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Concordia Seminary, St. Louis Announces 1998 Theological Symposium

Concordia Seminary, St. Louis announces that its Eighth Annual Theological Symposium will take place May 5-6, 1998. The 1998 symposium is the first in a two-part series, each dealing with the topic of preaching. The 1998 symposium is entitled “Expanding Homiletical Horizons: Part I – Reaching Into the Text.” The 1999 symposium, building on this year’s event, will be called, “Expanding Homiletical Horizons, Part II – Reaching Out to the People.” The symposia are held on the Concordia Seminary campus and are open to pastors and laity.

Prof. John Oberdeck, commenting on the importance of the subject matter treated in the symposia, states, “The art of writing and delivering a sermon has never been simple. But with the wide range of diversity that may confront a preacher in today’s pulpit, the complexity of the task has increased. Greater skill is needed in reaching into and mining the richness of God’s Word, and greater competence is required in reaching out to deliver that Word to people.”

The 1998 symposium directs participants’ attention to three specific textual aspects of preaching: hermeneutics, pragmatics, and genre.

Dr. Bernard C. Lategan, Director of the Values and Policy Programme of the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, will deliver a plenary presentation on hermeneutics entitled, “Discovering the Dynamics of the Text.” Lategan is known for his research in Pauline theology and Biblical hermeneutics. He established the Center for Contextual Hermeneutics and has served in South Africa in the area of transformation and reconciliation.

Issues surrounding pragmatics will be introduced by the second plenary presentation offered by Dr. James W. Voelz, Professor of Exegetical Theology and Director of Graduate Studies at Concordia Seminary. Dr. Voelz address is entitled, “Pragmatics: The Text Strikes Back.”

Dr. Thomas G. Long, a noted author in the field of homiletics, will address questions concerning the genre of the text in an address entitled, “Utilizing the Dynamic Form of the Content.”

Dr. Glenn Nielsen, a faculty member who teaches homiletics at Concordia Seminary, will provide introductory and concluding thoughts.

Dr. John F. Johnson, president of Concordia Seminary, will preach in the chapel service.

Twelve sectional presentations will be offered in addition to the main presentations. Presenters in these sectionals include seminary faculty members Dr. Andrew Bartelt, Dr. Louis Brighton, Dr. Jeffrey Gibbs, Dr. Dean Nadasdy, Dr. Paul Raabe, Dr. Henry Rowold, Prof. Timothy Saleska, Prof. David Schmitt, and Dr. Vilson Scholz. Rev. John Nunes from Concordia Publishing House will also offer a sectional presentation.

As has been the custom in past symposia, open academic sectional opportunities will be available for individuals who may wish to volunteer their research. Proposals for sectional presentations should be sent to Dr. Paul Raabe at Concordia Seminary well in advance.

A post-symposium workshop on evangelism entitled “Witnessing to Willy: Proclaiming at the Threshold” will be offered Wednesday evening and Thursday morning, May 6 and 7. Dr. Robert Kolb, Director of the Institute for Mission Studies at Concordia Seminary is the featured presenter. Using Arthur Miller’s classic play, Death of a Salesman, as a series of case studies, this workshop will formulate strategies for witnessing in the midst of secularized contemporary America.

For more information and/or registration, call the Office of Continuing Education and Parish Services at (314) 505-7105.

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