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The Westminster Conference

The Westminster Conference meets for two days each year, usually in December. During the conference, six papers are presented, three on each day, examining the history, doctrine and practice of people, events and churches associated with the Puritans, their forebears and successors. The perspective is that of evangelical and reformed Biblical Christianity, focusing on central gospel themes such as grace, faith, atonement and justification and the outworking of the gospel in the lives of believers.

Contending for the Truth

Tuesday 6th – Wednesday 7th December 2016

To book for the conference, please follow the instructions on the booking form.

The following papers will be given at this year’s Westminster Conference:

LUTHER AND THE 95 THESES
Ken Brownell – Pastor of East London Tabernacle

When Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of the Castle Church at Wittenberg in 1517, the hammer blows echoed down through the history of the Western church. What were his assertions? What was he doing when he nailed them to that door? Why were they so significant then, and why did his seemingly innocuous actions have such continuing repercussions? Ken Brownell will help us to understand this momentous event in its context.

FROM WITTENBERG TO WORMS: LUTHER AFTER THE 95 THESES
Peter Beale – Retired Pastor

Too often we see Luther preserved in a single moment of time: such an historical snapshot can easily become a caricature. Peter Beale will therefore trace Luther’s development as a Christian man and theologian, giving us a more complete and full-orbed picture of the man as he progresses in his thought and practice. In providing a more complete portrait, we can move away from snapshots and caricatures toward careful consideration and genuine appreciation.

THE PURITAN DOCTRINE OF REPENTANCE
James Mildred – Pastoral Intern at Grace Church, Yate

Repentance lies alongside faith at the heart of conversion and Christian life, but each has distinctive qualities and roles. The Puritan mainstream was profoundly concerned for both, but repentance is, perhaps, more often overlooked today. In this address, we will mine the Puritans for their wisdom concerning the nature and role of repentance in the salvation of sinners, both in entering in and continuing on the way of life.

THE IMPASSIBILITY OF GOD AND THE PRINCETON MEN
Ian Hamilton – Lecturer in Church History at Edinburgh Theological Seminary

In recent years theologians from across a broad spectrum have engaged afresh with the doctrine of God’s impassibility, especially on the issue of divine feeling and suffering. As some seek to cast fresh light on aspects of the divine nature, concerns about theological novelty have also arisen. In this address, Ian Hamilton will guide us through this issue, looking with us through the eyes of the Princeton theologians, in an attempt to provide some scriptural anchor points.

EVANGELICALISM IN ENGLAND AND WALES SINCE 1945
Geoff Thomas – Retired Pastor of Alfred Place Baptist Church, Aberystwyth

Geoff Thomas is well-placed to provide a survey of evangelical life in England and Wales since 1945, having lived and moved through it as observer and participant. His overview will provide insights into men, moments and movements that have had an abiding influence on evangelicalism today, helping both older and younger evangelicals to understand their times and to situate themselves in relation to the kingdom of God in this part of the world.

J. C. RYLE’S ABIDING RELEVANCE
Iain H. Murray – Presbyterian Minister

There can be few men who command more comprehensive esteem than J. C. Ryle, a man committed to the Church of England and a bold evangelical. A gracious figure marked by conviction, courage and clarity, he was a force to be reckoned with. Those same qualities have left him an enduring legacy among evangelicals of all stripes. Iain Murray will help us to recognise the value of knowing, understanding and learning from Bishop Ryle.