Theologians

2017 European Theologians Network

Many evangelical theologians teach in universities, seminaries, and colleges with little opportunity for dialogue, fellowship, and encouragement from their evangelical brothers and sisters. The Theologians Network has been designed to provide this context and to make available an opportunity to interact with some of the world's leading evangelical scholars.

Applicants should be involved in full-time theological education (such as teachers, professors, and theology MA or PhD students). This Network will be led by Dirk Jongkind, Research Fellow in New Testament at Tyndale House and the John W. Laing Fellow at St Edmund's College, Cambridge, and Michael Reeves, Director of Union and Senior Lecturer at Wales Evangelical School of Theology.  Prior preparation will be set for all applicants.
 

NETWORK LEADERS

Dirk Jongkind is a Dutch biblical scholar who finished his PhD at Cambridge University. His main scholarly interest is in the Greek text of the Bible and the Graeco-Roman backdrop of Acts and the letters. Currently, he is the Research Fellow in New Testament Text and Language at Tyndale House, Deputy Senior Tutor at St Edmund's College, Cambridge, and affiliated lecturer at Cambridge University. He has done much work on Greek manuscripts and other remains from the ancient world.

 

Michael Reeves is Director of Union and Senior Lecturer at Wales Evangelical School of Theology. Previously he has been Head of Theology for UCCF and an associate minister at All Souls Church, Langham Place, London. He is the author of Introducing Major TheologiansThe Unquenchable FlameThe Good God, and Christ our Life, co-editor of Adam, the Fall and Original Sin, and holds a doctorate in systematic theology from King’s College, London. He is married to Bethan, and together they have two daughters, Lucy and Mia.

 

NETWORK SPEAKERS

Peter (P.J.) Williams is the Principal and CEO of Tyndale House, Cambridge. He was educated at Cambridge University, where he received his MA, MPhil, and PhD in the study of ancient languages related to the Bible. After his PhD, he was on staff in the Faculty of Divinity, Cambridge University (1997–1998), and thereafter taught Hebrew and Old Testament at Cambridge University as Affiliated Lecturer in Hebrew and Aramaic and as Research Fellow in Old Testament at Tyndale House, Cambridge (1998–2003). From 2003 to 2007 he was on the faculty of the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, where he became a Senior Lecturer in New Testament and Deputy Head of the School of Divinity, History, and Philosophy. Since 2007 he has been leading Tyndale House, and he is also an Affiliated Lecturer in the Faculty of Divinity in the University of Cambridge. He is a member of the Translation Oversight Committee of the English Standard Version of the Bible. Most recently he has been assisting Dr Dirk Jongkind in Tyndale House’s production of a major edition of the Greek New Testament.

 

Leonardo De Chirico is the pastor of Breccia di Roma, a church that he helped plant in Rome in 2009, and Vice Chairman of the Italian Evangelical Alliance. Previously, Leonardo planted and pastored an evangelical church in Ferrara, Italy, from 1997 to 2009. He earned degrees in History (University of Bologna), Theology (ETCW, Bridgend, Wales) and Bioethics (University of Padova). His PhD is from King's College (London); it was published as Evangelical Theological Perspectives on Post-Vatican II Roman Catholicism. In 2015, he published A Christian Pocket Guide to Papacy through Christian Focus. He is a lecturer of Historical Theology at Istituto di Formazione Evangelica e Documentazione in Padova, Italy. Additionally, Leonardo is the Director of the Reformanda Initiative, which aims to equip evangelical leaders to better understand and engage with Roman Catholicism, and the leader of the Rome Scholars Network (RSN).

 

Hans Bayer (PhD Aberdeen University, Scotland) is Professor of New Testament at Covenant Theological Seminary, St. Louis, USA.  Born and raised in Germany, he started at Covenant Seminary in 1994 after teaching for ten years at the German Theological Seminary (FTH) at Giessen, where he also planted and co-pastored a church. He has published English and German monographs and articles, primarily on the Gospels and the book of Acts. He contributed to the ESV Study Bible, the ESV Transformation Bible, as well as video-taped lectures on Acts for Third Millennium Ministries.  He has published A Theology of Mark: The Dynamic Between Christology and Authentic Discipleship as well as a German commentary on the Gospel of Mark. He is currently working on Apostolic Bedrock: Christology, Identity, and Character Formation According to Peter’s Canonical Testimony, as well as an English Commentary on Mark.

 

Atef Gendy has been serving as the president of the Evangelical Theological Seminary (ETSC), the largest and oldest protestant seminary in the Middle East, since 2000. In addition to his administrative duties, he continues his role as a Professor of New Testament at ETSC.  After initially working as a civil engineer, he served for eight years as director of a training center in the south of Egypt to help equip lay leaders for ministry in village churches. He graduated from ETSC in 1992 and was selected that same year as an instructor in New Testament. Dr. Gendy earned his PhD in 2001 from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland under I. Howard Marshall. He has written study notes for the book of Acts for the Bible Society of Egypt and had served as a translation consultant for the Revised Arabic Bible Translation (Van Dyke). He currently serves on the editorial committee for The Arabic Contemporary Commentary. He is also contributing with a commentary on Philemon and Colossians for the same project. Dr. Gendy is recognized as a leader in the Synod of the Nile (the Presbyterian Church) and the Council of Churches of Egypt. 

 

NETWORK PROGRAMME

Day 1

The 1999 Joint Statement on Justification by Faith: An Evangelical Assessment
Michael Reeves
In 1999, the Lutheran World Federation and the Roman Catholic Church announced in their Joint Declaration that they had come to a consensus on the basic truths of the doctrine of justification. This prompted many to pronounce the Reformation finally over. But what should we make of the Joint Declaration, and what sort of theological consensus is there now between evangelicals and the Roman Catholic Church? This session will analyse the declaration with these questions in mind. 
 
Understanding the Protestant and Roman Catholic Approaches to the Greek New Testament
Dirk Jongkind
The differences between the Reformation attitude to Scripture and the Roman Catholic is not only clear when we compare the 'official' teaching on what status the Bible has, but also when we go back to the study of the Scriptures in their original languages. The Reformation sparked off an interest in close study of the text, and similarly much new work was done by Rome. However, all this new scholarship was not without agendas or presuppositions. The existence of variation between manuscripts became an argument for the need of a decisive church authority, whilst the perspicuity of God's Word was argued on the basis of the unambiguous meaning in the original languages. These different and opposing views on how God communicates with his people play a large role in much of philological research since the 16th century. 



Day 2

How Should Christians Think of What is Called the Septuagint?
Peter J. Williams
Nowadays, even many lay Christians have heard of the Septuagint and commonly know of it as the Greek version of the Old Testament which was used by the earliest Christians. This is also the way many scholars think of it. This can be shown to be a basically confused conception which has gradually arisen through lack of precise definition and through the change of meaning in terms over time. It would in fact have been impossible for the earliest Christians to think of 'the Septuagint,' as now defined, as their Bible. Much greater theological clarity is reached when we focus on the Hebrew/Aramaic OT and the Greek NT as the God-breathed texts and see early Greek translations of the Old Testament as God's providential gift to facilitate understanding.
 
Renewal without Change? The Idea of Reformation in Roman Catholic Theology
Leonardo De Chirico
The word “reformation” has been used in the church for many centuries and in a consistent way since the Council of Constance (1414-1418). Even the Council of Trent (1545-1562), in fighting against the Protestant Reformation, promoted various forms of “reformation” in the ecclesiastical outlook of the Roman Church. It is not surprising to see the word “reformation” being used by the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) up to Pope Francis, who is passionately promoting a kind of reformation. Other words are also used: renewal, ressourcement, aggiornamento. What is meant when Rome speaks of reformation and related words? The texts of Vatican II will be used to illuminate the significance, scope, and goals of the Roman Catholic understanding of reformation. Pope Francis’ pontificate will be evaluated as an interesting case study to see the outworking of it in a present-day context before proceeding to a biblical assessment of the overall case for a reformation in the Roman Catholic Church.



Day 3

Sola Scriptura: Original Intent, Historical Development, and Current Issues of Sola Scriptura
John Woodbridge
At the Imperial Diet of Worms (1521), Martin Luther courageously affirmed the doctrine of Sola Scriptura. Our purpose in this session is not to treat the doctrine of Sola Scriptura as a doctrinal artifact of a bygone era. Rather, it is to encourage each one of us to embrace the doctrine of Sola Scriptura afresh, if we need to do so. In our secular culture we should take our own stand courageously, just like Martin Luther did, for Christ the Word of God in the flesh based on Holy Scripture, the Word of God in the flesh based on Holy Scripture, the Word of God written.
 
New Inscriptions and Archaeological Data from the Times of Saul, David, and the Early Judait Dynasty
Speaker To Be Announced
In the last decades, the existence of the united monarchy has often been challenged because only a very limited amount of data was available. Now, new inscriptional and archaeological finds shed some light on the Canaanite culture of the late 2nd and early first millenia BC, with intriguing parallels to the Hebrew Bible.
 


Day 4

Peter’s Formation as an Example of Integrated Theological Education
Hans Bayer
Generally speaking, the educational heritage in the Western World is decidedly pivoted towards the formation of thought. Notable exceptions are, e.g., the intentional combination of lecturing and tutoring at such universities as Cambridge and Oxford, as well as D. Bonhoeffer’s approach to theological education at the Finkenwalde underground seminary. Jesus’ relational tutelage of Peter includes the formation of the mind and the affections of the heart (as the locus of the deepest convictions, feelings, and decisions). It is challenging to practice such a “cumbersome” and holistic approach. Nevertheless, engaging a small group of students with rigorous academic standards and holistic, personal relationships (including personal transparency) is the road forward.

Best Practice in Theological Education: Practical Experience from Egypt
Atef Gendy

Best practices are used to achieve superior results and to help an institution achieve its mission.  However, best practices can seem too mechanical or corporate, and in the realm of education and transformation, methods cannot always be repeated verbatim.  How do we evaluate best practices for our own contexts?  Are there best practices that should be applied universally to ensure effective theological education?  If so, what biblical ideological shifts are required to implement these best practices? 

 

 

 

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