First and Last Things

2014 Autumn Lectures

“For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever!”
Romans 11:36 (NIV)

God has made provision not only for salvation, but also for the ultimate restoration of creation itself. Despite a world of confusion, there are eternal realities that every believer needs to understand, witness to and put into practice.

It is vital that Christians understand where we have come from and where we are going. Only by understanding God’s First and Last Things can we understand how to live now.

These lectures help Christians have a clear biblical vision of what God is doing in the world and so give us a motivated heart and a firm footing for following Jesus in a confused world.

1. First and Last Things

By Revd Prof John L Mackay

God’s great rescue plan of salvation will lead to the redemption of His people and the restoration of creation itself. What God established in creation is now marred by the fall. But God’s ultimate purpose cannot be thwarted. There will be ultimate fulfilment of all things in the New Heavens and New Earth. This has profound implications for how we live today.

2. Law, Gospel and the Public Square

By Revd Dr Mike Ovey

What does it mean to be a Christian citizen in 21st Century Britain? What are the implications of the Gospel for our stance in the public square? Revd Ovey looks at how Christians should respond to our modern culture of entitlement and ‘rights’, in which so many, including the Government, do not submit to anyone higher than themselves. He explains how Christians need to understand why the Gospel is so precious, and where it is under threat.

3. Work, Wealth and Responsibility

By Revd Dr Richard Turnbull

Why do we ‘work’? What does the Bible teach us about how our work fits into the wider picture of God’s purposes for humanity? Does it matter what work we do? We will explore these questions, as well as current issues of pay, wealth, taxation and our responsibilities to others.

4. Christ and Culture

By Colin Hart

As Christians we are in the world but not of the world. But how do we engage with the culture of our day, if at all? Should we abandon, embrace or try to transform it? In 1951 American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr famously described five ways professing Christians have engaged with culture throughout history. In this talk we will use these five ways to better understand how we as Christians should engage with the wider culture.

5. Recovering ‘Heaven’: the awesome significance of seeing the new creation clearly

By Revd Rupert Bentley-Taylor

Evangelicals rightly stress the glorious plan of salvation and the proclamation of the gospel. However, what exactly we are being saved for, beyond this life, is often regarded in the haziest manner. There must be something better and more exciting than floating on clouds and playing on harps ahead of us! Why are we so unclear about the nature of future glory? What should excite us about ‘heaven’? What can we be confident about in that Life ahead? How should seeing the New Creation more clearly affect our thinking and behaviour in this present fallen world? It is time to penetrate Satan’s smokescreen. It is time to regain a clearer sight of Glory.