Evangelical Theology—Challenges and Opportunities

Many theologians, pastors, and lay people who have used the term “Evangelical” to describe themselves recently have become quite wary of the designation.

This is largely due to the way the media has hijacked the term to describe a certain segment of the American population who are typically identified with a narrow range of political and ideological views.

But “Evangelical” was not always a term with such a narrow meaning.

On October 20-21, 2017 (Friday evening, all-day Saturday) Northeastern Seminary will host a theology conference to explore the full-orbed meaning of “Evangelical.” This conference will be co-sponsored with the Canadian-American Theological Association.

Our keynote speaker will be Dr. Richard Mouw, Professor of Faith and Public Life at Fuller Theological Seminary (where he previously served as President for twenty years).

Dr. Mouw is the author of numerous books, including Uncommon Decency: Christian Civility in an Uncivil World (rev. ed. IVP, 2010), Called to the Life of the Mind: Some Advice for Evangelical Scholars (Eerdmans, 2014), and his autobiography, Adventures in Evangelical Civility: A Lifelong Quest for Common Ground (Brazos, 2016).

Dr. Mouw’s will give two lectures on the theme of the conference: Evangelical Theology: New Challenges, New Opportunities.

These lectures will explore the continuing value of the term “Evangelical” in the twenty-first century, while tracing the history of its meaning and usage over the past hundred years.

  1. A public lecture on Friday evening, October 20: New Challenges for Evangelical Theology
  2. The keynote lecture for the conference on Saturday, October 21: New Opportunities for Evangelical Theology

Besides Dr. Mouw’s lectures, we are expecting to have a wide range of papers related to the conference theme.

Our first such conference in 2013, on New Creation, had 65 papers presented; and our more recent conference in 2016, on Participation in God’s Mission, had 45 papers.

Interested scholars, pastors, and students are invited to propose papers for the conference. You may download the call for papers here. The deadline for proposals is June 1, 2017.

Once the conference program is decided, further information will be made available on the dedicated Northeastern Seminary website for the conference. The site will include online registration as we get closer to the conference.

Graduate students, post-docs, and pre-tenured faculty are invited to submit finished papers by September 15 for the Jack and Phyllis Middleton Memorial Award for Excellence in Bible and Theology.

In a follow-up post, I will describe something of the history and mission of the conference co-sponsor, the Canadian-American Theological Association, which began in 1990 (under the name the Canadian Evangelical Theological Association) specifically as an alternative to the narrowness of the way “Evangelical” was being used in the USA.

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Fall Theology Conference with Iain Provan (October 15, 2016)

The Canadian Evangelical Theological Association (CETA) has two theology conferences each year. One occurs at the end of May/early June, in conjunction with the Congress of Humanities and Social Sciences of Canada. The other (which was inaugurated in 2012) is held in the Fall (usually in October), in conjunction with a local theological seminary or college.

The Fall 2016 CETA theology conference will be co-sponsored with the Associated Canadian Theological Schools (ACTS seminaries), a consortium of theological schools located on the campus of Trinity Western University, in Langley, BC.

The date for the Fall conference is Saturday, October 15, 2016, and the keynote speaker is Iain Provan, Marshall Sheppard Professor of Biblical Studies at Regent College, in Vancouver, BC. Dr. Provan’s book Seriously Dangerous Religion: What the Old Testament Really Says and Why It Matters (Baylor, 2014) won the 2016 R.B.Y. Scott Book Award at the Canadian Society of Biblical Studies.

You may access the conference website here.

Click here for online registration. Early bird rates are in effect before September 20.

Call for Papers for the Canadian Evangelical Theological Association Annual Meeting in Calgary, May 29, 2016

The Canadian Evangelical Theological Association (CETA) has two theology conferences each year. One occurs at the end of May/early June, in conjunction with the Congress of Humanities and Social Sciences of Canada. The other (which was inaugurated in 2012) is held in the Fall (usually in October), in conjunction with a local theological seminary or college.

This year both CETA conferences will be in Western Canada, giving the Association an opportunity to reach out to professors, graduate students, and pastors from the region who are interested in theological reflection for the sake of the church.

CETA Congress Meeting (May 29, 2016)

This year the Congress of Humanities and Social Sciences will meet at the University of Calgary, and the CETA meeting will be on Sunday, May 29, 2016.

The executive of CETA have extended the deadline for receiving paper proposals for the Calgary meeting until February 15. You can download the extended Call for Papers here.

CETA Fall Conference (October 15, 2016)

The Fall CETA theology conference will be held in conjunction with the Associated Canadian Theological Schools (ACTS seminaries), a consortium of theological schools located on the campus of Trinity Western University, in Langley, BC. The date for the Fall conference is Saturday, October 15, 2016, and the keynote speaker will be Iain Provan, Marshall Sheppard Professor of Biblical Studies at Regent College, in Vancouver, BC. When the Call for Papers for this conference is ready, I will post an announcement.

NES Theology Conference (March 18-19, 2016)

Remember that registration is open for the theology conference at Northeastern Seminary on March 18-19, 2016, with Michael Gorman as the keynote speaker (Gorman will give a public lecture the Friday evening of March 18, and another lecture during the conference proper on Saturday, March 19). The response to the Call for Papers was phenomenal, with the result that there will likely be about forty concurrent papers offered on a variety of topics under the broad umbrella of the conference theme, Participation in God’s Mission. Discounted registration lasts until February 8.