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Banner of Truth

June 2012 | by Phil Heaps

Banner of Truth

This year’s Leicester conference began on a startling note, as Ted Donnelly was unable to complete his opening paper, despite having preached lucidly at another meeting the previous night. However, his paper on ‘Exalting the name of the Lord’ gave us strong reasons to exalt God together.
    Mr Donnelly was able to continue at the conference. His godliness is a blessing, and his struggles a reminder of the human limit-ations we all share.
    Iain Murray stepped in for Mr Donnelly’s second address, with a useful paper on ‘controversy’ — needful when the gospel is at stake, but fraught with dangers.
    Matthew Brennan of Clonmel, Tipperary, gave two talks on John the Baptist. Like John, we should point to Christ and humbly aim to be succeeded by ‘better men than ourselves’.
    Maurice Roberts brought addresses on the justice of God and God’s way of holiness, while Jonathan Watson, of Banner of Truth, drew on material from old Princeton. We were exhorted to combine piety and learning, preach great gospel truths in an arresting manner, and be given fully to our task.
    There was discussion on the question ‘Where are all the preachers?’ and another panel session gave excellent practical advice for pastors, whether new to ministry or rather worn down in it.
    The main speaker, Alistair Begg, from Cleveland, Ohio, gave three talks on the three chapters of Titus. These were straightforward and practical, and their tone humble and helpful.
    In a later informal session some were able to hear about his radio ministry and the challenges of leading a church with several thousand attending on a Sunday morning.
    Also much appreciated were the good food, the privilege of morning prayer together, and fellowship with many friends, including overseas brothers.
    Numbers present were up on last year — roughly 250 — but still lower than in the past and weighted towards the senior end, though there were a number of younger men and newcomers.
    Much was said about the importance of Christian character. May we all be enabled to do better in this vital area, so essential for leaders in God’s church.
Phil Heaps

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