Politics and Society

2018 European Politics and Society Network

The European Politics and Society Network is designed to teach key Christian political, legal, and social leaders how to be salt and light through effectively communicating Christ’s character in their respective contexts. Applicants should be those who are working in the areas of politics, law, campaigning, or community action. Both seasoned lawyers, activists, and campaigners and aspirants will benefit from the input of leading thinkers and practitioners. This Network will be led by Nola Leach and Charlie Hoare. Prior preparation will be set for all applicants.

 

NETWORK LEADERS

Nola Leach is a co-leader of the European Politics and Society Network and serves as the Chief Executive of CARE (Christian Action Research & Education), one of Europe’s leading Christian charities, which provides resources and helps bring Christian insight and experience to matters of public policy and practical caring initiatives. CARE undertakes a variety of social caring and educational programmes and research and is represented in the UK Parliaments and Assemblies. As Head of the Public Affairs team, Nola leads campaigns on topics such as human trafficking, Internet pornography, and the value of human life from its beginning to natural end. She has overseen the publication of Living Free, a sequel to the CARE book Searching for Intimacy – a resource designed to help those trapped in the net of Internet pornography. She has a passion for developing Christian leaders and heads up CARE’s unique Leadership Programme. She is increasingly in demand as both a writer and a public speaker, has penned numerous articles, and regularly appears in the media.

 

Charlie Hoare is a co-leader of the European Politics and Society Network. He received his Bachelor's degree in History at the University of Durham. After a year of working for a British Member of Parliament, he studied law before taking a Masters degree at the London School of Economics in social policy and non-profit management. From 1998- 2012 he was CARE’s International Director. For the past year he has acted as a consultant focusing on International work. In addition to representing CARE at the United Nations, he has helped establish a strategic global network of policy makers, academics, politicians, and diplomats at the national and regional levels. He is married to Eleanor; they have a son and two daughters.

 

NETWORK SPEAKERS

David Hilborn is Principal of St John’s College, Nottingham. Prior to taking up this role in 2012, he was Assistant Dean of St Mellitus College, Head of Theology at the Evangelical Alliance, and an Associate Research Fellow at the London School of Theology. David trained for ordained ministry in the United Reformed Church at Mansfield College, Oxford and completed his doctorate on the language of worship at Nottingham University. He joined the Church of England in 2002 and was an assistant minister in two London parishes before returning to Nottingham to lead St John’s. In addition to his duties at the college, he currently serves on the ministry team of St Luke’s, Gamston. He is also a member of the Society for Pentecostal Studies and has chaired the Evangelical Alliance’s Theological Advisory Group since 2016. David has written and edited several books, including Picking up the Pieces (Hodder), The Nature of HellGod and the Generations (with Matt Bird), Movement for Change (all Paternoster) and The Atonement Debate (with Derek Tidball and Justin Thacker - Zondervan). David is married to Mia and they have two children: Matthew and Alice.

 

Juha Ahvio is a Finnish theologian who works as a Director of Research at the Patmos Foundation for World Missions in Helsinki. He received his D.Theol. degree in Systematic Theology from the University of Helsinki. Ahvio is also an Adjunct Professor (dosentti in Finnish, privatdozent in German) of Dogmatics at the University of Helsinki. His scholarly interests have focused on confessional Reformed theology and apologetics from the systematic, epistemological, and historical points of view. Ahvio has also written several popular books on various contemporary theological, political, and social topics in order to defend both theologically and politically consistently conservative positions.

 

Richard Weikart is professor of modern European history at California State University, Stanislaus, and Senior Fellow at Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture.  He has published six books, including most recently The Death of Humanity: And the Case for Life and Hitler’s Religion.   He has also published extensively on the history of evolutionary ethics, eugenics, social Darwinism, euthanasia, and scientific racism.  He has been featured in several documentaries, including Ben Stein’s Expelled, as well as on many radio programs.  He recently produced a documentary to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation called Exploring the Reformation and Revivals in Germany.

 

Mateusz Wichary comes from a Roman Catholic background and is currently a Polish Baptist pastor who has pastored three churches in a strictly Catholic setting. He is also the President of the Polish Baptist Church and the Polish Evangelical Alliance. Mateusz is a lecturer in Wyższe Baptystyczne Seminarium Teologiczne in Warszawa, Poland and Chief Redactor of Slowo Prawdy Publishing, the Polish Baptist Edition House and monthly Magazine. Mateusz holds a doctoral degree in Theology (Chrzescijanska Akademia Teologiczna), has published over one hundred of articles (both popular and academic, including in Catholic Journals) and three books: one about the New Apostolic Reformation (Nowa Reformacja czy Nowa Deformacja?...), one about the political theology of Abraham Kuyper ("Cała rzeczywistość dla Chrystusa"...), and a popular introduction to Protestantism for a Polish/Catholic reader (Najważniejsze pytania o protestantyzm). Mateusz is engaged in various forms of ecumenical dialogue on behalf of his church. Mateusz lives in Warszawa, with his wife Beata, son Wiktor, and daughter Helena.

 

Olof Edsinger is the General Secretary of the Swedish Evangelical Alliance. Before that, he worked for nine years as the General Secretary of Salt, which is the youth and children’s organization of the Swedish Evangelical Mission (a Lutheran missions movement). Thus he has worked a lot with youth and children, especially on a national level. He has also been the leader of a church plant in his home town of Uppsala. In addition, Olof is the author of fifteen books, mostly about the Bible and Christian discipleship. Several of these have been translated into Finnish and/or Norwegian. Olof is married to Mona, the love of his youth, and they have three children.

 

NETWORK PROGRAMME

DAY 1

Session 1: To Be Announced

 

Reformation - Then and Now
David Hilborn

In 2017, Christians across Europe and the world commemorated the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation. That landmark provided an excellent opportunity to reflect on the impact of Martin Luther’s Ninety-Five Theses and of the theological, political, and cultural upheaval which followed their publication. But the consequences of the Reformation are no less vital in 2018, and as the 21st century unfolds they are sure to remain a focus of lively dialogue and debate within and beyond the church. This session will set the Reformation in its wider historical context and will examine the key legacies from it that still bear on our life and witness as Christians today. From ministry and mission to Christian education and Bible translation; from denominationalism and ecumenism to Protestant-Catholic relations; from capitalism and democracy to secularism and religious liberty; from Henry VIII to Brexit. All this and more will be addressed and discussed.


DAY 2

The Reformation's Impact on Education
Juha Ahvio

Luther and Calvin, especially, emphasized the importance of education for the evangelical Protestant cause and for the advancement of the Kingdom of Christ. According to the Reformers, both mass education and academic learning were essential. This lecture deals with the questions of why and how the Reformation had a considerable impact on education, and through it on the scientific, economic, and political thought of Protestant nations.

 

Session 2: To Be Announced


DAY 3

Nazi Propoganda: An Historical Case Study on the Ethics of Communication
(Joint session with the Media Communicators Network)

Richard Weikart

The Nazis masterfully used speeches and the media to manipulate the German people by preying on their wounded pride, resentment, and feelings of superiority to win their support.  Nazi propaganda tried to avoid rational discourse to appeal to irrational impulses.  Weikart will also demonstrate that Hitler and other Nazis deceived the German public about their religious stance, bringing many to falsely think that Hitler and his party were more in harmony with their own views.

 

Panel Discussion: What Can We Learn from History to Inform the Choices We Make Today?
Richard Weikart, other panelists to be announced

This panel will explore the power of the media in influencing both public opinion and policy makers. We will discuss how Christian politicians and commentators should use persuasive techniques without straying into the dangers of manipulation; how can we apply this wisdom to contemporary settings in Europe and around the world; and lastly, how this can be wisely harnessed to argue for godly public policy goals and support wise government.



DAY 4

The Political Theology of Abraham Kuyper
Mateusz Wichary

Abraham Kuyper (1837-1920) was both a brilliant theologian and a successful politician. This is why his political theology is unique: it is fully theology, but also a base for a practical Christian influence on society, which he implemented in the Netherlands at the turn of the 19th century.  This lecture discusses the main theological themes of his approach, namely the sovereignty of God, worldview, antithesis, common grace, and sphere sovereignty.

This talk will be followed by a brief response from Olof Edsinger and a panel discussion featuring Mateusz Wichary and Olof Edsinger.

 

Where Do We Go From Here? Painting a Better Picture
Nola Leach and Charlie Hoare

There is no area in the realm of politics and society into which our Christian faith does not speak. Across this Network participants have grappled with considerable issues of our day and sought to understand how we as Christians can best stand for the Lord and help His Church shine as a light for hope and truth. This session will bring together the key points that have emerged from across the four days with opportunities for participants to express their take-home points.

 

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