Reformation Lecture Available

Commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation by watching Stephen Chester’s lecture, “Reading the Bible with Luther after 500 Years: Reflections on Luther’s Legacy and Why It Still Matters.” The recording is available here (lecture begins at 8.20, with image corrected at 12 minutes).

As both Bible translator and interpreter, Martin Luther revolutionized the experience of engaging God’s word for millions of Christians. Yet 500 years later, just as in his own lifetime, Luther’s legacy is still very much contested. What was the nature of Luther’s achievement with the Bible? In the midst of all the controversy surrounding Luther, can we gain a clear picture of his contribution? And as readers of Scripture today, what should we be thankful for and what must we be cautious about? What is best left in the sixteenth century and what might still be vital for us as we struggle faithfully to interpret the same texts in and for contemporary contexts?

Following the lecture, Dr. Chester engages with the following audience questions:

  • Can Luther’s Pauline interpretation and that of the New Perspective on Paul be harmonized? (at 52.30 min)
  • What was the content of Luther’s spiritual despair (Anfechtungen), and can his experience of despair leading to spiritual insight prove pastorally useful? (58.40)
  • If Luther and Calvin were sitting down together, what would they talk about? (104.20)
  • Did Luther’s understanding of the gospel cure his obsessive scrupulosity – perhaps OCD, as Ian Osborne, Can Christianity Cure Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, argues? (107.30)
  • To what extent did Luther’s reading of Scripture lead to his anti-Jewish writings? Can we disentangle this from ways Luther read Paul rightly? (111.25)
  • What role did Katharine von Bora, Luther’s wife, play in Luther’s life and reforming work? (115.20)
  • How can we bring reformation to today’s church as Luther did to his? (120.17)

Happy Reformation Day, 2017!

Reading the Bible with Martin Luther after 500 Years

Join us October 27 for a public lecture commemorating the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, co-sponsored by North Park Theological Seminary and the Commission on Covenant History.

Delivering the lecture is New Testament professor Stephen Chester, whose Covenant Quarterly article, “Reading Paul with the Reformers,” draws from his recent book, Reading Paul with the Reformers: Reconciling Old and New Perspectives (Eerdmans, 2017).

Reading the Bible with Martin Luther after 500 Years: Reflections on Luther’s Legacy and Why It Still Matters” will begin at 7:30pm in Isaacson Chapel, Nyvall Hall, located on North Park’s campus, 3225 W. Foster Avenue.

As both Bible translator and interpreter, Martin Luther revolutionized the experience of engaging God’s word for millions of Christians. Yet 500 years later, just as in his own lifetime, Luther’s legacy is still very much contested. What was the nature of Luther’s achievement with the Bible? In the midst of all the controversy surrounding Luther, can we gain a clear picture of his contribution? And as readers of Scripture today, what should we be thankful for and what must we be cautious about? What is best left in the sixteenth century and what might still be vital for us as we struggle faithfully to interpret the same texts in and for contemporary contexts?

Please join us! For those not in the Chicagoland area, the lecture will be recorded and subsequently published here.

NPTS Post-Election Statement

The faculty and staff of North Park Theological Seminary offer the following statement in response to our current national climate. Though we write primarily to our students, we hope to bless our larger community of faith as we all engage in dialogue, discernment, and action.


The United States has experienced a contentious election and post-election season marked by fear, polarization, and violence. The political climate reveals longstanding national sins of racism, elevation of whiteness, misogyny, nativism, and economic disparity. As faculty and staff members of North Park Theological Seminary who represent varying degrees of privilege and power, we join our voices with those who are most vulnerable.

We submit to the Lordship of Christ who humbled himself unto death. As members of his body, we strive to consider others above ourselves (Phil. 2:2–8) and to serve one another in humility (Matt. 20:26–28). As one body, if one member suffers, all suffer (1 Cor. 12:26); if one weeps, the body laments with them (Rom. 12:15).

A large part of our community is weeping. The fear of deportation is real. The anxiety of being assaulted is real. The fear of being forgotten or mistreated is real. Many people of color, women, and other marginalized groups feel increasingly alienated not only in the political context but in much of the white evangelical culture as well.

Regardless of where Christians stand politically, the gospel demands we recognize vulnerable populations among us who find themselves further marginalized in the wake of the recent election. The gospel also demands that Christians recognize ways we benefit from and participate in structural injustices. Ignoring policies that denigrate and even endanger vulnerable groups is not a faithful option, even if privilege allows some to do so. When we have power, we use it justly and for the good of all.

In the midst of real suffering within our community, we seek not only to love our neighbor but to know our neighbor (Lk. 10:29), through our conversations, classroom discussions, and times of prayer. We hope to embody a community in which walls of hostility are broken down (Eph. 2:14) and where love casts out all fear (1 John 4:18).

 

Deb Auger
James Bruckner
Mary Chase-Ziolek
Stephen Chester
Michelle Clifton-Soderstrom
Paul de Neui
Timothy L. Johnson
David Kersten
Ellen M. Kogstad
Max Lee
Alexandria Macias
Hauna Ondrey
Amy Oxendale-Imig
Luke Palmerlee
Deborah Penny
John E. Phelan, Jr.
Elizabeth Pierre
Soong-Chan Rah
Stephen Spencer
Al Tizon
Emily Wagner


Related material | “NPTS Faculty Statement on Race & the Justice System”

Collaborate on Forum

Welcome to the Forum. In conjunction with the Covenant Quarterly, this site exists to foster dialogue around relevant pastoral and theological issues.

That is to say, the purpose of this site extends beyond learning from individual contributors – though we do hope such learning will happen. The preeminent purpose of Forum is to learn from one another. Collaboration through shared insights, counterpoints, experiences, and questions facilitates our collective growth in wisdom and love of God and neighbor.

We invite you to collaborate with us. Here are some ways to begin:

  • Join the conversation. Forum posts are intentionally dialogical. Do you have a question for the author? A counterpoint or relevant experience that will move the conversation forward? Share these in the comments section.
  • Write for us. Do you want to respond formally to a Quarterly article? Do you have insight to share with fellow clergy regarding how a given topic impacts your ministry? We welcome you to get in touch to discuss contributing to Forum. You’ll find simple guidelines and upcoming themes here.
  • Share your feedback. Our mission is to to foster theological reflection on ministerial praxis in service to clergy. Let us know how can we best pursue this mission. Are there topics that call for engagement? Do you have ideas for post types? Let us know.
  • Suggest a contributor. Productive dialogue is only possible if participants have a diversity of perspectives. Who does the church need to hear from? Introduce us – and the larger church – to wise voices, on upcoming topics or other relevant topics.

Forum is a conversation; enrich it with your participation.

Who Is Forum?

Forum is a community of people learning together.

Forum is edited by Hauna Ondrey, with the technical assistance of Andy Meyer and design skill of Joanna Wilkinson, in collaboration with the seminary’s Library and Publications Committee and an external Advisory Committee.

Contributors to Forum are pastors, theologians, students, chaplain, administrators, and friends of the Evangelical Covenant Church. We try our best to learn from the rich diversity of the ECC, not only in terms of race, gender, and ethnicity but also age, theological perspective, vocation, and location.

Finally, Forum includes you, the reader. Forum posts are intentionally interactive and dialogical. This site seeks to spur conversation, questions, responses, and collaboration among those who desire to explore how theology and ministry mutually inform each other in the church and world today.

Join us.

What Is Forum?

Welcome to Forum, the companion site of the Covenant Quarterly, the ministerial journal of the Evangelical Covenant Church. Published through North Park Theological Seminary with the support of Covenant Publications and the Covenant Ministerium, the Covenant Quarterly has been published since 1941 and published online since 2015. In conjunction with the Covenant Quarterly, this site exists to foster dialogue around relevant pastoral and theological issues.

Forum provides a place for Covenant clergy, and other interested readers, to dialogue about theological issues raised in Covenant Quarterly articles. It is a space for creative thinking, hard questions, open conversation, and exchange of ideas regarding how our theology affects our ministerial practice, and vice versa.

Forum posts are published in conjunction with journal issues, each February, May, August, and November, with new posts every Tuesday. Posts either introduce journal content or host conversation it generates.

We invite you to be part of this ongoing conversation. 

(See also, “Who Is Forum?” and “Collaborate on Forum.”)