Thursday, November 26, 2015

John Owen Centre Doctrine Study Day on 'Sinai: What was the Law For?'

Well, that was good. Yesterday I attended a John Owen Centre Study Day led by Garry Williams on 'Sinai: What was the Law For?' This was the 5th of these events hosted by our Bradford on Avon Ministers' Fraternal. 

The study days take the form of a seminar where Garry leads the group in discussing a paper he has prepared on the subject in hand. The papers contain a distillation of his study, setting out the diverse views of various writers before drawing some conclusions.  

We gave attention to the character of the Sinai covenant. Was it a covenant of works, a covenant of grace administered as a covenant of works, or a covenant of grace with a special focus on law? That led to a lively discussion, especially when it came to the views of Meredith Kline. We also considered what is the 'problem' with the law? Your view on this second issue will probably be determined by your attitude to the Sinai covenant. 

It was a real 'iron sharpening iron' occasion where group members endeavored to assess the various theological viewpoints in the light of Scripture. It really made me think and just occasionally blurt out what I was thinking. With so many Bible literate colleagues around, woe betide anyone who (like me) tried quoting Scripture from memory and got it a bit wrong.

It wasn't all about high level theological discussion, though. Thought was given to how what we had learned might impact on our preaching and so be of benefit to the people Of God.

I look forward to giving Garry's paper a good read through, as we had to skip some bits on the day due to time constraints. 

I'm not going to try and summarise the paper, or the discussion it stimulated here, as this Study Day is still on the road and I don't want to 'steal Garry's thunder'. Far better to attend one near you. See the John Owen Centre website for details of other Study Days around the country, or contact them about hosting one at your Fraternal. 

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