Reporting from the Ligonier National Conference

March 9, 2006

I’m in Orlando today through Saturday for the Ligonier National Conference (located on the campus of First Baptist Church, Orlando, FL). John MacArthur gave the opening address on Jesus Christ as the Head of the Church, and it was brilliant. John gripped our hearts from the beginning with the brave and tragic story of the pre-Reformation reformer, John Hus, and never let go. He pounded home the way this indisputably true doctrine is undermined in modern church practice, and showed the practical, pastoral significance of this truth. It was vintage MacArthur. Then, just afterwards, R.C. Sproul shared a little known story from the ordination of Luther that tied him to Hus. You need to hear this for yourself. Talk about sovereignty! Get the audio!

Sorry about the slow blogging this week. I’ve been at a dead run. And though I’ve had the fleeting pleasure of brief phone conversations with Mark, and email exchanges with C.J., we haven’t been communicating much via the blog. Adrian Warnock has even raised the alarm on our absence in the comments! Well, here’s a start at making amends.

Mark’s Luther ecclesiology questions are good. I agree with Mark that Marty Marty has rightly assessed Luther’s attitude towards the finer points of church polity. As to Mark’s second question, though I have great sympathy with the spirit of Luther’s view, I myself am committed to a jure divino [by divine command] approach to church government (as is Mark). That is, we believe that the Bible sets down certain unalterable principles of the government and order of the church, for all places and times, and that we ignore them to our peril. I believe that God has established a biblical form of church government, appointed the precise offices of the church, explained their jobs and qualifications, directed how the congregation is to relate to those officers, insisted that Jesus is the only head of the church, and more. The Bible doesn’t tell us everything about the government of the church, but it does tell us the most important things.

OK, Al and C.J., chime in.