Sunday, June 04, 2006
The Launch of "Preach the Word!" at Westminster Chapel
Scott and I were down in London yesterday at a special event launching THE book of the year (so far). Two years ago Greg Haslam hosted a conference at Westminster Chapel that was quite unique. It pulled together about 20 of the greatest and most influential speakers, theologians, prophets, apostles and evangelists in the United Kingdom. These included Dr John Stott, Terry Virgo, David Holden, Stuart Bell, Colin Dye and of course Greg himself. The conference took place one Saturday a month over a period of six months and it was quite an event to be at. There were times of worship that were powerfully brooded over by the Holy Spirit and then the lectures kicked off. The schedule was intense and there was little time to breathe but it was so rich in content.
I am thrilled therefore that these amazing lectures have been carefully transcribed and put into print. The book is absolutely beautiful. It is hardback (as every book should be) and contains almost quarter of a million words. Greg Haslam has added two extra appendices that deal with the issues of the baptism of the Holy Spirit and Ephesians 4 Ministries. I am convinced that it is a vital tool for every theologian's library.
The actual day was powerful in itself. There was an all-too-brief time of worship that was lead by a team from Westminster Chapel (including some of Greg Haslam's sons). These guys are exceptionally gifted and anointed and I have little doubt that their passion for God and their desire to worship Him in the power of the Spirit is thanks to the ministry of Greg himself. The first session was an exposition by Greg Haslam of 2 Timothy 2:1-7; "Rightly Handling the Word of Truth". It was a powerful charge to the absolute vitality of expositional preaching. The sheer weight of the reality sank in as Greg unpacked metaphors from the text as to what a preacher should be.
1. A Soldier.
2. An Athlete.
3. A Workman.
He quoted men from the past such as C H Spurgeon who quite literally burnt themselves out working for God and His Kingdom and quoted a man who said that we should be ashamed if we hear the footsteps of the unregenerate going to work while we lie in bed.
We both came away quite awed to be at an event that I am convinced will go down in history as a time when God's people decided that enough is enough, and the tide of shoddy preaching must be stemmed. It is time to get back into God's Word! I am reading the book on nights so will probably post again shortly ...