And with that, the Gospel Jam Bonanza closed.
It was a great and busy conference—incredibly, TGC is officially 46 hours long. That’s wild. There is enough activity to fill two weeks of a normal life, but in the evangelical world, this is how we do it, to quote Montell Jordan.
On Thursday at 12:30pm, BibleMesh hosted its third and final panel of the conference, entitled “How to Teach Children and Youth the Gospel Story” which featured David Helm, Kimberly Thornbury, and Russell Moore. Gregory Allan Thornbury of BibleMesh led the panel on a fun and theologically rich tour of Christocentric parenting before a huge crowd of roughly 850 people. We were again stunned by this attendance, which overflowed our seating area and again raised interesting quandaries regarding personal safety in the event of a fire or Rob Bell sighting. The panel ranged over such matters as family devotions, how to share the gospel without pressuring the child, and what it means to share Christ to children in an everyday setting. We were gratified by the turnout and the level of discussion and audience engagement.
Much else occurred this fine day, but the final session with Don Carson, entitled “Getting Excited about Melchizedek” from Psalm 110, was particularly noteworthy. Carson’s talk ranged over a wide array of NT citations of the OT and left preachers and leaders with much to ponder in their reflections on homiletics. I found this passage helpful:
His ultimate ancestry is grounded in the God of all eternity. The NT authors are reading the OT carefully. They are drawing inferences that cannot be easily refuted. The one we are looking for is not merely the Davidic Messiah, but also the priest. We need to follow the traces in putting together the whole canon in ways that bring us in axis after axis to Jesus. You can find trajectories to Jesus through the Sabbath, the twelve tribes, Jerusalem itself—you work hand in hand with the NT authors, and you will find these trajectories. All these from the OT point forward and bring you to Jesus. This gives you confidence to read the Word of God carefully and to discover how the NT writers read the OT.
The Gospel Coalition conference formally ended after this address. We had a terrific 46 hours, and we’re thankful for what this conference represents and accomplished. We want to publicly thank Ben Peays, Collin Hansen, and the rest of the TGC team for their partnership with us. We saw an incredible response at the event, with hundreds of folks signing up for the course. Such happenings leave us grateful–and eager for TGC ’13.