Archives For TEDS

In celebration of the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Protestant Reformation, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School is sponsoring an international conference devoted to the Reformation and the Ministry of the Word on its campus on September 14-15.

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

Speakers include Timothy George, Kevin DeYoung, Michael Horton, David Dockery, Jung-Sook Lee, David Luy, Scott Manetsch, and Michael Haykin.

All are welcome and warmly invited. For more information and registration, please see here.

As we inform you of this excellent conference at TEDS, it also provides another opportunity to remind you of our EFCA Theology Conference earlier this year in which we also focused on the 500th anniversary of the posting of Luther’s 95 theses: Reformation 500: Theology and Legacy – God’s Gospel and the EFCA All of the recordings of messages and other resources are located on the website.

I encourage you to consider using these resources in order to learn about and to prepare for the celebration of the Reformation. One option is to listen to them and learn. Another option is to listen to the messages with others and then share and discuss what you learned or what was challenging to you. This would also be a great resource for an elder study this fall.

The heart of the Reformation, Protestantism, Evangelicalism, and the EFCA is found in Theses 1 and 62:

Thesis 1: When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said “Repent,” he intended that the entire life of believers should be repentance.

Thesis 62: The true treasure of the church is the most holy gospel of the glory and grace of God.

The gospel of Jesus Christ is foundational to everything. And the first manifestation of the gospel in one’s life is repentance and humility.

TEDS 50th Anniversary Celebration

Greg Strand – April 23, 2014 Leave a comment

In the fall of 1963 Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, affectionately known as TEDS, classes first convened on the Deerfield campus where the school remains to this day. This school year marks the 50th anniversary of that move. During those years, God has drawn men and women to study at TEDS from all over the world “in order to equip them for the service of ministry in the church, the academy, and a wide variety of other ministry contexts worldwide.”

A special 50th anniversary celebration will be held on May 1 on Trinity’s campus in Deerfield, IL, to celebrate God’s goodness and faithfulness to TEDS. Any and everything that has been done in and through TEDS is because of God’s good and gracious providence. This is a unique time to pause, reflect and give thanks for this. It is also a time to think, ponder and pray about what God has yet in store for TEDS in days to come. By His grace and for His glory, we pray that TEDS will continue to be a humble steward of God’s good gifts.

For some history, it was the vision of Ken Kantzer in his first days of serving as Dean of the school that this move took place. And it was more than just a physical, geographical move. Kantzer changed the way to refer to the school from seminary to divinity school. This influenced the direction of the school, the faculty he pursued and the students he was responsible to prepare for service to Christ in all the various ministry domains of His kingdom. Kantzer “envisioned a broadly evangelical seminary with faculty who were united on the essentials of the faith, such as Jesus’ resurrection and the authority & inerrancy of Scripture, but whose backgrounds represented a wide variety of contributions to evangelical theology and ecclesiology.” All of this was undergirded by Kantzer’s commitment to the gospel of Jesus Christ and the church, both local and global. This vision remains: “Today’s faculty reflects this vision well. The excellence of the faculty’s teaching & writing, the global reach and influence of TEDS alumni, and TEDS’ continued contributions to the local & global church all represent the outworkings of God’s faithfulness set into motion by the course Dr. Kantzer charted.”

The plans for this celebration on Thursday, May 1 at TEDS is a special thanksgiving chapel at 11:00 AM, and an evening celebration service beginning at 6:00 PM. The evening service will have three keynote speakers: Dr. John Woodbridge (Research Professor of Church History and the History of Christian Thought at TEDS), Dr. William L. Kynes (Senior Pastor, Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church in Annandale, VA) and Dr. David S. Dockery (Interim President, TIU, until approved by the EFCA Conference, most recently having served as President, Union University, Jackson, TN).

If you are able, I encourage you to attend this day-long celebration of giving thanks and praise to the Lord for His goodness and faithfulness to TEDS, our EFCA school.

What Are Theologians For?

Greg Strand – October 18, 2013 Leave a comment

Kevin Vanhoozer is one of the premier systematic theologians in Evangelicalism. He serves as Research Professor of Systematic Theology at TEDS, our EFCA seminary. Though his primary place of ministry is in the academy, his primary purpose in ministry is as a servant of and for the church.

Recently he delivered an excellent lecture at TEDS: “What Are Theologians For?: Why Doctors of the Church Prescribe Christian Doctrine.” This was the first in The TEDS Lectures Series I mentioned earlier this week. This is the post I promised.

Vanhoozer believes “what the Church needs now is pastor-theologians” who “prescribe Christian doctrine.” He concludes with seven summary theses.

Doctrine tells us who God is and what God is doing in Christ. So, doctors of the church prescribe doctrine in order to preserve the integrity of our Christian witness.

Second, doctrine tells us who and what we are in Jesus Christ. And doctors of the church prescribe doctrine to preserve the integrity of Christian identity. We’re not like the other nations, we’re a holy nation, a people of a new covenant.

Third, doctrine says of what is in Christ that it is. Doctors of the church prescribe doctrine in order, as I’ve said, to minister reality—the only reliable tonic to the toxins of meaninglessness and nothingness.

Fourth, doctrine restores sinners to their senses. Doctors of the church prescribe doctrine to wake up people who are sleepwalking their way through life, helping us see with the eyes of the heart the bright contours of the splendors of God revealed in Christ.

Fifth, doctrine provides a fiduciary framework for understanding God, the world, and ourselves. And doctors of the church prescribe it to dissipate the mist of confusion and apathy about the meaning of life.

Sixth, doctrine directs the church in the way of wisdom, godliness, and human flourishing. If we prescribe doctrine, we’re clarifying the mission of the church and we’re answering another question, maybe for another time, what are the people of God for?

And seventhly, doctrine instructs not only the head, but orients the heart and guides the hand. Doctors of the church prescribe doctrine so that our faith, hope, and love, our credenda, spiranda, and agenda, will go with the grain of the Gospel and correspond to the historical and eschatological reality of what is in Christ.

So, in sum, theology sets forth in speech what is in Christ. And at its best, it’s the attempt to set forth in persons what Christ is like. That is, doctrine is for growing disciples. . . . I’m suggesting, then, that the pastor-theologian is the church’s primary care physician. Problem is, too many pastors have stopped doctoring.

Vanhoozer answers the question “What are theologians for?” by focusing on the important role the pastor-theologian plays in “growing healthy disciples” who are “being renewed in Christ.”

Theologians are for growing healthy disciples who know how to live along the grain of the created order as it is being renewed in Christ. Theologians are for ministering health to the body of Christ, for helping its members to become little Christs. This is no waste of time. It is the way to redeem the time by cultivating godliness that is the lived knowledge of God. We might say that the real work of theology is the work of getting real, of conforming our speech, thought, and actions to the mind and heart of Jesus Christ who is the index of reality, the repository of all truth, goodness and beauty.

I would encourage you either to watch the video or to read the lecture video transcription. Vanhoozer, as always, provides a great deal of food for thought as he faithfully expounds the biblical and theological teaching on the role of the pastor-theologian. There is much to learn.

Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (TEDS) has begun a new video lecture series to equip those in ministry: The TEDS Lecture Series.

Here is the explanation of this new ministry:

The best way to get to know our community is to see our faculty do what they love: teach. Our upcoming video series will feature classroom lectures by our TEDS faculty, several of which are combined with behind-the-scenes interviews. Learn faculty members’ perspectives on their philosophy of teaching, as well as in-depth answers to questions touched on in the class. Lectures will include:

Introduction to Luke-Acts, by Dr. Dana Harris

What Are Theologians For?, a lecture by Dr. Kevin Vanhoozer

The Book of Hebrews, by Dr. D.A. Carson

Advanced Hebrew Exegesis, by Dr. Dennis Magary

This looks to be an excellent new resource. In fact, I have benefited greatly already by the lecture by Kevin Vanhoozer, which I will be posting later this week.

Evangelicalism

Greg Strand – October 7, 2013 Leave a comment

This year we celebrate the centennial of Carl F. H. Henry’s birth. We also reflect on the implications of his new birth and the significant way God used Henry in the broader movement known as Evangelicalism.

In a recent article in Trinity Magazine (Fall 2013), “The Legacy of Carl F. H. Henry: An Evangelical’s Evangelical,” Doug Sweeney, Professor and Chair of the Church History and History of Christian Thought Department at TEDS, elaborates on Henry’s commitment to evangelical identity writing,

Evangelicalism at its best has been intentionally collaborative, intentionally international, inter-ethnic, and interdenominational. We need to be fed by the deep waters of our own denominational, churchly, and confessional traditions, even as we agree to disagree on secondary matters for the sake of working together for the gospel.

I like Sweeney’s understanding/definition of Evangelicalism!