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Concordia Seminary, St. Louis Announces 10th Annual Theological Symposium

“The Next Millennium: Church on the Brink” is the theme for the 10th Annual Theological Symposium to be held Sept. 21-22, 1999 on the Concordia Seminary, St. Louis campus. The Symposium will emphasize the Christian message of hope and give direction as to how this message can be articulated in the church at the dawn of the new millennium.

“In contrast to the sensational false teachings that will receive widespread media coverage in the final months of 1999, this symposium will sound a clear and accurate message of biblical hope for participants to carry home with them,” stated Dr. John Oberdeck, chairman of the symposium committee. “Too often Lutherans are silent or say very little regarding the eschatological hope in God’s Word. We want to equip those who attend this Symposium to give clear expression to this hope as they preach, teach and interact with those inside and outside the church.”

Dr. John F. Johnson, President of Concordia Seminary will introduce the symposium theme with an opening address titled “The Need for Hope in the Next Millennium.”

Four major subdivisions of the schedule will serve to emphasize the theme of hope as the church faces the new millennium: (1) “Eschatology: A Theology of Hope for the Next Millennium,” (2) “Missiology: A Word of Hope for the Next Millennium,” (3) “Ecclesiology: A Church of Hope for the Next Millennium,” and (4) “Christology: The Reality of Hope for the Next Millennium.”

Dr. Jeffrey Gibbs will deliver the plenary address for the eschatology section of the symposium, and Dr. Henry Rowold will deliver the plenary address for the mission section. Both are Concordia Seminary faculty members, and their topics will be “Infinite Hope for a Finite World” and “A Word of Hope for a Hopeless World” respectively.

The ecclesiology section will feature a discussion of the topic “A Church of Hope for the Next Millennium.” Discussion participants will be Dr. Charles Arand of the Seminary faculty, Rev. Stephen Hower, pastor of St. John Lutheran Church, Ellisville, Mo., and Rev. Scott Bruzek, pastor of St. John Lutheran Church, Wheaton, Ill.

Dr. Louis Brighton, professor emeritus at Concordia Seminary, will deliver the plenary address in the Christology section titled “The Book of Revelation: A Vision for the Next Millennium.” Dr. Brighton is recognized as the leading authority in The Lutheran Church�Missouri Synod (LCMS) on the book of Revelation and is currently writing the commentary on Revelation for the Concordia Commentary series.

Rev. Arleigh Lutz, President of the North Wisconsin District of the LCMS, and Chairman of the Synod’s Council of Presidents, will deliver the final address, “Our Church on the Brink: Response and Reflection.”

A popular feature from past symposia, smaller sectional presentations, also will be a part of this symposium. Topics and presenters include “Proclaiming Old Testament Eschatology in a New Testament World” (Dr. Andrew Bartelt, Concordia Seminary faculty), “New Testament Eschatology: The Presence of the Future” (Dr. James Voelz, Concordia Seminary faculty), “Giving Voice to Eschatological Yearnings” (Dr. Paul Raabe, Concordia Seminary faculty), “Putting Last Things First: Meeting Challenges of Eschatology Today” (Dr. Joel Okamoto, Concordia Seminary faculty), “We’ve Been Here Before: Missiological Hope for the Next Millennium” (Dr. Daniel Mattson, Director of Theological Studies, LCMS Board for Mission Services), and “The Face of Christ as Hope of the World: Mission as Making Christ Present” (Dr. William Weinrich, Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne faculty).

Those who attend the Symposium are encouraged to stay one additional day in order to attend a special workshop titled “Hope in the Neighborhood.” Dr. Victor Raj, mission professor at Concordia Seminary, who will be the presenter for the workshop sessions, commented, “The American neighborhood is quickly changing. This nation of immigrants invites people from all over the world to make their home here. When people travel, their religions also travel along. As Christians called to witness the Gospel, we recognize the opportunity God is bringing to our doorstep for engaging in His mission. This workshop brings understanding about our new neighbors and provides approaches to witness to them the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”

The workshop will begin on Wednesday, September 22, with registration at 5:30 p.m. and end at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, September 23.

Detailed information and registration forms will be mailed in late June to LCMS congregations. Support from Aid Association for Lutherans will provide assistance with registration costs. For more information, contact Concordia Seminary’s Office of Continuing Education at (314) 505-7105 or via e- mail (oberdeckj@csl.edu). Information and a registration form are also available on the Seminary’s Web site (www.csl.edu).

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