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“One Holy Mission” Urges Good Thinking, Right Practice

By October 4, 2012June 17th, 2014No Comments

BELMONT, Mich.—West Cannon Baptist Church hosted its annual two-day Pastors’ Seminar and Bible Conference. Speaking on the theme “One Holy Mission,” Dr. Michael Horton and Rev. Kevin DeYoung challenged attendees to take seriously the task of making disciples.

  • Listen to the audio from “One Holy Mission.”

Michael Horton is cohost of the White Horse Inn radio program, editor of Modern Reformation magazine, J. Gresham Machen professor of systematic theology and apologetics at Westminster Seminary California, as well as associate pastor of Christ United Reformed Church, Santee, Calif. Kevin DeYoung is pastor of University Reformed Church, East Lansing, Mich. Both men have written books on the mission of the church, a common thread among the eight sessions.

Dr. Horton opened the conference Sept. 24 with his session “The Great Announcement.” He began, “There’s a lot of loose talk these days, shifting the focus from the triune God and His work, His plan, His program, to us, and to our program, to our work. And we hear that and the message that is preached, often still called the gospel; it isn’t the gospel at all. . . . The gospel is a very specific thing. It is an announcement; it’s good news, not good instructions.”

After both men spoke on the mission of the church, with DeYoung also speaking on “The Case for Conscience,” attendees reconvened the next day for Dr. Horton’s session called “The Strategic Plan.”

Pointing the audience to Romans 10, he talked about the unchanging message—and methods—of delivering the gospel. “We can change our strategic plan to such an extent that it spills over into the mission and eventually into the message. Very often this is the beginning point of ‘mission creep,’ where we begin to imagine that there is a timeless message but ever-changing methods. Have you ever heard that phrase? Unchanging gospel, always-changing methods. And the point I want to bring out here today is that yes, although there are various things that we will do in order to get people within earshot of the gospel, in terms of actually delivering that gospel that doesn’t change, Christ has given us methods that do not change either. The message and the methods are ordained by Christ.”

A Q&A session with both speakers ended the conference.

The goal of the conference was to encourage good thinking and right practice, and attendees agree that both were accomplished.

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