Free Church School in Theology Report

Date: Friday, 16 September 2016
Author: Rev Alasdair J Macleod

The 64th Free Church School in Theology was held from 5 to 8 September at Carronvale House, Larbert.  As in previous years, it was an opportunity for rekindling friendship and fellowship with other ministers and committed Christians from across the UK and Ireland.

The School commenced with a historical paper by Rev Alasdair Macleod on the great Presbyterian leader Alexander Henderson, showing how he and the other Scottish Covenanters defied Charles I in his attempts to impose ritualistic worship on the Scottish Church, for the sake of the Kingship of Christ.

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Rev John Goldby (representing TBS) described his involvement in mission to Israel in recent years, and especially his work in co-ordinating the ongoing process to translate the New Testament into modern Hebrew, encouraging support for mission to the Jews as an increasingly important priority for the Christian Church.

Rev Trevor Kirkland brought a particularly interesting paper on the important subject ‘Loving God for His own sake”, urging the need for true love for God in His own attributes as part of our devotional lives, drawing on the examples of God-centred preachers of past generations such as Edwards and Lloyd-Jones.

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Rev John J Murray offered a thoughtful “Analysis of Highland Spirituality”, acknowledging some weaknesses in the practice of historic Christianity in the Scottish Highlands, while urging that we must take on board the challenge of the richer spirituality of a past generation. Similarly practical was the challenge from Rev David Silversides, warning of the ongoing spiritual battle for believers in discussing ‘The Church and Satan’s Devices’.

Rev Graeme Craig brought a thorough exegesis of Psalm 116, showing how the whole Psalm can be shown to relate to the experience of Christ, and thus both moving and devotional in content. Rev Andrew Allan similarly addressed 1 Corinthians 12, discussed particularly with regard to ‘Ministry in the Body of Christ’.

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Perhaps the highlight, however, was an exceedingly cogent and thorough discussion of the ‘Implications of the two wills in Christ’ by Rev Bill Schweitzer, showing the importance of this somewhat obscure Early Church doctrinal controversy, and the preciousness of the doctrine itself. This lecture would be well worth a listen for anyone unfamiliar with this area of theology.

The whole School was an encouraging and enjoyable experience of learning and fellowship. Anyone interested in recordings, or in attending next year’s School, should contact the Secretary, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Audio recordings of the papers delivered may be found here.