TMAI Symposium: A True Measure of Success
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TMAI Symposium: A True Measure of Success

Mark Tatlock

Dr. Mark Tatlock

When it comes to hosting a symposium, numbers alone are not the measure of success. Often, numbers are no measure at all. And so even as I write to tell you that more than 500 pastors and lay leaders converged on Calvary Bible Church in Burbank, Calif. on March 2, I know that I am only quoting a number. When I tell you that each presentation was packed, that every table was full, and that every meeting room was abuzz with conversation, I know that these alone do not indicate the effectiveness of the event.

In truth, those numbers and images, striking as they are, do not come close to painting an accurate portrait of the symposium. In terms of capturing the reason I am so encouraged by what took place there, they do not begin to demonstrate why.

The 2015 TMAI Symposium on Biblical Inerrancy was a powerful gathering – not because of how many people attended or because they came from all over the world. The symposium’s true measure of success can be found in the truths expressed, and how those truths were received.

MacArthur (Credit: Rudy Cerda)

Dr. John MacArthur

Dr. John MacArthur, President of The Master’s Seminary, set the tone with a clarion call to the inerrancy of God’s Word. In so uncertain terms, Dr. MacArthur laid the foundation for the event. Scripture is the bedrock on which God’s church and God’s people have always stood. Its authority and its veracity are unassailable, and as professors of Christ and proclaimers of His truth, we need not – we must not – equivocate on any of what God has revealed.

In the event’s first 30 minutes, all in attendance were reminded of precisely why a ministry such as TMAI is so critical to building the church. Well trained men, able to rightly divide the Word, are essential to any movement of God because any movement that is truly of God will always flow out of right theology – out of right thinking about God and His revelation. For this reason, believers must be taught the truth; they must sit under faithful Bible expositors.

Speaker after speaker, we heard from men – many of whom came from TMAI training centers around the world – who proclaimed the importance of sound doctrine. Miguel Núñez talked about revelation and authority in the southern hemisphere. Choolwe Mwetwa talked about challenges to inerrancy in Africa. Paul Washer called pastors to place their full trust in God’s Word. Chris Williams shared the urgent need for seminaries and training centers to produce future pastors and teacher who hold a high view of The Bible. James White spoke on how to take the Word of God into the Muslim world. Mike Gendron discussed the importance of establishing the authority of Scripture in evangelizing Roman Catholics.

Each address was met with enthusiasm. In the common areas after the sessions, you could hear the men responding to what had been said. They were exhorting one another to good works. They were encouraging one another in their ministries.

Measuring success at the symposium comes down to that kind of interaction. It is most evident in the response of the hearers – in the way they are moved to action by what they heard.

I am confident that many were moved on March 2 – me among them. Numbers are just numbers. But that kind of success is something that endures. It gains momentum and generates practical ministry. I was grateful to have been a part of it.

Tatlock sig

Mark Tatlock,
President, TMAI