Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Building Bridges: Southern Baptists and Calvinism conference Schedule

The schedule for the Building Bridges Conference has been finalized. This historic gathering next month promises to be a wonderful time of fellowship, instruction, worship and encouragement. Here is what you get for $104.00:
  • 2 evenings of worship
  • 3 days
  • 5 meals
  • 7 sessions
  • 19 speakers
One of the great hopes of the organizers of this conference is that those who gather will experience the joy and encouragement that come from having open, honest dialogue on important theological issues. God has entrusted His Word to us. The church is the pillar and ground of the truth. Too often, we have been guilty of either ignoring controversial points of doctrine or of using the Bible as a club against others in an effort to establish our own points of view.

Our Lord calls us to speak the truth in love. Christian brothers and sisters not only violate this admonition but also miss out on rich blessings when they refuse to speak for the sake of love and when they fail to love in the name of truth. Some people do not believe that Southern Baptists can discuss an issue like Calvinism without falling into one of those two errors. By God's grace, this conference will demonstrate otherwise.

If you have not signed up yet, there is still time to register. Whether you are able to attend or not, please join me in praying that the Lord will cause this meeting to be characterized by grace and humility.

Building Bridges:
Southern Baptists and Calvinism

November 26-28, 2007
Ridgecrest Conference Center

All sessions to be held in The ARC -- Auditorium Recreation Center

Monday, November 26

3:00 - 3:45 p.m. Introduction -- The ARC
Greetings from LifeWay Research
Brad Waggoner - Vice President, Research and Ministry Development
Ed Stetzer - Director, LifeWay Research and resident missiologist
Building Bridges Theme
Thom S. Rainer - President and CEO, LifeWay Christian Resources
3:45 - 5:30 p.m. Session 1 -- The Historical Record
David Dockery - President, Union University
Tom Nettles - Professor of Historical Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
5:45 - 7:15 p.m. Dinner -- Rhododendron Dining Hall

7:30 p.m. Worship
James Merritt - Pastor, Cross Pointe, The Church at Gwinnett Center, Atlanta, GA
R. Albert Mohler, Jr. - President, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Tuesday, November 27

7:00 - 8:00 a.m. Breakfast -- Rhododendron Dining Hall

8:00 - 8:30 a.m. Prayer Time -- The ARC

8:30 - 10:15 a.m. Session 2 -- Calvinism: A Cause for Rejoicing, A Cause for Concern
Malcolm Yarnell - Assistant Dean, Theological Studies; Associate Professor of Systematic Theology, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
Jeff Noblit - Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church, Muscle Shoals, AL
10:15 - 11:00 a.m. Break

11:00 - 12:30 p.m. Session 3 -- The Atonement: Its Design, Nature, and Extent
David Nelson - Senior Vice President, Academic Administration; Professor of Theology, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
Sam Waldron - Academic Dean; Professor of Theology, Midwest Center for Theological Studies, Owensboro, KY
12:30 - 1:45 p.m. Lunch -- Rhododendron Dining Hall

2:00 - 3:45 p.m. Session 4 -- Theological Stereotypes: Let's Be Fair and Honest with Each Other
Charles Lawless - Dean, Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Church Growth, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Nathan Finn -- Instructor of Church History, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
3:45 - 5:30 p.m. Session 5 -- Election and Calling: A Biblical/Theological Study
Ken Keathley - Senior Associate Dean; Professor of Theology, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
Greg Welty - Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
5:45 - 7:15 p.m. Dinner -- Rhododendron Dining Hall

7:30 p.m. Worship
J.D. Greear - Pastor, Summit Church, Durham, N.C.
Voddie Baucham - Church planter and Pastor of Preaching, Grace Family Baptist Church, Spring, TX
Wednesday, November 28

7:00 -- 8:00 a.m. Breakfast -- Rhododendron Dining Hall

8:15 -- 9:45 a.m. Session 6 -- Panel Discussion

10:00 -- 11:30 a.m. Session 7 -- Working Together to Make Christ Known
Daniel Akin - President, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
Tom Ascol - Senior Pastor, Grace Baptist Church, Cape Coral, FL; Executive Director, Founders Ministries


Ivan said...

Regretfully, I will not be able to attend. Due to my recent promotion at work I'll be in a training program until early December. I wish I could be there.

I will certainly be praying for the conference and its participants. And I will look forward to any CDs/DVDs that will come out of this conference.

Tom, I'm assuming that this conference will be recorded and available for purchase. Perhaps a book too?

God bless you, Tom, as you prepare for this conference.

Joe said...

I am hoping to be there. I should know this week. Looks great Tom!

Timmy Brister said...


This conference looks fantastic! I applaud your efforts as well as Drs. Rainer and Akin for putting together such a well thought-out and solid schedule.

Do you know if any of the media (audio/video) is going to be made available online?

GUNNY said...

That's really quite good for just over $100.

I'm hoping to be there, Deo volente, but would be interested in some audio, etc. either way.

Tom said...

Ivan and Timmy:

The conference will be recorded. Also, the papers will be compiled and published. Thanks for praying!

Joe and Gunny:

I hope to see you both there.


MLSmith said...

We're hoping to gather a group from Nashville to make the drive east to the mountains, Lord willing. At any rate, I will definitely be praying for the conference.

The only name on the schedule that I was disappointed not to see was Roy Hargrave... I was hoping he would be there.

May the Lord grant you wisdom as you and the others prepare, Dr. Ascol.

johnMark said...

Thankfully, I am now registered for this conference. I am really looking forward to it.

The drive from Hotlanta shouldn't be too bad.


mcprecious said...

Tom-do all the speakers subscribe to the Doctrines of Grace? Thanks.

Tom said...


I am glad you are planning to attend. Dr. Hargrave would be great on any number of these topics. One of the wonderful challenges the planning committee faced in was the abundance of very capable preachers and teachers of the doctrines of grace available. Several of my favorite preachers aren't on the list.


Great! I think several folks are flying into Atlanta and plan to drive over.


No, about half of the speakers can be classified as "5 point Calvinists." Several of the rest are very "Calvinistic" but do not believe all five points. The areas of greatest theological contrast in the conference, I anticipate, will be effectual calling and particular atonement.

Beyond that, I expect some serious challenges in each presentation and lively exchanges in the panel discussion--all of it in a spirit of genuine, fraternal love.

Will said...

Any brothers from Dallas area going?
Will Shores
Cedar Hill Tx

kradzo said...

What, no one from Liberty University participating?

Sorry, I'll go to my corner now. said...


Looking forward to it. Ridgecrest is only about an hour from my home (Lenoir, NC). I will be attending the conference/meals, etc. My wife and kids will be with me but not attending. They will do day trips in the area.

Praying for good fellowship and maybe networking with some other like-minded pastors in the area. If anyone from Western NC is attending, visit my website ( and send me an email. I'd like to meet up with you.

David Roberts

Tim said...

Please consider having it next year at Glorieta!

Gilberto said...

Dear brother tom, I can not write in English, but I can say that I love you in Christ, because he has used you so greatly in the defence of the "faith which was once and for all delivered to the saints"