My friend Dr Jonathan Rowe is presently the Principal of the Seminario Evangélico Unido de Teología, Madrid, Spain. I first met Jonathan when we were working on our doctorates – he in biblical ethics and me in theological ethics. We were part of the first group of PhD students to benefit from the mentorship and comradeship of the Kirby Laing Institute for Christian Ethics based in Tyndale House in Cambridge, UK. Because I had lived and worked in Portugal, Jonathan and I shared an experiential bond of ministry on the Iberian peninsula. We soon hit it off personally and recognized a need for theology, ethics and biblical studies to share conversations directed toward the church and the church’s mission, and not just fellow academics.
From this concern has grown the ‘Missional Ethics’ project that is rolling out on both sides of the Atlantic this summer. ‘Missional ethics’ speaks of the missionary dimensions of the life of the people of God and the ethical features of mission. The connection between mission and ethics is fundamental for how we perceive our common life in the Spirit.
We have organized 2 conferences this summer, and one of those is here at Biola, (the other in Cambridge) inviting speakers to address the intersection of theology, ethics and mission aiming their comments broadly for both undergrad and grad students, church leaders and members alike. (Reader: that means YOU!) Whilst academic disciplines often develop in isolation when taught in separated specialized courses, church life tells us that ethics and mission are lived out in the same reality of everyday witness.
By the way, one thing I struggle with as I fulfil my professional obligation to attend and present at conferences, is the lack of conferring that actually goes on. I won’t be the only one who can say that the informal mealtime conversations are often the highlight of even the most high flying of conferences. So, the high-flyingness of this day conference is going to be largely determined by what we together make of the suggestions in the papers. Discussion time is going to hammer out the practicality and obstacles and concerns on the ground level of ministry and discipleship. To help that along Biola faculty respondents will help stir up conversation so that conference participants can genuinely confer.
Here are the details, please come!:
Venue: Talbot School of Theology, Myers Room 109.
Please register your intended participation by e-mailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
8.30 am Arrival & Coffee
8:45 am Welcome
9.00 am Matt Jenson – Church
Matt Jenson is a theologian teaching in Biola University's Torrey Honors Institute. He is author (with David Wilhite) of The Church: A guide for the perplexed, and The Gravity of Sin, as well as numerous reviews and articles.
9:40 am Respondent – Uche Anizor, Assistant Professor of Theology -Talbot School of Theology
9:50 am Paper Discussion
10:30 am Break
10.45 am Daniel Carroll R. – Immigration
Daniel Carroll R. is the Distinguished Professor of Old Testament at Denver Theological Seminary. He is the author and editor of numerous book and articles, including Christians at the Border: Immigration, the Church, and the Bible and Character Ethics and the Old Testament: Moral Dimensions of Scripture.
11:30 am Respondent – Rick Langer, Director of the Office for the Integration of Faith and Learning – Biola University
11:40 pm Paper Discussion
12:15 pm Lunch Break (food venues available on and off campus)
1:45 pm Sarah Ruble - Packaging
Sarah Ruble is an historian teaching in the Religion department at Gustavus Adolphus College, St Peter, Minnesota. Her PhD research was on nineteenth and twentieth-century evangelical Protestantism and the history of missions. Her first book will explore the relationship between post-World War II missionaries and American culture.
2:30 pm Respondent – Jason McMartin, Assistant Professor of Theology - Talbot School of Theology and Rosemead School of Psychology
2:45 pm Paper Discussion
3:15 pm Break
3:30 pm Andy Draycott – Preaching
Andy Draycott is a theologian teaching in Biola University's Biblical Studies department. His doctoral research explored the missionary thrust of contemporary political theology in terms of preaching as public speech. He has edited a collection of sermons by Christian Ethicist Oliver O'Donovan as The Word in Small Boats.
4:10 pm Respondent – Darian Lockett, Associate Professor of New Testament -Talbot School of Theology
4:20 pm Paper Discussion
5:00 pm Closing Remarks