Conversation About the New Testament: Canonicity and Reliability

The New TNT CONVERSATIONSestament is the foundational document for the church. But where did it come from? How did the church decide which books would be included in the New Testament and treated as authoritative?  And, how reliable are the documents we have today?

Dr. Bob Whitaker and Dr. Steven Lulich lead a 4-part exploration of these questions and others related to New Testament canonicity and reliability.  These conversations will be held on four Wednesday nights (September 26th, October 10 & 24, and November 7) at 7:30 pm, Room 18 at ECC.

Thinking About Faith Update

After a freewheeling discussion of Alan Jacob’s essay about Christian public intellectuals, Thinking About Faith will settle in this fall with a slow reading of John Wyatt’s new book, Dying Well. Wyatt is a retired doctor and professor of neonatal pediatrics who has been involved in beginning and end of life government policy in Britain. He is also a theologically astute layman who is convinced that Christians in the affluent West need to think more about death, long before it is impending for us. He draws on the ars moriendi (art of dying) Christian tradition in this short and highly accessible book that raises issues that are important not only for Christians but for the societies in which we live.

The book sells for $15 (chapter one is available here).

We’ll meet next on Wed, Sept 19. Again, you may arrive at 7pm sharp to grab a snack and a drink and chat with others. We will start discussion promptly at 7:15pm. (If you need to arrive after that, please just open the door and walk right in and grab a chair.)

Tentative fall schedule:
  • Sept 19: Intro + Ch.1 + Ch. 2 (2pp.) Dying in the modern world
  • Oct 3: Ch.3 The opportunities that dying well may bring
  • Oct 17: Ch4 The challenges of dying well
  • Oct 31: Ch.6 Learning from the example of Jesus
  • Nov 14: Ch.7 A sure and steadfast hope
  • Nov 28: To Be Determined

Thinking About Faith Discussion Group

Thinking About Faith is a discussion group that is sponsored by TFIU. This term it will meet every other Wednesday 7-8:30pm, starting tomorrow night, Sept. 5th. We discuss short readings at the intersection of Christian faith and culture that are accessible to everyone but that have something thoughtful and provocative to say. Theology, philosophy, history, science, fiction, poetry, art, and cultural reflections are all fair game.
Who’s welcome to join in? Anyone. We have many IU faculty, staff, and grad students with a few non-IU folks and undergrads occasionally sprinkled in. We welcome both people who feel firmly rooted in their faith and their understanding of Christian teaching and those who have doubts and questions to varying degrees. We also welcome people who have distanced themselves from their childhood faith but want to take another look in the company of others who will respect and welcome them as they are. Our hope is to create an environment where people can be honest and open with each other and come to meetings expecting to be challenged in constructive, faith-maturing ways. And, finally, yes, it’s ok to be an irregular attender, and you wouldn’t be the only one!
If you are interested, please contact the host, IU philosophy professor Tim O’Connor (toconnor@indiana.edu), for location and other info.

 

Speaker Bio: Dr. Steven Lulich

What does the Gettysburg Address have to teach us about the reliability of the New Testament documents?  Is it true that there are more textual variants than words in the New Testament? Dr. Steven Lulich will address issues of New Testament textual reliability at our upcoming Trinity Fellowship Event, this Wednesday night (Mar 28th), 7:00pm in Room 1122 of the Global and International Studies Building.

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Dr. Steven Lulich

Dr. Steven Lulich has been a part of the IU scholar community since 2010, serving as a lecturer, visiting research scientist, and assistant professor, working both in the Linguistics and Speech and Hearing departments at Indiana University. Prior to coming to Bloomington, Steven worked at Washington University in St. Louis as a research scientist and as a lecturer at MIT. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics from Dartmouth College and his PhD from MIT in Speech and Hearing Bioscience and Technology. Dr. Lulich has taught a wide variety of courses in the areas of speech, acoustics, research methods and linguistics, including “Word Crime: Language as Evidence”, an undergraduate course in forensic linguistics. Dr. Lulich has done research on a variety of languages, including Russian, Polish, Oroqen (an endangered language of northeast China and Siberia; pronounced “o-ro-CHEN”), Hungarian, Brazilian Portuguese, German, and (of course) English. He studied Classical and Koine (New Testament) Greek formally at Dartmouth College (including advanced classes on Homer, Aristophanes, and New Testament) and has continued to be involved in Classical and Koine Greek informal translation projects (Homer, Plato, Apostolic Fathers, Pauline and Johannine epistles) and teaching projects in Boston, Saint Louis, and Bloomington (including 3 classes at ECC, focusing on 2 John and Philemon). In addition, he informally contributed to the development of machine learning approaches for analyzing Classical and New Testament Greek texts, as acknowledged in two conference proceedings from 2007 and 2008.

Trinity Forum March Event

Wednesday, March 28th. 7:00 pm.
“Textual Reliability: What can the Gettysburg Address teach us about the reliability of the New Testament?”
Join us as Dr. Steven Lulich leads us to consider the textual reliability of the Greek New Testament manuscripts from a historical perspective.

Global and International Studies, Room 1122

 

Provocative Engagement at the Veritas Forum

Last Wednesday the Trinity Fellowship sponsored, along with several other key partners, a Veritas Forum discussion with Dr. Sam Newlands of Notre Dame and Dr. Erik Wielenberg of DePauw University.  These two philosophers presented and then engaged one another on the topic “Reckoning with Evil: A Discussion on God, Philosophy, and Hope.”  Great audience questions helped cap off what was a very good, thought provoking, and civil discussion.

Keep an eye our for future Veritas Forums as well as upcoming Trinity Fellowship Events.

 

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Bios for Veritas Forum Speakers

Samuel Newlands
Dr. Sam Newlands

Dr. Samuel Newlands, University of Notre Dame:

Samuel Newlands is the William J and Dorothy K O’Neill Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame. He received his PhD from Yale University. Most of his scholarly work focuses on early modern metaphysics and philosophy of religion. He has published widely in venues ranging from professional philosophy journals to The Wall Street Journal, and his most recent book, Reconceiving Spinoza, will be available this spring from Oxford University Press. He also co-directs the Center for Philosophy of Religion at Notre Dame, and he has received more than $12 million dollars in grant funding for research initiatives on the problem of evil, the nature of transformative experience, hope and optimism, and, most recently, the nature of the self.

Dr. Erik Wielenberg, DePauw University:

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Dr. Erick Wielenberg

Erik Wielenberg earned his PhD from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and is Professor of Philosophy at DePauw University. He was a Graduate Fellow at the Center for Philosophy of Religion at Notre Dame and, more recently, was a Fellow at the Centre for Ethics, Philosophy and Public Affairs at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. He has authored three books: Value and Virtue in a Godless Universe, God and the Reach of Reason, and Robust Ethics: The Metaphysics and Epistemology of Godless Normative Realism.

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Dr. Tim O’Connor

Dr. Timothy O’Connor, Baylor University:
Dr. Timothy O’Connor is a Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Baylor University. Previously, he taught philosophy at Indiana University for over twenty years, and as a professor here, he was a strong supporter of the work of The Veritas Forum at Indiana University.

A Quartet of Books by Newbigin

If you’re wanting to engage more with the topic of pluralism and the gospel, you can’t go wrong with Leslie Newbigin. Newbigin was an internationally esteemed missionary, theologian and apologist. Here’s a few good starting places:

Foolishness to Greeks: the Gospel in Western Culture

The Gospel in a Pluralist Society

Proper Confidence: Faith, Doubt, and Certainty in Christian Discipleship

Signs Amid the Rubble: the Purposes of God in Human History