On Tuesday morning, Alan McNabb spoke on Leaving us an Example- Jesus Christ. He based his message (rather loosely) on 1 Peter 2:21. We are follow Christ in our battle against temptation and in suffering the undiscerning. Christ is our example as a preacher. He was confrontational, gentle and simple. Like his, our preaching should be bold, gracious and interesting. Above all, Christ is our example in holy living. We were reminded of M'Cheyne's words, "My people's greatest need is my own personal holiness." On Wednesday Alan preached on Leaving us an Example - The Apostles, with special emphasis on their prayer in Acts 4. Our private and public prayers should be modelled on this example of God-centred, expectant and answered prayer. McNabb urged upon us the special importance of the prayer meeting in the life of the church. Both these addresses were very challenging and practical for pastors.
On Tuesday evening, Iain Murray spoke on John Newton 1725-1807. He retold the thrilling story of Newton's life, conversion and ministry and set before us his example of godly and wise pastoral counsel. Murray's address was a wonderful example of the value of Christian biographical study. It was clear, warm, engaging and well applied. Wednesday evening's session was led by Ian Hamilton, who spoke on the subject, What the Church Really Needs. His address was based on Paul's prayer in Ephesians 1:15ff. What we need is a fresh revelation of the infinities and immensities of God. The Conference concluded with Steven Curry preaching very helpfully on Psalm 22.
For me, Conference highlights were the messages by Sinclair Ferguson and John MacArthur. I also enjoyed the discussion session on Wednesday evening (see photo). This was full of insight and humour as the panel responded to questions from Conference members. It was good to see some old friends and meet some new people from the UK and overseas. Stephen Holland and I represented the Protestant Truth Society at the Conference, chatting to people about our work and handing out freebie literature. On Wednesday evening, Iain Murray and Geoff Thomas were the special guests at a fellowship meeting of (mostly) Welsh ministers. The conversation was good as we discussed the problems that face us in the contemporary world and Iain Murray reminisced about Arnold Dallimore and Lloyd-Jones. This years' Banner was an excellent time on ministry and fellowship. We managed to get a bit lost on the way home too!
You can order tapes or CD's of the Conference from the Banner of Truth Trust (here).