OK, so I didn't jump right in and finish my posts from the National Pastors' Convention. When I got back to my office Friday afternoon, our office manager asked me, "So how was the conference?" And I had to admit some ambivalence.
First, NPC was not well themed. There seemed to be a haphazardness in the scheduling. It's not like there was much of a theme, either daily or for the conference in toto.
Second, it seemed that the main reason that speakers were there was that they'd just published a book. I suppose the fact that IVP and Zondervan sponsored the thing may have something to do with that.
Third, I was disturbed by some of the things I observed there. By that I don't mean politics (Colson balanced Jim Wallis), so much as the rise of the "soft" evangelicals I mentioned in the last post. I would guess that about a third of the presenters would fall into this mushy category. For example, in a session on theological trends there were zero Calvinists--zero!--and one "openness of God" theologian (Greg Boyd). A John Piper on that panel would have been a great addition.
I have to finish with two atta-boys. One was for the insights of J.P. Moreland, who was a delight everytime. I intend to read him more and will happily attend his sessions at other opportunities. The other is that while I am aware that Wright has some problems (see here) on the doctrine of justification, Tom Wright is an engaging exegete. I attended his morning Bible study on Acts and I was amazed to see what he could pull out of familiar texts.
By the way, I'm just finishing a series called The Seven Basic Commands of Jesus. I'll be posting the texts of these messages over the next few weeks as we lead up to Easter.