“What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?” (Psalm 8:1)
When David asked this question three thousand years ago, he had a ready answer, rooted in Israel’s Scriptures, and highlighting the amazing dignity of human beings: lower than the angels, but crowned with glory and honor.
Today, this question—What is man?—is more pressing than ever. The modern world is increasingly confused about what it means to be human. We watch as Romans 1 plays out in our culture in ever-increasing expressions of rebellion, brokenness, and evil. Having turned away from the living God, he has given us over to folly, to the lusts of our hearts, to dishonorable passions, to a debased mind, and to the dishonoring of our bodies. And sadly, the world’s confusion seeps into our churches with tragic consequences.
But we are not without hope. The word of God is still living and active, and offers us the answer to our confusion. This year, for the 35th Bethlehem Conference for Pastors, we’re devoting our energies to exploring the biblical vision of our humanity—beginning with our eternal destiny, and then exploring the divine image, our sexuality, our weakness and wickedness, our inner life and our embodiment, and the mission that God has given us together.
And so we are glad to welcome you to this year’s conference. Our prayer is that God would use the messages, worship, fellowship, meals, and prayers together to strengthen your soul for the work of ministry. May serious joy in Jesus be the ballast in your boat, as you seek to glorify him.
Clinging to Jesus with you,
Dr. Joe Rigney