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Conferences – Presbyterian conference

October 2018

Great fellowship and excellent talks marked this year’s Positively Presbyterian conference, held at Lendrick Muir between 20 and 22 August. Our devotional sessions were led by this year’s Moderator, Rev Angus Macrae, who led us through the experiences of Elijah and pointed us to greater trust in God.

Our first speaker, David Meredith, explained Missio Dei, reminding us of the ‘sentness’ of God, but he also managed to fit in a tale of a sheep in a church. Ivor Macdonald provoked lively discussion with his paper on Scottish identity, leading us to reflect on issues of Free Church identity/identities, and whether ‘we don’t do England (yet)’.

John Ross gave us a very balanced and characteristically gracious review of the legacy of Billy Graham, highlighting his account of Billy Graham’s influence on the spiritual life of his own family.

Kenny Boyd’s slot, just after the afternoon football match, counteracted any sleepiness by a lively lesson in advanced Italian, and with fellow-speaker Matt Gibson, we were challenged by the needs of mission to Italy.

‘The other Bavinck’ was (initially) a mystery to some of us, but Alistair Wilson clarified the contribution to missiology he made well ahead of his time, challenging us to further thought on our practice of mission.

Daniel Sladek bravely tackled the topic of the imprecatory psalms and led us helpfully to consider how these fit into the overall biblical narrative, as well as considering them from the perspective of victims. He then suggested some contemporary issues and situations which may well be thought appropriate for such psalms.

Our final session was led by Dr Calum MacKellar of the Scottish Council on Human Bioethics, who spoke on the subject of transgenderism. He explained to us what is known in the science of gender dysphoria, and highlighted some of the political issues around the topic.

Our thanks to all of our speakers, to all our resident and day visitors, (note: it is open to all!) to the staff at SU Lendrick Muir, and to Iain Macaskill, our inimitable chairman.

(From the Free Church of Scotland website).

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