Challies already has his first liveblogging from T4G online. I had a chance to chat briefly with him at the bandofbloggers event, along with meeting the most excellent Dan Cruver for the first time. I also met Thabiti Anyabwile who will be preaching this evening at the second general session.
We began with introductions from Mark Dever before Bob Kauflin led us with Martin Luther's famous A Mighty Fortress and the deeply moving 'It is well with my soul'. Classic solid hymns, sung by 5000 people!
Lig Duncan gave the first talk on the inescapable necessity of sound doctrine for the church. Along the way he shared the post-title quote from William Perkins, Perkins defintion of theology. We were called to out-live, out live and out-rejoice the critics of theology and doctrine. In conclusion we were shown that doctrine is for God's glory, for assurance, for marriage and for joy. Thus, for a pastor to teach doctrine is vital. "Doctrine is for joy. Don't starve your sheep" !
See Challies for more comprehensive notes. I expect the mp3 of the talk and subsequent panel discussion to be available fairly soon at T4G.org. The atmosphere here is substantially different to New Word Alive last week. In part, for me, because I know only about a dozen people here and partly because it's mostly pastors and church staff people here - including a pastor who has led a church for 55 years, and the man from Serbia. The singing is hymns in loud-voice which is a bit different in genre to last week. But, but, but, for any differences one thing remains exactly the same. This is Christians together on the common basis of the glorious gospel of Jesus! Whether the Happy Calvinists from Sovereign Grace Ministries or the strait-laced presbyterians or whoever else. Lots of us. One gospel.
A cookie, a coke and a call to my wife followed the meeting and we look on to the next session in an hour or so.