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Conference – Christians engaging with others

July 2018 | by Archie McPhail

Andy Bannister
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Why are we so poor at telling the gospel? What makes objections so hard to combat? These were the thoughts that led the organisers of the Argyll Convention to set up a day conference in May of this year. The speaker was Andy Bannister of SOLAS Centre for Public Christianity. By the way, their website contains short video clips that are designed to help us in these areas: they are excellent!

Practical things first. Andy took us on a tour of our conversations with non-christians and showed how we can do things much better. The people present were delighted with the relevance of his comments and the simplicity of the remedies he offered.

The second session addressed the question, ‘Do all religions lead to God?’ We might know the answer, but how do you convince people who assume they do, and disagree with us? Andy is an islamic scholar as well as a christian apologist, and he showed the main areas where christian and islamic perceptions of God diverge.

An afternoon workshop gave opportunity to discuss practical issues of mainly local concern: What are the barriers to evangelism? How do we use social media, etc. All in all, a most useful day.

Andy is an in-demand speaker, so it may take time to get hold of him, but a visit to the SOLAS website will pay dividends — as will a visit to the Argyll Convention in Oban (7-9 August). The theme of ‘Search and rescue’ is addressed by speakers such as David Cook (Sydney), Martin Allen and Tom Lennie, who has written widely on revivals. More information at

Archie McPhail

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