The title of this entry comes directly from 1 Thessalonians 5:21, one of the great scriptural calls to discernment, and a theme verse for a conference I had the privilege of speaking at last week. The bi-annual St. Louis Conference on Biblical Discernment was sponsored by a ministry called Personal Freedom Outreach, led by Kurt Goedelman, and featured some wonderful speakers like Paul Maier, Gary Gilley, Robert Lightner, and Ron Rhodes.
My seminar topics were "Decision Making Questions: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly," "The Case Against Judging," and "The Es of Entertainment." My favorite talks by other speakers were "Jesus: What More Do We Know?" by Paul Maier, about the extra-biblical evidence for the gospel accounts, and "The Question of Homosexuality" by Ron Rhodes. You can get copies of any of these by visiting www.pfo.org. I also spoke at the host church on Sunday morning on the topic of "Relating to Church Leadership" (a.k.a. "How to Make Your Pastor Happy"), and you could listen to that online at www.gracebaptistchurch.info.
On Sunday after church Kurt and his wife Angela graciously took my son Calvin and I to visit the St. Louis Arch, which occurred to me is a giant illustration of the need for biblical discernment. I was amazed at the skill that was needed in the planning and construction of this amazing monument, one of the "seven wonders of the modern world." If a construction in the physical world requires such careful thought and exactness, how much more do we need to be careful and exact in building the church of God and handling his eternal Word!