61st Free Church School in Theology
(Our grateful thanks to the Rev Alasdair J Macleod for providing the following report.)
The 61st Free Church School in Theology was held from 2 to 5 September 2013 at the usual centre, Carronvale House in Larbert. The conference was, as always a lively few days of fellowship, worship, prayer and theological discussion, prompted by a number of papers well up to the usual standard.
The School opened on the Monday evening with an address on ‘The Life and Sermons of Robert Murray McCheyne’ delivered by Rev Alasdair Macleod, the heart-warming topic being chosen to mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of McCheyne.
The Tuesday followed with a missionary presentation on the Republic of Ireland by Dublin-based church planter Rev Mark Fitzpatrick, who gave an encouraging report on some very positive developments in his home city, especially over the past year, in terms of gospel outreach.
Thereafter, Rev Maurice Roberts gave a very practical and challenging paper on Sanctification, speaking as a late replacement for advertised speaker Rev Kenneth Stewart, who was unwell.
Later in the day, the brethren heard exposition from Rev James Clark on the difficult passage Romans 7:1-13.
This was followed by a thoughtful and balanced paper on the New Calvinism from Rev Harry Woods. He was careful to stress the many positive and encouraging aspects of the ‘Young, Restless and Reformed’ movement in the US, with its intellectual roots in the writings of Jonathan Edwards, while acknowledging that in some areas, especially in that of worship, he considered further reformation to be urgently needed.
The next day brought a very stimulating discussion on the preaching of Christ from Proverbs by Rev Greg MacDonald.
There followed a soaring, profound paper on the imputation of Christ’s righteousness by able theologian Rev Malcolm Watts.
The School was concluded on the Thursday morning with a warm, encouraging reminder of the ‘Privileges of Preaching the Gospel’ from Rev Andrew Allan.
As always, the regular attenders from the Free Church (Continuing) benefited from the company and fellowship of brethren from England and Ireland. Talks were recorded, and are available on CD from Mr Bill McQueer, The Manse, Farr, Inverness IV2 6XF.