Tuesday 7th December
THE ENGLISH REFORMATION TODAY: REVISE, REVERSE, OR REVERT?
What are we to make of the revisionist rewriting of the history of the English Reformation? Can we now conclude that the causes that necessitated the Reformation in the sixteenth century no longer merit separation from Rome? What would it mean not to revise or reverse, but to revert to the English Reformation? How can we learn from the English Reformation despite the obvious distance in time and difference in circumstance?
PURITAN ATTITUDES TOWARD ROME REVISITED
Some Evangelicals have suggested that the old controversy between Rome and Protestantism has been all but resolved. It might seem like a retrograde step to look to a more bitterly sectarian age for help on engagement with the Roman Catholic church today, but Guy Davies will suggest that the Puritans have something to teach contemporary Evangelicals on the serious and abiding nature of the doctrinal differences between Rome and Evangelical Protestants.
THE 1611 ENGLISH BIBLE: AN UNLIKELY MASTERPIECE
With the accession of James I to the English throne in 1603, a new version of the Bible was proposed. Many translators were involved in ecclesiastical politics; the language looked backward; the monopoly acquired in the seventeenth century was through flawed theological prejudice and for commercial reasons. David Gregson considers these factors, and shows how the 1611 English Bible has nevertheless become accepted as a masterpiece of amazing longevity.
Wednesday 8th December
REPENTANCE AND SOLA FIDE: VARIOUS REFORMED APPROACHES
The Bible teaches that there are two things people must do to be saved. The Reformed tradition, committed from its beginning to justification sola fide, has also taught the necessity of repentance. Sam Waldron will survey some of the Reformed approaches to those truths in sometimes uneasy tension, suggesting an approach to repentance which maintains its necessity for salvation while safeguarding sola fide.
DOOMED FROM THE START? THE EDINBURGH CONFERENCE OF 1910
A sense of expectation attended the World Missionary Conference of 1910. Many participants believed that the Church was on the brink of the global expansion of Christ’s cause. One hundred years on, this event is more readily remembered as the forerunner of the establishment of the World Council of Churches. Daniel Webber will investigate these events and their outcomes and consider whether the conference’s aspirations were not doomed from the start.
Andrew Bonar is best known today for the memoirs and remains of his friend and colleague, Robert Murray McCheyne. They began their ministries during a period of divine blessing, but Bonar lived long enough to see a vast change in the spiritual outlook of the church in Scotland. He maintained a fragrant Christian character and an effective pulpit ministry despite the general decline. There are many lessons from his work that are useful for Christian leaders today.