A few years ago I managed to attend the Aberystwyth Conference – it could have been 3 years on the trot. Each one was a real blessing. But in 1982 Andrew Davies was preaching for the 4 morning sessions through the book of Job. It’s one of those seasons of refreshing that I look back on with great thankfulness to God. I can’t recall hearing preaching like this before or since.
As a point of contrast, I am working my through the recent ‘Strange Fire’ conference audio, and whether it’s my English sensibility or not, I find it hard to stomach the applause speakers get at Strange Fire – and often in the US full stop. It really really grates on me. Maybe it’s an American thing, but I wish they would stop doing it. How can you applaud the speaker when it’s supposed to be a conference on worshiping God – kind of undermines it doesn’t it?
But anyway here’s the thing, hoping memory serves well, Andrew preached for well over an hour and you could have heard a pin drop, with a hushed reverence through the whole sermon. No applause – but maybe the occasional Amen from our Welsh brethren. I have never been in a series of services like it – it was as if time stood still and were sitting in the vestibule of heaven itself. The series could be summed up as a ‘Theology of Suffering’. At the time I believe Andrew’s Church had been through and was still going through illness, death and a number of other issues as he preached through Job to his congregation. The conference addresses were born out of these trials. The whole series is about the Triumph of Grace!
Not sure how long they have been available, but the sermons have been converted to MP3 files and can be downloaded for free. Click on each link below to download. Unfortunately the audio is not the best quality (The people at Grace do this sort of thing excellently), it’s ok, but I think the timeless quality of the preaching will more than compensate! Left click on each link to download.
Job – Faith Facing Facts (1) Job 1:1 – 2:15
Job – Faith Facing Facts (2) Job 3:1 – 31:40
Job – Faith Facing Facts (3) Job 32:1 – 37:24
Job – Faith Facing Facts (4) Job 38:1 – 41:17
Andrew was the first real preacher I heard after becoming a Christian in 1979. He was preaching my first time in a Church where The Bible was preached and actually believed. He has been a blessing to me over the years and has been a keen supporter of the History Lectures I help organise. All his lectures are well worth a listen (as well as lecturing for many years at London Theological Seminary). So granted, there is an element of nostalgia but not a little element of truth.