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Symposium to Address Church's Response to Homosexuality

The Challenge of Homosexuality – The Church Responds” is the title of the 15th Annual Theological Symposium, to be held Sept. 21-22 on the campus of Concordia Seminary.

In the midst of the rapid changes in both attitude and behavior concerning sexuality and sexual expression, the church looks to its norm of faith, the Scriptures, and its application of that faith. The 15th Annual Theological Symposium will explore the changing use of Scripture and its interpretation in conversations and studies about sexuality, cultural attempts to impose a non-Christian framework and Christian responses and the implications of these changes on the life of Christians and congregations. Presentations concerning
the biblical witness, legal and media challenges and Lutheran, confessional and churchly responses will be featured.

Major presentations for the event include “Setting the Stage for the Theological Symposium-What Are the Issues and the Stakes” by David L. Adams; “The Use of Scripture Concerning Homosexuality” by Robert A. J. Gagnon; “Christian Responses
to the Culture’s Normalization of Homosexuality” by Robert W. Weise and “The Local Congregation Approaches the Issues: Lutheran Responses” by Joel D. Biermann, as well as three moderated conversations between several of the speakers.

Workshops include “Pastoral Ministry to Persons Struggling with Homosexuality” by Bryan R. Salminen; “Parenting Toward a Healthy Sexuality” by Mary Manz Simon; “A Chaste and Decent Life: Sexual Catechesis Today” by John W. Oberdeck; “Can a Lutheran Christian Support Same Sex Union Legislation?” by Samuel Nafzger; “Preaching Concerning Homosexuality” by members of the homiletical faculty of
Concordia Seminary; “Origins, Causes and Treatments of Homosexuality” by Richard Winter; “Does God Hate Sinners: A Response to Hate Speech” by Tom Eckstein; and “Legal Issues for Congregations and Pastors Concerning Homosexuality” by Leonard J. Pranschke.

Following the symposium, Victor Raj, mission professor of exegetical theology and assistant director of the Institute for Mission Studies, will lead an evangelism workshop titled “Christ in Context” on Sept. 22-23.

Parish pastors, district and synodical officials, Seminary and Concordia University students and faculty, and interested laypersons all are welcome to attend. One CEU is available for attending the Symposium, and .5 CEU is available for attending the post-Symposium workshop. For the first time, the plenary sessions of the symposium will be Web cast.

For more information and/or registration information, contact the Office of Continuing Education and Parish Services at (314) 505-7123 or ce@csl.edu [1], or visit the Seminary’s Web site at www.csl.edu/symposium.htm [2].

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