On the 14th of January 2022, I, along with many other college students, had driven to Converse, Indiana for this year’s CORPS Winter Conference. As a first-time goer, I didn’t know what to expect. I knew reliably that there would be many forms of recreation. Naturally, the weekend was not without a vigorous game of football and a long euchre tournament (to which my partner and I were crowned champion).
What I perhaps did not expect fully was the intensity to which my peers and I would be engaged in biblical teaching. Our main speaker was Professor David Whitla of Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary who took a six-hour drive to the conference center from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After a Psalm sing and an introduction, he gets up on stage of the auditorium in front of 50 college students with a Bible in hand. With a heavy Irish accent he directs us, “please turn with me in your Bibles to Genesis 1:1.”
It may have been an odd inquiry considering the fact that the topic of this year’s CORPS Winter Conference was titled, “The Christian at War: Lessons from the Temptation of Christ.” But of course, as Dr. Whitla was quick to point out, the Christian’s war against sin and the Devil did not begin with us, nor did it even begin with Jesus’ dealings with Satan in the wilderness. It began all the way in the first pages of the Word of God. And it was in that very Word in which the conference would linger for the entirety of the weekend.
In the course of three days and four messages, Dr. Whitla brought to the forefront of our minds the concept of war. With biblical richness and practical wisdom, he showed from Scripture that we as Christians ought to take the powers of sin, temptation, and the Devil as Christ did: seriously. Far from a complacent mindset that far too many of us are tempted to lounge in, we are to be God’s soldiers who follow the orders of our commander Jesus, marching forward to pursue holiness and advance the gospel.
In between were workshops that dealt with the varying dimensions of this war. These included the Christian’s battle against the attacks on Scripture’s teaching of the historical Adam, the Christian’s struggle to stay faithful in the workplace, the Christian’s wrestle for true assurance, and more.
By the end, I found myself profoundly thankful and encouraged. In this short period of time, I was already able to see God moving people’s hearts and bringing stronger convictions in their faith. With 2022 underway, I am all the more eager to see how God will continue to bring forth fruit out of me and my brothers and sisters from this conference.
Thanks to Jonathan Park for writing the article for us. Jonathan is a recent Purdue graduate and has been a a member of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Lafayette since the fall of 2021. He loves to read, write, play piano, and win Euchre in his free time.