The forth annual conference of the Amyraldian Association was held on 5th-6th April 2006 at Hargham Road Chapel, Attleborough, Norfolk. While the three previous conferences were small affairs held in the living room of Rev. Dr. Alan C. Clifford, this conference was well-organised and held in a small but well-equipped Brethren chapel in the attractive market town of Attleborough.
There were about thirty attendees at the conference, people coming from England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. There was a small conference bookstall, including material from Quinta Press.
Conference attendees were treated to a real feast in terms of papers and lunch. There was certainly a lot to think about in the six papers that were read in the two days of the conference. It wasn't the Westminster Conference, nor the Banner of Truth Conference, but it was a good two days.
Dr. Alan C. Clifford opened the conference, and after opening worship he read his paper, A Quick Look at Amyraut.
The title, he explained, was a reference to the Puritan John Quick, who had brought the plight of the French Reformed Churches to the attention of an English audience.
We were introduced to Moise Amyraut (1596-1664) as a great pastor and theologian. His godly life and influence were outlined, and we all felt deeply that Amyraut has been sadly overlooked.
Dr. Clifford's paper served as an introduction to the second paper, Reading Amyraut: Other Religions,
given by Mr. David Llewellyn-Jones. Mr. Llewellyn-Jones' paper was based exclusively on one of Amyraut's books, his Treatise Concerning Religions
. Mr. Llewellyn-Jones' paper was deep and scholarly. Unfortunately we only heard about half of it, dealing mostly with Amyraut and the Philosophers. We were however given printed copies of the paper to read at our leisure later. This the present author has not yet done, due to pressing work.
After a delicious lunch made by the ladies of the Norwich Reformed Church
, under whose auspices the conference was held, Jewish studies specialist and missionary to the Jews in North London David Bond gave a very stimulating paper on Amyraldianism and Assurance.
We were given an insight into Mr. Bond's testimony, and he explained how the love of God is the only object of faith. Thus ended the first day.
The second day was of equal interest with the first. Following worship we were treated to Rev. Stephen Quinton of Norwich Reformed Church gave a paper on 'Faith' in John Owen and Richard Baxter.
Mr. Quinton gave a good, reasoned exposition of the differences between these two Puritans on the definition of Faith.
The second paper was a real treat. Rev. Nigel Westhead of Trinity Academy, Doncaster, spoke on The Preaching of Jean Daille.
Those of us who have the little cheap Tyndale Bible Society edition of Daille on Philippians were much enlightened. Mr. Westhead gave an insightful analysis of a great French preacher's pulpit work, with interesting seed-thoughts for modern preachers.
After a delicious lunch, and a final blitz of the conference bookstall, Rev. Hazlett Lynch of West Tyrone spoke on Evangelistic Preaching, Amyraldian Style.
His passion was communicated to the rest of us, and it was a glorious conclusion to the two very full days of the conference.
It is hoped that the conference will, God willing, be repeated next year. The present writer has been asked to give a paper on Thomas Chalmers' theology at next year's conference.