Every two years, Affinity organises a theological study conference that, for many people, is unlike any other conference they ever attend. Carl Trueman, one of the 2011 speakers, described it as, ‘probably the most helpful I have ever attended’.
One key aim is to theologically equip pastors, preachers and other gospel workers, so that they are faithful to God and his Word. Another is to draw people from across the UK of different church traditions and ecclesiology, yet sharing a common commitment to Scripture and truth. This provides a welcome opportunity to fellowship together, challenge and be challenged, and develop bonds of friendship and unity.
In February 2015, the theme will be ‘Union with Christ’. Stephen Clark, conference chairman, said, ‘All of the blessings of God’s salvation are to be found in Jesus Christ. The phrase “in Christ”, or similar, occurs frequently in Paul’s writings. But what do these words mean, and what are their implications for Christian life and practice?
‘Failure to give clear teaching, which is biblically informed and practically applied, will diminish the glory of the gospel we preach and will lead to impoverished Christian lives’.
The six papers to be discussed are by Cor Bennema, of the Wales Evangelical School of Theology (WEST), Tim Ward (Cornhill), Bob Letham (WEST), John Fesko (Westminster Seminary, California), David McKay (Reformed Theological College, Belfast) and Paul Wells (Faculté Jean Calvin, Aix-en-Provence).
The examination of New Testament material will focus on John’s Gospel and Paul’s writings. A sense of perspective will be provided by two historical papers, one of which will consider John Calvin’s teaching and the other John Owen’s. (More information: www.affinity.org.uk)