Book 1, Book 2). Anyabwile helps churches reflect the saving wonder of the cross in the selection of biblically qualified leaders who faithfully shepherd God’s blood-bought flock.

Do you like the smell of sheep?

I don’t mean the smell of lamb chops roasting in the oven. And by “Sheep” I don’t mean the imaginary animals conjured and counted by insomniacs. I mean the living, bleating, woolly animals roaming in green pastures. . . .[On a visit to Scotland] I learned that it is not really the snell of sheep that need concern you. It is what sheep indiscriminately drop around the pasture tha tposes the greater threat!@ With vistas as breathtaking as those in the Scottish highlands, the sheep-herding nvice has a tough time keeping his eyes down to watch his step. But you should. Sheep are messy and shepherds need either good work bookts or careful footing!

Repeatedly the Bible describes Christians as sheep. It is not a flattering description. But it is an accurate one. Christians are messy people. Our lives are filled with brokenness, waste, trouble, and sticky situations. We are timid, and we sometimes wander. . . .This is why we need shepherds, men who know what to do with sheep, how to care for us, lead us, and navigate our mess.

And here’s the really good news: in the Bible God reveals himself as our Shepherd. . . .[And], as a gift to his flock, the Chief Shepherd appoints godly men as under-shepherds to tend the flock that he purchased with his blood (Acts 20:28). We know these under-shepherds by various titles used interchangeably, including: pastors, overseers, bishops, and elders. Like the Chief Shepherd, elders or pastors watch over the flock entrusted to their care (1 Pet. 5:1-3) by leading, feeding, and protecting the sheep.

Visit the 9Marks website for more helpful reading on the subject of biblical leadership and church life, and look forward to conference discounts on numerous 9Marks titles in the Clarus Books and Resources Room.

Clarus is a Regional Conference of The Gospel Coalition taking place March 9-11 with speakers D.A. Carson and Fred G. Zaspel. Visit the Clarus page for more information or to register for this year’s conference.

Feb 28

Jonah, A Big Fish, and The Gospel

2012 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Clarus 12

When we think of the book of Jonah, we don’t usually think of the gospel. Actually, our first thought is usually a thought about Jonah getting swallowed by a fish, and our second thought is about Jonah getting spit out by a fish. Of course, though, the story of Jonah and the fish is really a story of God’s relentless pursuit of sinners.

Last week we posted a blog with quotes from our first free book for those who attend Clarus. Our second book giveaway, compliments of Christian Focus Publishing, is a book about Jonah by Collin Smith, Jonah: Navigating the God Centered Life.

Here’s the book description and an endorsement by Clarus speaker, D.A. Carson:

Facing an assignment equivalent to being sent to warn notorious terrorists of God’s anger with them, perhaps it was no wonder that Jonah ran away – certainly portrayed in Scripture as no “super saint”, he avoided God and His call on his life. Yet God turned the situation around as pagan sailors encountered the living God who made the land and sea and the entire population of a city realised that although they deserved to be wiped off the face of the earth, there was a God of compassion and mercy who forgave them. God’s mercy is greater than our failures and through adverse circumstances and pain, a character of Christ-like compassion is chiselled out.

“Here is a pastor reading the book of Jonah and finding a preacher who wants settled ministry, not challenges; who wants to see his enemies crushed, not converted; who longs for God’s grace in his own life, but not in the lives of others; who knows how to speak God’s words with faithfulness, but who wants to see only the component of judgment worked out in reality; a preacher who is angry and who wants God to be angry too; a man who wallows in self-pity and hates it when God exposes that self-pity for the idolatrous arrogance it is. It is not difficult to see the relevance of such portraits in our own day. And what does it say of God, that he keeps working away at Jonah as he keeps working away at the Ninevites?”

– D. A. Carson

Clarus is a Regional Conference of The Gospel Coalition taking place March 9-11 with speakers D.A. Carson and Fred G. Zaspel. Visit the Clarus page for more information or to register for this year’s conference.

Feb 27

Getting to Know Fred G. Zaspel, Clarus ’12

2012 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Clarus 12

This is the second of two posts introducing this year’s Clarus speakers. Read about Dr. Carson here.

Like Dr. Carson, this is not Dr. Zaspel’s first time to DSC.

In 2010, Dr. Zaspel  joined us for a weekend to speak on, Romans 9 and the wonder of God’s sovereignty in salvation and in suffering. This past July, Dr. Zaspel joined us for a Parenting Seminar weekend, “The Word on Parenting,” in which he addressed three critical aspects of Christian parenting: Parenting with a GoalSaving our ChildrenDirecting and Disciplining our Children. These are all memorable and helpful messages.

But even if you weren’t with us for these seminars, you’ve still felt the reach of Dr. Zaspel’s shepherding love for God’s people, a he is one of Ryan’s closest friends in the ministry. In Ryan’s own words, “he’s really been a long-distance Paul to this Timothy.” Over a dozen years or so, Ryan and Dr. Zaspel have shared hundreds of emails and hours of conversation about the decisions and struggles of life and ministry.

Here’s a short biography on Dr. Zaspel with links to his various writings:

Dr. Zaspel (Ph.D., The Free University of Amsterdam) is a pastor on staff at Reformed Baptist Church of Franconia, PA and is the interim Senior Pastor at New Hyde Park Baptist Church on New York’s Long Island. He is an instructor in Bible and theology at To Every Tribe missions, and Adjunct Professor of Systematic Theology at Calvary Baptist Seminary in Lansdale, PA.

His recent book, The Theology of B. B. Warfield: A Systematic Summary is the fruit of his Ph.D. dissertation and has received high acclaim. Another work on this important American theologian will soon be published: Warfield on the Christian Life: Living in Light of the Gospel. He also co-authored (with Tom Wells) New Covenant Theology. Hundreds of Fred’s sermons, articles, and booklets are online at He is also a regular contributor to Credo Magazine.

Dr. Zaspel and his wife, Kimberly, were married in 1979 in Columbus, Ohio and have two children. In his spare time, Dr. Zaspel enjoys motorcycles, playing guitar, and boating.

Clarus is a Regional Conference of The Gospel Coalition taking place March 9-11 with speakers D.A. Carson and Fred G. Zaspel. Visit the Clarus page for more information or to register for this year’s conference.