Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Chris Satullo: "Brood of Vipers: The media, the Gospel and public life"

Convocation: Tuesday, November 18, 2008
The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, Brossman Learning Center

Chris Satullo, formerly a columnist and director of civic engagement at The Philadelphia Inquirer, and now Executive Director of News and Civic Dialogue at Philadelphia public broadcaster WHYY, explored the connections between the media, faith and the public in a lecture entitled "Brood of Vipers: The media, the Gospel and public life" at the Tuesday, November 18 convocation at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP).

Satullo previously was editorial page editor of The Inquirer, serving in that role for seven years. Before taking the position at WHYY, he was at the paper 19 years. He founded and directed the Inquirer's Citizen Voices program, an effort to engage readers in deeper political dialogue, and wrote a regular column called Center Square.

Chris Satullo: "Brood of Vipers:
The media, the Gospel and public life"

introduction by The Rev. Dr. Katie Day,
Charles A. Schieren Professor, Church and Society; Director, Metropolitan/Urban Concentration

Monday, November 10, 2008

Reading the Bible – Biblical Interpretation

The Fall Alumni Forum
Monday, November 10, 2008
The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, Brossman Learning Center

LTSP Faculty: The Rev. Dr. Timothy Wengert, Ministerium of Pennsylvania Professor of Church History, and Dr. Erik Heen, Professor of New Testament and Greek, are the lecturers at this Alumni Fall Forum.

Professor Wengert spoke on the topic Reading the Bible with Martin Luther, touching on the unique characteristics of Reformation insights into reading the Bible, examining such issues as the authority of Scripture (strength in weakness), the canon of Scripture (what to do with James), and the effect of Scripture (law and gospel). Prof. Wengert has spent his career investigating the history of biblical interpretation, especially as an aspect of Reformation theology and practice.

Reading the Bible with Martin Luther
The Rev. Dr. Timothy Wengert

Professor Heen's topic, Reading the Bible with St. Paul, focuses on how Paul’s "Damascus Experience" fundamentally changed his understanding of Scripture, giving rise to what has been called the "Christocentric" reading of the Bible. Paul’s development in hermeneutics is to suggest the dangers of both "proof-texting" as well as readings of the OT that do not discern Christ as the center of the Word of God of both testaments. Dr. Heen's specific New Testament research interests include Paul and the history of biblical interpretation.

Reading the Bible with St. Paul
Dr. Erik Heen

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Quodlibet 2008 - Prof. Erik Heen

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Distinguished Presenter: Dr. Erik Heen, Professor of New Testament and Greek

From the Great Plains to the Cross: Professor Erik Heen's Quodlibetal message

Through Scripture, God reveals God's self to us to us through Christ crucified on the cross for our sins. That reality alone makes it a good thing to read the Bible.

And in keeping in mind the theology of the cross a great challenge for disoriented believers I to constantly keep their guard up against that "trickster" the devil, lest we allow the devil to substitute for God "something less than God."

These points and many others were delivered Tuesday, Nov. 4, by Dr. Erik Heen, professor of New Testament and Greek at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia. He was the annual "Quodlibet" respondent, dealing with "any question whatever" that had been posed to him the week before by the seminary community.

  • Heen traced the Great Plains roots of his upbringing with affection, noting that "real people stand behind" the pietistic perspectives found in the Midwest. Heen added that there is a limit to how much one can generalize from the specificity of one's influential social location experienced during formative years. He cautioned against unduly disparaging Pietism and the tendencies to generalize narrowly, noting that "real people stand behind" Pietistic perspectives.. A theological principle of Pietism, he said, is "that righteousness is granted us by the grace of God through the death of Jesus." He said this understanding should never come at anyone else's expense.

  • Heen noted that the hard-working farmers he had grown up with seldom had much money, were hard-working and had little in the way of formal education, but they were diligent about their faith and the reading of Scripture. The rise of education today has had much to do with the way the Bible is read, and these changes are not always for the better.

  • Sin comes with a capital "S" and a small "s." The small "s" has to do with behaviors such as chemical dependency. The capital "S" form of sin has to do with our unbelief in God, which denies the voice of a believer's conscience, and thus separates us from God - a form of death. This reality needs to be a focus of one's theological concern and is frequently a reality believers do not comprehend because "we are so disoriented."

  • A knowledge of God "is possible only through a theology of revelation," Heen said. "For Paul the cross was the central revelation event. Christ crucified for Paul was the sole basis for theological knowledge, the way God speaks to the world. The cross reaches out in our disorientation to save the world."

  • Heen also spent considerable time discussing the Bible as "inspired" and the subject of Biblical inerrancy. He concluded his perspective by saying "yes" to the notion the Bible is an inspired book and "no" to the notion of Biblical inerrancy.