I’m ecstatic about the resurgence of interest in the gospel that’s taking place inside the Evangelical church today. The idea that once God saves us his plan isn’t to steer us beyond the gospel, but to move us more deeply into the gospel, is gaining traction in churches of all stripes and denominations. And that’s a great thing. But as far as we’ve come, I’m convinced that God is summoning us to go deeper, to go “higher up and further back.”
As encouraging as it is to see a growing interest in the now-power of the gospel, I still find that there is fear, reservation, skepticism, and nervousness regarding the radicality of the gospel and the hilarious freedom that comes with it. Even those of us who have experienced the unconditional, saving grace of God find it difficult not to put conditions on grace– “don’t take it too far; keep it balanced,” we say.
I wholeheartedly believe, however, that the gospel of grace is way more drastic, way more offensive, way more liberating, way more shocking, and way more counterintuitive than any of us realize. There is nothing more radically unbalanced and drastically unsafe than grace. It has no “but”: it’s unconditional, uncontrollable, unpredictable, and undomesticated. It unsettles everything. There is a dangerous depth to the gospel that needs to be rediscovered and embraced . . . and that’s what the LIBERATE Conference is all about.
We had our first conference in February 23-25, 2012 at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. The conference, themed “Grace Unmeasured,” explored the depths and riches of God’s scandalous grace in the gospel. To kick things off I invited some of my friends to join me—a group unashamed of the gospel and the disruptive and liberating grace it declares: Michael Horton, Paul Tripp, Elyse Fitzpatrick, Scotty Smith, Darrin Patrick, David Zahl, Rod Rosenbladt, and Doug Sauder. Scott Anderson (Executive Director of Desiring God) was our emcee.
If you missed the 2012 conference, we’re doing it again in 2013. We would love to see you there!