This last Monday through Wednesday was the Bethlehem Conference for Pastors. Over 1,200 pastors from around the world came to Minneapolis for this conference. The TBI guys all went as well. The theme of the conference was "How Must a Pastor Die." The point was that a pastor should be willing to die for the gospel of Jesus Christ. The various speakers fleshed that out with visions of missionary martyrs to local racially harmonized churches. It was a good and challenging time.
Pastor Piper, who was not the keynote speaker, did his usual biographical sketch of a hero from church history. He has done 19 or twenty of these biographies now. They are very powerful, as this one was. It was on William Tyndale. All of them are available in manuscript form at this site at Desiring God.
Tomorrow I am going to Iowa City with Pastor Tom Steller. He is doing a Perspectives on World Missions lecture and asked me to ride shotgun with him. He is my mentor during this school year. I am very blessed to have him spending time in my life right now. It is a five-hour drive each way. However, it will be fun to add another mid-west state to the growing list of states I have visited.
As for school, TBI is overwhelming. I am spending all my time on two books: The Epistle to the Hebrews and the Epistle to the Romans. We are translating our way through the entire book of Hebrews this year, but in Romans we are only focusing on chapters 9-11 this semester. The theology in both is rich, but I worry that my time is so constrained that I am only grazing the surface.
God is good, and I am not complaining. I am thrilled to have this opportunity to study deeply. My hope is that my mind will kick into gear and begin to really understand what I am studying. I pray that my affections will also stay strong.
Tomorrow comes early. Off to bed.