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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Bible Conferences Never Die; They Just Fade Away

A Bible conference—yes, a Bible conference—is under way here in Colorado Springs. The speakers are good, and the sessions are well attended, mainly by white-haired, bald, and dye-haired believers. I think the senior believers miss the good old days, when Bible conferences were annual events in churches across North America. I could be wrong, but I think the Bible conference movement declined when a growing number of pastors abandoned expository preaching and embraced topical sermons.

Now we have sermons and seminars on finances, divorce recovery, relationships, church growth, and self-image. These are all worthwhile concerns, but maybe we wouldn’t need so many sermons and seminars about them if we hadn’t buried solid Bible preaching and teaching alongside the dinosaurs about 40 or 50 years ago.

Yes, I’m old fashioned. I still believe 2 Timothy 4:2 offers the best advice a young preacher can receive. Paul instructed young Pastor Timothy to “preach the Word.” He realized the time would come “when men will not put up with sound doctrine” (v. 3).

A sermon may be cleverly composed of snippets of video clips, book quotations, and cartoons, but if it doesn’t communicate God’s Word as it is to people as they are, it makes white-haired, bald, and dye-haired Christians hunger for a Bible conference.