Ligonier Ministries Summaries of Conference

Ligonier Ministries also has summaries of The Holiness of God Conference sessions.

Ligonier National Conference – Ligon Duncan – Calvin and the Christian Life

Piety for Calvin was short-hand for the whole practice and faith of the Christian life. Calvin did not call his Institutes a sum of Christian theology but rather a sum of piety. Yes, Calvin’s institutes was an engagement on the truth of God’s word, but it was for the sake of producing piety.

What is meant by piety? Two things: (1) An experiential love for God as Father. And (2) a fear and reverence for Him as our Lord. The term “religion” has negative connotations for some — it conveys a formalized, external, even hypocritical life. Not so for John Calvin. For Calvin, “religion” is faith joined with fear and reverence for God. For Calvin, piety is reverence joined with the love of God which the knowledge of God’s benefits induces.

Ligonier National Conference – Steve Lawson – The Legacy of John Calvin

Calvin was the architect of reformed theology — he was the standard even in his day. Luther was a volcano, spewing out numerous fiery ideas. But Calvin was the systematizer — he arranged and ordered the theology of the Reformation. Lloyd-Jones that apart from Calvin, the Reformation would have died out by the end of the 16th century.

Ligonier National Conference – R.C. Sproul, Jr. – Train Up Your Children: Family Worship of the Holy God

But what if you’re too busy? Then stop being too busy. What is it that could possibly be more important? The transcendent God is inviting you to walk with Him in the cool of the evening. Will you say to Him: Thanks for the invitation, but I’ve got an important meeting? Nobody is too busy to draw near to the living God. Nobody is too busy to give up that which is less rewarding for the Source of all joy. Our problem is, as C.S. Lewis said, that we’re too easily pleased. We don’t properly esteem the value and the joy of what God sets before us.

Ligonier National Conference – Sinclair Ferguson (II) – Hallowed Be Your Name: The Holiness of the Father

There are two dimensions running through John’s gospel. On the one hand, we see the Eternal Son of God addressing the Father as Holy Father. What does it mean that from all eternity there has been this response of the Eternal Son to the Eternal Father such that He addresses Him as “Holy Father.” For something to be an attribute of God it must have been, in action, expressed among the three persons of the Trinity. [God expresses wrath, but strictly speaking it is not an attribute of God, because in the blessed Trinity there is no manifestation of it. Rather, wrath is a temporary manifestation of God’s holiness in response to sin.]

Ligonier National Conference – Steve Lawson (II) -The Holy One of God: The Holiness of Jesus

Look again at the title,”The Holy One of God.” This is a formal, technical title. “The Holy One of God” is a formal title for God in the book of Isaiah. No less than 26 times in the book of Isaiah we find this title for Jehovah God: “The Holy One of God.” It is picked up in Ezekiel, Psalms, and elsewhere. So when this demon says, “I know who you are, the Holy One of God,” the identity is unquestionable. The identity was assigned to God in the Old Testament, and it is assigned to Jesus in the New Testament. That is what is taking place — from the lips of a demon-possessed man.

Ligonier National Conference – D.A. Carson – A Holy Nation: The Church’s High Calling

When Paul in Romans 15 discusses his evangelism, it is called a “priestly service”. We become priests not because we have some peculiar role (e.g., full-time ministry), but because as Christians we are to pray for those outside and to present the living God’s gospel to them. Talking to an unbeliever is a priestly act of mediation. We are all priests in this sense; believers are built into a spiritual priesthood. We all have access to God. There are not two standards of holiness on this side of the cross. We are all a part of the priesthood (what a privilege!) of the King of the universe.

Ligonier National Conference – Derek Thomas – Be Ye Holy: The Necessity of Sanctification

It is one thing to talk about the holiness of God and another thing to long for holiness in our own life. Consider the “third use” of the law (as a guide). Or Luther’s refrain: We are saved by faith alone, but not by a faith that is alone. Or James: Faith without works is dead.

But ours is a man-centered age. We like books on how to be a good father or how to improve your diet, rather than how to be holy and Christ-like. And in our circles, we can get caught up with theological issues and miss the point that the goal of all theology is to drive us into a holiness of life. R. Murray Mc’Chenye’s great statement has been noted: “My people’s greatest need is my personal holiness.” This is serious business because without holiness, the author of Hebrews tells us, no one will see the Lord.

Ligonier National Conference – Q&A Session III – Dr. Donald Carson, Dr. Derek Thomas, Dr. Robert Godfrey, Rev. Thabiti Anyabwile

3. What are the challenges associated with holiness (or the lack of it) in the church today?

We need to expect suffering. Growth in holiness is a matter of the heart but also external forces in the church. There has been a decline in honoring a day for the Lord, and thus a decline in time for the Lord, and thus a lack of personal holiness. Godfrey exhorted churches to have Sunday morning and evening services. Anyabwile noted that our union with Christ gives us motivation for holiness.

Carson: We haven’t concentrated on God and the gospel, that’s why we don’t have enough holiness. Everything is tied to that. Don’t think about it only in terms of “not doing stuff” or “doing stuff,” and that reduces to moralism. The law cannot save, although there is a place for law.

Ligonier National Conference – R.C. Sproul (II) – A Consuming Fire: Holiness, Wrath and Justice

The imagery employed in Jonathan Edwards’ famous sermon Sinners In The Hands of An Angry God. In that sermon, he employed numerous metaphors, all of which had Scriptural origin. One of them is that of a dam breaking. People are storing up wrath against the day of wrath. And another is of a spider’s web, holding sinners up by a single thread. And that single thread is held by the hand of God. We rightly remember the sermon’s topic as the wrath of God. But even moreso it is a sermon about the grace of God–holding people up from the pit, and preventing their immediate destruction.

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