“Lord Have Mercy, especially now”
First Published: March 29, 2001
My short visit to Colorado Springs for the PCRT (Philadelphia Conference on Reformation Theology) was most enjoyable, but I missed Anne and the children and you, so I’m glad to be back home! We were hosted by the Village Seven Presbyterian Church, PCA, (where Joseph Wheat is now the minister) and enjoyed a good attendance at the conference.
The conference is held in three cities/regions of the United States each year and is sponsored by the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. The Alliance is a broad coalition of evangelical Christian leaders from a number of different denominations, including Baptist, Independent, Lutheran, Episcopalian, Presbyterian, and Reformed. Its purpose is to call the church, amidst our dying culture, to repent of its worldliness, to recover and confess the truth of God's Word as did the Reformers, and to see that truth embodied in doctrine, worship, and life.
The theme this year is “Lord, Have Mercy!” This is the cry of every sinner ever saved. A God of mercy! That is what the gospel proclaims, and God's mercy is central to every aspect of Christian salvation. If one thing is needed in our shallow, man-centered age it is a fresh view of our great God. Knowing his mercy invites us to a closer, deeper relationship with him. It encourages us to study God and to make him the center of our lives. Furthermore, God's mercy is what makes Christianity good news at every stage: in God's sovereign election, in the forgiveness of our sin, in the call to practical godliness, and in the future entrance of God's people into glory. These were our topics during this the twenty-eighth year of the PCRT.
Most of you will know that the founder of the PCRT, Dr. James M. Boice, went home to his eternal reward this past June. Many people wondered whether the work would continue. This is one reason the Pastor’s Advisory Committee felt it a wise thing for me to commit to attending. Dr. Boice founded the conference because of the great need for faithful Reformation teaching on theology and the Bible, and surely that need is no less today.
editorial note: Joseph Wheat is now the pastor of Highlands PCA, outside of Jackson, Miss.