Nehemiah 8 gives us an artfully told story of Israel at one of her best moments, a moment at which she assembled under the Word with expectancy, attentive listening, a response of weeping and repentance, and deep joy in God. Ezra had a book in his hands. That’s why the people gathered. That’s why they made a platform for him to stand on. That’s why they responded as they did. As Alistair Begg recently put it, “The expectation of the people was tied not to the ability of Ezra, but to the book that he held in his hand.” So it should be for the church.
Sermons occupy the better part of a Sunday morning for many churches—more than praying, more than singing, more than fellowship. Yet for as much time as we spend listening to preaching as Christians, we could afford to think longer and harder on the subject. What exactly is preaching? What does preaching do? How should we do it and hear it? Why not dialogue or drama instead? In a digital age, why do we come together for it? Why did God choose preaching for getting his work done? We often think of preaching as the pastor’s work. But what is expected from those who come to hear a sermon? What should they expect from themselves, and, more importantly from God?
Alistair Begg, D. A. Carson, and David Helm recently teamed up in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to address questions like these at Clarus ’15, Assembled Under the Word: Preaching and the Church. Attended by 700 from across the region, Clarus is TGC’s Southwest Regional Conference hosted by Desert Springs Church in partnership with TGC Albuquerque.
This was not a conference on how to preach, but a conference on what preaching is, how preaching works, and what preaching does. Our goal in gathering was to hear God’s Word on preaching in order to better hear his Word preached in our respective churches.
Below, you’ll find videos from each of the conference talks, including links to audio and blog summaries. Click here for photos from this year’s conference, here for songs we sang together, and here to download the song, “Your Word.” This is an new text written for and recorded live at this year’s conference.
Alistair Begg, “Assembled Under the Word” (Nehemiah 8) [audio | blog recap]
Alistair Begg, “Preaching In and Out of Season” (2 Timothy 3:16–4:8) [audio | blog recap]
Don Carson, “Why Does Jesus Tell Stories?” (Matthew 13:10-17, 34-35) (audio | blog recap)
Don Carson, “The Parable of the Good Samaritan” – Luke 10:25-37 (audio | blog recap)
Don Carson, “The Rich Man and Lazarus” (Luke 16:19-31) (audio | blog recap)
David Helm, “Preaching: God’s Strategy” (Acts 17:16-34) (audio | blog recap)
David Helm, “Preaching: God’s Speech” (Acts 17:16-34) (audio | blog recap)
A Panel Discussion with Alistair Begg, Don Carson, and David Helm (audio | blog recap)
A Panel Discussion with Don Carson and David Helm (audio | blog recap)
Wrap-up posts from previous Clarus conferences:
- “Resources for Wrestling with Contentment,” with Thabiti Anyabwile and Rick Phillips
- “Resources for One-Anothering the Word,” with Timothy Lane and Paul Tripp
- “Resources for the Cross-Shaped Christian Life,” with Don Carson and Fred Zaspel