Theme for 2021
Devoted to the Scriptures
This year’s theme sought to encourage a greater, deeper, more precise, and more courageous devotion to God’s Word. This was not just a conference about Bibliology, the study of Scripture. We addressed many of the subtle ways in which devotion to Scripture can often be undermined, even for those who may be familiar with it (Gen 3:1). Being devoted to God necessarily means being devoted to “the whole purpose of God” (Acts 20:27), interpreting it rightly (2 Tim 2:15), believing it humbly (Isa 66:2), and practicing it diligently (Jas 1:22-25). And in keeping with our first annual conference, we want to continue to proclaim that true devotion to God’s Word is preserved and protected in/by the Church, which is the only “pillar and support of the truth” (1 Tim 3:15).
Speaker for 2021
Jonathan was born in 1978 in Junction City, Kansas. He graduated from The Moody Bible Institute in 2000, The Master’s Seminary in 2005, and earned a Ph.D. in Christian Preaching with research in hermeneutics from The Southern Baptist Seminary in 2019. Jonathan married his wife April in 2002 and they have four sons, Micah, Owen, Miles, and Derek. Jonathan served as a pastor at Grace Immanuel Bible Church in Jupiter, FL for fifteen years, where he also taught as a professor at The Expositors Seminary.
Jonathan joined the pastoral staff at Grace Bible Church in Tempe, AZ in October of 2020 and continues to serve as a professor for The Expositors Seminary in the Greek department. Jonathan is passionate about church history, old books, and was the founder of the Ekklesia Conference.
Resources for 2021
How Do You Read the Bible?
by J.C. Ryle
According to J. C. Ryle, next to praying there is nothing so important in practical religion as Bible reading. God in his mercy has given us a book ‘which is able to make us wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus’ (2 Tim. 3:15). By reading the Bible we may learn what to believe, what to be, and what to do; how to live with comfort, and how to die in peace.
Can anything, therefore, be more important than being in possession of a Bible? However, to have a Bible is one thing, to read it is quite another. Happy is the one who not only has a Bible but who reads it, obeys it, and makes it the rule of one’s faith and practice!
In this little book Ryle clearly explains why we ought to value the Bible highly, to study it regularly, and to make ourselves thoroughly acquainted with its contents.
Read the Bible in a Year
by Robert Murray M’Cheyne
Writing at the end of 1842, Robert Murray M’Cheyne, tells his flock: ‘It has long been in my mind to prepare a scheme of Scripture reading, in which as many as were made willing by God might agree, so that the whole Bible might be read once by you in the year, and all might be feeding in the same portion of the green pasture at the same time.’ The Calendar gives four portions (usually four chapters) for each day of the year: two for family worship, morning and evening, and two for private reading, morning and evening. In this way, the entire Bible is read once and the New Testament and Psalms twice in the course of a year. For a helpful background and summary of this resource by D.A. Carson, see: thegospelcoalition.org
An Article to Read
"Subtle Ways to Abandon the Authority of Scripture in Our Lives" by D.A. Carson
In this penetrating and insightful article, Carson highlights for us ten ways we can easily undermine the authority of Scripture without outright denying it. His list is as follows:
- An appeal to selective evidence
- Heart embarrassment before the Text
- Publishing ventures that legitimate what God condemns
- “The art of imperious ignorance”
- Allowing the categories of systematic theology to domesticate what Scripture says
- Too little reading, especially the reading of older commentaries and theological works
- The failure to be bound by both the formal principle and the material principle
- Undisciplined passion for the merely technical or unhealthy suspicion of the Technical
- Undisciplined confidence in contemporary philosophical agendas
- Anything that reduces our trembling before the Word of God