On Sunday at crack of dawn I got up and off to catch the early buses to Villenave d'Ornon where a group of us were meeting up to go to the conference of the Gospel Coalition at Geneva, Evangile21.
The trip to Geneva goes through almost the full range of French inland scenery - the wooded valleys of the Dordogne, the mountains of the Auvergne, Saint-Etienne, the Rhone valley, then the Alps!
We were to stay in a ski chalet owned by the family of two of our party, not far from Geneva but over the French border just beyond Annemasse. And it was a very beautiful place, in a lovely green valley with gentle ski slopes higher up - no snow now, of course.
The conference was centred on an exposition of almost all of Galatians, with sections taken in turns by the main speakers, Don Carson, Tim Keller and Henri Blocher, and one section taken by Mike Evans, director of the IBG. Then there were sessions on the demands of church planting, from Tim Keller and on the New Perspective, from Don Carson. Workshops on various subjects, including one from Claire Smith whose book on complementarianism has just come out in French.
All was splendid. The different approaches of the speakers never jarred or grated. Galatians was approached in a helpful way, and the seminars I attended were useful.
The days were begun with sessions of "louange" - successions of worship songs, sometimes with Scripture readings and occasionally with short prayers - led by a group called Den-Isa. I tried to look them up on YouTube, but found someone quite different of the same name!
I think more thought could go into integrating prayer and praise into the thread of the conference, rather than seeing it as a separate thing with its own nature and character. DenIsa also gave a mini-concert. We didn't stay for that, but I would have been interested in trying to note any difference between the mini-concert and the times of louange.
The days ran, with a pretty full schedule, from 8:30 to 21:30, so we all came back rather tired!
Some photos will follow.