Posts tagged: Conference

Thy Kingdom Come

By Darrell Yoder on August 26, 2015

Last week, my family joined ten others on a three-day camping trip to Silver Lake State Park on the west coast of Michigan's lower peninsula. It was our last hurrah before school starts, and we loved every minute of it. If you do the math, we had 22 adults and 31 children—53 people relaxing on the beach, swimming, laughing, riding bikes, telling stories and cooking incredible food over an open fire…

Jesus and Avocados

By Steven Lister on September 9, 2015

Most of my adult life, I've struggled with a tension. See, I love reading God's Word. I love going to worship services. But I also love naps. And football. And avocados. Is that okay? Is it okay that out of 52 Sundays of the year I take one of them to go on vacation with my family?

There have been times when I felt it wasn't. Growing up, my church never taught much about creation other than "denying…

Speaker Highlight: Dr. Cornelius Plantinga

By Darrell Yoder on September 14, 2015

We have a fantastic line up of speakers for Talking Points on Oct. 7. Each speaker will explore the topic of new creation theology from a different angle: biblically, theologically, historically and homiletically. To help with this last angle—the task of preaching new creation theology—we have invited Dr. Cornelius (Neal) Plantinga to give a new creation sermon during the conference.

Dr. Plantinga…

Gospel Centered Scholarship: Talking Points Plenary Speaker, Dr. Douglas Moo

By Kris Rolls on September 23, 2015

Dr. Douglas Moo is an influential writer, authoring several books, commentaries and academic journal articles spanning multiple genres of New Testament literature. His primary areas of research include Pauline theology, creation theology, Galatians, Romans and Hebrews.

Dr. Moo has been a significant resource for me as I've studied the New Testament. He is thoughtful, charitable and typically brings…

Yo Cortaré el Pasto!

By Julián Guzmán on September 30, 2015

Yo nací y crecí en la Republica Dominicana y aprendí desde niño que pasaría la eternidad volando como los ángeles, adorando y cantando a Dios para siempre. La idea no me parecía muy atractiva (aunque es mejor que pasarme la eternidad en llamas), y los conceptos bíblicos como "nueva creación" y "cielo nuevo y tierra nueva" eran muy abstractos e intimidantes a la vez. Se me hacía muy difícil reconciliar…

I Will Mow the Lawn!

By Julián Guzmán on October 1, 2015

I was raised in the Dominican Republic and learned as a child that I would spend eternity flying around praising God forever. The idea wasn't very attractive (although better than spending eternity in flames), and biblical concepts like "new creation" and "new heaven and new earth" became abstract and scary. I found it difficult to reconcile the "heaven forever" and the "new earth" ideas. As a good…

Moo, Plantinga, Wittmer and more at Talking Points Conference

By Darrell Yoder on October 5, 2015

On Wednesday, we will hold our next Talking Points Conference on the topic "Thy Kingdom Come," a conversation about New Creation Theology. We pray for God's Kingdom to come "on earth" in the Lord's Prayer, and the New Testament refers often to "new creation" as central to the Gospel and the mission of Christ in the world. What "kingdom" and "new creation" are we talking about, and what difference does…

Miss Talking Points? Get the recordings here

By Darrell Yoder on October 26, 2015

On Oct. 7, pastors and ministry leaders gathered at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary for the Fall 2015 Talking Points conference. The theme of the conference was "Thy Kingdom Come: An Exploration of New Creation Theology." A huge thanks to all who attended and helped make it an amazing day. If you missed it, you can download the recordings here.

Our next Talking Points will be a series in the spring…

Why Do We Struggle With New Creation, and What Do We Do Now? (Part 1)

By Martin Spence on November 2, 2015

In my presentation at the Thy Kingdom Come Talking Points conference, I tried to show how the church has veered away from the idea of new creation throughout history. Some of these turns were made not as the result of an explicit discussion of the end times, but rather as the consequence of some other debate or pastoral concern. Each turn has created an accretion of ideas that make new creation a strange…

Why Do We Struggle With New Creation, and What Do We Do Now? (Part 2)

By Martin Spence on November 6, 2015

New creation is a strange concept for many Bible-believing Christians, in part because of historical twists and turns that have encouraged non-biblical ways of thinking. In my last post, I described two reasons why this has happened—biblical interpretation and pastoral care for those who suffer—and I gave some practical suggestions on how to move forward.

In this post, I want to offer two more reasons…

What Does it Take to Make a Great Sermon?: GRTS to Host Midwest ETS Meeting

By Kris Rolls on March 2, 2016

It should go without saying on this blog—but I will say it anyway: The Bible is essential for the life, health, and sustenance of the Church; it is the very Word of God to his people. Studying the Bible and communicating it effectively, though, requires loving, careful and hard work. Christians should love words—both written and spoken—simply because we are keepers, doers, and lovers of the Word. The…

Dr. Jonathan Greer on How Bible Backgrounds Will Strengthen Your Preaching

By Kris Rolls on February 13, 2017

One of my favorite theologians, Dr. Kevin Vanhoozer, once said, "For, when the church responds to the Word of God as it ought, the church demonstrates the love of God and the mind of Christ, in word and in deed."[1] The catch is, that in order to respond to the Word of God "as we ought," we must understand what Scripture says in the first place. Pastors and teachers must regularly wrestle with what…

Rediscovering the Distance Between Us: Preaching the New Testament

By Kris Rolls on February 22, 2017

What types of biblical literature are easiest for you to preach? What portions of Scripture do you feel most at "home" in while preaching or reading? If you're a Protestant evangelical, chances are you are most at "home" in the New Testament, and even more comfortable in Paul's letters. When compared with Law Code portions of Leviticus, prophetic visions in the Minor Prophets, narrative complexities…

Loving LGBT+ People with the Gospel (Fall 2017 Conference Highlights)

By Darrell Yoder on October 31, 2017

We took on a pressing topic this semester, one that Christians are actively wrestling with. The fall conference focused on "Loving LGBT+ People with the Gospel." We wanted to ask the question: How can churches with a historical, global and Christian view of sexuality and gender become places where LGBT+ people can find love, care and community? How can we cultivate ministries where people can share…

A Change in Posture, Not Theology

By Graham McKeague on November 15, 2017

The opening session of the 2017 Talking Points event effectively laid out the major aspects of discussion. Dr. Sprinkle presented a number of important considerations for pastors, ministry leaders and others to pursue in ministry where "the greatest apologetic for the truth is love."

When Sex Is an Idol, Holiness and Justice Are Both at Stake

By Jo Anna Kelly on December 4, 2017

During the fourth session of the GRTS Talking Points event, we heard from Matt Krieg, licensed therapist and director of Caring Well Counseling. Matt and his wife Laurie travel the world doing what many of us would never dream of doing, and yet they do it with humility and a heart for service. Both Matt and Laurie discuss their respective stories of broken sexuality and the way God has worked in their…

Follow Jesus in the LGBT+ Conversation

By Darrell Yoder on December 14, 2017

For the last several weeks, we have been recapping the Fall 2017 conference on "Loving LGBT+ People with the Gospel." If you missed the previous recap posts, you can check out sessions one, two, three and four.

Today, I want to give a few highlights from the final session of the conference—a panel discussion with Dr. Preston Sprinkle, Laurie Krieg, Matt Krieg, Pastor Marvin Williams and Dr. Gerald…

Seeing You

By Baylin Riva on April 26, 2018

Sometimes when one is in the midst of a struggle it is difficult to see how God is working to make good come from even the darkest of times. It has taken me years to understand why I was the one who struggled the most with body image and self-esteem issues in my teenage years (and still now) compared to the rest of my peers. However, it was on Feb. 22, 2018, that I finally grasped how God was using…

Our Conversation on Justice + Unity Continues October 2

By Darrell Yoder on September 17, 2018

Last spring, we started a three-part conference series on the theme "Justice + Unity: Toward the Healing of a Fractured Church." On Oct. 2, we will pick up where we left off and this time focus on Hispanic/Latino(a) experiences and perspectives regarding justice and unity. As I wrote previously, the biblical concept of justice and righteousness can be crystalized into two main ideas: "care for the…

Immigration, Hospitality and Love of Neighbor

By Darrell Yoder on September 19, 2018

Our upcoming conference on Justice + Unity, focusing on the experience of Hispanic/Latino(a) Christians in the United States, raises important questions. When we first introduced this series, a number of people came up to me, looked carefully to their left and then to their right, and asked quietly, "Are you going to talk about immigration?" Each time, the urgency in their voices was clear. How can…

Is Your Vision for Women Big (and Biblical) Enough?

By Darrell Yoder on March 4, 2019

On April 16, we will conclude a year-long journey on the theme "Justice + Unity: Toward the Healing of a Fractured Church." What an amazing year! We have heard some amazing speakers and had phenomenal conversations about the issues that fracture the church in our country. We've engaged these conversations on-stage and off-stage, and we have hosted (or participated in) luncheons/dinners where leaders…

Warriors of the Kingdom

By Susan Burner on April 15, 2019

Editor's Note: In today's post, Susan Burner offers a compelling preview of our upcoming Talking Points conference on justice and unity through the lens of women's experience and perspective. She reviews a book by one of our speakers, Carolyn Custis James, highlighting many of the key questions we will explore. The conference is tomorrow (Tuesday, April 16). If you haven't registered yet, you still…