“This is an assertion of glory,” Dr. Pipa declared as he preached on Christ as King during the Wednesday evening session of this year’s Spring Theology Conference. “Because Jesus Christ eternally rules over us and all things in majesty, power, and victory, we then are to serve Him in holiness according to His Word,” he continued as he proposed the main idea of his selected text, Psalm 93.
Through the course of ten main sessions, two panel discussions, one pre-conference lecture, and a multitude of small gatherings and individual interactions, the glories of Christ were extolled, and His Name was exalted among over 370 conference attendees. Preachers and teachers from a selection of faithful churches and premier seminaries expounded upon various aspects of Christ’s Person and Work.
Dr. G.K. Beale and Dr. Jonathan Gibson of Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania presented the full humanity of Christ in His Incarnation and Humiliation. Dr. Joel Beeke and Dr. Michael Barrett of Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan showed forth the perfection of Christ in His Deity and Beauty. Dr. Richard D. Phillips of Second Presbyterian Church in Greenville, South Carolina touted the impeccability and obedience of Christ as the spotless Lamb of God.
Dr. Ian Hamilton, Greenville Seminary Trustee and pastor in the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of England and Wales preached two sermons, one on Christ as Prophet, and another on His Resurrection. Pastor Ryan Speck (MDiv ’05) of Redeemer Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Columbia, Missouri proved the significance of Christ’s Ascension and Session to sit at the right hand of God the Father in Glory. Joseph Pipa and Ryan McGraw preached on Christ as King, and on His promised return, respectively.
During one panel discussion, a question was raised as to the necessity and benefit of seminary experience for young men aspiring to pulpit ministry. Nearly ever participant of the seven-member panel provided an answer to the question! Dr. Benjamin Shaw (Hebrew & Old Testament, Greenville Seminary) pointed out, “Your time in seminary is part of forming you for ministry – it’s part of who you are.” The other members of the panel echoed the sentiment, which exemplifies our emphasis on cultivating experimental piety – that is, truth applied to all of life – as part of the ministerial formation of our students.
Faculty, students, and staff were deeply encouraged to see so many alumni returning to the South Carolina Upstate to be a part of the conference this year. During the annual Alumni Association meeting, Association President Jim Stevenson (MDiv ’12), who pastors Providence Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, exhorted his fellow alumni to refer aspiring ministers to Greenville Seminary, saying, “Send people here because the church needs biblical and faithful pastors and preachers.” During the three-day midweek conference, the experience that produces such ministers was made available to hundreds of guests from around the world.
In addition to guests from across the United States and Canada, the Seminary community welcomed visitors from John Wycliffe Theological College in Randburg, South Africa, which serves as an extension campus for the Seminary. There were also attendees from South Korea and Great Britain (in addition to Dr. Hamilton), not to mention the foreign students enrolled at the Seminary this semester. The Admissions Department was pleased to host a group of prospective students for the GPTS Explore Open-House during the week, as well. Fifteen organizations took part in the conference as vendors and exhibitors: the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals, the Biblical Worldview Student Conference, Erskine College, Frontline Ministries, the Geneva Institute of Christian Thought, Ligonier Ministries (Reformation Bible College), Lutheran Hospice, Presbyterian Evangelistic Fellowship, Providence Christian College, The Rafiki Foundation, SermonAudio, Wrath & Grace, Mission to Italy, Banner of Truth, and Reformation Heritage Books.
By the final message on Thursday, the gathering received gladly from Dr. McGraw a word of encouragement relating to Christ’s Return: “We have a great hope to impel us forward.” As we fix our eyes on Christ, and meditate upon His goodness toward us, the God-given sense of that hope is intensified. If you would like to purchase audio or video recordings of any (or all) of the messages, please contact Mr. Andy Wortman at firstname.lastname@example.org for ordering information.