School of Theology 2016

Calvary & Covenant

Recordings of lectures will be available late August 2016.

High points of church history show that when sound doctrine joins with dedicated living, blessing and instrumentality follow. This year’s School of Theology presented the deeper glorious elements of the work of Christ on Calvary and the covenant of grace that move God’s people to a greater sense of indebtedness and gratitude, leading to consecration and service.


Pillars of Faith and Progress
    The power and blessing that flows from Calvary both saves the soul and sustains the believer through life and eternity.  Exploration of the riches of Christ’s finished work is surely one of the essential pursuits of all who shepherd and help souls, and indeed, of all who love the Lord.
Similarly, the purpose and the applied benefits of God working by covenant are a great buttress to faith and service in perilous times, as well as being a cornerstone of biblical interpretation.
We were glad to have Prof Tom Nettles returning this year to lead with major aspects of these twin themes. Bible book sessions covered 1 Corinthians and Zechariah, and church history studies surveyed the two major periods of postreformation spiritual decline that surprisingly occurred at the close of the 17th century (after the age of Puritanism and of the historic Confessions), and at the close of the 19th century and into the 20th (following the midcentury revival and the blessedness of the ‘Victorian evangelical pulpit’). The objective was to draw parallels with our present greater decline, to understand the wiles of the devil.
This year’s ‘contemporary concerns’ study considered the strange yet powerful re-emergence of the ‘social mandate’ heresy now seizing the minds of evangelicals, while the afternoon interval sessions presented the biblical practice of ‘the working church’, and a panel response to the question of how to frame the free offer of the Gospel in the context of predestination.
For forty years the School of Theology has attempted to be nothing other than a source of encouragement, inspiration and often warning to an attendance ranging from students to veteran pastors. We pray that this year's School warmed hearts and steeled resolve for the advance and defence of the Gospel and the glory of God.

2016 - Calvary & Covenant

Dr Peter Masters
Pastor, Metropolitan Tabernacle
The Covenant of Grace: Why, Who, and When?
There was a time, and it ran for two centuries, when Baptists held a distinctive doctrine of God’s covenants quite different from the Presbyterian view, and eminently more scriptural. Then dispensational ideas made it a minority view. But a revival is taking place. Two addresses will present the traditional ‘1689’ covenant, its difference from Sinai, and its devotional rewards.
Parallel Old Testament Covenants
This address will show how ‘amazing grace’ was administered in the Old Testament.
Appreciating all of Calvary
Rarer aspects of the mighty accomplishments of Christ. We bow our heads and wonder at the sublime scope of Calvary, where a countless host was redeemed, where also the material creation was delivered, and where the decisive conflict took place between Satan’s hosts and the Son of God. A call to full appreciation.
Rev John Thackway
Pastor, Holywell Evangelical Church, Wales
The Depths of Calvary
Hollywood depicts merely the external, physical pains of Christ, but we must proclaim the true nature and the extent of atonement. This address will consider the depths of the price paid, and for whom.
The Sacredness of Calvary
Though carried out in time, atonement is exclusively an act by God and to God. This study presents the implications that enrich our reflection, devotion and worship.
Pastor Chris Hand
Pastor, Crich Baptist Church, Derbyshire
1 Corinthians - 21st Century Epistle
Directions to precious believers in the most morally corrupt environment
of the first century have special resonance for today. These two studies will explore the prime themes for message preparers, showing the doctrines and applications of the supreme ‘ethical epistle’.
1 Corinthians - 21st Century Epistle (2)
The second of two addresses on 1 Corinthians.
Pastor Christopher Buss
Pastor, Mount Zion Baptist Church Ashford
An Inspirational Overview of Zechariah
Often called the apocalypse of the Old Testament, Zechariah’s prophecy is full of Christ, the church age, and end-times visions intended for the uplifting of the faithful.
Panel: Dr Nettles, Rev Thackway, Pastor Hand
The Free Offer of the Gospel for Calvinists
In this session, Dr Tom Nettles, Rev John Thackway and Pastor Chris Hand will each briefly show how the universal tender of salvation is rightly expressed in harmony with the doctrines of grace.
Dr Tom Nettles
Professor emeritus of Historical Theology, Southern Baptist Seminary, USA
Calvary as an Impetus to Personal Humility – now and for ever
[Philippians 2.1-11] It is said that the hardest operation in the soul is the melting of pride and the building of true humility, yet it is the essence of sanctification, and Calvary the means.
Spurgeon’s Application of Calvary – as a source of Christian comfort
C H Spurgeon followed the Puritans in embracing a doctrinal approach to giving strength and consolation in trials. Dr Nettles will show how Spurgeon administered biblical counsel in the pulpit ministry.
The Blood of the Everlasting Covenant as the Foundation of Christian Service
[Hebrews 13.20-21] Calvary and covenant unite to move hearts of God's people to love and dedicated service, an outcome vastly more valuable than theoretical consent.
Pastor Ibrahim Ag Mohamed
Assistant Pastor, Metropolitan Tabernacle
The Immense Power of Calvary
The work of Christ is sometimes expressed only as a formula for salvation, whereas it is to be honoured for its extent, including power to atone, cleanse, purchase, secure and present faultless for eternity.
The Doctrine of the Working Church
Do we but barely fulfil the work of the Gospel in our church? Pastor Ibrahim will outline the exhortations and the outworking of the calling of believers to work together for Christ.
Pastor Roland Burrows
Pastor, Station Road Baptist Chapel, Cradley Heath, West Midlands
Common Threads in Times of Decline
The steep ravine of spiritual decline toward the end of the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries are vaguely attributed to the Enlightenment and Darwinism respectively, but closer inspection shows alarming trends in the churches that parallel our present decline in church life. Pastor Burrows will reveal the repeated wiles of the devil, of which spiritual shepherds must be aware.
Common Threads in Times of Decline (2)
The second of two addresses on church history.
Dr Ted Williams
Consultant in public health, and author
The Social Mandate - The Imposter in Evangelicalism
Since the 1960s, the liberal social mandate has steadily taken over major platforms of the evangelical world, equalling and even surpassing in importance the place of the great commission. Although once resisted, it is now invading independency. Dr Ted Williams will trace its recent resurgence, its unbiblical reasoning and its extreme goals (not to be confused with traditional compassionate ministry).