I have absolutely no time to recap my days here at the Gospel Coalition 2011 in Chicago, but I figured I'd put up something.
I'm really impressed with the new location, McCormick Place. Huge facility. The bookstore is outstanding, and now has Joe Thorn's new book, Note to Self.
What preaching I saw was great. Maybe better than that, Joe Thorn and I talked just before bed about how amazing our conversations have been. Gospel-focused, encouraging, God-glorifying. I've seen new friends and old ones. I told Michael Horton I'm one of those missional guys and got Rod Rosenbladt to laugh. I met Ray Ortlund, Jr. and Dane Ortlund for the first time and talked to Sam Storms yet again. I got coffee with Greg Thornbury and tried to convert Tim Ellsworth's 7 year old son to being a Cubs fan (FAIL, for good reason). I told Josh Harris he looks a bit like Russ Moore. Josh is always a joy to talk to. Matt Schmucker gave me a sticker. Al Mohler, as always, asked about my wife's health. Several guys actually did. I heard Tim Keller preach. Nuff said. I talked to a bunch of bloggers about, well, blogging. I saw my pastor from Kentucky, my old friend from a Methodist church in my hometown, and several local friends. I met Jared Wilson and his lovely wife, Becky, who is probably a better conversationalist than he is. And he's a great conversationist. I got to discuss and strategize about open-air preaching with guys from cities, suburbs, and small towns. I talked about "synagogue evangelism" with some Twitter friends I got to meet for the first time. It was one of the best days of conversations I've ever experienced, and it's just the first day. Because of all the above I'm even more optimistic about the Church, the mission, and our great God.
It's been a very good but long day and I think I've dropped enough names, though the list goes on. These are real guys, serious guys, and it's a blessing to know them. More tomorrow. It's late and I'm punchy. Let me close with this: The Gospel Coalition is probably my favorite all-around conference for a superb mix of content & opportunity to make connections with Gospel-saturated guys. I wish even more friends were here. God has been good to me.