Dear Brother/Sister in Christ,
I am sorry that it has taken me so long to send another prayer/newsletter but I am conscious that you probably get swamped with e-mails etc. Anyway, as we move towards the end of 2008, I would like to bring you up to date with what is happening and to thank you for, and urge you to continue, your prayers. I had thought that things would quieten down this year but if anything, they have got busier and it looks like continuing well into 2009. I do two outreach events per month and I am already fully booked until September. The main highlights of the past months are as follows:
- I enjoyed meetings in Cambridge, Galway, Belfast, Bedford, London, the US, Spain and the Netherlands.
- I have been involved at training events and conferences for the Church of Scotland, the United Free Church, Mission to the World, UCCF, London City Mission, and Calvary Chapel. The latter was at their summer school in Austria and was a fascinating and encouraging experience.
- I taught at the Christian Heritage summer school at Cambridge University. This was a stimulating and helpful experience and we hope to follow their lead in constructive and culturally appropriate biblical evangelism and apologetics.
- I have spoken at several evangelistic events throughout Scotland - in pubs, restaurants, village halls, bookshops and coffee shops. Most memorable for me was the small meeting at the West Port Book Festival during the Edinburgh Festival and also two events at Waterstones in Aberdeen.
- I have spoken at several Universities. The most interesting meetings have been in the art colleges in Scotland. It is becoming more evident to me that art is an important area in our society and also one that is wide open to the Gospel. Reading Hans Rookmaaker's Modern Art the the Death of a Culture has been most helpful.
- We had a very interesting debate in Milsaps College, Jackson, Mississippi. This is a secular college with a very small Christian group and I debated the Professor of Philosophy. The lecture theatre was packed and over 200 people were turned away. The 'buzz' afterwards continued for some time. What came across to many people was the bankruptcy (intellectually, spiritually and morally) of the atheist position. Two other debates were at the University of Edinburgh and a tremendously encouraging one organised by the Christian Medical Fellowship on Physician Assisted Suicide at the University of Dundee.
- I spoke at the Creationfest Christian music festival in Devon in August.
- There have been several opportunites for media involvement, most notably with radio Scotland and a fascinating in depth interview on Kerrang radio (the heavy metal rock station).
- In addition to this I still receive correspondence every week from people who have read the book - many of them non-Christians.
- The Dawkins Letters has now been published in Dutch, German, Spanish, Finnish, Korean and I think Portuguese. It continues to sell well in the UK and is CFP's biggest seller in the US.
- It has been good to connect with people such as John Lennox (the Lord has opened many doors for him and he really has been a great example to me), Ranald Macaulay and Terry Virgo (leader of New Frontiers).
It has been an incredible year so far. I have three more events before December (which I have kept free). It has been a real privilege to be able to speak to thousands of people in 'secular' settings, many of them non-Christians and even more exciting to see people turn to Christ and others express great interest. Of course it is exhausting - especially as my own congregation continues to grow and develop - but it is a nice kind of exhausting. I enjoy the sense of Gods presence and blessing and feel that I am doing what I was made for.
Who knows what the New Year will bring but let me at least share with you some of the possibilities.
1) I am currently writing a new book called Magnificent Obcession which is an introduction to Jesus Christ for those who know nothing about him. This started off as a response to Hitchen's God is not Great but has morphed into something else. People keep asking why I believe - I keep responding 'because of Jesus'. And then they want to know who he is and why he makes the difference. Please pray that I would be able to finish this for January.
2) St Peters is about to start a major redevelopment which will cost about £750,000. There are some other major changes occuring in the congregation. For example we began a new form of evening service last week and saw our congregation triple! Many of them non-Christians. We are also looking to get an assistant to help with all the work that we are involved in.
3) Part of what we want to do is set up a Centre for Public Christianity which will seek to engage with the media and proclaim the Gospel through apologetic evangelism, music, science, history and the arts. We also hope to run training courses for Christians.
4) I hope to continue the policy of speaking as far as possible in secular venues with churches providing the backup and followup. Most of these take place midweek rather than Sundays so I am still free to preach most Sundays in St Peters. I have not advertised and do not seek engagements but wait for invites etc. Already in 2009 there are events planned in Greece, Orkney, England, the US, and again several Universities.
What can you do to help?
b) Become a Friend of St Peters (This is a group we are planning to launch in the New Year - I will send you details when it happens)
c) Continue to use The Dawkins Letters as a means of outreach and sharing the Gospel.
d) Subscribe to the Free Church magazine The Monthly Record which I edit. We are trying to develop it as a magazine suitable for all Christians, which has a level of cultural engagement whilst being biblically faithful. Let me know if you are interested.
e) Let me know of any suggestions you have….
Yours in Christ,
David Robertson 14 Shamrock St, Dundee, DD4 7AQ - tel: 07825 748752 firstname.lastname@example.org