Shepherd’s Conference 2015 Recap

kalavinThis years Shepherd’s Conference was called the Inerrancy Summit, and it centered around the theme of reaffirming the doctrines of Scripture’s inspiration, infallibility, and inerrancy. Sixteen keynote speakers and several breakout sessions presented messages and lectures confirming those timeless truths.

All of the session audio/video will be online at the TMS website. The Vimeo versions of the keynote speaker addresses are available now.

All of the key sessions were good, but a few did stand out to me. Steve Lawson’s breakout lecture which was a biographical sketch of William Tyndale was truly moving, and Carl Trueman’s talk on the historical doctrine of inerrancy was a fine debunking to those who claim “inerrancy” is a modern concept and was never believed by the Christian church. Others to consider would be Ligon Duncan, Al Mohler, and Mark Dever reading the entire 119th Psalm; and the Q&A on the background to the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy was also insightful.

The real highlight for me was meeting up with dear saints I know chiefly from social media and spending time with them in real person. I made a special effort to shake Carl Trueman’s hand, which he recounted at his blog. Many of The #15 were there, including Squirrel, Matt Rollings, and JD Hall himself, who made the trip driving down from Montana to LA with his family.

I also had the blessed privilege to spend extended time with No Compromise radio host, Mike Abendroth, and his faithful side kick, Steve “Tuesday Guy” Cooley. I also talked with David Wheaton and his brother, and I met up with Jimmy Li who runs the Domain for Truth blog. We ate lunch with Robert McCabe, who teaches Hebrew and OT studies at Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary.

There were some young pastors who encouraged me, including Nate Pickowicz who pastors Harvest Bible Church in Gilmanton, NH, and Rick Cowan, who pastors Calvary Baptist in Windsor, Canada. His story is truly amazing as he recounted how he and his church are leaving wild-eyed, barking at the moon independent fundamentalism to sound, biblical orthodoxy and practice. I was truly blessed by his story.

We had our first “protester” in a long, long time. He was an angry anti-Kalvanist. Kalvan, according to this guy, was is a heritic from Jeneva. And apparently, I was also embroiled in seething internet controversy with the theonomy folks for my article last week on the debate between JD Hall and Joel McDurmon and with Brannon Howse of Worldview Weekend fame and his ridiculous faux-outrage at Todd Friel. However, the crushing number of attendees overwhelmed the network system to the point I couldn’t follow any of it, so I remained blissfully unaware of any trouble I was stirring up.

The thing with Brannon Howse insisting the number of people who died during the Inquisitions was 50 million almost seemed to be manufactured for the sole purpose of getting Todd Friel. The few individuals I spoke with during the conference who were aware of his multiple broadcasts addressing the subject, couldn’t understand why he wasn’t backing down after several corrections of factual error. No one spoke of it in positive terms and believed it only served to besmirch his reputation. But oh well.

That was the Shepherd’s Conference to end all conferences, so I’ll be surprised to see what will be tackled next. Of course, I am holding out for a Strange Flesh conference that reaffirms biblical sexuality and marriage, but I don’t see that happening anytime soon.



14 thoughts on “Shepherd’s Conference 2015 Recap

  1. Well…I’m not a Calvinist / Kalvanist either–not the five-pointer type anyway. :) But I’ve always enjoyed watching and listening to the speakers from the Shepherd’s Conference. One of these days, I’ll have to take a week off from work to attend one in person.

  2. Did you hear Brannon’s radio program in which he played audio of John MacArthur reaffirming the number of people killed during the Inquisition? I guess you disagree with him as well? Maybe Todd Friel is actually wrong. Why do you insist he’s right?

  3. Kelli writes,
    Did you hear Brannon’s radio program in which he played audio of John MacArthur reaffirming the number of people killed during the Inquisition?

    Kelli, regrettably, Brannon took that citation out of context and was cherry picking sound bites he believes supports his conclusion. Nate over at Cripplegate responded to the same objection you raise, so I paste his comments here,

    Thanks for your question. You will notice in that sermon that Dr. MacArthur was referring, in a general sense, to all Roman Catholic violence against Protestants throughout the Medieval, Reformation, and post-Reformation periods. He did not use the term “Inquisition.”

    The full transcript of that message can be found here:

    As I said in my article, “If the historian includes forms of torture and killing that did not involve a formal trial, along with religious wars and other forms of Catholic violence enacted against Protestants and other non-Catholics (in areas outside of Spain and Portugal), then one can easily speak in terms of millions of people who were killed.”

    In fact, let me paste MacArthur’s actual comments,

    Did that end persecution? No. The Holy Roman Empire, the false form of Christianity began to persecute the true church. In the most massive persecution yet came during the Middle Ages. When I say massive, I mean massive. According to historian, John Dowling, a reputable historian, the Roman Catholic Church put to death 50 million heretics between A.D. 606 and mid-1800’s, many of them true Christians…50 million. Murderous was that period of time.

    Again, Kelli, the issue comes down to the fact that Brannon is redefining the term “Inquisition” as “any and all Catholic atrocities in the space of a thousand years.” Plaisted does a similar thing in his article. The Crusades were not an “Inquisition” for instance. Because Brannon is using the term inaccurately, he is spreading bad historical information and the fact that he digs in after being shown his error is problematic for a guy with an otherwise credible discernment ministry.

  4. Great recap Fred. The encouragement I receive from this conference is unmatched. I look forward to next year – with more men from our church.

  5. Thanks, Fred. I was supposed to be in attendance, but was blessed to stay home and take care of my wife (and children) as she had to have an unplanned arthroscopic knee surgery the day before my flight to LA. I listened to some of the live stream, but am looking forward to catching up on the sessions on the links provided. Hopefully I’ll be able to attend next year!

  6. Oh. I am sure you would. Seeing that his views are virtually identical to James White, Michael Brown, and Robert Gagnon, on the perversion of sodomy, I take it that you have interacted with the smashing rebuttals they have offered to your claims? Would love to see you defend your exegesis against James White, for example.

  7. Sadly, I don’t see Kelli returning to thank you for pointing out that Brannon is actually wrong. Even though she was quick to point out how she thought you couldn’t admit that Todd Friel might have been wrong. Which is funny because I’ve seen you call out those you support (Kirk Cameron comes to mind) when they have gone off the road into the ditches. I hope that we all take the time to examine our hearts in these matters so that we don’t fall into the trap of following men instead of following Christ

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