Friday, June 29, 2012

Ligonier Seattle Conference--Above My Pay Grade

A former student took this picture
 When Dave Theriault first asked me in November, 2011 to consider speaking in a break-out session at the Ligonier Seattle conference (June 8-9, 2012), I had no idea what that would look and feel like for me. It's no exaggeration to say that R C Sproul has had more impact on me theologically than anyone else alive today--his books, video lectures, monthly audio sermons, Renewing Your Mind. Though I had met and spoken with him personally several times, I was not fully prepared to be speaking at the same conference with him--and John MacArthur and Steven Lawson. But it's just a break-out session, I kept telling myself. I expected to have a sort of workshop session in another side room with maybe a couple of hundred people attending (there were 3,000 at the whole conference).

But when Chris Larsen led me out to the main auditorium, I saw a sea of faces (some have estimated that there were 1,500 folks who had shortened their dinner hour to come to my optional session. I didn't count). Steven Lawson had said in his opening message that he feels sort of like the band that opens for R C. I began by telling the folks that if Dr Lawson was the band that opened for R C, I felt like a street musician busking for loose change in the back alley behind the church.

It was a warm and receptive congregation, many of them readers, and I had asked to have a stack of books (THE MIGHTY WEAKNESS OF JOHN KNOX, the book title, published by Ligonier's Reformation Trust publishing house, and my lecture topic) on hand for Giles (9) and Gillian (7) to give out to folks who could answer some of my questions. It was fun, and my kids loved participating. A highlight was when I finished speaking and was stepping off the chancel, R C met me, shook my hand, and in his gravelly voice said, "I was listening in the back. Good job."

Saturday morning I was scheduled to sign books at a table with R C, and Giles and Gillian and my wife Cheryl got to meet him and his delightful wife Vesta (Cheryl hit it off with his wife).

Watch the video of my optional session (does this mean that everybody had to go to the other sessions--not optional--and they came to mine because they wanted to? ha!). Or you can visit the link to Ligonier's site.


  1. How exciting! So glad for your opportunity to speak at that conference~Hello to your wife Cheryl! I hope to meet her sometime!Blessings!

  2. I'll pass on the greeting. I've told her all about the Adams Family. She'd love to meet you.

  3. I watched the video and enjoyed being a 'virtual' guest. I loved the 'Oooooh' from the audience when you told the answerer of your question to come for a book! It was a really great moment.