Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals

PCRT 2011 poster

Philadelphia Conference on Reformed Theology 2011
Children of God: Adopted into the Father's Love


Joel Beeke (All)
Steve Lawson (OR,MI,PA)
Al Martin (OR)
Richard Phillips (All)
Derek Thomas (MI, SC)
David Wells (SC, PA)


Portland, OR

Grand Rapids, MI

Greenville, SC

Philadelphia, PA

Children of God:
Adopted into the Father's Love

“If the love of a father will not make a child delight in him, what will?” John Owen

Reformed Christians are thoroughly conversant with the language of justification and sanctification, but adoption seems to have fallen out of our vocabulary. This would be a shocking situation to Christians of prior generations. A lack of awareness of our adoption in Christ only paralyzes a Christian’s experience of divine grace. As Paul saw it, our adoption is integral to the good news of the gospel: “You are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God” (Gal. 4:7)!

It is a Christian’s adoption in Christ that holds together the categories of justification and sanctification. All who believe are made sons of God and partakers of the divine nature. No wonder John exclaimed: “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are” (1 Jn. 3:1). Adoption is what a Christian is saved to through faith in Christ, a personal, family bond of love, life, blessing, and calling. As children of God we have family privileges and family obligations: to know and embrace these is to enter into
the fullness of vital Christian living. Indeed, so central is the idea of adoption to God’s saving plan that the final glorification of the entire cosmos is bound up with our entering into the family inheritance: “the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God” (Rom. 8:19). Given the awesome biblical teaching on adoption, we are not wrong in stating that at the very heart of Christianity is the gathering of the children of God into the Father’s love though the saving achievement of God’s Son. What great truths for us to know and embrace!

We will study the distinctive approaches of Paul and John in teaching divine sonship and plumb its significance for living as believers in Christ. How does our adoption change our attitude towards history and towards the Church? What does the Bible teach me to expect of God as my Father if I am now His beloved child? In our seminars, we will expand the focus to consider the place of children in the Church, the place of God as Father in our preaching of the gospel, and biblical distinctives on gender in the life of the Church. May God bless us as we gather before the Scriptures to study the biblical doctrine of adoption, all to the glory of our elder Brother,
God’s true Son, Jesus Christ.

8:00 a.m. Pre-Conference Registration and coffee
9:15 a.m. Opening Bible Study, In God's Image: Male and Female (Gen. 1:27), Richard Phillips
9:45 a.m. Fathers and Fatherhood, Steven Lawson
10:45 a.m. Coffee break
11:00 a.m. Sons of God: The Masculine Mandate, Richard Phillips
12:00 p.m. Lunch (at local restaurants)
1:30 p.m. Daughters of Zion: The Feminine Design, Richard Phillips
2:30 p.m. Question & Answer Session, Richard Phillips
3:15 p.m. End of Pre-Conference

7:00 p.m. Behold, What Love!, Al Martin (OR); Derek Thomas (MI); David Wells (SC, PA)

8:00 a.m. Late Registration
9:00 a.m. Saved Into the Family, Steve Lawson (OR, MI, PA), Derek Thomas (SC)
10:00 a.m. Like Father, Like Son, Joel Beeke (All)
11:00 a.m. Question and Answer Session, All Speakers
12:00 p.m. Lunch (at local restaurants)
2:00 p.m. The Family Privileges, Richard Phillips (All)
3:15-4:30 p.m. Seminars
1. Children in the Church, Joel Beeke (All)
2. Male Leadership in the Church, Richard Phillips (All)
3. Practical Considerations for Preaching the Fatherhood of God, Steven Lawson (OR, MI, PA); Derek Thomas (SC)
4:30 p.m. Dinner (at local restaurants)
6:30 p.m. Sacred Concert
7:00 p.m. Many Sons To Glory, Steve Lawson (OR, PA); Derek Thomas (MI, SC)

A.M. Worship All In the Family, Steve Lawson (MI); Al Martin (OR); David Wells (SC, PA)


Portland, OR                                                Grand Rapids, MI                                             
February 25-27, 2011                                 March 18-20, 2011
Estacada Christian Church                       Byron Center First Christian Reformed Church
29101 SE Eagle Creek Rd.                       2450 85th Street S.W.
Estacada, OR 97023                                  Byron Center, MI 49315
Hotel Information                                         Hotel Information

Greenville, SC                                             Philadelphia, PA
April 1-3, 2011                                             April 29 - May 1, 2011    
Second Presbyterian Church                   Tenth Presbyterian Church
105 River Street                                          1701 Delancey Street
Greenville, SC 29601                                 Philadelphia, PA 19103
Hotel Information                                         Hotel Information

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