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News – Spirit of the Puritans

May 2008 | by David Patterson

Spirit of the Puritans


On Saturday 9 February, over 200 people descended on Whiteabbey Congregational Church (CC) for Northern Ireland’s inaugural Reformed Bible Conference. The speakers were Stuart Olyott and Geoff Thomas.

     The conference opened with a lively and interesting ‘Introduction to the Puritans’, given by Stuart Olyott. In the second session Geoff Thomas spoke on ‘The Puritans handling depression’, with particular attention to Elijah’s post-Carmel depression. Following lunch Pastor Thomas gave a lively biographical sketch on John Bunyan.

     The closing sermon by Stuart Olyott was from John 10, and was entitled ‘Pessimism or optimism’. It was a riveting exposition of particular redemption and the optimistic implications that flow from that doctrine for preaching the gospel of Christ.

     Unaccompanied psalm-singing at the commencement of each session brought a sense of worship and of the presence of God. People left the conference with a real sense of thanksgiving and joy. There is already much anticipation for the 2009 conference, when we hope to have Prof. Edward Donnelly and Rev. Eric Alexander as speakers.

     Conference messages can be accessed online at or purchased through Whiteabbey CC.

David Patterson