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Presbyterian Scholars Conference

Harbor House, Wheaton, IL

October 23rd and 24th, 2018

Location: Harbor House, Wheaton, IL, (This is not a function of Wheaton College)

Registration:  $50 (You can pay in advance or at the door)

Registration Contact: Jeff McDonald,  (402) 682-1439

                                 518 Martin Drive, Bellevue, NE

Recommended Hotel: Hampton Inn, Carol Stream, IL:

Tuesday, October 23rd

9:00 a.m. Prayer and Welcome, Dr. Hassell Bullock, Professor of Old Testament Emeritus, Wheaton

College, Former President of the Evangelical Theological Society

9:05 a.m. Lecture #1 “The Grace of Theological Friendships: Augustine was Never Alone”

            Dr. Jerry Andrews, Pastor, First Presbyterian Church, San Diego, CA

                                         Adjunct Professor of Ministry, University of Dubuque Theological Seminary

                                         President, The Fellowship Community

10:00 a.m. Lecture #2 “Creating an Evangelical Mind: Presbyterians and the League of Evangelical

Students, 1925-1939”

            Dr. Jeff McDonald, Pastor, Avery Presbyterian Church, Bellevue, NE

                                          Affiliate Professor of Church History, Sioux Falls Seminary, Omaha campus

Author of John Gerstner and the Renewal of Presbyterian and Reformed     Evangelicalism in Modern America

11:00 a.m. Lecture #3 “Huguenot Pastoral Formation in the 17th Century: Lessons for Today"

Dr. Randy Working, Pastor of Cityview Community Church, Lompoc, CA; Adjunct Professor of

      Theology, Fuller Seminary; President of Theology Matters; Author of The        

                                             Visual Theology of the Huguenots: Towards an Architectural Iconology of

                                             Early Modern French Protestantism 1535-1623                 

Lunch 12:00 p.m. 

1:00 p.m. Lecture #4 “The Prerevolutionary American Presbyterian Mission to China: Theological Conflict

Reflecting Homeland Realities”

            Dr. A. Donald MacLeod, Research Professor of Church History, Tyndale Seminary, Toronto

                                                  President of the Canadian Society of Presbyterian History

                                                  Author of W. Stanford Reid: An Evangelical Calvinist in the Academy

                                                  (Donald Grant Creighton Award, Ontario Historical Society)

2:00 p.m. Lecture #5 "The Student Revolt at Princeton Seminary of 1909: Are There Lessons to be


            Dr. Richard Burnett, Editor of Theology Matters

                                            Editor of the Westminster Handbook to Karl Barth

Author of Karl Barth’s Theological Exegesis: The Hermeneutical Principles of the Römerbrief Period

3:00 to 4:25 Roundtable Discussion of George Marsden’s classic work Reforming Fundamentalism: Fuller

      Seminary and the New Evangelicalism


Dr. George Marsden, Professor of History Emeritus, University of Notre Dame; Author of

                      Jonathan Edwards: A Life (Winner of the Bancroft Prize)


Dr. Bradley J. Longfield, Professor of Church History, University of Dubuque

Theological Seminary; Author of The Presbyterian Controversy: Fundamentalists, Modernists, and Moderates (Makemie Award, Presbyterian Historical Society)

Dr. Darryl Hart, Distinguished Associate Professor of History, Hillsdale College; Author

of Defending the Faith: J. Gresham Machen and the Crisis of Conservative Protestantism in Modern America (Makemie Award, Presbyterian Historical Society)

4:30 p.m. Lecture #6 "From Christ to Christianity: How Jesus Christ Determines the Form and Mission of

the Church"

            Dr. James Edwards, Brunner-Welch Professor of Theology Emeritus, Whitworth University

                                          Author of The Hebrew Gospel and the Development of the Synoptic   


Dinner 5:30 p.m.

6:30 p.m. Lecture #7 “Tim Keller, Princeton Seminary, the Dilemma of Liberalism in the Academy”

            Dr. Peter Wood, President, National Association of Scholars

                                      Former Associate Provost and Professor of Anthropology, Boston University

7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.  Roundtable Discussion on the Future of Presbyterian Theological Education  

Wednesday, October 24th

8:00 a.m. Lecture #8 “Predestination: Teaching the so-called decretum horribile in Ecumenical Settings”

            Dr. Karen Peterson Finch, Associate Professor of Theology, Whitworth University

9:00 a.m. Roundtable Discussion “Chances for Presbyterian Unity: Slim or Fat?”

            Chair: Dr. Darryl Hart, Distinguished Associate Professor of History, Hillsdale College


Rev. George A. Garrison, Pastor, Immanuel Presbyterian Church (EPC), Wheaton

Dr. Kellen Smith, Pastor, First Presbyterian Church (PCUSA), Wheaton

Dr. A. Craig Troxel, Pastor, Bethel Presbyterian Church (OPC), Wheaton.

11:00 a.m. Lecture #9 “Presbyterian Theology After the Civil War”

            Dr. Mark Noll, Professor of History Emeritus, University of Notre Dame

                                    Research Professor of History, Regent College, Vancouver, B.C.

                                    Author of America’s God: From Jonathan Edwards to Abraham Lincoln

                                    Recipient of the National Humanities Medal




Seven Stanzas of Easter 

by John Updike

with commentary by Richard Burnett 3-26-2018

John Updike is widely acclaimed as one of America's foremost authors. In October 1982, he was featured on the cover of Time magazine (Only five novelists have appeared twice on the cover of Time: Sinclair Lewis, James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, and John Updike). After winning the literary Triple Crown: the Pulitzer Prize, the American Book Award, and a commendatory scroll from the National Book Critics Circle, Time stated: "No one else using the English language over the past two and one-half decades has written so well in so many ways as he." He died on Jan. 27, 2009.

John Updike was a complex individual, a man of great ambiguity, and one who struggled in his faith, and this is reflected in his writings. "Earthy" is a word that is often applied to Updike's writing. His novels typically probe theological themes alongside more seamier topics. Updike, nevertheless, especially in his later years, is said to have become a more dedicated churchman. Apparently, he was never able to think his way around the transcendence at stake in one of the central claims of the Christian faith, the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ.

 As an undergraduate at Harvard University, having been influenced by the theology of Karl Barth, Updike entered the following poem in a religious arts contest in Massachusetts. It won first prize. With the various attempts within and without the church today to celebrate Easter by focusing on lilies and springtime, etc., I invite you to reflect on this poem.


                                                Seven Stanzas of Easter

                  Make no mistake, if He rose at all

                  it was as His body.

                  if the cells disillusion did not reverse, the molecules reknit, the amino acids rekindle,

                  the Church will fall.


                  It was not as the flowers,

                  each soft Spring recurrent;

                  it was not as His Spirit in the mouths and befuddled eyes of  the eleven apostles.

                  it was as His flesh: ours.


                  The same hinge, thumbs and toes,

                  the same valved heart

                 that pierced, died, withered, decayed and then regathered out of enduring Might

                  new strength to enclose.


                  Let us not mock God with metaphor,

                  analogy, sidestepping transcendence;

                  making of the event a parable, a sign painted in the faded credulity of earlier ages:

                  let us walk through the door.


                  The stone is rolled back, not paper-mache,

                  not a stone in a story,

                  but the vast rock of materiality that in the slow grinding of time will eclipse for each of us

                 the wide light of day.


                  And if we will have an angel at the tomb,

                  make it a real angel,

                  weighty with Max Planck's quanta, vivid with hair, opaque in the dawn light, robed in real linen,

                  spun on a definite loom.


                  Let us not seek to make it less monstrous,

                  for our own convenience, for our own sense of beauty,

                  lest, awakened in one unthinkable hour, we are embarrassed by the miracle,

                 and crushed by remonstrance.

[Written for a religious arts festival sponsored by the Clifton Lutheran Church of Marblehead, MA] Taken from John Updike, Seventy Poems, Penguin Books, 1972.


Richard Burnett

Executive Director and Managing Editor



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