As you can see posted on our Events page, The Reformed Irenics (that’s a TCI-related network of friends) are hosting a theological conference, one of the many offspring of our Convivium Calvinisticum, this weekend in Jackson, MS. We hope to offer more of these across the country in areas where we have a sufficient concentration of members and interested parties. If you are interested or know others who would be, feel free to contact us through this site and let us know.
Here are the descriptions of the Jackson Conference’s presentations and speakers:
Steven Wedgeworth- “Reforming the Liturgy: Are We Re-Inventing the Wheel, and Is That Ok?”
The 20th century saw the rise of the “liturgical renewal” movement, and many Reformed and Evangelical churches have joined in this interest over the last ten years. While there is much to be commended about this trend, there are also some clear weaknesses, especially the tendency to rely upon outdated liturgical scholarship and unquestioned assumptions about tradition and the “essential” elements of worship. This discussion will seek to refocus our liturgical inquiries within a Reformed and Irenic theological framework.
The Rev. Steven Wedgeworth is the Assistant pastor of Immanuel Presbyterian Church in Clinton, MS. A graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi and Reformed Theological Seminary (M.Div), he is the co-founder of The Calvinist International and the Reformed Irenics group, a director of The Davenant Trust, and a classical school teacher. Pastor Wedgeworth has written articles in theology, history, and political science for Credenda/Agenda, Christian Renewal, and The Journal of Law and Religion.
Eric Parker- “Virtue Ethics and the Good: Is this really the Classical Model?”
Recent scholarship has emphasized the tension between Aristotle’s concept of virtue, as the development of personal character habits guided by reason, and the traditional Protestant understanding of law and gospel as emphasized by Martin Luther’s doctrine of justification by faith alone. This scholarship, however, fails to read Luther within the context of Late Medieval German theology and therefore misses the connection between Luther’s concept of virtue and that of Plato interpreted through the Neoplatonists of Late Antiquity.
Eric Parker is a Ph.D. student at McGill University (Montréal) under the supervision of Prof. Torrance Kirby. His research focuses on the classical sources of Protestant virtue ethics specifically in the group of 17th century theologians known as the Cambridge Platonists. He is the author of “The Mediation of Lutheran Platonism: Lucas Cranach’s painting ‘Gesetz und Gnade'” in Mediating Religious Cultures in Early Modern Europe (2013), and “Fides Mater Virtutum Est: Peter Martyr Vermigli’s Disagreement with Thomas Aquinas on the ‘Form’ of the Virtues” in Reformation & Renaissance Review (15.1).
David Ponter- “The Atonement and Reformed Orthodoxy, or How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love Non-Speculative Hypothetical Universalism”
This presentation will seek to outline the Reformed credentials of hypothetical universalism and define and document the varieties of hypothetical universalism with the goal of clearing up some common myths and misunderstandings: Will the real Amyraldian please sit down! The breadth of Reformed Orthodoxy will be demonstrated by examining the answer to the critical question: “For whose sins was Christ punished?” This discussion will attempt a specimen outline of those among the Reformed tradition who have answered, “For the all sins of all men.”
David W Ponter is a graduate of the University of Queensland and Reformed Theological Seminary (M.Div). He is the reference librarian at Reformed Theological Seminary (Jackson). David was born in Australia but now lives and works in Jackson, MS. His main area of interest has been to document the development of the Reformed doctrine of unlimited satisfaction and he runs Calvin and Calvinism: An Elenchus for Classic and Moderate Calvinism.
Adam Borneman- “Race, Privilege, and Catholicity: Toward a More Socially Conscious Ecclesiology”
The growing trend of catholicity within reformed communions, in order to be truly catholic, needs to take seriously systemic – and often unconscious – racial bias and discrimination. How have our theological traditions and practices precluded serious reflection on what appears to be such a fundamental tenet of the New Testament? How might we proceed so that racism is necessarily addressed in light of our theology, not in spite of it? What are some current practices aiming for “diversity” that need to be reconsidered?
The Rev. Adam S Borneman serves as pastor of Second Presbyterian Church in Birmingham, AL. He is a graduate of Samford University and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (M.Div, Th.M). His primary research interests are Reformation and 19th Century American theology, and he is the author of Church, Sacrament, and American Democracy: The Social and Political Dimensions of John Williamson Nevin’s Theology of Incarnation. Pastor Borneman also spends a disconcerting amount of time and energy following professional baseball.