The 23rd Annual Scottish Reformed Conference
The twenty third annual Scottish Reformed Conference took place, as is now customary, on the second Saturday of May in Hamilton College. Large numbers of people including many families with children of all ages joined together to enjoy a day of fellowship and three fine expositions from our two guest speakers.
Steven Lawson is the senior pastor of Christ Fellowship Baptist Church in Mobile, Alabama. He was invited to preach twice on any passage that would be an encouragement to the cause of Christ here in Scotland. He was ‘burdened’ with two psalms. First, he preached from Psalm 93 and charged us to remember the sovereign rule of God. He urged upon us the necessity not only of knowing this doctrine but also of living in the light of its truth. In the midst of so many strong forces that seek to militate against the purposes of God, believers ought to engage in the spiritual battle that makes this a truth to lean on and engender peace and confidence in God in all manner of circumstances. The second Psalm he was led to bring to our attention was Psalm 112. He considered what a godly life is in obedience to the Lord, true prosperity that arises out of business honesty and integrity in domestic life. Psalm 112 is the human response that matches divine truths taught in Psalm 111.
Iain Campbell from Lewis has quickly become a ‘home-grown,’ widely respected preacher and one who has been deeply appreciated in the SRC. Iain took us to the scene in Genesis 43 and the interaction between Joseph and Judah. He pointed out that although Gen 37 to the end of the book seems to be ‘all about Joseph’ it is equally ‘all about Judah’ and the change God wrought in his heart. The effect of this observation in our understanding of Genesis was like turning just slightly a diamond and seeing a new glimpse of its splendour. Gen 43 is the examination of the heart of Judah and the evidence of the work of grace in him since the shame of Gen 38 – his moral failure with Tamar. Judah was now willing to put his own life on the line for his brother Benjamin unlike his earlier dealings, along with his brothers, with Joseph. But the exposition was not left there. Iain drew our minds forward to see Judah’s great descendant, Jesus, who actually did give up his life in redemption for his people.
Mention was made during the conference of the energetic and thoughtful leadership of the conference and committee by David Carmichael. Despite his heavy commitment to pastoral ministry and his many overseas conference engagements he makes a huge contribution to the cause of Christ and Reformed doctrine in Scotland.
The conference was also enriched by those who lead the work with children. The desire of the committee was that this time was not considered ‘child-minding’ but a time to teach children the ways of God. Our hopes were fulfilled.