I’ve been attending The Gospel Coalition Conference in Chicago this week. It’s been a full and tiring couple of days, and it’s not over yet. There are over 3,100 people here, and thousands more watching online.
The highlights have included the messages by Tim Keller (MP3), John Piper (MP3), and Ajith Fernando, as well as the panel session tonight. The rest of the audio should be up soon. Jonathan at The India I Know is live-blogging the event. You can also check out what people are saying about the conference on Twitter.
I’m surprised and encouraged by all the Canadians here, by the way.
It seems that the Coalition is on to something. It’s similar to some other organizations and gatherings, but it has a very different feel. It has the ethos of a group that is theologically conservative and yet culturally engaged and winsome.
Tim Challies has been wrestling with what the Coalition is all about, and he’ll be writing about this tomorrow.
My impression is that a couple of years ago, Tim Keller and Don Carson weren’t even sure what would emerge from The Gospel Coalition. They clearly wanted it to be more than just another conference. They seem to be working at using the organization to foster a movement that’s decentralized, but around a common set of beliefs and vision. They want to see networks develop at the local level, and they’re setting up online tools to help make this happen.
Fostering a movement is a challenge that makes building an organization look easy!
You’ll probably hear about our efforts to develop a network in Toronto. Definitely let me know if you’re interested.
A few years ago this type of conference would probably have attracted only a few hundred people. But something seems to be happening primarily among younger evangelicals. If The Gospel Coalition is able to help catalyze a movement among this group, we’re going to be hearing about it.