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‘By the Bible alone!’: the Essex Puritan Conference

February 2020 | by Stephen Westcott

Stephen Toms
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The third Essex Puritan Conference was held at Stranger’s Rest Evangelical Church, London, in late October. Around forty delegates came from far afield, including South Korea and Singapore.The theme was ‘By the Bible alone!’, emphasising the Reformed doctrine of sola scriptura.

Over three days, lectures were given by Dr Robert Oliver (‘The Geneva Bible’), Dr Keith White (‘Reformers and their children’), Pr Mark Mullin (‘The 1620 Mayflower compact’), Rev. David Min (‘John Bunyan and the Bible’), Dr Rowland Burrows (‘Jonathan Edwards and Scripture’), Pr Paul Karageorgi (‘John Owen and Biblical Greek’), Dr AhSoon Tan (‘Out of Egypt’), Rev. David Min (‘Puritanism and Korean Protestantism’), Mr Stephen Toms (‘Essex Puritans and martyrs’), and Dr Ralph Werrell (‘William Tyndale’s theology’).

Beside the lectures, conference-goers also enjoyed a guided tour of Bunhill Fields Burial Ground, home to the graves of John Owen, John Bunyan, Thomas Goodwin and other Puritans.

Delegates were also guided through London’s ‘Puritan Square Mile’ and engaged in Geneva Psalm singing. Historic Bibles and Korean hand-painted Scriptures were also on display. There was additional time for evangelism, including a book table and open-air witnessing.

Subsequent conferences are hoped to be held in other Puritan-related areas of England, such as East Anglia or the West Country. The conference will be renamed the ‘International Puritan Conference’ from 2021.

The conference concluded with a worship service and Communion. We were refreshed and encouraged to labour on in spreading the faith.

Dr Stephen Westcott