Day 284

Day 284 – Wed 14 June – It was Day 2 of Catalyst. My friend Jose Sagovia once told me he treated conferences as a Menu rather than a syllabus and I have adopted that approach. Catalyst really is the only conference I go to and it’s held in Ealing but I go to the Sessions I want. If everyone did that it would be a disaster but it works for me. I was there all morning. Simon Arscott opened the day with an exposition from Matthew 23 on the Lost Preacher. It was brilliant, one big point majored on throughout – Jesus is the Teacher in your church. There were great lines on “Jesus is preaching this Sunday at your church”. I loved the illustration of going to a Piano Concerto and the crowd on the way out arguing over good or bad the piano is. It’s the pianist is the big thing. As preachers we are just the instruments. Simon defended the importance of Ordination – the point of ordination is not that you are special but it is driven by the connection that there is only 1 teacher. The British Ambassador to Paris does not get in the way of the queen but reinforces her. Some preachers are more effective than others – a higher means of grace bandwith – some have dialup, some have broadband. There are 10 talent preachers, some 5, some 1.

When we teach one another, we are talking together about what Christ is saying. When a preacher speaks Christ is speaking. How does Jesus keep in touch with his church? By Word and Sacrament.


This doesn’t do it justice, it’s the kind of sermon that will keep me going for weeks.


Michael Maclennahan was up next on WCF Chapter on Providence –  It was again magnificent. It was a lecture that turned into a sermon. It’s a beautiful chapter and very moving. One line that will stick was ‘We wrap the why question in the doctrine of God’. It was the best morning at a conference I can remember. I’ll post up the recordings once they are on the website. It’s been good to have lots of Non IPC folks with us, particularly good to have Dan Green from Banstead with us.


In the afternoon I worked on Sunday’s sermons and References, I’m in one of those patches where I’ve got endless references to write. I was back to hear one of “under care” men give his sermon on “Faith” those of us who are elders and ministers gave crit. Quick dash home to bath the kids and then I was back at church for  a Persian Meal. It was brilliant to have  some of our Iranians cooking for  the church and Catalyst folk. Matthew Roberts gave an excellent lecture “Image, Identity and Idolatry: Thinking clearly about LGBT issues”. I hope he’ll write it up soon.

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