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The Christian Life Is J-Shaped

February 27, 2021 • Paul Miller

“The lower the depth of the suffering, the greater the resurrection.” Paul Miller delivered a message at Bethlehem College & Seminary’s 2020 Pastors’ Conference titled “J-Curve: Dying and Rising with Jesus in Everyday Life.” He introduces the idea of the J-Curve—a very simple idea that the letter “J” traces the path down into Jesus’s death and up into his resurrection—from Philippians 3:7–11. Miller emphasized the idea that we share in the suffering of Christ and become like him in death, making two points and asking one question in regard to that truth: It’s strange. We usually flee from suffering. Aren’t Jesus’s sufferings over?

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Learn from Suffering Siblings in Faraway Lands

March 28, 2021 • Mindy Belz

Mindy Belz taught a workshop during the The Gospel Coalition 2018 Women’s Conference titled “The Wilderness Experiences: How God’s Suffering People in Faraway Lands Can Teach Us in the West.” Recounting her experiences as a journalist and the deep oppression she witnessed toward religious people—Christians, in particular—around the world, she addressed the systems and situations that have led to such oppression and continue to drive it now. She also offered lessons from the persecuted believers that can only be learned through facing down oppression.

Discipling College Students for the Long Haul

March 21, 2021 • Aimee Joseph, Kori Porter, Danielle Sallade, Shar Walker.

The Gospel Coalition hosted a workshop during the 2018 Women’s Conference titled “University and Beyond: Discipling Students for a Lifetime with Christ” with Aimee Joseph, Kori Porter, Danielle Sallade, and Shar Walker. The panel discussed the importance of intentional discipleship that prepares college students to follow Christ long after their university days are behind them. They addressed key elements of discipleship, teaching versus sharing, content and context of relational discipleship, biblical literacy, glorifying Christ through their studies, apologetics, facing cultural issues with a biblical worldview, and a number of other topics regarding best practices for leading college students into deep, lasting relationship with Christ.

Fight the Drift of Mediocrity

March 14, 2021 • Kevin DeYoung

Kevin DeYoung delivered a message at TGC’s 2019 Southwest Clarus Conference titled “Laodicea,” drawing from Revelation 3:14–22. Closing out a series on Jesus’s words to the seven churches, DeYoung addressed the spiritual apathy of the church in Laodicea as the worst of the seven. He pointed out that the most comfortable and prosperous church of the seven was, in Jesus’s estimation, the one who had gotten things the most wrong. The church was stale, stagnant, and smelly. To those who said, “We are something,” Christ responded with a gracious warning: “You are far less than you think.” Many in the American church need to recognize that we share the same tendencies as Laodicea; therefore, we need to humbly listen for similar words from Christ to our own churches.