Archive for the 'Theological Conference' Category

I was looking through some old copies of Anthony Buzzard’s “Focus on the Kingdom” newsletter today and re-read an article in it that I enjoyed reading all over again (though it has been over six years since I first read it).  The following is from a woman who attended the 2004 Theological Conference in Atlanta GA and presented the story of her own personal faith journey during the yearly segment that centers on that subject and allows people in attendance to tell the audience their own stories. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did.

My Spiritual Journey

by Diane M.

A few weeks back our Australian brothers and sisters held their first Theological Conference for those who believe in the gospel of the kingdom and the creed of Jesus. A participant and coordinator of the conference, Paul Herring, emailed me a link to the audio files and papers (click here). Since the audios were in .wma format and many iPods cannot play this file type, I have converted them to .mp3 and produced the table below. I have only listened to the first talk by our esteemed colleague, Greg Deuble, and enjoyed it very much. On a technical note, the first and sixth talks had to be extracted from the video recording so there is a bit of room noise on them but they are still quite intelligible. If you have a moment, visit their site, called Restoration Fellowship of Australia. Also, for a detailed schedule of the conference, including pictures of the presenters as well as abstracts of each of the talks, click here.

I’ve been a bit steeped into the conference lately, having written all those stream-of-conscience reviews of the papers.  I was particularly struck by Ray Faircloth’s paper on predestination in Romans 9.  It gave a very vivid and nuanced understanding of predestination based on the three metaphors/stories in the chapter.  I would encourage all to check out the lecture and paper, as I would for all the presentations.  Lennox’s presentation was also very pointed and well done.  Between his and Chuck Jones, the conference was well balanced with pertinent pastoral information as well as theological truth.

As the conference was in progress, JohnO and I were live-blogging and uploading the audios. However, I thought it would be helpful to have all of the talks in the same place under one post. In addition, I now have many of the actual papers which are useful to follow along with while listening to the audio. DVDs of this conference are available for a fee by ordering from Restoration Fellowship. Unfortunately, the questions did not come out on many of the audio recordings, however, the DVD version should have them. In addition, Michelle Cox has put together a slideshow from the conference with lots of pictures (click here).

Click here to listen to Discerning the Difference Between Two Opposed Theologies presented by Anthony Buzzard, Apr 30th 2008, Atlanta Georgia. Commentary by John Obelenus

Anthony opens by explaining to us that distorted versions of the faith, held up by theological and spiritual leaders in high places, fight against the revealed biblical truth. He spotlights Swindoll and Zuck’s Understanding Christian Theology as a perfect example of this distorted version of the faith from the evangelical camp.

Click here to listen to My Story: To God Be The Glory presented by Joel Hemphill, Apr 30th 2008, Atlanta Georgia. Commentary by Sean Finnegan.

Famed gospel singer, Joel Hemphill, the surprise guest of the conference, delivered a riveting message about his story with God from his initial conversion at 10 years old to his recent arrival at the biblical unitarian position from his prior oneness (Jesus only) viewpoint. He speaks with lucidity, energy, and humility and the story he tells is gripping.

He has sent out over 130,000 tracts to various pastors and church leaders around America proclaiming his new found faith in the one God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Jesus. His book, To God Be The Glory documents his research on this subject.

Click here to listen to Looking for the Historical Jesus: In Between Evangelical and Liberal Scholarship presented by Sean Finnegan, Apr 29th 2008, Atlanta Georgia. Commentary by John Obelenus

Sean tells us a story of a girl he met in Borders. He was unable to give her a good introductory book to the Christian faith. He knew the kinds of books on the shelves: the evangelical ‘Jesus-is-God’ type, and the liberal ‘there are no miracles-Jesus is a failed prophet’ type. We need to find a middle road between these two, as they both offer good points and bad points.

He starts with the good news about evangelical scholarship:

Click here to listen to Religion and Politics: A Fresh Look at Imperial Overtones in the New Testament presented by Dustin Smith, Apr 29th 2008, Atlanta Georgia. Commentary by John Obelenus

The thesis of Dustin’s paper is that Paul is using specific phrases and words traditionally used in the context of the Caesar cult (the worship of the Roman emperor as a divine figure in the pantheon) that are re-appropriated for use in the preaching of Jesus as the Messiah, God’s representative.

Click here to listen to The Holy Spirit in the Old Testament presented by Jesse Acuff, Apr 29th 2008, Atlanta Georgia. Commentary by John Obelenus

“Whatever holds back a spirit of inquiry is favorable to error, whatever promotes it, to truth. But nothing, it will be acknowledged, has a greater tendency to obstruct the spirit of inquiry, than the spirit and feeling of party. Let a doctrine, however erroneous, become a party distinction, and it is at once entrenched in interests and attachments which make it extremely difficult for the most powerful artillery of reason to dislodge it.” – John Wilson

Click here to listen to Modern Idolatry or The Other Gospel as presented by Chuck Jones, Apr 29 2008, Atlanta Georgia. Commentary by Sean Finnegan.

Chuck Jones is a pastor of a congregation in Pomona, California. His presentation focused on the subject of idolatry. First, he looked to the Old Testament to describe six examples of idolatry. Next he moved on to look at how idolatry is used, in a somewhat wider sense, in the New Testament. Finally he spoke about “false saviors and other gospels” and how we our prone to wander into putting our trust in goodness, power, wisdom, wealth, a need for significance, etc.

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