Posted by: stpowen | May 25, 2013

Summer Conferences

Nehemiah 8:2-3. So Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly of men and women and all who could hear with understanding on the first day of the seventh month. Then he read from it in the open square…..from morning until midday, before the men and women and those who could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive to the Book of the Law.’

The summer seems to be a very popular time for Christian Conferences, and this year seems to be no exception. It is always good and encouraging to mingle with other Christians, perhaps from different evangelical traditions, and to hear fresh and challenging ministry. It is less good to become a sort of ‘conference addict,’ forever flitting around the country from one meeting to the next- one’s first priority must always be to one’s home church- but there are four conferences that have caught my eye this summer and I list them to encourage my readers to attend one .

The first one is the Summer School of Theology at the Metropolitan Tabernacle in London . This year’s theme is ‘Recovery from Spiritual Decline’ which is certainly timely, and I believe that some of the subjects covered will be very helpful, for instance, Chris hand speaking on ‘The Recovery of Evangelistic Preaching’ and Ibrahim ag Mohamed on ‘Reaching out to Moslems.’ Pastor Mohamed established a fine Gospel church in Gao, Mali some years ago, the buildings of which were destroyed and the congregation dispersed in the recent violence in that country. I look forward particularly to hearing what he has to say. Regular readers will know that I disagree with the Met Tab’s stance on ‘Two-stage’ separation, and I shall therefore be interested to hear John Thackway’s addresses on this subject. I have been to several of these Summer Schools over the years and I have never come away without feeling blessed and instructed. I hope to be able to attend at least some of the sessions this year.
Details can be found at http://www.metropolitantabernacle.org/School-of-Theology-London-2013-Met-Tabernacle

The second meeting is the 2013 Summer Conference at the Tabernacle, Cardiff, held on July 22nd- 26th. I have not attended this conference before, and probably won’t get there this year for more than one session, but any such event that has Joel Beeke as a speaker is sure to be worthwhile, and he is sharing the platform with Vernon Higham, Maurice Roberts and Jonathan Stobbs (Penzance Baptist Church). Further details may be found at http://www.summerconference.org

The event that I shall definitely be attending is the Aberystwyth Conference of the Evangelical Movement of Wales (August 10th-17th). The conference title is ‘Be Refreshed by the Word.’ I attended for the first time last year and heard Conrad Mbewe of Zambia speak on ‘The Glorious Gospel of the Blessed God.’ This year we have as speakers Alistair Begg, Iain Campbell and Vaughan Roberts. This conference is exactly my cup of tea! As at the Met Tab, there are no ‘praise bands’ and no frenetic ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll’ songs, but we do get to sing a few of the better modern hymns, and the ministry is in a modern Bible version. The conference is exceedingly friendly, and while it makes a firm stand for the Gospel, it is not unnecessarily censorious. Strongly recommended. Find out more at http://www.emw.org/aber

The final event that I shall recommend is the annual Protestant Reformation Society conference held at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford on August 28th-30th. It is a much smaller gathering, mostly attended by evangelical Anglicans of a conservative persuasion. However, I attended two years ago and was very warmly welcomed. I was also very impressed by the erudition and sincerity of the speakers. The conference title this year is ‘Rootless Britain- Is there any Word from the Lord?’ and subtitled, ‘Consequences of the neglect of our Spiritual Heritage.’ A letter from the Society’s secretary says, ‘We shall be considering various manifestations of the neglect of our spiritual heritage- such as the neglect of the Bible, absence of faith, an unfaithful church, superficial worship, materialism and moral anarchy- which have led to Britain’s rootless state, and asking, “Is there any word from the Lord?”’ Likely speakers include R. T. Beckwith, David Samuel and George Ella. I warmly recommend this conference and would like to refer the reader to a website, but there isn’t one. If you are interested, contact the secretary on dascales@hotmail.com

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Responses

  1. Dear Martin,

    It was encouraging to read your comments on this year’s conferences. I visited the BOT and New Focus conferences in April and found both very profitable with sound teaching and sweet fellowship.

    I have been asked to give a paper on Moral Anarchy at the PRS conference. It is not a subject to my liking, perhaps because we are all guilty of it and because it is put forward by our politicians and churchmen as a moral issue only and not a spiritual one. Sadly, there are publications from both venues which do not even think there is a moral danger, and support the anarchy! This is why the conference’s approach to the issue of morals is regarding the neglect of our spiritual heritage as per conference sub-title.

    I shall be discussing the various signs of today pointing to spiritual anarchy and their reasons, and modern interpretations of the Ten Commandments as a legal code and not in the manner of our Reformers as per the Sixth and Seventh Articles which place them in their pan-Biblical, covenantal setting. Those who tell me that the Ten Commandments are the sole rule of the Christian faith seem to forget why Christ has come and how He has fulfilled these high standards of God’s very nature and how they can thus be kept to His glory. Our Reformers taught us that the Ten Commandments, without a dozen over Biblical factors, were not sufficient for a full life in Christ. I shall be looking at modern complaints regarding Islam, Homosexuality, Women’s Lib etc. and pray that I will not get bogged down in these topics as much of our Christian press appears to do, but one has to be topical. I agree fully with you that Judgmentalism is not the Christian religion and I place most of the blame at the door of the churches.

    Yours in Christ,

    George

  2. I’m truly disappointed that I won’t be able to make it to the Aberystwyth Conference with you! Sigh. What a blessing time it would have been! Sigh…

  3. May I also recommend the ‘Summer Institute’ held at Gracelife London (29th July to 9th August). The institute, the first of its kind since this church’s inception in 2011, will consist of a series of detailed Biblical and theological studies given by Professors and current students of The Master’s Seminary in California.

    For more information on Gracelife London, a plant of Grace Community Church pastored by John MacArthur, see http://www.gracelifelondon.org

  4. Hello George,
    Thanks for your comments and also for the extra information on the PRS Conference. I’m glad that you found the Banner of Truth Conference and the other one worthwhile. I recall that you were somewhat doubtful about them.

    I shall look forward to your treatment of ‘moral anarchy.’ I agree with you that the situation in Britain and elsewhere is largely the fault of the churches. You might like to consider Proverbs 29:18 as a possible text. The ‘vision’ referred to there is in fact revelation. Where there is no public revelation of God’s word, no biblical preaching, the people will indeed perish.

    I have written an article on the verse: https://marprelate.wordpress.com/2010/10/23/the-true-vision/

  5. Unfortunately I was unable to attend the Met Tab Summer School this year owing to business commitments. I hope to get hold of the CDs and listen to them in due course.


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