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Concordia Seminary to Host 21st Theological Symposium

“Scripture in the Church: Formative or Formality?” is the title of the 21st annual Theological Symposium, to be held Sept. 21-22 on the campus of Concordia Seminary. The main presenter for the event is Dr. Stephen Fowl, professor of theology at Loyola University Maryland. Plenary presenters are Seminary professors Timothy Saleska and Joel Okamoto. Sectional presenters include Seminary faculty members Charles Arand, Paul Raabe, David Schmitt, Jeffrey Kloha, Timothy Saleska, and Gerhard Bode; and Mark Hoehner, Matthew Hoehner, Joel Lehenbauer, Robert Sundquist, and Peter Nafzger.

Christians use the Bible as text for sermons, foundation for Bible studies, source for theological discourse, and basis for personal devotion. Many of them, including those in the LCMS, agree that the Scriptures are authoritative and infallible. Yet despite this consensus, we come to differing conclusions—and at times wildly varying positions—regarding what the Scriptures say and what teaching and practice we should draw from them. This raises several questions: If this is happening when we all read the same Bible and regard it as the authority for faith and life, is Scripture genuinely formative? If it is, how does that formation happen? Has Scripture become a mere formality in our teaching and life?

Those gathered for the symposium will have a “hands on” experience which allows for discussion and interaction on specific topics and with the presenters. Stephen Fowl will give a perspective on Scripture and the church from outside the Lutheran tradition. Two plenaries will describe the use of the Scripture within the LCMS: Joel Okamoto will speak on “Scriptures and their Uses,” and Timothy Saleska will focus on Interpretation in Communities. Joel Lehenbauer, executive director of the CTCR, and Charles Arand and Paul Raabe, both drafters of recently published documents, will discuss the use of Scripture in CTCR documents. Three new “study Bibles” will also be discussed, led by David Schmitt, Matthew Hoehner, and Mark Hoehner. Following the plenaries, participants will have opportunity to participate in faculty-led discussions of the presentations.

Full registration is $130 per person ($140 after Sept. 7) and includes program materials, Tuesday’s buffet reception, and refreshments. Other registration fees come at ala carte pricing. Registration deadline is Sept. 10.

21st Theological Symposium Brochure

For more information and/or registration information, contact the office of continuing education and parish services at 314-505-7486 or ce@csl.edu.