The last time I checked, the Pope was still a Catholic, the death rate was still hovering at around 100% and the chances of getting Mark Driscoll to speak at a conference in the UK in 2008 were averaging at zero.
It is therefore with great delight that I can announce that we have, with the aid of certain friends (for an inspired guess see Adrian Warnock’s blog), arranged for him to be our main visiting speaker at Together on a Mission in Brighton next year, 8-11 July 2008.
In recent months I have found myself listening to downloads of Mark Driscoll’s preaching probably more than anybody else’s. I find him completely arresting, relevant, Biblical, funny, aggressive and packing a real punch. I believe he will do us a lot of good.
I love his value system and I am impressed by what has been accomplished by God through his ministry based in Seattle, where a church of several thousand has been built in a few years, starting from almost nothing and largely not through church swapping but conversion.
He is theologically reformed, Biblically orthodox and culturally relevant, and particularly addresses the post-modern world with remarkable insight. I have just read his chapter in the Crossway publication The Supremacy of Christ in a Post-Modern World. I found myself underlining sentence after sentence and simply wrote ‘Wow!’ in the margin at the conclusion of the chapter. I am deeply grateful to God that he will be with us.
We had also hoped that Alec Motyer would be joining us for Mobilise but he has graciously declined, adding, ‘…I am depriving myself of a great privilege and benefit in not being able to come…’ What a gracious and wonderful man of God he is. (If you’ve not yet read his commentary on Isaiah you are very seriously missing out!)
Word & Spirit
Last year at our Together on a Mission conference we were delighted to have Rob Rufus with us. His contribution was superb and his intimate fellowship with the Holy Spirit was profoundly provocative. We were all stirred and attracted to a growing hunger for more partnership with the Holy Spirit so that our ministries might be more effective.
It has been our constant aim to be a ‘family of churches’ with a genuine emphasis on Word and Spirit, not simply in order to arrive at ‘balance’ (what J.I. Packer calls ‘that dreadful self-conscious word’) but in order to benefit from the presence and revelation of the Holy Spirit, and the objective authority and power of God’s revealed truth. It seems very good to me, therefore, having had Rob with us for the last two years, now to welcome Mark Driscoll whose emphasis on the Word of God will do us enormous good. That is not to say, of course, that either of these men represents a stance of exclusively Word or Spirit, but I guess you know what I mean.
I hope many of you will be with us. Booking details will be on our Newfrontiers website in the New Year but I couldn’t keep the news to myself any longer!