Grand Rapids Theological SeminaryGrow as a Leader,
Serve Our Lord and His Kingdom
For the past decade, Talking Points has been providing valuable resources to the Grand Rapids community and beyond. From topics like civic engagement, creation care and social justice, Talking Points has brought in well-known keynote speakers who can address each subject with clarity. Below you can access past Talking Points resources.
Justice + Unity | Part 1: Black/African American Experience and Perspectives (Spring 2018)
On April 26, 2018, Grand Rapids Theological Seminary launched a special Talking Points series and hosted the first of three conferences to explore the themes of racial justice and ethnic unity in Scripture. This first event centered on Black/African American perspectives, the second event centered on Hispanic/Latino(a) perspectives, and the third event centered the perspectives of women.
Our desire is to hear God’s Word with open hearts and to attend to the ways that brothers and sisters in Christ have been marginalized, even within the body of Christ. We have hope in Christ and His Spirit who is able to move us toward confession, repentance, healing and love. We invite pastors, leaders and individual Christians to join the conversation.
Justice + Unity | Part 2: Hispanic/Latino(a) Experience and Perspectives (Fall 2018)
On Oct. 2, 2018, Grand Rapids Theological Seminary continued our special Talking Points series and hosted the second of three conferences exploring the themes of justice and unity in Scripture. Our first event centered on Black/African American perspectives, this second event centered on Hispanic/Latino(a) perspectives and the third event centered the perspectives of women.
Special attention was given to issues related to immigration, legalization and hospitality.
Justice + Unity | Part 3: Women in the Kingdom (Spring 2019)
On April 16, 2019, Grand Rapids Theological Seminary concluded our special Talking Points series and hosted the third of three conferences exploring the themes of justice and unity in Scripture. Our first event centered on Black/African American perspectives, our second event centered on Hispanic/Latino(a) perspectives, and the third event centered the perspectives of women.
Conversations between women and men in the church often focus on theological positions about leadership and authority, and once conclusions are drawn, we tend to move on. However, there is more at stake than exegetical and theological positions. Those discussions are important, but we need to explore some larger questions about the practical day-to-day life of the church.
As we concluded our Justice + Unity series, we invited the people of God to reflect on the experience of women in the church—how they are flourishing and how they are marginalized—and to consider how the body of Christ can recognize their giftings and encourage them in their callings. The key question driving this event is adapted from Carolyn Custis James’ work in her book “Half the Church”: Is our vision for women robust enough to enlist and empower all women to bring all their gifts to the body of Christ? If not, at what cost?
Loving LGBT+ People With the Gospel (Fall 2017)
On Oct. 17, 2017, Grand Rapids Theological Seminary hosted a conference to discuss how pastors, church leaders, counselors and individual Christians can love LGBT+ people in a way that embodies Christ’s love, compassion and truth.
As followers of Christ, we are called to honor the dignity and worth of every human being made in God’s image. How can churches with a historical, global and Christian view of sexuality and marriage be a place where LGBT+ people can find love, care and community? Our speakers made the case that churches do not need to change their theological position to love people well, and they gave practical insight on how to do so.
Bridging Worlds (Spring 2017)
On March 14, 2017, Grand Rapids Theological Seminary hosted a Talking Points conference on how to preach the ancient story of the Bible in today’s contemporary context. Scholars and area pastors explored how to communicate the ancient world of the Bible.
Speakers included two GRTS professors whose life work focuses on understanding the biblical story in its ancient context and several West Michigan preachers who minister in diverse settings around Grand Rapids.
Everyday Works (2015-17)
In September 2017, Grand Rapids Theological Seminary completed a two-year project called “Everyday Works” and released a new video-based curriculum for groups and individuals. This four-part curriculum explores the question: What is the role of everyday work in discipleship and mission for Christ, and how does a biblical vision of work impact our approach to poverty?
The study engages a range of topics including Scripture, theology, business, economics, community development and more. Check out the trailer below to get a quick glimpse of the study. For more information, go to the Everyday Works web page. The curriculum is available in both streaming video and DVD formats.
Thy Kingdom Come and New Creation Theology (2015)
During Thy Kingdom Come in 2015, pastors and ministry leaders explored new creation theology in Scripture and in the history of the church, considering the forthcoming transformation of creation to come with the arrival of the new heaven and new earth.
*Due to technical difficulties, the first 10 minutes of Dr. Wittmer’s talk for Session 1 was lost. Our apologies.
Recognizing and Recovering from Addictions (2014)
Recognizing that the human phenomenon of addictions is complex since it is difficult to separate the mind, body and spirit within the human condition, these resources address the reality of addictions and the hope associated with the recovery process.
Creation in Scripture (2013)
Observing that every communicator has expectations about how he or she wishes to be heard, these resources consider how to approach reading the creation texts of Scripture.
Christian Civic Engagement (2012)
Grand Rapids Theological Seminary’s 2012 Talking Points conference generated reflection on how we might restore civility in America as a model for restoring and fostering civil discourse around the world.
Listen to leading scholars discuss how Christian civic engagement has taken shape in America and imagine how you might take up these rights and responsibilities as new opportunities emerge.
Text and Culture (2011)
As the Bible is an ancient text written to an ancient culture and a relevant word from God himself for today, consider the challenges of understanding the meaning of the biblical text in its original context and speaking the relevance of the Bible to our contemporary culture.