As a member of the organising committee then I should start by saying that this post is a shameless plug for a conference I'm helping to arrange.
Disclaimer out the way then let's knuckle down to the details:
What is it?
The Edinburgh Conference is taking place on Saturday 23rd February at 1:30pm, Charlotte Chapel has kindly agreed to host us and the whole thing should be over by 5 o'clock at the latest. The conference will take a reformed historic look at a particular topic; for our début conference that topic is personal evangelism and revival. The speakers will be Rev Andrew Quigley and Rev John J. Murray on Biblical Witness and the Cambuslang revival respectively. Best of all entrance is free! The Banner of Truth will also be selling books there. It's a non-denominational conference open to all and everyone and most of us there will be Joe Christians with no ministry positions.
Why that topic?
When it came to picking a theme to have the conference on then we wanted to choose an area of weakness for the church today and one which could be of practical benefit to attendees. Evangelism met both those categories. With so many models and methods of evangelism out there it is easy to be confused by the whole thing. And let's face it, who among us doesn't find personal evangelism hard?
As for the revival part of the theme then who doesn't want to hear a talk about the mighty work of God? We live in an age where many Christians think that the church is just going to decline and decline until Jesus comes back. But the future prosperity of the gospel is a certainty we should hold to by faith; a discussion on revival is a good opportunity to encourage us all to pray more fervently for God to revive his church in this land.
Why should I go?
If you find evangelism hard, if the stubbornness of your friends to the gospel frustrates you, if you wonder how exactly you go about evangelism today, if you feel the weight of your weakness and the cowardice within, if you can't remember the last time you shared the gospel, if you are concerned with seeing your friends come to Christ and if you want to join with a group of others who struggle with these issues then this conference is for you.
If you feel discouraged about the state of the church today, if you find it hard to believe that revival is possible, if you long to see one come, if you wonder if there is any biblical basis for praying for revival and you want to join with others who ask similar questions then this conference is for you.
Surely we don't need another conference?
I could almost agree with this; arguably we are too quick to talk about an issue and not let that discussion change our actions. It is our prayer that this would not be the case for this conference. Also, there is a distinct lack of reformed conferences in Scotland and that is a sad thing we are glad to help rectify.
Who are the speakers?
Both speakers are ministers in Scotland (Freechurch Continuing and Reformed Presbyterian), godly men of good repute and full of wisdom and knowledge. Sure, you may not have heard of them but please don't let that stop you from coming.
If you're eager to help then you can do so in four ways. The first is - come along! The second is - tell friends! The third - pray! And finally, if you're uber keen then feel free to contact me for more ways to play a part in this work.
It is easy today to take a negative view over the future of the church in Britain; it isn't exactly doing well at the moment. Inside the church then errors abound, reformed truths have been cast aside and the church seems to be trying to conform more to the world than to the likeness of Christ. We're exactly like the woman in Songs of Solomon: "I slept but my heart was awake. Listen! My beloved is knocking." We hear the knock of Christ, we hear the thud of our conscience but as we stir we say: "I have taken off my robe - must I put it on again? I have washed my feet - must I soil them again?" We care, but not enough to fully wake up, we want to change but we're too lazy to put good intentions into practice, we know we're not what we should be, we're also unwilling to be more than we are.
Looking outside of the church will hardly encourage us to hope either. Our government has taken the first steps to legalizing gay marriage, not that it is surprising, we lost the battle for marriage decades ago; the tide of secularism is rising and persecution of Christians is a reality closer than we want to think. Society is falling into a type of madness only found when departing from biblical truth, good is called evil and evil good.
Yet despite the darkness of the day then we still have any reason to hope. Sure, looking upon things with the eye of sight gives us every reason to despair but the eye of sight is an uncertain, narrow, short sighted thing that has no foundation. If we look upon things with the eye of faith then we find a new picture, a sure and certain picture, and that of a God in complete control of everything.