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Albuquerque, New Mexico


Mark Dever

Mark Dever

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Mark Dever (Ph.D., Cambridge University), serves as the senior pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington DC, where he has served since 1994. Along with his pastoral responsibilities, Dever is also the president of 9Marks, an organization he founded in 1998 to equip church leaders with a biblical vision and practical resources for displaying God’s glory through healthy churches. He is also a Council Member for The Gospel Coalition. A well-established writer, Mark is author of several books, including: Discipling: How to Help Others Follow Jesus, The Compelling Community: Where God's Power Makes a Church Attractive, Nine Marks of a Healthy Church, The Gospel and Personal Evangelism, and The Deliberate Church: Building Your Ministry on the Gospel. Mark is married to Connie and they have two adult children and one grandchild. You can follow him on Twitter at @MarkDever.
Greg Gilbert

Greg Gilbert

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Greg Gilbert (M.Div, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary), serves as the senior pastor of Third Avenue Baptist Church in Louisville, KY, where he has served since 2010. During his seminary years he served as the Director for Theological Research for Dr. R. Albert. Mohler, Jr. Greg has authored a number of books including, Why Trust the Bible?, Who Is Jesus?, The Gospel at Work: How Working for King Jesus Gives Purpose and Meaning to Our Jobs, What Is the Gospel?, and What Is the Mission of the Church?: Making Sense of Social Justice, Shalom, and the Great Commission. He is married to Moriah and they have three children. You can follow him on Twitter at @GregGilbert.

Clarus 2017

It was 500 years ago.

In the year, 1517, in Wittenberg, Germany, a Catholic monk named Martin Luther had been studying and lecturing on Paul’s letter to the Romans. He became fearfully captivated by one word near the beginning of Romans: “in [the gospel] the righteousness of God is revealed” (1:17). Luther later explained that he hated that phrase “righteousness of God,” for God’s righteousness, he thought, surely meant God’s righteous punishment of all unrighteous sinners. Knowing himself to be a sinner, he wrestled with “a fierce and troubled conscience” and “beat upon” the text to know what Paul meant.

At the same time Luther had another concern, but this one with increasing clarity. The Catholic Church had for many years sold indulgences. For a fee, one could pay-off the guilt and payment of sins. A new salesman of indulgences, Johann Tetzel, was creatively and aggressively making a bad practice worse. Luther had written against Tetzel’s tactics before, but now Tetzel was coming to Luther’s town of Wittenberg. So on October 31, 1517, Luther nailed to the church door Ninety-Five Theses meant to engender academic debate about such indulgences. At the time, no one could have anticipated—not even Luther himself—the reverberating effects of this moment. While many events, documents, and people were used of the Lord to bring about the Protestant Reformation, for 500 years the church has looked back to the nailing of Ninety-Five Theses upon the church door as a pivotal moment towards the recovery of the gospel.

While Luther’s concerns for indulgences grew in conviction and clarity, he continued to struggle with his own guilty conscience and how God’s righteousness could be good news (a gospel) for sinners. The “righteousness of God” in Romans 1:17 was of no comfort to him until the context made it clear: “the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith, as it is written, ‘The righteous shall live by faith.’” Like a lightning bolt, it hit him: God’s just-righteousness was a gift from God to those who believe; God’s just mercy is revealed in the gospel of Christ’s substitutionary sacrifice. “Immediately I saw the whole of Scripture in a different light,” he wrote. “I felt that I was altogether born again and had entered paradise through its open doors.” That word which Luther once hated—righteousness—had now come to be the source of all his hope and joy. In Romans, he later attested, there is the “very purest gospel; …every Christian should know it…[and] occupy himself with it every day, as the daily bread of the soul. It can never be read or pondered too much, and the more it is dealt with, the more precious it becomes and the better it tastes.”

This leads us, 500 years later, to the theme of Clarus ’17: “Romans and the Reformation.”

This is a conference of sermons from the book of Romans that will show forth the glory of the gospel, that gospel which cannot be snuffed out, which brings light and life to all who believe it today. Along the way we’ll learn a bit about the Protestant Reformation—its history, theology, and, most of all, its sole-dependence upon Scripture for matters of faith and practice.

We’ve invited two speakers to lead us through Romans and the Reformation:

These men are committed to the heart of historic gospel and the further reformation of Christ’s church. These men love the book of Romans and praise God for the reformation that it brought—or, rather, that God wrought through it and continues to do today.

Another reformer, John Calvin, similarly said of Romans: “If we have gained a true understanding of this epistle we have an open door to all the most profound treasures of Scripture.”

Let’s go through that door together. Join us for Clarus, February 24-26, 2017.

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Desert Springs Church | 705 Osuna Rd NE | Albuquerque, NM 87113
Google Map | 505.797.8700 |