The Secret Sessions At The Gospel Coalition Conference

You may be aware that this week, thousands of men and women will descend upon Orlando, Florida, for The Gospel Coalition National Conference. If you go to the conference website, you can see the schedule for the panoply (isn’t that a great word?) of plenary (another great word) sessions and breakout sessions.

What you won’t see on the website is a listing of all the secret sessions taking place at the conference.

You didn’t know about the secret sessions? That’s why I’m here. I bring you hard-hitting, inside journalism. Sort of like a Christian version of TMZ, except without the gossip and mugshots. Here’s a list of all the secret sessions taking place at the conference.

GUYS, I PROMISE I’M A CHRISTIAN with Tullian Tchividjian – Last year, Tullian was kicked out of The Gospel Coalition for liking grace too much. But Tullian isn’t done with TGC. In this session, he explains that even though he likes grace, he is actually a Christian, and not the lawless heathen that some people have made him out to be.

REFORMED FASHION CHOICES with Greg Thornbury – The Orlando Tourist Department is expecting record plaid and khaki numbers this week, thanks to the massive influx of the white, middle-class, Reformed folks who will attend the conference. With folks like John “Plain Means Passion” Piper leading the way, fashion has never been a strong point for The Gospel Coalition. Greg Thornbury will help attendees realize that there is more to life than J.C. Penney and T.J. Maxx.

HOW TO PRETEND YOU KNOW SOMETHING ABOUT RAP with Trip Lee – The parking lot at the conference will be jam packed with Toyota Camry’s and Rav 4’s blasting Christian hip-hop through awful sound systems. However, if you asked the owners of said vehicles to talk about rap, they would only be able to list Lecrae and “Tupac Shakira”.  Trip Lee will provide attendees critical information about rap music, which will then enable them to talk about rap for more than 30 seconds.

I’M SMARTER THAN YOU with D.A. Carson, Al Mohler, and Mark Dever – This session is 45 minutes of Carson, Mohler, and Dever simply reminding you that you’re pretty stupid. They will be doing the entire session in Latin.

There's just one thing you're forgetting: I'm smarter than you.
There’s just one thing you’re forgetting: I’m smarter than you.

THE SECRET SECRET SESSION with David Platt – David Platt is well known for creating “Secret Church”. It’s fitting then, that this session is the most secret of all the sessions. The location of the session is unknown. The topic is unknown. In fact, it’s not even clear if David Platt will be teaching the session. That’s what makes it secret. Rumor has it that the session may be taking place in “Space Mountain” at Disney World.

HEDONIST HAND MOTIONS with John Piper – John Piper is well known for his animated hand motions. These hand motions, which come fast and furious during his sermons, are a major reason why Piper’s sermons are so powerful. If you don’t believe me, just look at the image below for ten seconds. See what I mean? You’re feeling convicted without hearing a single word.


In this session, John Piper will teach you how to develop powerful, convicting, Christian-hedonist hand motions.


To get into these sessions, you must follow a very specific set of steps.

  • Go up to the registration desk and ask for “Spanky McGee”.
  • Say the following phrase to Spanky: “The rain in Spain falls mostly on the plains, because God is sovereign and that’s what he wants, and if you’ve got a problem with that, you need to spend some time in Romans 9.”
  • Spanky will then ask you to list the five points of Calvinism…backwards. He’ll also ask you for Tim Keller’s middle name. After an exhaustive Google search, I still can’t figure out what it is. You’re on your own here.
  • If you succeed in these things, you will be ushered into the secret sessions.

Stephen Altrogge

I'm a husband, dad, writer, & Mixed Martial Arts Salsa Dancing Champion. I created The Blazing Center. I've also written some books which people seem to like.