In March a large group of young people gathered at Grace Baptist Church, Edinburgh for the biannual SALT youth conference, organised by Grace Baptist Partnership (Scotland). The theme was ‘Understanding contemporary issues from God’s revealed Word.’
Kev Wong (elder at the host church) led the conference. He was due to be assisted by Andrew Roycroft (Millisle Baptist Church, NI) but burgeoning coronavirus concerns prevented his journey to the event.
Kev had to lead the conference single-handedly, but the Lord blessed him – his four talks were of great profit to attendees.
He spoke first on ‘How we receive God’s Word’, expounding Paul’s words in 1 Thessalonians 2:13-20 and underlining the importance of receiving God’s Word humbly.
A hot button issue arose in the next session: the role of women in the church. Kev discussed the two approaches of egalitarianism and complementarianism. He asked the pointed question, ‘Are you ready for the Bible to speak against your opinion?’
We studied Genesis 1 and 2, considering the term ‘helper’ as ascribed to Eve.
Kev highlighted that this is exactly how God himself is often described in Scripture, and therefore can hardly be viewed as a demeaning term.
The conclusion drawn was that a woman’s role is complementary to a man’s – a dynamic displayed above all in marriage.
After lunch and some games to foster fellowship among the young people present, we focused on the final two-part session.
It addressed another hot button issue: the age of the earth. Kev considered the historicity of Genesis: is the creation narrative literal or merely a form of Hebrew poetry?
Kev tackled the issue with clarity, challenging us to ask ourselves whether our ultimate authority concerning origins was the claims of scientists or the Word of God.
We also looked at Job 38 with its powerful reminder that neither Job nor we were present at creation – God alone was there.
As with previous sessions, we were drawn to the truth that God’s Word is inerrant and final. As such, we conclude with it that the earth’s age should be measured in thousands, not millions of years.
The conference finished with a final time of worship and a dinner prepared by members of the church. It was a memorable day of heartfelt praise, thought-provoking preaching and uplifting prayer.
We thank God that his Word is both inerrant and sufficient for readers to respond to the challenges of today’s culture.