"Being sensible that I am unable to do anything without God's help, I do humbly entreat him by his grace to enable me to keep these Resolutions, so far as they are agreeable to his will, for Christ's sake. Remember to read over these Resolutions once a week."
Jonathan Edwards (Wikipedia)
Resolved, which began in 2005, is coming to an end one month from today after an eight year run. Perhaps there is just too much competition among the mega-events that cater to the Young Restless Reformed crowd (or more likely, it will probably be revamped and relocated). If Mark Driscoll's observation is indeed accurate – that the same faces show up at the same places (my words) – then these YRR groupies must be spending thousands of dollars (travel, lodging, food, and registration fees) to get that conference high.
It is interesting to reflect on what has transpired with the YRR crowd over the last decade. Of course, most of us hadn't heard the phase "young, restless, and reformed" until Collin Hansen's article appeared in Christianity Today. As I reflect back on my own spiritual journey over the last decade, I've come a long way by the grace of God. Ten years ago my family belonged to the same Southern Baptist church as Paige and Dorothy Patterson. In fact, we joined that church before the BFM2000 was embraced by the SBC, and I was fairly receptive to the direction in which the Southern Baptists were headed. They appeared to be pro-family, and I was all for that!
In the latter part of 2002, we became a part of an SBC church plant. The church launched at a venue in downtown Raleigh on September 3, 2003, with John MacArthur giving an inspiring message. During his visit to North Carolina, MacArthur addressed the students for two days at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary where Patterson was still president. A friend who moved from Scottsdale, Arizona to Raleigh was excited about MacArthur's visit because she had been involved in a sister church of Grace Community when she lived out west. She and I went to hear John MacArthur in chapel at SEBTS on September 3 (and of course, I heard him again that evening). While he was talking my friend leaned over and asked, "What do you think about the Calvinism / Arminian debate?" I responded with a puzzled look because I was unaware of any conflict. I knew very little about Calvinism for that matter. She bluntly said, "Well, you'd better start learning about it!"
Three years went by, and I was very busy with my 'roles' of wife, mother, and professional volunteer. I had neither the time nor the inclination to investigate this growing conflict between Calvinists and Arminians. Basically, my sentiments were – who cares? Then in the fall of 2006, Dee called and asked, "Have you gotten your Christianity Today yet? You really need to read the article called "Young, Restless, Reformed". It had just arrived in my mailbox, and I perused it with much puzzlement. The subtitle was "Calvinism is making a comeback and shaking up the church."
I still had little understanding of Calvinism, and the only names I recognized in the YRR article were Al Mohler (whom I had recently heard speak in chapel at SEBTS) and Mark Driscoll (a hipster pastor of a Seattle church with a strange name – Mars Hill). It was during this time that I picked up a little book being promoted at LifeWay called The Cross Centered Life by some guy named Mahaney. I'm convinced the only reason I bought it was because Al Mohler wrote the forward, and I respected him (at the time). I set it aside without reading it – out of sight, out of mind – and didn't come across it on my bookshelf until AFTER we began blogging (by that time I knew quite a bit about C.J. Mahaney and Sovereign Grace Ministries). I was absolutely stunned to realize I had purchased this book. It must have been an impulse buy. Two years ago I finally read Mahaney's 'masterpiece' and wrote a two-part review.
Now let's get back to the final Resolved conference. The featured speakers include: John MacArthur, Al Mohler, Steve Lawson, C.J. Mahaney, Rick Holland, Jonathan Rourke, and Austin Duncan. Here is a clip of John MacArthur promoting it.
As you may know, C.J. Mahaney has spoken at every single Resolved Conference. My question is why? Besides being the comic relief, could it be that he has played a major role in planning ALL of them? Now take a look at the Resolved 2012 Trailer.
Just who is being glorified in this video – God or men? The end of the trailer leaves me absolutely speechless. . .
Because Carolyn McCulley is the first woman ever to speak at the Resolved conference (she will be addressing women only), we have to wonder whether she has been behind the scene for all these years used her expertise to produce all of the promotional videos for the Resolved conferences.
In case you plan to attend Resolved 2012, the deadline to register is May 31, so get that $185 in fast! And if you've been wondering why it is called "Resolved", you can read this explanation on the website – What is Resolved?
By the way, the first of Jonathan Edwards' resolutions is as follows:
1. Resolved, that I will do whatsoever I think to be most to God's glory, and my own good, profit and pleasure, in the whole of my duration, without any consideration of the time, whether now, or never so many myriad's of ages hence. Resolved to do whatever I think to be my duty and most for the good and advantage of mankind in general. Resolved to do this, whatever difficulties I meet with, how many and how great soever.
You may want to check out Edwards' list of SEVENTY resolutions.
Here is what I have resolved – not to support these man glorifying endeavors. It will be interesting to see whether Resolved gets re-invented now that Rick Holland has left Grace Community Church and is pastoring at Mission Road Bible Church near Overland Park, Kansas. For a little background on this conference, his bio states: "In 2005 Rick founded the Resolved Conference, a ministry that calls a new generation to live lives of serious devotion to Jesus Christ." Furthermore, Rick received his D.Min. from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, so there's your Mohler / Mahaney connection.
The more I have learned about the YRR movement and the incredible self-promotion that has occurred, the more I long for Jesus Christ.
As Anne Graham Lotz so aptly put it at her FREE events: "Just Give Me Jesus". She helped put Fernando Ortega in the spotlight with his beautiful song "Give Me Jesus", and now he will be appearing at the 2012 National Conference (Desiring God) along with John Piper, Kevin DeYoung, Carolyn McCulley, Russell Moore, and others. 🙁 It just goes on and on and on . . .
Lydia's Corner: Daniel 5:1-31 2 Peter 2:1-22 Psalm 119:113-128 Proverbs 28:19-20