This afternoon I’ll drive to Chicago for this year’s Ancient Evangelical Future conference, which focuses on The Church as the Continuation of God’s Narrative.
The conference will apparently feature a live webcast – so tune in if you like! The conference starts at 8pm Eastern Time (7pm Central) with Howard Snyder. I’ll try to embed a video player below this paragraph that should work when the conference goes live tonight.
I’ll also be connecting with David Fitch, a professor and pastor in Chicago whose input I greatly value.
Here’s a list of the speakers and their topics at this conference.
THURSDAY NIGHT 7PM
Tracing the Church’s Journey
Howard Snyder, prof. of Wesley studies, Tyndale Seminary; former prof. of history & theology of mission, Asbury Seminary.
§ The twists and turns, the highways and detours, of the church’s
journey through 2000 years of history and a slew of cultures clarifies
our present challenge.
§ Howard Snyder will help you think about
how that journey will help your congregation effectively come to grips
with its own story and mission in light of “God’s narrative” and the
FRIDAY MORNING 9AM
The Good, the Bad, and the Ridiculous: The Church Visible
Jenell Paris, professor of sociology and anthropology, Messiah College
§ We need an authentic common sense approach to connect the AEF Call to
“take seriously the visible character of the church” with what can be
observed in the everyday life of our congregations.
§ Jenell Paris
will help you think about how your congregation incorporates the good,
the bad, and the ridiculous. She will help you consider the unique
stories of your congregation, and how those stories fit with the larger
story of the church.
FRIDAY AFTERNOON 1:30PM
Can the Church and Capitalism Get Along?
David Fitch, founding pastor, Life on the Vine Christian Community and prof. of evangelical theology, Northern Seminary
§ Despite the benefits they bring us, capitalism and consumerism
distort the church, its fellowship, its spiritual formation, and its
mission. How do we shape a community of Christ that is in capitalism,
but not of it?
§ David Fitch will offer some basic practices we can adopt to protect our churches from being squeezed into capitalism’s mold.
FRIDAY NIGHT 7PM
Preserving the Church’s Story
D. H. Williams, prof. of patristics & historical theology, Baylor University
§ If the church forgets its story, it will be shaped by the world’s stories. We can easily lose our identity and our mission.
To prevent such loss, the ancient church developed a systematic
approach to Christian education. It aimed to preserve its message by
teaching its story. Because many of its members were illiterate, the
church’s message had to be preserved in the minds and hearts of its
SATURDAY MORNING 9AM
Discovering Your Church’s Missional DNA
Rick Richardson, director, masters in evangelism & leadership, Wheaton College
§ Missional is
the new code word in the theology and praxis of ecclesiology. But how
do we become genuinely missional and not just rhetorically missional?
§ Rick Richardson will help you understand what God is doing in
restoring the missional identity of the church, and where your
church—with its unique missional DNA—might fit.
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