“I believe the entire universe exists to display the greatness of the glory of God’s grace. And that grace shines most brightly in the suffering of God’s Son,” said Dr. John Piper, addressing over 18,000 students attending the Passion ’06 event that ended Thursday in Nashville, TN.

From The Nashville Tennessean: At yesterday’s conference, there was little doubt about a shared belief. “God’s design from the beginning was to display maximally his grace,” said Piper, a pastor for preaching at Minneapolis’ Bethlehem Baptist Church, as thousands of students responded by saying “Amen” or clapping periodically. “Everything is made to display the glory of the grace of God.”

From The Jackson Sun [Jackson, TN]: These college students are not ashamed to be called sellouts. They are sold out for Christ. This week, 18,000 collegians converged on Nashville to send that message during Passion 06, a four-day Christian conference featuring musicians and speakers. The gathering at Gaylord Entertainment Center, which ends today, was designed for students between 18 and 26. The Passion conferences, which are held in various spots around the nation, were founded by Louie Giglio and his wife, Shelley, in June 1995 in Atlanta. The couple has focused on collegiate ministries for 20 years, according to Passion’s Web site, 268generation.com.

It’s the second year Nashville has hosted the conference, which has 18,000 students from 17 countries registered. It’s also the first time the event has literally sold out in Nashville; even walk-in registration was closed. “I was proud to see so many students taking a stand for their faith and taking it back to their college campuses,” said 21-year-old Union University senior and Collierville native Lindsay Lawrence, a first-time conference attendee. Lawrence, a social work major, described the worship experience as “incredible.”

From The News-Journal [Daytona Beach, FL]: Popular perceptions of college life conjure more images of beer kegs and wild parties than sober students swaying to sounds of Christian rock or joined in prayer. Stereotypes of wild college life are grounded in hard facts, such as more than one in three U.S. students regularly drinking heavily. But in Nashville, the sellout crowd of 18,000 young adults at the Passion ’06 conference indicates Christians in college aren’t lacking for the company of fellow believers.

Dr. John Piper and Dr. John MacArthur were my guests today on The Albert Mohler Program. Dr. Piper talked about the Passion ’06 event. [Listen Here]