The Bast Preaching Festival


2014 Fall Festival (Nov 9-10) with Rev. Eugene Peterson

Be inspired and renewed at the Bast Preaching Festival as we engage our vocation of preaching, our call as pastors and our lives as disciples.

This year, our featured guest is Eugene H. Peterson. He will join us in conversation around the importance of “Eating the Book” we are called to preach. Eugene Peterson is professor emeritus of spiritual theology at Regent College in Vancouver. He is the author of over thirty books, including Eat this Book and Tell it Slant.

Discussion groups, TED style talks, and conversations will fill our time together. Newly formed Bast Preaching Peer Groups will gather for the first time at the festival as they begin their journey as cohorts.

Note that the Bast Festival will be preceded on November 8, 2014 by a conference surrounding the new book, “Pastoral Work”. This text is an exploration of Eugene Peterson’s work throughout his life by several contributors. If interested in attending this conference, contact Tara Macias (

The Bast Preaching Festival has developed into a partnership with the Chaplain’s Office at Hope College, where WTS president Rev. Dr. Tim Brown will precede the conference with a “guest sermon” at Hope College’s Sunday evening Gathering at 8:00pm. This portion of the conference is open to the public.

Han-luen Kantzer Komline


Han-luen Kantzer Komline is a PhD candidate in theology at the University of Notre Dame and Faculty Fellow for the academic year 2014-2015 at Western Theological Seminary. There she is teaching two sections of Church History I while she completes her dissertation on Augustine’s conception of will.

Though Augustine’s thinking on will is often treated as just one page in the story of the history of philosophy, her dissertation makes Augustine’s conception of will the subject of a story unto itself, a story with changes and chapters of its own that are vital to grasping the complexity of Augustine’s thinking on this topic. In fact, she argues, it is impossible to tell the story of Augustine’s thinking on will without reference to two further stories: the story of Augustine’s development as a thinker and the overarching story of redemption he finds in Christian scripture. As he matures, Augustine layers page upon page onto his conception of will. Ultimately, the Bishop of Hippo comes to believe that events like creation, fall, redemption and eschaton all have drastic consequences of how human willing works, and even what it “is.” This conviction still shapes us today.

Suzanne McDonald


Suzanne McDonald was born and raised in Australia. She has a B.A. and Masters in English Literature, and it was through studying literature that she came to faith. After working for the Red Cross in Australia and in local government administration in England, Professor McDonald studied theology at Cambridge University, earned her Ph.D. at St. Andrews University, and taught theology at the seminary in Cambridge before accepting the call to come to Calvin five years ago. She recently published the book, Re-Imaging Election: Divine Election as Representing God to Others and others to God.

Dr. Willie Jennings is Associate Professor of Theology and Black Church Studies at Duke Divinity School and the author ofThe Christian Imagination: Theology and the Origins of Race.

The Leonard F. Stoutemire Lecture in Multicultural Ministry is sponsored by the Diversity Committee of Western Theological Seminary in conjunction with the Graduate Certificate of Urban Pastoral Ministry Program. The Leonard F. Stoutemire Lectures in Multicultural Ministry are named in honor of the late Reverend Leonard Foster Stoutemire, pioneer African-American clergyman and church planter to Holland, Michigan. Though originally he wanted to enlist into missionary service on the continent of Africa, in 1944 Stoutemire migrated to Holland to plant the city’s first intentionally multiracial congregation, the All Nations Full Gospel Church of Holland.
The purpose of the lecture series is to equip seminarians, faculty, staff, alumni/ae and local congregations with resources for increased intercultural competence for greater effectiveness in Christian ministry.