“The Best FutureFaith Weekend Yet”

Posted on 11 February 2009
Such was the verdict of Ferndale deacon, Ron Wright, after the third conference took place the last weekend.

Such was the verdict of Ferndale deacon, Ron Wright, after the third conference took place the last weekend.

At the Conference itself, a brief devotional opening address by Ferndale minister, Stephen Dray, highlighted the fact that if theological endeavour does not respect the limits of God’s own self-disclosure and does not lead to doxology in life and word, it is useless. This was followed by the two main addresses by Rev. Dr. Andy Saville of Fordham, Colchester and Rev. Prof. Henri Blocher of the Evangelical Faculty of Vaux-sur-Seine, Paris. The two papers both reviewed the various evangelical and non-evangelical views as to the destiny of the lost in the age to come. They highlighted the fact that any resolution of current discussions needs to acknowledge the victory of God. Each concluded that all creation will be ‘reconciled’ to Christ while the lost will suffer the eternal pain of experiencing their rejection of him in the ‘second death’. Lively discussion followed each section and the final brainstorm that concluded the day. Overall the day was well up to the standard of the previous two conferences where Rev. Prof. J.I. Packer, Prof. I.H. Marshall and Dr’s Dan Strange and John Wilks spoke.

Sunday morning, Prof. Blocher expounded the theme of ‘To be with Christ, which is far better’ and he sought to set out the ‘beauty of Jesus’ that might evoke such a response in our hearts. The evening meeting was addressed by Pastor Pawel Kugler of Elblag, Poland. Pawel, former intern in Sopot, Ferndale’s ‘twin’ church, challenged a good-sized congregation as to the centrality of prayer in the life of the believer: using Abraham’s intercession for Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 18 as an example.

But, perhaps, the success of the weekend was, above all, secured by the return visit of former intern Rudi Drews and his wife Doreen from Weisel, of Pawel and Szymon Koldys from Poland and of Alec Williams (‘apostle’ of student work in central and eastern Europe) with his wife, Aniko, and son Andrew. The warmth and deepening of ties between God’s people (whether Polish, French, Hungarian, German… or English!) was palpable and a wonderful testimony to the reconciling work of Christ.

Pawel Kugler, Sarah Dawkins, Stephen Dray, Andrew Mumford, Jon Delves, Henri Blocher and Rudi Drews

Hugs, tears and diaries opened to plan mutual further visits, concluded a wonderful weekend…

Most of the sessions of the weekend should soon be available on the Ferndale podcasts…. and Rev. Prof. Gerald Bray has already been booked as main speaker for the fourth Conference on the 20th February 2010.

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