The conference was held at Christ Covenant Church in Dallas, Texas on November 5-6, 1999. The conference was entitled "The Defense of Historic Christian Orthodoxy: Why the Church Must Contend for the Faith." The speakers were Andrew Sandlin, Monte Wilson, Steve Schlissel, and Colonel Doner.
If you did not attend the 1999 Chalcedon National Conference, the question is, why? I will have to admit that I was not sure what to expect. Being a reader of the Chalcedon Report, I was familiar with the writings of the conference speakers. However, I was somewhat expecting a rather dry reading from a number of academic papers. But this was not the case. Take Colonel Doner's presentation, for instance, anything but dull. Quick-witted, spontaneous, extremely funny (he could sub for Jay Leno!) and yet, he still was able to present the many facets (and dangers) of gnosticism. Steve Schlissel's style could not have been more different: his speech on the need for the restoration of fatherly authority was laced with a very dry wit. Andrew Sandlin gave a straightforward presentation on the dangers of theological primitivism (i.e., wanting to be a "New Testament" church, viewing the history of the church as "one vast corruption"). Monte Wilson presented the need for a return to a Classical Christianity, a faith that is all-encompassing, orthodox, and "catholic" (universal).
Best of all, there was plenty of time to actually meet and converse with the speakers, and with fellow attendees, many who were from Texas, but who were also from surrounding states, and California; even Canada was represented.
If you were not able to make it to the conference, you missed an opportunity to be challenged and motivated by four excellent Reformed Christian speakers. However, all is not lost. There will be audiocassette tapes of the conference, and there is now available the book Keeping Our Sacred Trust which contains all of the papers presented at the conference (available from Chalcedon; email Susan Burns for more information). And please make plans to attend future Chalcedon conferences. I hope to see you there!
- Matt Bynum