Talking Points Leads Three-Part Conversation on Theology of Justice
by Kristina Garvelink (M.S. ’15)
For the past year, Talking Points, in partnership with CityFest and the Urban Church Leadership Center, has hosted bi-annual conversations on "Justice + Unity: Toward the Healing of a Fractured Church." With the intention of giving space to hear voices from three marginalized populations in the church, the three-part series concludes on April 16.
In a conference focusing on "Women in the Kingdom," registrants look forward to hearing from keynote speakers Carolyn Curtis James, Marcus Little, Dr. Lynn Cohick and Dr. Justin Holcomb; engaging with panel discussions; and participating in corporate worship.
As the series comes to a conclusion, Darrell Yoder, director of Talking Points and the Pirsig Fellowship, reflected on the continued need to expand theological discussions among evangelicals to include the theme of justice.
"For a number of years, we've felt the need to speak into racial reconciliation and the church's response to this explosive topic," Yoder said. "There are lots of unhealthy responses out there. On its own, racial reconciliation can sometimes be incomplete and inadequate as a topic; it doesn't always deal with root issues that are behind the problem. We also felt the need to help cast a vision for God's view of unity."
With the seminary's Everyday Works curriculum, a four-part study on vocation and faith, serving as a catalyst for connecting conversations about human flourishing and justice, Yoder coordinated the recent Talking Points conferences to illuminate three areas of injustice in the local church. Through hearing personal testimonies, the presentation of research data and recommendations for helpful resources to spur personal reflection and authentic responses, conference attendees were invited to listen without judgment to the experiences of others.
"It's amazing how challenging it is to step into these kinds of conversations," Yoder shared. "But we are finding that people want to cut past the stalemate and the divisions and really engage with one another, ask hard questions and think through things biblically. There is also a desire to break through our silos—racial, denominational and theological."
From the early years of the Christian church, women have contributed to the realization of God's kingdom. As a result, the church's story includes testimonies of both deep joy and struggle.
On April 16, Talking Points concludes its current series with a conference focused on "Women in the Kingdom." Don't miss this chance to learn how to encourage women with leadership gifts; respond with justice and mercy to accounts of sexual abuse, assault or harassment; and lead change in your congregation that reflects God's vision for His kingdom.