It’s been a real pleasure and honour to have a chunk of time with Scot & Kris. My wife and I had dinner with the McKnights on Saturday evening. Scot preached on the Jesus Creed at our home church on Sunday morning, came to an Irish BBQ (it rained) afterwards at the home of the wonderful Hussey family. It was an inspiring service led by Keith, Deborah, Lorraine and our gifted team of musicians.
Then Scot preached at Grosvenor Road Baptist Church during their series on James; on 4:1-12 which if you read it, is not a fun passage. I thought he did a great job – many of our Christian quarrels would be solved with submission to God, humility and repentance rather than fighting for our own way / rights and judging others.
Monday we went with IBI staff Linda Basdeo and Louise Halpin, with her archaeologist husband Andy who took us on a wonderful informative guided tour of Newgrange and the fantastic 9th century Monasterboice High Crosses (which to my shame I had never stopped to see before) – with the new Battle of the Boyne site thrown in for good measure [its well done if you like death, war, violence and that sort of thing]
I long have had an interest in Irish archaeology and we have a lovely picture of Newgrange in our house of the sun reaching up the passageway during the winter solstice. It is a true wonder of the prehistoric world.
That evening a bunch of IBI staff got together with Scot & Kris at Jacob & Lori Reynolds’ home for another Irish BBQ (yes it rained again).
On Tuesday Scot did two sessions at a Leaders’ Day on ‘The Earliest Christian gospel’. We had a full house at IBI, with people from across geographic and ecclesiological boundaries. In it Scot addressed the growing remoteness of the gospel in western culture – a theme we’d been reminded of in great style by Dr Ingrid Harley who did a session on Ireland’s new spirituality [coming out of her recent MA dissertation at IBI]. She also referred to those ‘bloggery people’ who write stuff on the internet 🙂
Scot said lots of interesting and provocative things – one was that the creeds have been ‘lost’ in low church evangelicalism because of how the gospel has been framed as a personal salvation story. And how this traditional evangelical gospel has no real place for the OT, for Jesus’ life and the gospels themselves – yet these gospels are ‘the gospel’. They tell the good news [gospel] of Jesus the Messiah completing the story of Israel, representing and being Israel, dying, being raised and exalted to the right hand of God as Lord of all.
The second session was focused on how a sociological model of conversion can help the church think missionally in its own context which led to some good conversations together.
Wednesday / Thursday Scot and Kris are up to Belfast Bible College to speak at 2 events up there.
Plenty more to come later in the week. An open lecture at 7.30pm on Thursday at IBI by Scot on A Community Called Atonement followed by our 2 day Summer Institute Friday/Saturday on ‘In the Beginning was the Gospel’ (which is booked out).