So back home again and on with life in the real world. We had an excellent conference and everyone I spoke to was generally positive. About 130 or so (100 men and 30 women?) were present, mostly Reformed Baptists of one stripe or another and covering a decent age range.
Bruce Ware's main addresses were greatly appreciated it is clear. One inbuilt problem was that his first two papers were by way of preparation for his main address. I also felt slightly uneasy (and this may sound odd coming from a Baptist) about some of the teaching which seemed to me to have a slight fundamentalist tinge rather than a Reformed one (eg Dr Ware didn't appear to be sympathetic to Adam's federal headship but prefers Augustine's realism). I feel easier in some ways listening to someone cold and calculating from Westminster and giving it a Baptist tweak myself than with Dr Ware's flowing and sometimes rambunctious style. Oh yes, he also had a passing pop at bloggers (building our own kingdoms) which was fair enough but sounded a little churlish and probably needed more careful nuancing.
Like others, while appreciating several things said, I was least satisfied with Keith Walker and Ray Evans' presentations. The more sociological approach leaves me uneasy I guess and it was difficult to see how to respond to information about the dynamics of growing churches and a big meeting in Cape Town.
The paper on Carey was a delight and I really appreciated John Ling's really quite disturbing paper on the culture of death. That image of a town the size of Swansea being wiped out year after year is a haunting one.
The sharing time and the more informal interaction was great too.