Reformed, Baptist and partnership are concepts not usually combined in today’s Scotland, so it was refreshing to see them come together at the Important Conference (IC) in west Edinburgh on 13 May.
Some 50 Scottish pastors and potential leaders enjoyed fellowship in hearing pastors Steven J. Lawson, Barry King and Ali McLachlan.
It has been 500 years since the birth of John Knox. So is Reformed Christianity stale and spent? Apparently not!
In an impassioned seven-part historic and theological overview, Dr Lawson underlined why the Reformed faith matters now more than ever, because high views of the Bible, of God, of Christ, of the Spirit, of justification, of the church and of the Great Commission all matter. Dr Lawson’s addresses were simple, biblical and compelling.
Mr McLachlan spelled out the principles by which Baptists have historically maintained the unity of the faith, in the bond of peace. Biblical unity requires greater doctrinal integrity, alongside humility and loving forbearance. He expounded Ephesians 4:3-6 as they relate to the history of Scotland and our contemporary situation.
Mr King spoke from Philippians 1 on partnership demonstrating gospel humility, unity and clarity. Stirring historical accounts were given where biblical partnering in missionary impulse transformed the dark corners of England and Wales.
The conference was organised by Grace Baptist Partnership Scotland, helped by EP Books, Banner of Truth and Ligonier Ministries so that delegates were able to receive a number of free books.
In the USA, a broadly wholesome Reformed resurgence is occurring among Baptists, as they rediscover their biblical roots (see pp. 16-17). This energising conference struck a similar note of rediscovery and was a blessing to many. Free audio conference resources are available at www.gbpscotland.org