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From This Place: Torrey Conference 2012

Mike Erre challenges students to rediscover the joy of salvation

Closing out the Torrey Conference, speaker Mike Erre challenges students to seek the person of Christ, suggesting they "read Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and repeat." | Olivia Blinn/THE CHIMES

 

Mike Erre kicked off the last session of the Torrey conference clad in shorts and flip flops, giving his own introduction: “Mike Erre is a male model”. Keeping with his lighthearted introduction, Erre made jokes about being stuck with the last time slot on a Friday morning.

“They told me it’s an honor, but I looked at the program and it says ‘2 credits’ bigger than my name”. After more humorous statements about himself and the heat in the gym, Erre began his teaching.

Erre’s main points revolved around the idea that people naturally talk about what they love, be it golf or grandkids. He challenged us with the question: ”Why then is it so hard for us to talk about Jesus?” Erre said Christians can miss Jesus because they are too busy doing things in his name. He asked us when the last time was that we read the Gospels not for class, or because we felt we needed to, but just to learn more about Jesus. He stressed the importance of rereading the gospels because it is the only authoritative account of who this man we are preaching about is.

Erre spoke about when Jesus touched the leper in Matthew 8. He talked about the significance of Jesus touching someone who was unclean, untouchable and the lowest of the low of society. Erre suggested that now, in the modern day church, there is an idea that you have to clean up your sin and life before you go to church, which is not the case. “Jesus cleans us up,” he said.

Erre made a few convicting statements during his talk. One was that “much of Christianity is not of Jesus.” He said that Christians have lost sight of the fact of who Jesus actually was. Erre said that he loved talking to college students because they “are naive enough to believe the revolution of Christ is here and now”.

He said he admired our passion and that older people wish they knew what we believe at our age. He stated that in Jesus’ time, the people who were most comfortable with him were the tax collectors and sinners, whereas the least comfortable were the religious. He said the opposite is true now. He asked us, “How much do we allow social approval to influence our declaration of faith?” Erre ended with emphasizing the importance of rediscovering the joy of our salvation.

Mike Erre’s talk was very convicting to me in regards to ministry and a great way to end the 2012 Torrey Conference. Once he finished speaking, we were invited to reflect and pray with others about what spoke out to us during Torrey. As I spoke with other students, many of us were in agreement of the desire to get involved in ministries on campus and begin to live out this year’s Torrey and Biola theme: “From This Place: Proclaiming the Good News in a Changing World.”

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