So I think I shall write down my reaction to the DG conference before it disappears. Or rather my paraphrase of it. I don't take notes well because it ends up being my own opinion. Anyhoo, here goes. The entire conference was on the power of words and the wonder of God. Lovely. .. Bob Kauflin: What Happens When We Sing?
What happens when we sing is that our hearts are awakened. Music is a heavenly thing. It existed in heaven before the world was made. The angels worship God with music. It has great power, but like all influential things, it can be misused. When we put music to words to worship God, it moves our affections powerfully. The purpose of worship is not necessarily to play the most progressive, avant-garde or "hip" music possible, it is to direct your heart to love God more. That's not to say that it should not be relevant, or artistic or beautiful, but it is not just music for music's sake. With regard to music written by Christians that is not for corporate worship, the sky's the limit. Oh and probably the Bible too. :)
Mark Driscoll: Arresting Attention
If you have never heard Mark Driscoll, I will only tell you one thing. He is not a comfortable preacher. He'll offend you a bit. Or a lot. However, there is a biblical way to offend people, and that is partly what he did. He pointed out that Jesus was offensive. Jesus lambasted hypocrites. He despised deception. This was not for his own amusement, but so that his sheep would see their foolishness and not catch the disease. There is a place for strong language, for sharp humor and in-your face truth. The world has plenty of nice, easy-to-swallow religions, but Christianity is not one of them. We worship a homeless guy who was murdered. That is slightly offensive and weird to most people. His session was so packed that I would just recommend you get it off the DG website and listen to it. Here's my favorite quote: "People have taken the fun out of fundamentalism. "
Daniel Taylor: Grace and Story
Stories are what we interpret our lives through. I'm sure you can remember vividly the stories you read as a little kid. Stories imput either truth or falsehood. They are never neutral. Kids today are story-deprived. Instead of A Christmas Carol , they get Dora the Explorer. If you like Dora, I'm sorry. I don't. All humans need a story to live in, and we are happiest when we are not the center character, but are important and insignificant at the same time. Figure that out.
Dinner break came about here, and I have to tell some small random bits that were excellent. My family went to Brit's Pub on Nicollet for a nibble. We took Heidi Brinkmann and Mr. Horn, and I have to tell you that Brit's Pub serves the best calamari I have ever eaten. Downright heavenly with a little humorous fellowship. As we walked back on Nicollet, we saw this great blob of white ahead of us. Someone had put detergent in a fountain, and the snowy white suds were all over the sidewalk and street. Yes, we had a foam fight. I wish I had pictures. But my favorite was when we got back, and walked in as the singing was starting. As I listened to those thousands of people singing together, I had a small glimpse of heaven, of every tribe and people and tongue on earth, from all of history, singing.
Paul Tripp: The God Who Speaks
God spoke the first words, and we are like him in that we also speak or communicate in some way. Words have great power and great consequences. They can kill or give life. On this earth, your words have a beginning and an end. You spoke your first words, and at some point, your words here will cease. Who will rule them? What effect will they have? Another quote: "There is nothing that comes out of the mouth of a drunk that wasn't there in the first place."
John Piper: The Language Nobody Knows (this was Sunday morning)
Can you be eloquent for God's glory? Or does skill with words just eclipse the truth? He compared the speaking styles of George Whitfield and Jonathan Edwards as an example. Whitfield was so skilled with words and so pleasant to listen to that a man once said he just enjoyed listening to him, and cared nothing for what he was actually saying. That is a fearful thing, to be preaching the gospel and be so eloquent that you lose God in your words. I did not get to hear the end of this one, but my family tells me Piper ended by saying that yes, you could use eloquence in a good way, in fact, that it could be of great use to faith, though it should never be an end in itself. Quote: ( this isn't Piper's, but he mentioned it and I forget whose it was.) "No one can give the impression that he himself is clever and that Christ is mighty to save."