Campus gears up for 2015 Truth and Life Conference – By Bethany Johnson

Why should students be excited to be back on campus Jan. 14 at 7 p.m.? In addition to getting to see their friends after four long, cold weeks at home, the 2015 Truth and Life Conference will begin.

The theme for this year’s conference is the “one anothers.”

“The theme is essentially how Christians should live in a biblical community, preferring one another, supporting one another, sanctifying one another,” said Pete Bargas, the associate dean of student life programs.

“Really talking about Christian and gospel love and how that works in biblical community.”
This relevant theme and the keynote speakers’ presence alone should be enough to motivate you to return from the coma of Christmas break.

It might also motivate students to hit the books because the speakers are smart, as in multiple degrees beyond the bachelor that you hope to complete. Attendees have the privilege of listening to the knowledge God has given them and hearing about years of experience as pastors and teachers.

Dr. Mark Dever not only graduated from Cambridge with a doctorate in philosophy, but also taught there for two years. He returns to TMC to share his passion for healthy churches. He authored the book and booklet Nine Marks of a Healthy Church and now serves as president of 9Marks Ministries, an organization dedicated to equip church leaders with the resources to build healthy churches for the glory of God. Currently he is the senior pastor at Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, D.C.

Dever is joined by Thabiti Anyabwile, the church-planting pastor at Capitol Hill. Anyabwile played off of Dever’s book and wrote What is a Healthy Church Member? His other books and writing often focus on race and theology. He also regularly contributes to The Gospel Coalition.

TMC president, Dr. John MacArthur will kick off the conference on Thursday. As a pastor-teacher at Grace Community Church for 45 years he has experienced how the “one anothers” directly impact Christians and the church.

Dr. Abner Chou, a TMC Bible professor, will speak Thursday and Friday morning. As someone who has been around the college for years, he understands what living out the “one anothers” looks like in a community such as TMC. Although he won’t have a white board to draw stick figures on, his sermons will allow us to understand more deeply how to be obedient to the “one anothers.”

Even though this lineup will dive deep into the Scriptures, living out the biblical commands of “one another” is immensely helpful.

“It’s practical. It’s not this ethereal, idealistic, theological concept. It’s practically lived out everyday. How do you serve your roommate, how do you prefer your roommate, how do you bear their burdens,” Bargas said.

Beyond the main session speakers, Truth and Life has seminar sessions held by professors. Some topics relate to the “one anothers” while other topics pertain to the professor’s field of study. Bargas is looking forward to Dr. Baker’s seminar on Christianity and the Civil War.

Around 1,500-1,700 people are expected to attend the conference. Alumni, people related to the college, high school students, and other visitors will attend. TLC for Kids hosts a program for children 6th grade and under to allow parents to enjoy the conference.

TMC also offers special programs for local churches to bring their high school students.

By Bethany Johnson

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