Together for the Gospel is a biannual gathering of Christians who love the gospel of the free grace of God in Christ. It grew out of the friendship of Mark Dever, C.J. Mahaney, Al Mohler, and Ligon Duncan—four men with some theological differences on baptism, spiritual gifts, church polity, but radically united by a common understanding of the core of the Gospel.
Our chancellor, John Piper, has spoken at every T4G since it’s inception in 2006. He was the final speaker for this year and spoke on the sovereignty of God and evangelism from Romans 9. The highlight of his message was his singing of “Softly and Tenderly Jesus is Calling” which portrays Jesus watching and waiting and yearning for the lost to come to him. He mentioned that some from the reformed community don’t feel they can sing this song because it presents Jesus as passively waiting for our response to the Gospel when we all know that our sovereign God “causes us to be born again” (1 Peter 1:3). John explained how this was not incompatible with his absolute sovereignty in gathering of the elect from every tribe and tongue and nation. Jesus is indeed watching and waiting and tenderly calling—but not merely so. Every person who comes to him is owing to the miracle of God-initiated new birth. The response to John’s message was deep emotion and deep yearning for our loved ones and the lost in general to embrace Christ. People were weeping, some loudly. Al Mohler came to the pulpit after John’s message and pronounced the final benediction with tears.
As our chancellor, John embodies what we are pleading with God to produce in our students. We are not trying to clone John’s unique personality or mix of gifts, but we are jealous that the passion that has gripped his heart for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples through Jesus Christ increasingly grips our faculty, staff, and students in a life-long consuming way.
While at T4G, it was gratifying to meet with more than a dozen of our alumni over meals, coffee, and even watching the NCAA championship. I continue to be inspired by these men who have been through our training at BCS (formerly TBI) and are passionately engaged in fruitful ministry from Boston to Bhutan. A surprising number of our graduates go on to pursue PhD’s to serve the church as pastors, missionaries or theological educators. I met with three of our seven graduates who are currently in PhD programs at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, just down the road from the T4G conference. It was especially inspiring to meet with Dieudonne (TBI graduate, class of 2010) and Dominique Tamfu , who are dreaming and praying seriously about establishing a church-based seminary in the underserved French speaking part of Cameroon, West Africa.
Rick Segal, our new Vice President of Advancement and Distinguished Lecturer in Business and Commerce organized an event to gather businessmen, pastors, alumni, and others together to learn more about “Education in Serious Joy.” The restaurant was packed and buzzing. Rick was the master of ceremonies for a panel discussion with Jason Meyer, Tim Tomlinson, and me. John Piper also was able to say a few words at the end. There is genuine and growing interest in this unique model of college and seminary discipleship in the local church.
God is good. These are sweet days as we continue to lay the foundation for an enduring God-centered, church-based effort to disciple at the highest levels.
Thank you for your partnership with us in prayer, giving, mentoring, and encouragement.
Sincerely in Christ,
Pastor for Leadership Development — Bethlehem Baptist Church
Academic Dean — Bethlehem College & Seminary
As you pray for the requests mentioned above, know that we take your prayers seriously. We long for the day when we will see how God is using your faithfulness in prayer to make an eternal difference in this institution. Please share this with others who you believe may wish to join our prayer partner email list. We will not send emails to anyone without permission.
- That God will bless richly those who are standing with us in prayer and financial support and that He will raise up more friends to help us accomplish our mission.
- That students and faculty will go deep with Christ as they finish the final pressured weeks of the semester.
- That God will prepare and use BCS faculty and students who will be teaching Kachin pastors in Myanmar in June.
- That God will supply the remaining $400,000 for us to meet our budget for this fiscal year which comes to an end in June.
- Pray for transformational gifts that will help us to not merely meet our budget but to enable us to develop to the next level in the pursuit of our mission.