The Presbyterian Church in America has been my church for over twenty-six years. I have benefited greatly from its verdant pastures of Christ-centered ministry. Since the PCA’s founding on December 4th, 1973 at Briarwood Presbyterian Church, it has been a faithful witness of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ the world over. It has enjoyed an international reputation of being a church where one may receive sound biblical preaching, loving spiritual oversight, and serious God-centered discipleship. For almost fifty years the PCA has made a profound impact in domestic church planting, foreign missions, and campus ministry. Like many of you, my earnest prayer is that this faithfulness will continue far into the future.
The truth is, however, we are presently seeing signs of cultural accommodation and biblical compromise in our churches. Many are noticing; both from the inside, and from the outside looking in. There is an erosion of doctrinal clarity as secular orthodoxies trickle into our churches. There is a growing deference given to cultural trends over Scriptural truth. This is especially true as it concerns the sexual revolution. Who would have ever thought a PCA congregation would host an event like “Revoice?” Who would have thought that so much sympathy would be shown to it, and to events like it? Many outside the PCA are asking, “What is happening to the PCA?” Some of us on the inside are asking the same thing.
In an attempt to encourage the Presbyterian Church in America to continue steadfastly in sound doctrine, confessional fidelity, and biblical missions, the Gospel Reformation Network is hosting a one day, pre-General Assembly conference called, “A Time to Stand: Conviction, Courage, & Compassion In An Age of Compromise.” The conference is in partnership with Reformed Theological Seminary, Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia), and Westminster Seminary California. I have invited men to speak who understand both Scripture and culture, and who are courageously calling the church to faithfulness amidst the onslaught of cultural pressure. Join us as we hear from Kevin DeYoung, Al Mohler, David Garner, and Ligon Duncan. Tim Geiger, President of Harvest USA, an outstanding ministry to those who struggle with same-sex attraction, will also join us for a panel discussion.
Since the announcement of our day conference, some have expressed a few reasonable concerns. The first is related to the schedule. Some have asked, “Isn’t it unbefitting to schedule a conference the day before the PCA General Assembly when the committees of commissioners are meeting? Well, no— not really. Many organizations have planned events the day before General Assembly in the past, and most people who are attending the PCA General Assembly (laypeople included) will not serve on committees. The day before the start of General Assembly is simply a convenient time to host a conference in which to encourage the PCA to hold fast to the truth. Those who are serving on committees (or are planning to serve on committees) should not change their plans because of our conference. All conference addresses will be recorded and made available online.
A second concern is related to one of our speakers, the Rev. Dr. Albert Mohler. Some are asking, “Why has a Baptist been invited to speak?” In short, Al Mohler is a deeply respected, highly reputable, Reformed and evangelical scholar-pastor. He’s on the front lines of defending the historic Christian Faith against the attacks of our degenerate culture. His daily podcast and books are a lesson in bold and courageous Christianity. Moreover, he loves the PCA. He desires to see it remain healthy and strong in the future. In truth, there are few men in the world who have the knowledge, experience, and ability to encourage us to stand firm in the Faith as does Al Mohler. We will be privileged to hear from him at the conference, and also at our GRN luncheon the following day.
A third issue is related to the three seminaries that are partnering with us for this conference. Some are wondering, “Why are these seminaries, and not others, partnering with this event?” WTS, RTS, and WSC have been encouraging the work of the GRN for years. These three institutions have warmly invited the GRN onto their campuses to host GRN events. In addition, many of us on the GRN Council have close ties to these specific institutions. We hope that friends and representatives from all seminaries connected with the PCA will feel warmly welcomed to join us.
One again, I hope that you will join us for this special one-day conference on Tuesday, June 25th in Dallas, Texas, the day before the commencement of the 47th PCA General Assembly (the location will be announced very soon). Space is limited to 400, so register soon if you plan to attend. I hope to see you there.