Over the next few weeks, I am taking 2 main stage speakers at the T4G conference, and displaying what their sermons meant to me, and they said as it stood out to me. Today’s article will be on Mark Dever and H. B. Charles, Jr.
I appreciate Mark Dever (Senior Pastor at Capitol Hill Baptist Church) and his 9Marks ministry. He is a solid expositional preacher. Which is why I was befuddled when he seemed to use 2 Peter 3:8-13 as a spring-board for speaking what he wanted to say rather than preach from the text. I will be honest, I have not gone back to listen to the recording of this, so I could be wrong, but I do not remember him pointing to the text once. That is not to say that his sermon isn’t worth listening to or that he was wrong in anything he said. I appreciate all that he said and do not believe I would disagree with anything.
As he opened he said, “We become so much like the world, we provoke no questions and promote no answers.” From the very get-go, one could already see how his message was lining up with the theme of the conference, Distinct from the World. Upon stating this, Pastor Dever gave 9 points (marks?) about being pastors distinct from the world that would provoke the questions and promote the answers. The sermon is definitely worth listening to for both new and seasoned pastors. I also saw that he walked his talk as he taught one of his points back on a November podcast (Pastors’ Talk): Teach the church how to find right pastors. Here is a link to the podcast.
H. B. Charles, Jr.’s sermon was simply phenomenal. I had actually preached on the same text for my Easter/Resurrection Sunday sermon, and came away from his sermon saying, “Now that’s how the text should be preached.” Up until that day, I had heard of H. B. Charles, Jr., but had never heard him preach. It was such a sweet treat. One of the great and memorable phrases that he used was, “Reaching over to reach the world, the church is prone to fall in.” So true. Another: “Christianized worldliness does not make the world Christian.” Powerful! But probably my favorite, “Human wisdom cannot be overcome in our day without the unwavering confidence in the sufficient Word of God.”
Bro. Charles reminded us that “The pastor is the herald and we do not have editorial control of the message.” Thus we are to preach Christ crucified. We do not just preach, and not just preach Christ, but we preach Christ crucified. I know one of our church members declared that this was the best sermon he has ever heard. I will say that it definitely ranks up there toward the top.
How about you? Did you go to T4G? Did you listen online? What did you think about these two speakers? Next week we I’ll be blogging about David Platt and Matt Chandler.