Audio and Video of Lecture

The audio and video for last week’s lecture “Christian Politics: a Political Theology of Hope,” with Dr. Matthew Tuininga, is now available. Find it below and on the Resource page under Past Lectures.  Audio and video of the excellent Q&A will be posted soon.

Calvin and Christian Shrillness

There is an impulse in many of us that emerges in our public engagement, especially on social media – the preferred method for discourse currently.

The impulse: call out sin or injustice or immorality whenever we see it. It is often done with a shrillness that is, quite frankly, unbecoming (and lest you think I’m wagging a finger, I am the pot calling the kettle black).

Against this impulse Calvin writes, “[Christians are not bid] to assert and proclaim what has been given us by the Lord everywhere, and always and among all indiscriminately, for the Lord gives his people the spirit of discretion, so that they may know when and how far and to whom it is expedient to speak” (Commentary on 1 Peter 3:15).

51zgzlu3qsl._sx331_bo1204203200_Reflecting on this, Dr. Tuininga writes, “Calvin agreed that Christians need not always publicly reprove vice. There are times for silence, even before magistrates, and silence does not always constitute cowardice.”

A good word. Join us for more of this and exploration of how Calvin’s two-kingdom theology offers a way forward for Christians to faithfully engage in today’s democratic, pluralistic societies.

“Christian Politics: a Political Theology of Hope,” with Dr. Matthew Tuininga. A Trinity Fellowship event at ECC (503 S High Street, Bloomington). Thursday night, February 20th. 7:00 pm. A time of Q&A will follow the lecture.

New Creation: A Primer on Living in the Time between the Times (Rodney Clapp)

71bznuj-0rl“We are storied creatures, and everything happens because we lean toward endings. These endings are the goals, the pursuits, the destinies, the termination points that mark and animate our lives. Without endings we could never begin anything. We would lack plots and our lives would be without purpose, devoid of meaning.” So begins Clapp’s book which explores how eschatology, or our vision of ‘last things’, shapes our living in the now. The now is the ‘time between the times’, when this age and the age to come overlap.

In his exploration of how eschatology shapes practical Christian living – from politics to sex, creation care to prayer – Clapp is, in the words of one reviewer, an ‘equal opportunity offender’.  Everyone will be challenged and convicted at some point.

rodneyclappJoin us on Saturday, February 2nd at 10:00am for a ‘fireside chat’ with Rodney Clapp. The informal conversation is hosted at Evangelical Community Church, Bloomington (and no, there isn’t a real fireplace).  It’ll be a good time to think together, talk with Rodney about his ideas, and hopefully leave encouraged to bring the end into the present as much as possible.

Rodney Clapp is a former editor at Christianity Today, editor and columnist for the Christian Century, and author of numerous books, including A Peculiar People: The Church as Culture in a Post-Christian Society.

Special Lecture – Christian Politics: a Political Theology of Hope

We are very excited  Dr. Matthew Tuininga, Associate Professor of Moral Theology at Calvin Theological Seminary will be with us for TFIU event on February 20th at 7:00pm.  matt-tuninga_2_942ab2a090bef6aa1cb38c8a2e78886eThe relationship between church and state, pastors and magistrates, believers and the government is one Christians have been navigating for centuries. In today’s atmosphere, few things are as polarizing today as political dialogue or as dangerous to the common good as the lack thereof. We are excited to be hosting this lecture on an important and difficult issue (or nexus of issues). The lecture will be held at ECC, February 20th, at 7:00 pm.

Dr51zgzlu3qsl._sx331_bo1204203200_. Matthew Tuininga previously taught at Emory University, Oglethorpe University, and at Sewanee, University of the South. He speaks on topics revolving around Christian ethics and Christian cultural and political engagement.

His first book, Calvin’s Political Theology and the Public Engagement of the Church: Christ’s Two Kingdoms was published with Cambridge University Press in 2017. Dr. Tuininga has also edited On Charity and Justice, the final volume of Kuyper’s collected works on public theology, forthcoming with Lexham Press.

Creation Care and Earth’s Changing Environment: A dialogue on science, faith, and earth stewardship

Hcreation care(2)osted by: Concerned Scientists @ IU and Evangelical Community Church
in collaboration with: Sherwood Oaks Christian Church, Foot of the Cross Church,
Intervarsity Graduate Ministry, and Trinity Fellowship.

Fostering a conversation among Bloomington’s rich academic and faith communities to share scientific and religious perspectives on environmental stewardship. We seek to generate vibrant and open discussion raised by scientific information, scriptural and theological wisdom, societal realities, and pastoral insight.

The program will consist of two Wednesday‐evening workshops (Sept. 25 and Oct. 2), devoted to presentations and informal group discussions, followed by a field excursion andclosing celebration dinner at McCormick’s Creek State Park on Sunday, October 6. We encourage participants to take part in all three sessions if possible.

Interested in taking part? Register online at http://www.scienceandreligion.net/

Session I: Sacred Ground |Evangelical Perspectives on Creation Care
Wednesday, September 25, 7:00 – 9:00 PM, Evangelical Community Church
Speaker: Dr. Jessica Moerman, Evangelical Christian, AAAS Science Technology and Policy Fellow
Followed by panel presentations, refreshments, and small‐group discussion.

Session II: Our Changing Planet | Scientific Perspectives on Climate Change
Wednesday, October 2, 7:00 – 9:00 PM, Evangelical Community Church
Speaker: Dr. Ben Brabson, Climate Scientist, Professor Emeritus, IU Department of Physics
Followed by panel presentations, refreshments, and small‐group discussion.

Session III: A Shared Appreciation of Creation
Sunday, October 6, 2:00 – 6:00 PM, McCormick’s Creek State Park, Trailside Shelter
Guided field trip, dinner, and open discussion.

Interested in taking part? Register online at http://www.scienceandreligion.net/

Funded by a grant from the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s “Dialogue on Science, Ethics & Religion” (DOSER) program

Christian Politics: A Political Theology of Hope

With Dr. Matt Tuininga, Calvin Theological Seminary
September 10th, 6:45pm in Woodburn Hall 200.

We are happy to help promote a lecture sponsored by InterVarsity Graduate and Faculty Ministry on an important and difficult issue (or nexus of issues). The lecture will be held in Woodburn Hall 200 at 6:45pm. Contact Rev. Sam Boldenow (919.597.0992) with questions.

matt-tuininga_2Dr. Matthew Tuininga serves as Assistant Professor of Moral Theology at Calvin Theological Seminary. He previously taught at Emory University, Oglethorpe University, and at Sewanee, University of the South. He speaks on topics revolving around Christian ethics and Christian cultural and political engagement. His first book, Calvin’s Political Theology and the Public Engagement of the Church: Christ’s Two Kingdoms was published with Cambridge University Press in 201.

Audio and Video from Creation Care Event Posted

The audio and the video from the “Creation Care, Climate Change, and the Gospel” event with Kyle Meyaard-Schaap has been posted. The Panel discussion and Q&A are also posted separately. We look forward to more conversations like this!

Creation Care, Climate Change, and the Gospel
Kyle Meyaard-Schaap (Young Evangelicals for Climate Change) and Panel
April, 2019
Lecture (video, audio stream, audio download)
Panel Q&A (video, audio stream, audio download)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Newbigin on Hope and the Environment

iss520newbigin20graphicI am currently re-reading a fantastic book by Lesslie Newbigin, The Gospel in a Pluralistic Society.  The book has little to say directly about creation care or climate change, but Newbigin’s insights do apply to the conversation. In a chapter entitled “The Bible as Universal History” he traces how history has been written and taught since the time of Augustine. Since Augustine, history has been taught as the progress of the City of God. Secular revisions watered it down into a vague ‘progress of society’; communists morphed it into the progress of the working class, etc. All of these visions looked hopefully towards the future. But, Newbigin contends (writing in the late twentieth century), “In the closing decades of this century it is difficult to find Europeans who have any belief in a significant future which is worth working for and investing in.” In the early decades of the twenty-first century, this bleak outlook and apathy have spread to the U.S. also. Newbigin continues,

“A society which believes in a worthwhile future saves in teh present so as to invest in the future. Contemporary Western society spends in the present and piles up debts for the future, ravages the environment, and leaves its grandchildren to cope with the results as best they can. One searches contemporary European literature in vain for evidence o fhope for the future; rather, in Jurgen Moltmann’s words, it is characterized by cold despair, resignation, and cinicism.”

Certainly, love for neighbor, present and future neighbor’s, demands more. Certainly, the Christian’s outlook should be different. But what…how?

Join us this Wednesday night, April 3rd, at 7:30pm at Evangelical Community Church for a special lecture by Kyle Meyaard-Schaap entitled “Creation Care, Climate Change, and the Gospel.” A panel will engage questions after the lecture.

Peak Indifference to Climate Change?

adobestock_126775715.jpegI ran across an article in Wired recently that suggested we have reached “Peak Indifference” to climate change – a phrase that “refers to the psychology of problems that become too big to ignore.” According to proponents, the number, severity, and relative proximity of several climate-related disasters has forced people to take notice (think wildfires, flooding, severe hurricanes). A couple of polls lend credence to the claim that we’ve turned the corner on indifference. One poll shows that the number of Republicans who believe climate change is real rose from 49% three years ago to 64% this past December. More widely, another survey shows that say the number who say they are “very worried” about climate jump jumped from 21% to 29% in one year.

There is still, however, significant disagreement among those who believe climate change is real and are worried about. Some doubt whether humans are to blame for climate change or if it is part of a natural cycle. Some seem to have given in to a nihilistic apathy, thinking it’s too late to do anything about it.

How is a Christian to think about these things? Does the gospel say anything that has bearing on the condition of the earth, present, and future? Does the good news of Jesus call us to action in this area, or only soul winning?

Kyle-Meyaard Schaap, National Spokesperson for Young Evangelicals for Climate Action, will be lecturing on this topic on April 3rd, 7:30pm. The lecture, “Creation Care, Climate Change, and the Gospel” will be followed by a panel discussion/Q&A time. We hope this will be the beginning of some great future conversations.  The lecture will be hosted at Evangelical Community Church, 503 S. High Street, Bloomington, IN, 47404.