The theme of this January’s Carey Conference, held at the Hayes Conference Centre, Swanwick, was ‘Jesus – the one and only Saviour’.
One of the main speakers, Dr Bruce Ware, centred his two addresses on the questions ‘Is Jesus the only Saviour?’ and ‘Is faith in Christ necessary to be saved?’ In the latter, key objections to Christ as an exclusive Saviour were answered, including Old Testament believers, pious non-Christians, the salvation of infants, and how this interacts with the love of God. These fine addresses argued the biblical case powerfully and persuasively.
The other main conference speaker, Dr Robert Letham, gave addresses on the ascension of Christ and the work of the Triune God in the life of the believer. He explained that the ascension of Jesus Christ is the hinge on which the Books of Luke and Acts turn; and he examined the work of the Trinity in the believer, from Romans 8:10-11.
Other matters were examined closely – the need to hold fast to the truth as we face increasing threats from fundamentalist Islam and hostile government legislation; God’s amazing grace in the life of John Newton; and challenges to churches posed by the Great Commission. Only the gospel has the power to break down ethnic prejudice. There were also sessions for ministers’ wives (which of course I was not eligible to attend!).
The conference ended with a stirring exhortation from Pastor Mick Lockwood inspiring us to reach out with the gospel.
Carey is a great time for prayer, fellowship and hearing about the ministries of others. More opportunities to discuss publicly would have been appreciated. However, there were many opportunities to do so privately, especially after meetings and during the good meal times.