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March 16-17, 2020

Is the “Good Samaritan” Good? Listening to the Parable’s Later Witnesses

The “Good Samaritan” is one of the most popular parables in Christian history and has significant relevance for every age.

As recorded in Luke 10, Jesus imagines an “enemy” as the central hero of the story. Sometimes we can only hear the truth when a storyteller overdramatizes the point.

Of particular interest is the hermeneutical nature of Jesus’ initial response. To the lawyer’s opening query, Jesus replies, “How do you read?” We will hear how others— Augustine, Howard Thurman, Harriet Jacobs, the Solentiname Community of Nicaragua—interpreted the parable in order to hear it afresh for our age.

Indeed, the way one reads the Bible defines and determines the way one thinks about life. Hermeneutics and ethics are inseparable. Jesus reveals how he reads Torah when he places a person most unlike his listeners at the center of the story and asks his immediate audience—and generations to follow—to “go and do likewise.”

MONDAY, March 16:
9:55am in Mulder Chapel: WTS Chapel service (Public Welcome)

10:45am LECTURE in Maas Hall: “Augustine and Howard Thurman”(Public Welcome)

7:00pm LECTURE in Mulder Chapel: “Harriet Jacobs and the Solentiname Community of Nicaragua” (Public Welcome)

TUESDAY, March 17
8:30am in Maas Hall (room 159): Breakfast Conversation – Breakfast Conversation – “Preaching the Parables.” This breakfast is for people interested in reading, interpreting, teaching, and preaching the parables to come and interact with the speaker about this dynamic, delightful, and difficult task! (Public Welcome)

12:00pm LUNCH in Maas Hall (room 159): Community Conversation w/ students, staff and faculty

Dr. Emerson Powery is Professor of Biblical Studies & (former) Coordinator of Ethnic and Area Studies at Messiah College.

He is an alum of Princeton Theological Seminary (1992) and—under the guidance of Dr. D. Moody Smith—Duke University (1999).  

He is the author of Jesus Reads Scripture: The Function of Jesus’ Use of Scripture in the Synoptic Gospels (Brill, 2002), “Philemon” for The New Interpreter’s One-Volume Commentary (Abingdon, 2010), and co-author of The Genesis of Liberation: Biblical Interpretation in the Antebellum Narratives of the Enslaved (2016), which wrestles with the function of the Bible in the 19th-century African American ‘slave narrative’ tradition. Peter Paris describes The Genesis of Liberation as “a long sought-after treasure.” Mark Noll claims that the book “is now the gold standard for one of the most important developments in American religion.” With interest in how Scripture functions—in ancient and present-day underrepresented communities—he was one of the editors of True to Our Native Land: An African American NT Commentary (Fortress/Augsburg, 2007).  

In the wider academy, Powery has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Biblical Literature (2005-2013) and the Common English Bible (2009-2011). He was co-chair (with Bernadette Brooten) for the “Slavery, Resistance, and Freedom” section within the Society of Biblical Literature (2014-2019). He was the 2006–2007 (regional) President of the Society of Biblical Literature (SE Region). Presently, he serves on the editorial board of Interpretation: A Journal of Bible and Theology, Connections: A Lectionary Commentary for Preaching and Worship and the steering committee for “The Bible in the United States” consultation of SBL. He serves on the Board of Trustees at Lancaster Theological Seminary.

Thursday, November 8 at 7 P.M. in Mulder Chapel

Join us for Dr. David Dark’s lecture “What Passes for Life?” during the NEA Big Read this November. This year’s Big Read book is Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. The novel takes place in the Great Lakes region after a fictional swine flu pandemic, known as the “Georgia Flu”, has devastated the world, killing most of the population. It won the Arthur C. Clarke Award in 2015.

Religious question are political questions are post-apocalyptic questions. Dr. David Dark, assistant professor of Religion and the Arts in the College of Theology at Belmont University and author of Life’s Too Short to Pretend You’re Not Religious, will explore how good post-apocalyptic novels break the ice of the status quo by inviting us to do battle with our own moral carelessness. He will discuss how Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven encourages us to take the temperature of our own strange behavior. What have we normalized and why? If we let it, Station Eleven makes us more alive to the arbitrariness of organizing our own fictions and leads us to proceed more wonderingly in our conception of ourselves and others.

NOVEMBER 6, 2017 at the Haworth Inn and Conference Center

“How do we preach effectively about faithfulness to the Gospel in today’s complex culture? People in our congregations don’t even know how to talk calmly with each other about their political choices or their understandings of the ‘big’ cultural debates, about sexuality, immigration, “fake news,” our Muslim neighbors. Should our sermons get into ‘specifics’? If not, are we failing to be ‘prophetic’?”

At the Bast Preaching Festival, renowned speaker and author of Uncommon Decency: Christian Civility in an Uncivil World Dr. Richard Mouw will address these questions and more.

ABOUT DR. RICHARD MOUW

After earning his Ph.D. in Philosophy at the University of Chicago, Richard J. Mouw taught in the Calvin College Philosophy Department for 17 years. In 1985 he moved to Fuller Theological Seminary, and beginning in 1993 he served as Fuller’s president for two decades. He has now returned to full-time teaching at Fuller as Professor of Faith and Public Life. The author of 20 books, in 2007 Princeton Theological Seminary awarded him the Abraham Kuyper Prize for Excellence in Reformed Theology and Public Life. He served for six years as co-chair of the official Reformed-Catholic Dialogue and is a leader in interfaith theological conversations, particularly with Mormons and Jewish groups. In 2012 the American Jewish Committee presented him with its first Shalom Award for Interfaith Cooperation.

REGISTER NOW:

 

Learn more about the Bast Preaching Festival at WTS

The 7th Annual Leonard F. Stoutemire Lecture in Multicultural Ministry

“Evangelicalism and the Failure of Racial Reconciliation”

with Rev. Dr. Soong-Chan Rah

The Milton B. Engebretson Professor of Church Growth and Evangelism
North Park Theological Seminary, Chicago, IL

September 19, 2017 at 1:30pm in Mulder Chapel

Rev. Dr. Soong-Chan Rah draws from his book, Return to Justice, authored with Gary Vanderpol, as he discusses the lessons learned from early attempts at racial reconciliation among U.S. evangelicals in the 1960s and 70s.

A greater awareness of the need for racial reconciliation has been noticeable in US evangelicalism over the last decade. More churches are seeking to become ethnically diverse as society moves towards greater diversity. While many streams engage this topic, we are oftentimes unaware of historical examples of attempts at racial reconciliation among US evangelicals. In this lecture, Dr. Rah examines the rise of African-American Evangelicalism in the 1960s and 1970s. Through key figures and stories, we will seek lessons to be learned from early attempts at racial reconciliation among US evangelicals.

Dr. Rah founded the Cambridge Community Fellowship Church, a multi-ethnic church focused on urban ministry and committed to living out the values of racial reconciliation and social justice in the urban context of Cambridge, MA.

He previously served as an InterVarsity staff worker at MIT.

Suggested readings to prepare for lecture:

  • Chapter 5: “African American Evangelicals” in Return to Justice (Brazos, 2016).
  • “Epilogue” to Soong-Chan Rah, Prophetic Lament (IVP Books, 2015).

In addition to co-writing Return to Justice (Brazos, 2016), Dr. Rah has written Prophetic Lament (A Commentary on the book of Lamentations from IVP Books, 2015); The Next Evangelicalism (IVP Books, 2009); Many Colors (Moody, 2010); and Forgive Us (Zondervan, 2014).

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