Archives for July 6, 2012

Sanctification, Rap, and Wigs in London

Standing in the Pulpit of Richard Sibbes

The Met Tab School of Theology met Tuesday afternoon through Thursday afternoon, offering nineteen plenary addresses. About 850 people came to the conference during the days and close to 1,000 for the evening sessions. The general theme was on living and walking in the Holy Spirit. Five speakers gave two messages each. John Thackway spoke on the Holy Spirit “In Troubles and Distresses” and “In Personal Relationships.”  Chris Hand spoke twice on “Weighing Christian Rap/Hip-Hop” and Ted Williams provided two messages through a reader (he was recouping from surgery) on “Who are the New Calvinists?” Chris Buss spoke on the Holy Spirit “In Christ-Centered Speech” and “In Sensitivity and Usefulness.” Jack Seaton spoke twice on “The Holy Spirit’s Objectives for Us.” Roland Burrows gave a message on “The Personal Spiritual Walk of Notable Preachers.”

Dr. Masters and I gave four addresses each. He preached twice on “The Indwelling  Spirit” and twice on “Worship and Witness in the Spirit.” I spoke on sanctification: “The Great Calling of Sanctification: Cultivating Holiness,” “The Great End of Sanctification: Knowing the Love of God”; “The Great Progress of Sanctification: Living Submissively by Faith”; and “The Great Obstacle of Sanctification: Fighting Unbelief.”

Between addresses someone was always available to speak to, ranging from young men who are interested in coming to our seminary (one young man hopes to come in January and seems to have considerable promise) and people with counseling problems seeking help.  I also kept five appointments with various people who had asked me ahead of time if they could spend some time with me. Spending time with the speakers, eating with friends, and keeping up with e-mail became such a whirl of activity that there was little time to sleep. In the midst of it all, someone hacked my e-mail password. In two hours I received over 300 e-mails from people, all thinking they might be the first to tell me that I was hacked.

Richard Sibbes (1577-1635)

A highlight was a London lawyer (here they are called barristers) taking me to Gray’s Inn court, where law school and the entire profession is still carried out in formal ways, harking back to medieval times. One of my favorite Puritans, Richard Sibbes, served as a preacher for the lawyers here back in the early seventeenth century. The chapel at Gray’s Inn still prominently displays his name. I then sat in with my lawyer friend on a high court session. The case we listened to involved two dogs biting each other! The lawyers were dressed in their finery—old-fashioned robes and $750 wigs. Every lawyer is still required to buy such a wig.