The 61st Free Church School in Theology was held from 2-5 September at Carronvale House in Larbert. The conference was, as always, a lively few days of fellowship, worship, prayer and theological discussion, prompted by a number of papers well up to the usual standard.
The School opened on the Monday evening with an address on ‘The life and sermons of Robert Murray M’Cheyne’, delivered by Rev. Alasdair Macleod. This topic was chosen to mark the 200th anniversary of M’Cheyne’s birth.
Tuesday followed with a missionary presentation on the Republic of Ireland by Dublin-based church planter Rev. Mark Fitzpatrick, who gave an encouraging report on gospel developments in his home city, especially over the past year.
Thereafter, Rev. Maurice Roberts gave a practical and challenging paper on sanctification (standing in for Rev. Kenneth Stewart, who was unwell).
Later in the day, brethren heard exposition from Rev. James Clark on the difficult passage Romans 7:1-13 and a thoughtful and balanced paper on the New Calvinism from Rev. Harry Woods.
Mr Woods was careful to stress many positive aspects of the ‘Young, restless and reformed’ movement in the US with its intellectual roots in the writings of Jonathan Edwards, while acknowledging that in some areas, especially worship, further reformation is urgently needed.
The next day brought stimulating discussion on the preaching of Christ from Proverbs by Rev. Greg Macdonald, and a soaring, profound paper on the imputation of Christ’s righteousness by Rev. Malcolm Watts.
The School concluded on Thursday morning with an encouraging reminder of the ‘Privileges of preaching the gospel’ from Rev. Andrew Allan. As always, the regular attenders from the Free Church (Continuing) benefited from the fellowship of brethren from England and Ireland.
The talks are available on CD from Bill McQueer, The Manse, Farr, Inverness IV2 6XF.