"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

The Baptist Conference on the Holy Spirit

I had intended to blog about The Conference on the Holy Spirit earlier this weekend, but my schedule has been full and this is the first time I had the opportunity to sit down at the computer in the hotel room and write down some thoughts about my impressions of the conference.

First, the host church and pastor Dwight McKissic have done a wonderful job of preparations and hosting. There are a large number of volunteers who have made everything very smooth for all the participants and speakers, including all the meals.

Friday morning and afternoon we had the "Pastor's Roundtable" which was a carry over from our first meeting at Cornerstone last year. Dwight McKissic and Ben Cole spoke and both did an outstanding job. Both men are always very well prepared and accomplished speakers. Dwight's sermon was entitled "The Road from Babel to Pentecost" and he showed how God reversed all the negative things that happened at Babel by pouring out his Spirit at Pentecost. Ben spoke of walls being broken down at Pentecost, including the walls of national identity, racial segregation, and testamental divisions. There was a robust discussion on both messages as we enjoyed lunch around the tables. The afternoon offered us an opportunity to hear a testimony and challenge from Art Rogers and messages from Ralph W. Emerson and another guest pastor friend of Dwight's. I enjoyed all the speakers and the discussion that followed.

Friday night's service was three and a half hours long, but the time passed quickly. I always enjoy the worship when led by Daniel Brymer and both Gary Smith and Denny Davis, pastors from two of the largest Baptist churches in the metroplex did a great job on the role of the Holy Spirit in Church Growth and Kingdom Growth. I enjoyed preaching to a very responsive crowd on the role of the Holy Spirit in the Great Commission.

Saturday was a very long day, beginning at 9:00 a.m. and going until 9:30 p.m. that night. However, I learned a great deal from every one of the speakers. I enjoyed meeting and visiting with Bart Barber and appreciated his lecture on the cessationist viewpoint from a historical perspective, and Robin Foster presented his subject matter in a very humble attitude. Both men were in the minority in their positions, but I really appreciate the spirit they displayed today of accepting those brothers who disagreed. I also enjoyed the presentations of Alan Cross on continuationsim, particularly the way in which Alan is matter of fact about the Sciptures approach to the gifts, but it is evident Alan's emphasis in life and ministry is on Christ. I met for the first time Dr. Boyd Luter, former dean of Criswell College and now a pastor in Texas. His presentation on cooperation within the SBC between people with differing views on the gifts is absolutely must hearing for leadership within the SBC. I have received permission to post his lecture and plan on doing so sometime next week.

Saturday night Sam Storms and Daniel Brymer did a great job leading us in teaching and worship respectively. I don't think I have ever heard a clearer presentation on the anointing of the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer than that presented by Sam. He is a theologian par excellence and I learned a great deal Saturday night. He was the only preacher and as far as I was concerned he could have continued for hours.

This morning, Sunday morning, I will be preaching at Cornerstone at 7:30 a.m. and Sam will be preaching at 10:00 a.m. I will be heading back to Enid after the morning service to be present for our evening service in Enid.

All in all I really enjoyed the weekend. I met a lot of new friends and enjoyed the fellowship with people from all over the SBC. I was also greatly encouraged by what I heard from people on both sides of the issue. Everyone displayed a Christian spirit. Everyone mentioned the necessity to continue in cooperation for the fulfillment of the Great Commission.

Our convention could learn a great deal from studying the model at this conference at Cornerstone.

There's room in ministry and leadership of the SBC for people with differing views on the gifts, and NOBODY should desire to exclude people from EITHER side.

In His Grace,



Jack Maddox said...


The highlight of the weekend was the moving of the Spirit which led to your prophetic utterance that Dwight McKissic would be in the future President of the SBC! WOW! All kidding aside...it was a good gathering...I did not see the 600 said to be registered but I understood that there were many in the children and youth conference. It looked more like about 70 - 90 to me. At one point I counted 73. That’s to bad...there should be and I believe will be more in the future. I was a little disappointed with all the time spent on polity of the SBC which could have been spent on the issue at hand. Also, this was more a conference on the GIFTS of the Holy Spirit, not so much the ministry of the Holy Spirit. The folks at CBC were by far the most friendly, kind and warm hearted people that I have met. They reminded me very much of the folks at FBC Jacksonville, and any of us who have attended that conference know what a top job they do! It was good to meet you and Ben (It will be much harder to be mad at Ben now that I have met him...he is a HOOT!)Bart, Robin and Debbie Kaufman. I saw Dorcas but did not get a chance to meet her. I hung out at the Starbucks down the street hoping she would drop in but no such luck…maybe next time Sister Dorcus. I was going to meet Bob but the pink hat just scares the bedoddles out of me! Maybe next time Bob! Highlight of the presentations, Boys Luters breakdown of our positions on the gifts of the Spirit...Most troubling presentation...NONE...they were all Great.

Everyone have a great Lords day and be blessed!

Jack Maddox

Katherine said...

I'm glad it's a good conference. I'm also especially glad you had the privilege of hearing Dr. Storms--he was a professor of mine at Wheaton College, and was a blessing to everybody, whether he was teaching Historical Theology, addressing the student body, or reminding people that, yes, there is a Holy Spirit. :-)

bryan riley said...

Darn, I got excited when I read the first sentence of Jack's comment.

Dorcas Hawker said...

Jack -

I saw your name tag and walked right by you while you were deep in a discussion with Ben. I should have stopped to wait to say hello once that conversation had ended, I do apologize. I've posted all my commentary about the conference so far over on my blog, but I did not mention all those I "saw" but didn't have the chance to meet at the conference. They include: Bart Barber, Todd Pylant, you and even Dwight McKissic. Interesting. So, yes, it is hard to get a chance to meet everyone at one conference. I'll be at the annual meeting in June and I hope to meet you there instead.


Anonymous said...

Rex Ray said…
My day started by reading your post and copy-paste to a file (has 1,336 KB) for printing. I wrote down ‘cessationist’ and ‘continualist’. Neither word would be accepted by spell-check. I guess it doesn’t know any more than I do. Tomorrow, I may forget which is which, but I’ll never forget over 30 years ago when I decided I wouldn’t seek the gift of tongues as I had enough problems. I was told if you believe and turn it down, you will never amount to anything.

Yesterday, before 6, I was cutting holes for sinks to be put in our churches upstairs two bathrooms…and more projects including storm damage to the edge of a roof I had cut with a handsaw when I was 15. That night, I quit at 11:30 working on our church’s display for our mission fair today. All this was made possible by a very long siesta.

If I had sought the gift would I have done anything different? Maybe I would have been happier. I guess it takes more courage than I have ever had.

Wade Burleson said...

Mr. Maddox,

Were you at any of the plenary sessions or just the day sessions?

When I saw you late afternoon on Saturday, there were about 75, but that was at the very end.

There were several hundred in the plenary sessions. The Saturday afternoon session was not well attended, but I thoroughly enjoyed each of the speakers.

I'm glad you appreciated the prophetic utterance. I hope you are around to see its fulfillment. :)

I too, enjoyed meeting you.

Joseph said...

Thank you for the report. I support you guys in your pursuit of our spiritual family (SBC) keeping the Spirit in our Kingdom endeavors.

Bart Barber said...


Nice to meet you. I look forward to an opportunity sometime to continue our conversation that ended so abruptly with our photograph and my necessary departure.

Jack Maddox said...


I was at the beggining of the Saturday Night session but left early in order to make it home in a timely fashion. I know there were more at the the plennary sessions. Again, It was a great conference and I hope to make the next one. As far as your prophecy...I could vote for Dwight! I just hope we don't invoke the Mosaic Law should your prophecy prove to be wrong! : )


Wade Burleson said...


Jack, O ye of little faith. :)

I do wish all of you could have stayed through Sunday. My wife said she had never experienced a worship experience quite like we did in the second service Sunday morning.

It was a great day.

davidinflorida said...

Pastor Wade,

It`s good that everyone mentioned the necessity to continue in cooperation for the fulfillment of the Great Commission.

It`s too bad that there are "sides" when it comes to the subject of The Holy Spirit.

Just curious, but what did your WIFE experience during the worship that she had never experienced before. I`m just guessing here, but did The Holy Spirit show up because He was welcomed and not quenched?

Debbie said...

My husband and I had to leave before the afternoon session due to having to come back to Oklahoma so that my husband could go to work on Sunday.

K. Michael Crowder said...

Jack, O ye of little faith.

Or does he lack the word of faith? This whole movement sounds more and more like TBN everyday.

God bless the biblical work you do Wade, but I support the SBC and her entities who forbid the funding and sending of men and women who practive a PPL, speak in tongues, or practice any other emotionally charged worship fad. I also challenge messengers to elect trustees who follow a biblical prspective on this matter.

Emotionally charged religion seeks to fullfull the flesh and not the soul. We must preach repentance and faith. With this conversion comes the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. If you loose your joy, seek Jesus and His Word, not a "refilling."


Wade Burleson said...

Mr. Crowder,

Shame on you. You speak of something you have never experienced. I promise you my friend, I know TBN. I was present in Arlington. It was, is, or never will be TBN. Our TBN brothers and sisters have their place within our world, and it is not within our convention. The emphasis on God's sovereinty, the sufficiency of His Word, and worship regulated by Scripture characterized Arlington. I would challenge you to be very, very cautious of making statements like you are making.

Debbie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Debbie said...

Wade: I have to tell you that after you preached Saturday night, someone asked my husband, "Do you get this every Sunday?" and my husband said without hesitation. Yes.

I agree with your reply to Mr. Crowder, Mr. Crowder, you were not there not there, you do not know what you are talking about.

Debbie said...

Is not worship in church a private things as well? I do not think we can dictate how one can worship God privately or in church any more than we can dictate someone's private prayer. There was such a love for Christ and God the Father that was indescribable during the worship session.

K. Michael Crowder said...


You say, "Shame on you."

Then you also say the same to a majority of the IMB, SWBTS, EC, et al boards of the SBC and to a majority of the congregants of its member churches.

You say sir, "I promise you my friend, I know TBN.....Our TBN brothers and sisters have their place within our world..."

And I tell you that TBN, in the words of Hank Hanegraaf, "spews heresy." I would ad that Paul Crouch, et al will answer one day for the damnable doctine preached from a money hungry pulpit.


Thanks for the comment to my post as always, its a joy to know you care.

You say: "I do not think we can dictate how one can worship God privately or in church any more than we can dictate someone's private prayer."

But I tell you that we CAN dictate the theology taught in our seminaries, and the theology taught and practiced by our missionaries. Just like my church can and DOES dictate the theology taught in our Sunday School classes and pulpit.

Wade, there are many things to which my life experience has not encountered. But that does not mean that I am incapible of interpreting the Scriptural rights and wrongs of such things. But 2 things sir, in the most humblest and respectful manner......1. I have very much felt the power and presence of the Spirit which lives inside me. 2. I am not in need of warning, for I am incapible of blaspheming the HS. I do not question the work of the HS in your life, Dr. McKissic's life, or the life of any brother or sister who believes the HS gives to them, gifts which make them speak in an unknown tongue, or speak to God in a language that is not of the heart and mind and language given to them by God himself. But i question the reactions of mankind to an emotional response brought on not by demons, but by the flesh of man corrupted by the fall. In neuthetic counseling, we tell people with ADHD that their problems are brought on by sin, and use biblical methods to reduce the strongholds satan has in their lives (both believer and unbeliever). Likewise when believers practice unbiblical pneumatology, we must assume it is the result of burdensome remaining sin, and for those believers, we can only pray that the HS intepretes our prayers that are unworthy of the Son; and that the Son interceeds to the Father; and that the Father gives grace where the believer fails.

So, not shame on you, Bro. Wade, but Grace AND Truth.....to you. ;)