Amid the welter of Christian onferences of recent years, some well established favourites continue to provide a distinctive fare of spiritual enrichment and good fellowship.
The Banner of Truth Ministers’ Conference in Leicester is one such, and the 2014 conference was no exception, despite being curtailed slightly because the event came just after Easter.
The conference began with a fine sermon on 2 Corinthians 4:7-17 from Andrew Davies, reminding us of the paradox of the Christian ministry, that it is when we are weak that we are strong; but that, through this paradox, God is working out his purposes.
Other helpful papers followed, including ones by David Meredith on preaching sin and preaching Christ in the contemporary world. The first of these dovetailed well with a fine address by Garry Williams on the need for the church to always be reformed according to the Word of God and to avoid what he termed ‘false conservatism’.
Norman McAuley reminded us that the church is both the theatre of God’s glory and God’s witness to the world — heart-warming but challenging truths. And O. Palmer Robertson gave two fascinating addresses on the flow of the Psalms (enticing tasters for his forthcoming book on the Psalms!).
Church history was not overlooked, and Donald MacLean gave an interesting overview of the life of John Knox and Knox’s view of the Lord’s Supper.
Although the papers did not all tie in directly with the conference title (‘May the nations praise you’), together they provided much food for thought and encouragement to continue to proclaim Christ to a needy world.
As ever, the spiritual food was accompanied by physical cuisine of a high standard. The mealtimes are a great time for making and renewing friendships, and discussing issues raised by the addresses.
Because of the truncated schedule, there was less opportunity to hear news from overseas, and less time out. Accordingly, it is likely that many delegates will welcome a return next year to the customary format of the conference being spread over four days.
Picture: David Meredith