When: Wednesday 5 to Friday 7 March 2025

Where: King’s Park Conference Centre, Northampton NN3 6LL

Tickets: Full-board from £245
Book before 12 November for an Early Bird discount.
Group and/or student discounts are available

Join us for the Affinity Theological Study Conference in March 2025, where we'll explore the doctrine of God amidst today's uncertainties. This Study Conference coincides with the 1,700th anniversary of the Council of Nicaea, reaffirming timeless truths about God.

Great God of Wonders: the God who is, and the God who acts

What stands out as the most crucial, captivating, and essential subject for all individuals, especially for Christians? Without a doubt, it’s the exploration of God. In 1855, a twenty-year-old C.H. Spurgeon astutely emphasised that the proper focal point of human inquiry isn’t humanity itself, but rather God. His insight rings true to this day and forms the cornerstone of our forthcoming Affinity Theological Study Conference, where the spotlight will firmly be on God.

We are living through a period of increasing uncertainty, trouble, chaos, and fear. What was once taken as truth regarding society, authority, human nature, and even the fundamental concept of truth itself is now being openly questioned, often in a hostile and destructive manner. The church is not immune to the effects of this upheaval. Therefore, we must return to the most fundamental questions of all, starting with a contemplation of God himself: who God is and how he acts.

Coincidentally, the year 2025 commemorates the 1,700th anniversary of the Council of Nicaea – a pivotal moment in history where the most fundamental questions about God were publicly settled, providing a sturdy foundation for centuries to come. The theologians who gathered at Nicaea were not introducing anything new; they were simply giving careful expression to all that the triune God had revealed about himself in his word.

With the same humble and teachable spirit, we will explore the great doctrine of God together during the 2025 Study Conference. We warmly invite you to join us at King’s Park Conference Centre in Northampton from Wednesday 5th to Friday 7th March.

Our speakers will be Mostyn Roberts, Bob Letham, Tom Brand, Steve Duby, and Michael McClenahan. What sets our conference apart is our commitment to genuine dialogue; ample time is allocated for both collective discussions and smaller group interactions. The Study Conference is open to all, including pastors, laypeople, men, women, and theological students.

Don’t delay; reserve your place today and be part of this enriching theological exploration.

Conference papers and speakers

Our topics and speakers this year will be (titles and synopses are subject to change):

The Power and Personhood of God – Mostyn Roberts

‘Power’ has a negative image today as the manipulative force behind knowledge, rights and structures. Yet the idea of power pulses through the Bible. The power of God is good. What does his power have to do with our experience? How do we improve both the experience and exercise of power in the church? This paper attempts to rehabilitate a neglected but highly relevant attribute of God. Mostyn Roberts, is the retiring (in 2024) pastor of Welwyn Evangelical Church, Herts, UK.

Faith and Reason: Reflections on Belief in God – Bob Letham

Anselm's famous argument, as Barth maintained, is not a proof for the existence of God in the conventional sense but more an attempt to understand what is believed on other grounds. Is there a place for such reflection and, if so, how can it most effectively function? Robert Letham is a Senior Research Fellow at Union School of Theology; Associate Professor at Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam; Senior Fellow at Newton House, Oxford; and Fellow in History and Theology at Greystone Theological Institute, Pittsburgh, USA.

The God of Unchanging Glory: from Nicaea to Hegel and Back – Thomas Brand

Examining the concept of 'passibility' in relation to divine immutability and simplicity. Discussing how divine expressions of emotions such as pity and compassion align with the understanding of God as a Father. Thomas Brand is the Ministry Director of Evangelical Fellowship of Congregational Churches (EFCC), and Chairman of Affinity.

The Weaknesses of Christ: Their Theological and Pastoral Significance – Steve Duby

Exploring the theological and pastoral implications of Christ's human experiences and emotions. Considering Christ's voluntary submission and its implications for His knowledge of the divine will. Steve Duby is an Associate Professor of Theology at Phoenix Seminary, Scottsdale, Arizona, USA.

The Trinitarian resurgence? – Michael McClenahan

Evaluating recent Trinitarian discussions looking particularly at the idea of divine persons and the perfection of divine life. Contrasting various modern social trinitarian formulations with the classical doctrine. Michael McClenahan is the Principal and Professor of Systematic Theology at Union Theological College, Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Conference Format

Papers will be circulated to conference members in advance so that they can spend time reading them before the event. At the conference, each contributor will introduce his paper and highlight the main issues, after which there will be time for questions and small group discussion. The final day concludes with a plenary question and answers session involving all the speakers.

About the venue – King's Park Conference Centre

King’s Park has become a favourite venue for many conference groups in recent years, including the Study Conference. Its facilities are excellent and Northampton has good rail and road links to London and Birmingham for those flying in from other parts of the UK.

All rooms are en-suite and there is a sports arena and tennis centre on site which attendees may use for an additional charge.

Will you join us?

The distinctive thing about this Conference is that we genuinely confer – a large amount of time is spent in discussion in small groups as well as together.  This Study Conference is open to all and especially aimed at church and ministry leaders, theological students and Christians who want to engage with current issues with a deeper theological understanding.

The needs of the hour are very great, and this will be a great opportunity for us to have fellowship together as well as to encourage each other to seek the Lord, so that he will come in power to bless his church in the years which lie ahead. We can’t wait to see you!