Salt and light

2009 Autumn Lectures

‘You are the salt of the earth… You are the light of the world.’
Matthew 5:13-14 (NIV)

Christians today live amid growing hostility towards the Bible’s teaching and those who seek to witness to it. Believers need clear, biblical wisdom to help them deal with the everyday challenges they face.

For years, The Christian Institute has sought to be a Christian influence in our increasingly secular world. The aim of this year’s Autumn Lectures is to deliver simple, biblical ideas that will equip and encourage Christians in every situation to make a stand for the Lord Jesus.

1. Salt and light

By Revd Rupert Bentley-Taylor

The Lord Jesus emphatically declares that Christians are different – they are the salt and light of the world. Yet he also warns that if salt loses its saltiness, it is “no longer good for anything”. We must not lose our distinctive, influencing, Christian nature. If we live in conspicuous obedience to Christ we will stand out and fulfil our calling, “that [men] may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16b).

2. Conflict serving redemption

By Jeffery Ventrella

Throughout scripture, beginning with the Fall, there is a conflict between good and evil. Today, Christians are in a battle against “the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12). Far from hindering the gospel, there are times when God uses conflict to further his redemptive purposes.

3. Christian influence on history

By Ranald Macaulay

History shows that Christians have long had an influence for good on the world around them. In this lecture, Ranald Macaulay will explain how the Christian faith has had a profound impact upon the moral and intellectual foundations of British society. Christians have pioneered advancements in civil liberty, education, health care and democracy. The past should help and encourage us as we look to the future.

4. How the Bible applies to the whole of life

By Revd Gareth Burke

Does the Bible only concern itself with personal piety? Or does its authority extend across other areas, such as work, entertainment or even the life of our nation? The Psalmist says that “The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple” (Psalm 19:7b). To heed the words of scripture in all that we do is not only obedient but also wise. In this lecture, Gareth Burke will help us to see more clearly the application of God’s wisdom to the whole of life.

5. Common grace

By Revd Angus MacLeay

In a fallen world, how is it that unbelieving men and women are capable of great acts of kindness, can experience a measure of joy and happiness, and possess wonderful skills and talents? Why does God cause “his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (Matthew 5:45)? The doctrine of common grace powerfully explains the world we live in and how we should act towards unbelievers.