Mark Jones (my co-author of A Puritan Theology: Doctrine for Life) and Jonathan Bos (a Florida businessman and son of a Free Reformed minister) met me at the Orlando airport. After having lunch with them, we attended the Ligonier Conference, which had a record number of attendees (5300) this year. This year’s conference revolved largely around the theme of standing on the bedrock of God’s truth in an age of compromise. Subjects covered included “Christ’s resurrection, Scripture’s trustworthiness, God’s plan for the family, our need to show mercy, the importance of theology, the primacy of preaching, the exclusivity of Jesus, the place of the church, our call to be on the offense against the city of man, and the final victory of Christ and His people.”
Steve Lawson gave some bold and powerful messages, and Sinclair Ferguson was helpful as always. Five optional sessions were also given. David Murray spoke well on the theme of his popular book, Christians Get Depressed Too, showing several riveting clips of his forthcoming DVD videos that support the book. Mark Jones and I were asked to speak on our book, A Puritan Theology: Doctrine for Life, and felt helped in doing so. We stressed why it is important to read Puritan theology for our spiritual well-being.
These were action packed days. Mark and I spent most of our time at the RHB book table in the bookstore, selling our book and conversing with people. We were grateful that Ligonier had ordered 1500 copies, of which we were able to sell about 1000. This gave us hundreds of opportunities to meet new folk, to introduce them to Puritan theology, and to answer scores of questions about the Puritans.
It was a good opportunity to reconnect with old friends as well. I particularly enjoyed lunch with Sinclair Ferguson (who is retiring from First Pres in Columbia, South Carolina, and returning to Scotland this summer), and speaking with three young men who feel a calling to the ministry and wanted to speak with me about PRTS. I had a serendipitous moment when one young man (after he bought our book), showed me a letter from our seminary that he had been accepted to study with us. His excitement to move to Michigan this summer to attend PRTS for the fall semester was palpable. I also did a live radio interview for Janet Mefferd on my new book, Encouragement for Today’s Pastors: Help from the Puritans (with Terry Slachter). Her radio program is now being aired on one hundred stations around the country simultaneously.
Late Friday evening, I visited with Rev. and Mrs. Mike Fintelman (now in Wisconsin), David VanBrugge (our HRC student who was able to take in the conference as he was scheduled to proclaim God’s Word in Bradenton the following Sunday), and several good friends from the Heritage Reformed Church in Iowa. It was great to be with them all again.
On Saturday I took the first flight home, missing the last day of the conference, as I promised Calvin that I would help him sell his new hunting DVD at a large trade show in Lansing, Michigan. I made it to the venue by noon and sold about 100 DVDs for him in the afternoon (he was very grateful!), then battled a snowstorm the last half of the way home. Cars were in the ditch everywhere for several miles; the last thirty miles I averaged 35 miles an hour on the highway. It was great to be home! God is so good.