The first weekend in March saw 130 people attend the North of England Conference in Mirfield, West Yorkshire.
This was for local church pastors, elders, deacons, evangelists and men and women with significant roles, from those evangelical churches that assent to Affinity’s doctrinal basis.
There were five seminars from which to choose and one church report session. One church, recently planted in a shopping centre, is allowed to use the centre’s help desk to publicise the church’s activities.
The conference speaker, Dr Iain Duguid, a Scot who is a co-pastor and professor of Old Testament at Grove City College, Pennsylvania, gave an interesting and informative contrast of churches in the US and the UK.
He spoke four times on ‘Getting excited about the Old Testament’. His main theme in these was seeing Christ in the Old Testament. Our authority for such an approach is Jesus’ appearance to the two on the Emmaus Road.
On this walk together, Jesus gave the two disciples a master class in OT interpretation, as, ‘beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself’.
Then there is OT law. From Numbers 6:1-21, where the law on Nazirite vows is given, Dr Duguid contrasted the Nazirite who sought to separate himself to God despite failures due to his fallen human nature, with the perfect consecration of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Christ is also seen in the Psalms and prophetic writings. For example, in Zechariah 3, the prophet speaks of Joshua the high priest. Through this, we can see Jesus as our atoning high priest whose unstained, seamless robe was removed (v.4) and who received a crown of thorns in place of a turban; and yet his realm shall be from sea to sea (Zechariah 9:10).
We enjoyed fellowship during the lunch and coffee breaks, and online book retailer 10ofthose.com provided a well stocked book table.