In Service of Scripture

Rediscovering Reason and Tradition
in Evangelical Theology


Dr. David shaw




Saturday, September 24, 2022


Oak Hill College

Chase Side, London N14 4PS, United Kingdom



Join us at Oak Hill College for the second ever UK Davenant Convivium Irenicum. Our keynote speaker will be Dr. David Shaw, Vice Principal and Lecturer in New Testament, Greek, and Biblical Theology at Oak Hill.

Further addresses will be delivered by Graham Shearer, Robert Strivens, and Peter Sanlon.

Keynote Address

Is Retrieval Leading to Renewal?

The Place of Tradition and the Progress of Theological Retrieval: Some Reflections and Next Steps

The Reformation truly ignited in 1521, when Martin Luther declared he would not recant his Protestant views unless “convinced by Scripture and plain reason”. He had found the superstitions and papal inventions of the late Middle Ages wanting, and the Reformation unstoppably followed. By standing upon both Scripture and reason, Luther and other Reformers saw themselves as doing nothing new. Rather, they were maintaining true church tradition, keeping in step with the ancient church councils and the best medieval theologians. Their many confessions and catechisms were attempts to reestablish and protect this tradition once more.

But has modern evangelicalism strayed from this Reformation mindset? In a desire to defend the sufficiency of Scripture against modernism, theological liberalism, and over-elaborate systematic theology, the roles of both reason and tradition have diminished among evangelicals. As a result, Scripture is pressed to provide clear answers for everything, and doctrines lacking crystal clear proof texts are regarded with suspicion.

Yet in the face of the most vexing questions about the doctrine of God and living ethically in the twenty-first century, evangelicalism finds itself tied in knots, unable to find answers. To remedy this, it is vital for evangelicals to reclaim the Reformation’s approach to reason and tradition, understanding how they fit with the doctrine of sola Scriptura.

We will be gathering at Oak Hill College to reflect on reclaiming the right roles of reason and tradition in our theology, comprehending rightly how it integrates with Scripture. Our keynote speaker will be Dr. David Shaw, with other addresses from Graham Shearer, Robert Strivens, and Peter Sanlon.

Interest in this topic is growing throughout the UK, and many are doubtless in search of other like-minded people. We hope also that the day will provide the opportunity for people to forge connections with others in the same pursuit.





Keynote Address: David Shaw


Tea and Coffee


Address #2: “Who Can Declare His Generation?” – Divine Incomprehensibility and Human Reason in 4th Century Trinitarianism – Graham Shearer

12:40-1:40 PM:



Address #3: Finding Theology in the Biblical Text: Hebrews 1:1-4 Through the Ages – Robert Strivens


Tea and Coffee


Address #4: Towards Secure Foundations for the Formative Power of Reason and Tradition – Peter Sanlon


Q&A with all speakers


Wrap up

Our KEYNOTE Speaker

Dr. David Shaw

Dr. David Shaw (Ph.D, University of Cambridge) teaches Greek, New Testament, and Biblical Theology at Oak Hill. He also worked part time as the Theological Adviser of the FIEC (the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches), and serves as editor of Primer which is co-published by Oak Hill and FIEC. He is an elder at Spicer Street Church, St Albans, and has published articles on a wide range of issues including Pauline theology, the doctrine of justification, and the evaluation of children’s Bibles. He is married to Jo and they have four children and three cats.

additional speakers

Graham Shearer is a Ph.D student at Union Theological College, Belfast. He previosuly served in student ministry with UCCF and in the pastorate. His work has been published in Themelios, First Things, Mere Orthodoxy, and Ad Fontes. He lives with his wife and three children in Belfast.

Robert Strivens (Ph. D, University of Stirling) is pastor of Bradford on Avon Baptist Church. He was Principal of London Seminary from 2008 to 2017 and continues to lecture at the Seminary in church history. He has a particular interest in eighteenth-century Dissent and is the author of Philip Doddridge and the Shaping of Evangelical Dissent (Ashgate, 2015).

Rev. Dr. Peter Sanlon (Ph.D, University of Cambridge) is Adjunct Professor of Systematic and Historical Theology at Westminster Presbyterian Theological Seminary, and minister of Emmanuel Anglican Church in Tunbridge Wells. He is the author of books including Simply God: Recovering the Classical Trinity (IVP, 2014) and Augustine’s Theology of Preaching (Fortress Press, 2014).

PLease JOin Us!

Register now for

the UK Convivium

For More details, contact RHYS LAVERTY
[email protected]

Why “Convivium Irenicum” and not “conference”?

We prefer “Convivium Irenicum” to “conference” as it stresses the two aspects of the day which we feel are most significant.

Firstly, we aim for the day to be convivial. Rather than arriving, receiving our download of information, and then
heading home, we aim to foster fellowship and forge connections between people in search of the riches of the historic church.

Secondly, we aim for the day to be irenic. Rather than pre-packaging easy contemporary answers in each address, we seek to
draw together many strands from church history in conversation with one another, working together to integrate ourselves
with the whole Christian tradition.