Gap Bible Series — Fall 2020

Divisions, Disagreements, and Charity in the Local Church

"When we begin to explore what God has to say [about the Church], we ought to be thrilled, intrigued, challenged and ultimately transformed by what we see." —Mark Johnston

The issue of division and disagreement in the life of the local church is arguably one of the most painful and perplexing of the Christian experience. It leaves scars on a congregation and pastor, and often far-reaching damage. 

Pastor Mark Johnston brings us to Ephesians to apply the Gospel to the Church. We will see the problem in light of God’s plan— Christ has repaired and restored the ruins that formerly divided us—we are one people by God’s grace through faith.

September 12, 2020

9:30 a.m. EDT: Church Divisions: Seeing the Problem in Light of God’s Plan

11:00 a.m. EDT: Church Divisions: Tackling the Problem with God-given Resources

Livestream will be available on FacebookYouTube, and the Alliance App. No registration is required.

The Alliance is pleased to offer this online presentation to you at no charge thanks to the prayerful and financial support of our partners, members, and Friends. 

Help underwrite the expense of producing the Gap Bible Series and future conferences.

As a thank you for your one-time gift of $25 or more we will send you: 

  • The Church: Glorious Body, Radiant Bride by Mark Johnston
  • The Church: God's New Society mp3 audio from PCRT 1985 featuring Eric Alexander, James Boice, John DeWitt, and J.I. Packer

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Mark Johnston (MDiv Westminster Theological Seminary) is the minister of Bethel Presbyterian Church (EPCEW) in Cardiff, Wales. He was previously Senior Pastor of Proclamation Presbyterian Church Bryn Mawr, PA, and of Grove Chapel in Camberwell, London. He began his ministry as a church planter in Ireland. He serves on the Board of Banner of Truth Trust and has authored several books including three titles in Banner's Let’s Study series, The Church: Glorious Body, Radiant Bride, and Our Creed.

When the Stars Disappear: Help and Hope from Stories of Suffering in Scripture

October 9-10

Mark Talbot


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Mark Talbot’s experience of suffering gives him a heart of empathy for anyone who struggles to understand the hard ways of God. His rigor as a Christian philosopher equips him to voice the most disturbing questions we have about human pain without minimizing their difficulty or giving in to despair.

Based on his newly-released book, When the Stars Disappear, Professor Mark Talbot will use stories from Scripture to offer the clear practical and theological guidance that suffering believers need to move forward in hope. Join Mark as he offers comfort with the assurance that we are never alone in our suffering, but sustained by our ever-loving Savior. 

Friday, October 9, 2020

7:00 p.m. EDT: When the Stars Disappear
8:00 p.m. EDT: Suffering Saints

Saturday, October 10, 2020

9:30 a.m. EDT: Breathing Lessons
10:30 a.m. EDT: The Rest of Our Suffering Saints' Stories

Mark Talbot teaches philosophy at Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL, where he has received The Leland Ryken Award for Teaching Excellence in the Humanities. He is currently writing a four-volume series, entitled, Suffering and the Christian Life, that is intended to help Christians understand and cope with their suffering. The first volume, When the Stars Disappear: Help and Hope from Stories of Suffering in Scripture was published in August 2020 by Crossway, and the subsequent volumes will be released each year thereafter.

The Anabaptist Emigration to Pennsylvania in the 18th Century

November 20-21

Thomas Martin


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At the time of the Protestant Reformation in western Europe, there arose a group of believers in Switzerland, separate from Reformed and Lutheran churches, who faced fierce persecution and martyrdom. Leaders of the movement taught that infant baptism was invalid in the eyes of God and urged adult believers to undergo the waters of baptism, even though already baptized as infants. They were accused of being “re-baptizers,” or “Anabaptists,” and the name stuck.
Most of them were united by a commitment to separation of church from state, peaceful non-resistance, avoidance of oaths, believers’ baptism, and rigid separation from apostates to a point of splitting homes and marriages. They also came to be called Mennists or Mennonites.
Many Anabaptists emigrated to Pennsylvania where William Penn sought hard working, honest people, regardless of religion, to populate his so-called “holy experiment.” Additionally, near the end of the 18th century, followers of Joseph Amman, or the “Amish,” came to America in waves, and a few landed in eastern Pennsylvania. Their conservative views led them to strict self-denial of progressive tools, machinery, and ways of living that sets them apart even until today.
Tom Martin will summarize the history, doctrines, and lessons we can learn from the tumultuous events of the Anabaptist emigration to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, during the eighteenth century.  

Friday, November 20, 2020

7:00 p.m. EDT: Swiss Origins of Pennsylvania Dutch
8:00 p.m. EDT: Menno's Christology and Its Significance

Saturday, November 21, 2020

9:30 a.m. EDT: God's Providential Care of the Anabaptist Refugees
10:30 a.m. EDT: Lessons to Be Learned from the Plain Community

Thomas Martin has been a practicing lawyer for 48 years, serving 17 years as a magisterial district judge in Chester County after an active legal practice. Tom has both Anabaptist and Reformed ancestors who settled in Lancaster County in the early 18th century. In fact, he continues to maintain the family farm established in 1727, one of the oldest in Pennsylvania. Tom has been married to Bonnie for 50 years, and they have two children and six grandchildren. He enjoys collecting rare books, and has served as an elder of several churches.

Audio from past conferences is available at

The Gap Center for Biblical Studies, located in the town of Gap in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, exists to glorify Almighty God as He has revealed Himself in the written Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments by the spread of the Gospel through educational lectures, seminars, classes, and training courses.