I was checking my e-mail yesterday and up popped an invitation to the Resurgence 2012 conference. When I clicked on the link out of curiosity I was ushered, electronically, to the front page which you can see here and I began to run my eyes down it. And this is when a bit of irritation began to set in as I read the short bios of each of the speakers. What jumped out for me was the numbers, always the numbers: 30 million copies sold here, one of the most downloaded guys in the world there, has ministered to 4,405,000 people (with that specific of a number you would expect it to be more like 4,405,013 if you ask me), and the list went on.
Perhaps the conference will be very solid, stretching the hearts of those who come to listen. Perhaps the theology would be dense and rich drawing out from the text several truths that come only through serious and prayerful study. Perhaps men would be driven to repentance of hidden sin as the clarity of the gospel, the utter holiness of our Lord, and the power of the Spirit are heralded without shame. Perhaps. I hope that will happen.
But for me I was left with this sense that though the conference had the name “Jesus” in every one of the message titles to be preached the people were coming not for Jesus but for the celebrities. I hope I’m wrong and I even pray that I am wrong.
After doing all of this reflection I then came across one of my favorite blogs which this very conference was also being discussed. I realized then that I was not alone in this train of thought. I think that he hit the nail on the head with his comments, it’s all about numbers, downloads, and book sales.I guess I should be happy that TD Jakes is not on the list of speakers, although he could easily preach a sermon entitled, “We prosper for Jesus.”
Here’s how Paul Levy ended his comments regarding this upcoming conference:
It is great that these brothers are having so much influence for the gospel but you wonder if the Apostle Paul would have made the list at the end of his life: Church planting failure: “You are aware that all who are in Asia have turned away from me” (2 Tim. 1:15)