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Trinity makes final preparations for Reformation conference Sept. 14-15

Trinity CommunicationsAugust 16, 2017

Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (TEDS) is finishing preparations for a national conference that explores the 500th anniversary of the Reformation from the perspective of Scripture’s power to transform theology and ministry.

“Reformation and the Ministry of the Word” is set for Sept. 14-15 on the Deerfield campus. Online registration is $125. Presentations scheduled for the two-day event feature TEDS faculty and scholars from across the country.

Scholars scheduled visit Deerfield for the conference include Timothy George, Dean of Samford University’s Beeson Divinity School, Michael Haykin of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Ron Rittgers of Valparaiso University, Michael Horton of Westminster Seminary-California, and Kevin DeYoung, senior pastor of Christ Covenant Church in Matthews, N.C.

TEDS faculty members scheduled to make presentations include President David S. Dockery, Assistant Professor of Biblical and Systematic Theology David J. Luy, Professor of Biblical and Systematic Theology Tom McCall, and Professor of Church History Scott M. Manetsch, who is also one of the conference coordinators.

“The Reformation was a dynamic renewal movement unleashed by God’s powerful word that changed the face of western Christianity,” Manetsch said. “Our conference will explore the Bible’s transformative impact on the theology and ministry practice of Protestant churches, both then and now.”

The conference will feature six lectures, an introductory presentation, a chapel sermon, and an address during the conference banquet. Some speakers already have provided brief summaries of their planned addresses.

The introductory address is titled “Why Evangelicals Need the Reformation,” (Sept. 14, 11 a.m.) with Beeson Dean Timothy George. He is the general editor of the Reformation Commentary on Scripture, a 28-volume series of 16th century exegetical comment. George is the founding dean of Beeson Divinity School, serves as a senior editor for Christianity Today, and on the editorial advisory boards of First ThingsHarvard Theological Review, and Books & Culture.

Lecture #1 is titled “The Bible and Exegesis,” (Sept. 14, 1 p.m.) with Scott Manetsch of TEDS. From Manetsch:The Bible and its interpretation was at the epicenter of theological controversy and religious change in the sixteenth century.  This lecture will highlight the crucial role that the Bible played in the Protestant Reformation, exploring the impact that humanist biblical scholarship had on the production and interpretation of the Bible, and various ways that reformers like Luther and Calvin promoted scriptural literacy in their churches.”

Lecture #2 is titled “The Bible and Preaching,” (Sept. 14, 2:30 p.m.) with Michael Haykin, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. From Haykin: “There is no doubt that preaching was utterly central to the advance of the Protestant Reformation. This presentation will begin with an overall consideration of the importance of preaching to the Reformation, and then focus on the preaching of one Reformer, the English preacher Hugh Latimer (c. 1485-1555).”

Lecture #3 is titled “The Bible and Pastoral Care,” (Sept. 14, 4 p.m.) with Ron Rittgers, Valparaiso University. From Rittgers:This paper will seek to challenge the disenchantment thesis from a novel vantage point. It will seek to show how Protestants adopted a sacramental view of the Bible as they engaged in pastoral care. The Word was not simply a source of truth and divine revelation for the Protestant clergy; it was also a means of grace, especially as they ministered to the sick and the suffering. Even as Protestant Reformers rejected a number of traditional ways of accessing the divine, they developed a very important new one that soon became ubiquitous—Scripture as sacrament.”

The conference banquet on Thursday evening (Sept. 14 at 5:45-9 p.m.) will feature an address from Trinity President David S. Dockery, who will speak on “Martin Luther’s Christological Principles: Implications for Biblical Authority and Biblical Interpretation.” From Dockery:This presentation will explore Martin Luther’s approach to biblical authority and hermeneutical theory, apart from which the Protestant Reformation would have been impossible. In addition, the presentation will not only seek to examine Luther’s hermeneutical principles, but will look at the implications of Luther’s Christological approach to biblical interpretation.”

Dockery is the institution’s 15th president, assuming office in 2014, following an 18-year tenure as president of Union University in Jackson, Tenn. He has produced 30 books as an author or editor, and has spoken at about 60 Christian colleges and universities in North America and around the world.

Lecture #4 is titled “The Bible and Sanctification,” (Sept. 15, 8:50 a.m.) with Tom McCall, TEDS. McCall works at the intersections of systematic theology with biblical, historical, and philosophical theology.  His research interests focus on the doctrines of the Trinity, Christology, hamartiology, and soteriology.

Lecture #5 is titled “The Bible and Justification,” (Sept. 15, 10 a.m.) with Michael Horton, Westminster Seminary. From Horton: “In this lecture I will draw a line from the initial protest, represented by the Ninety-Five Theses, to the reformer’s gradual movement toward his mature doctrine of justification.  In addition, drawing on the most important debates both with Roman Catholic critics and some fellow reformers, I summarize the basic elements of the doctrine of justification as embraced by all of the magisterial reformers.  I conclude by pointing out the relevance of this doctrine for the church and its mission today.”

The chapel address is titled “Justification for Today,” (Sept. 15, 11 a.m.) with Kevin DeYoung, Senior Pastor of Christ Covenant Church. From DeYoung: “Before the doctrine of justification turned Western civilization upside down, it turned Martin Luther’s heart right-side up.  As a medieval monk with an active conscience, he knew what it was to feel condemned.  Strangely enough, so do most of our contemporaries.  While our neighbors and Facebook friends may not think of themselves as crushed under the weight of law, in truth we live in a world haunted by the ‘strange persistence of guilt.’ This makes the doctrine of justification as important as ever—both in getting it right and in getting it out.”

Lecture #6 is “The Bible and the Priesthood of All Believers,” (Sept. 15, 1:30 p.m.) David Luy, TEDS. From Luy:Luther’s views are interpreted as a prelude to characteristics typical of late modernity in the West.  Narratives of this sort typically emphasize deconstructive aspects and fail to consider the positive, ecclesiological importance Luther himself attached to the universal priesthood.  This lecture joins a number of contemporary voices in an attempt to remedy this lacuna.”

This conference is co-sponsored by InterVarsity Press. Full presentation descriptions, short bibliographies, and speaker biographies are available at

Accommodations within walking distance of the conference are available at the Bannockburn La Quinta Inn, which will provide a Trinity discount upon request.

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