Last week (7th-11th April) a group from Emmanuel travelled to beautiful North Wales to attend New Word Alive, a Christian conference run by Keswick ministries and UCCF, with Don Carson, John Piper, and Terry Virgo as main speakers for the week.
Don Carson spoke on 1 John in the morning Bible readings, exhorting us with the characteristics of the believer’s life, and continually taking us back to the cross of Christ our only place for cleansing and forgiveness.
The evening sessions were themed ‘Treasuring Christ’ and looked at selected passages from Romans. Terry Virgo spoke on Romans 7 and the ‘Call of Grace’, reminding us that our acceptance by God is bound up in the death of Christ in our place; John Piper spoke for two evenings on Romans 8 and the ‘Call to Suffer’, showing us the reality of suffering in this fallen world, and looking at the promises pointing forward to the time when creation will be freed from suffering; Hugh Palmer finished the series off with Romans 12 and the ‘Call to Service’, reminding us that because of the mercy shown to us by God we our to live our lives in the light of the gospel.
Here are some of our thoughts on the week…
‘Thought a top time was had by all. Highlights for me included….
1. Vic’s food and caravan banter;
2. Piper’s fire (the force at which he drove home his points);
3. Carson’s expositions; and
4. Catching up with old friends.’
‘It was great to meet Christians from all over the country, and hear speakers from across the world. The practical seminars in the afternoon were good for thinking through different aspects of life as a Christian.’
‘It was an amazing week with some great Bible teaching from John Piper and Don Carson in the morning and evening celebrations, in which we were challenged to think about the seriousness of sin, God’s response to it and the effect of it on our world and our lives. It was encouraging to look at the reality of suffering and to remember that it is part of following Christ and that because of the cross we will be freed from this in heaven.
The seminars were also good, with sessions specifically designed for students on topics such as ‘Bible overview’ and ‘being a Christian in a media world’, as well as pastoral sessions on issues like ‘self esteem’ and others that expanded on the main talks, such as a series ‘Humanity’ where we looked at how our identity is bound up with God. It was also a great time of hanging out with other Christians, both from Emmanuel and elsewhere and, even if caravan-living in Wales was a little cold (!) it was a wonderfully refreshing time away.’
‘Both John Piper and Don Carson’s expositions were highlights of the week, passionate and Bible-soaked! It was really encouraging to spend the week surrounded by Christians eager to live for Christ, and to be taught and challenged together from God’s word.’