Here’s my brief notes from the Shepherd’s Conference, a big conference for Pastors who are into accurate preaching of God’s Word.
Here are the notes from a session that was more from Church history:
We normally don’t begin Shepherd’s Conference with dreams but here’s a question: What is the most important dream? It is so important Spurgeon read it a hundred’s time. It’s Pilgrim’s Progress.
There’s a danger of listening to error.
How Unbelief puts out people’s eyes and leads them to death.
Hypocrisy is a shortcut to hell
Bunyan is writing about an allegory of history and of people he knew.
On 1526 the Bible was translated into English and people began pilgrimage. It was not a trip to relics but the journey to heaven.
Then the Church of England later split from Romanism. The split was not necessarily because of the Gospel.
When Henry VIII died something wonderful happened: His last wife at some point she has become a real Christian and she published a book called Lamentation of a Sinner in which we have a queen confessing that Christ was her only Savior.
The heirs to the throne was Prince Edward who was a child of another and became king at age of 9 and there’s evidence that he was a sincere Christian.
A new era then dawn and churches were officially Protestants.
Unfortunately King Edward died early and things were reversed with his half-sister Queen Mary was staunched Catholic and persecuted Protestants. The total number of faithful men and women were few. After Mary died Queen Elizabeth I reigned. She was declared illegitimate by the Pope so she became nominal Protestants.
From Queen Elizabeth there were many kings who were nominal Protestants and within the church were some who were Puritans who wanted the church to be biblical and care for souls to be right with God.
What happened during the Persecution? Books and books with anointing on them.
What happened during those 150 years? Faithful churches were established, multiple Puritans even moved to the New World, kings were humbled, a great body of literature were written, literature acknowledge the truth of Gods.
How does tackle such a large field? Bunyan here is helpful. He saw these aspects of a faithful minister: Knowledge, experience, watchful, sincere.
Knowledge comes first. It is knowledge that the world esteem. There were many learned scholars in the 16th Century and a lot of opposition came from there.
Here is a conflict of learning and scholarship and which knowledge none of the princes knew.
Hugh Latimer who was burned to death in 1555 in Oxford, during his trial the judges tried to confuse him with learned scholarship. He sees knowing without Christ is no learning.
What knowledge does God gives?
First is knowledge and love of Scripture.
Second is the knowledge of sin.
Men who enter ministry must be men who are convicted of their own sin.
Third is the knowledge of Christ
It is our special duty as Pastors and Preacher. Our supreme businesses is to make Christ known.
In those time in England where kings after kings go back and forth between Catholics and Protestants many ministers were willing to change loyalty because they wanted to be comforted.
The Act of Uniformity wanted one church and no disagreement and two thousand faithful men were silenced. We need the experience of Christ in order for us to stand firm.
Think of the experience of Christ with the disciples putting down their nets while fishing.
My point is: these young men saw the demonstration of Christ’s work
Preaching is not men preaching, but God preaching through men with the Bible.
He is the one that does the work.
- We have to watch ourselves. We have to watch for error. Watch for the error attacking the justification by Christ.
This doctrine of justification is being attacked today and within the Puritan period the attack states there’s two righteousness we need. There’s the need for righteousness met by Christ that makes people “savable” but added to that is another righteousness which is the righteousness of faith. But there aren’t two righteousness only one. Righteousness of Christ is imputed to us by faith.
There’s really three possible views of the atonement:
Christ has redeemed all mankind
Christ redeemed the elect
Christ has done something to help everyone to salvation but faith is the cause
What is wrong with the third view is that it removes the doctrine of imputation.
- We need to watch for flatteries