Theologians

2019 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 and Language at Tyndale House and Deputy Senior Tutor at St Edmund's College, Cambridge, and Michael Reeves, President and Professor of Theology at Union 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 President and Professor of Theology at Union School of Theology in the UK. 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 TheologiansWhy the Reformation Still MattersThe 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 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.

 

Steffen Jenkins is half German, half Welsh, was born in Spain but again in England. He has served on the faculty of the Eastern Baptist Seminary in Cuba and with the “Cuba para Cristo” mission agency for fifteen years. He has recently completed a project at Tyndale House, Cambridge, to equip Cuban seminary lecturers to raise up new lecturers of Greek and Hebrew throughout Cuba, while serving as associate minister of an evangelical Presbyterian church in Chelmsford. His doctoral research under Prof Gordon Wenham focused on prayers for vengeance in the Psalms. His twin passions of equipping pastors with languages to a high enough standard that they can use them, and of helping pastors to love the Old Testament shamelessly, are happily combined by his idiosyncratic position as lecturer of Greek and OT at Union School of Theology.

 

Daniel von Wachter (www.von-wachter.de) is professor and director of the International Academy of Philosophy in the Principality of Liechtenstein (www.iap.li). He is German and studied philosophy and theology at Munich, Liechtenstein, Innsbruck, Hamburg, and Oxford. Before he moved to Liechtenstein, he was a professor in Chile. Metaphysics and philosophy of religion are the main areas of his research. His method is within what is associated with analytic philosophy, but he places himself in the broader tradition of European philosophy, especially Protestant scholasticism and the non-deterministic philosophers of the 18th century.

 

Ádám Szabados has been the Pastor at Evangelical Christian Church, Veszprém, since 1999. He is married to Dóra, and has two boys. He studied English literature and linguistics at the University of Veszprém (MA equivalent, with honours), and theology at Schloss Mittersill Study Center (Diploma in Biblical Studies and Culture) and at Covenant Theological Seminary (ThM in Exegetical Theology). He is currently doing his PhD in the area of New Testament at Károli Reformed University. He helped start the Hungarian Evangelical Forum and is the leader of its Steering Committee. His study on the Reformational understanding of sin has been published by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and by ProPhilosophia. He wrote a book on Eros (Erosz nyomában, Harmat Publishing House, 2008), which aims to address both Christians and non-Christians in their search for the good, the true, and the beautiful. Ádám also has a popular theological-apologetic website (divinity.szabadosadam.hu).

 

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).

 

NETWORK PROGRAMME

Day 1

When Theologians Should Not Be Nice

Dirk Jongkind

Within the Christian world, the tension between when to speak out against false ideas and the people who bring them and when to tolerate diversity of opinion and accept other viewpoints is one of the trickiest problems in day-to-day church life. This very practical issue appears in each letter in the New Testament, in different forms and in different contexts. Depending on the ‘culture’ within our organisation or denomination, we may address differences with fierce words or soothing love. The only way in which to develop the right instincts is to absorb the Biblical role models. In the current context of the European church, with a widening gap between public morals and Christ-like behaviour, the letter of Jude provides us with an example of an inspired response to differences within the church.

 

The Canon of the Old Testament: Evaluating the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha

Speaker To Be Announced

This lecture will give some general introduction into the emergence of the canon, the better known Apocrypha of the Old Testament, and the significance of some of the most prominent Pseudepigrapha. Constantin Tischendorf, one of the greatest textual scholars of the Old and New Testament, and well-known for his discovery of the Codex Sinaiticus, edited also many apocryphal and pseudepigraphical works. He knew the value of these books in two major aspects: (1) They can give valuable information about the language, think patterns, and popular beliefs at the time of their formation. (2) They are a background against which the Greek scriptures unfold their real intellectual depth, historical entrenchment, and redemptive power.



Day 2

Can We Know the Exact Words of Scripture?

Peter J. Williams

Evangelical Christians often identify their supreme authority as the ‘original text’ of the Bible. But haven’t the originals been lost? Isn’t it problematic to adhere to a non-existent authority? And how are we to decide which text to follow when manuscripts disagree? What are we to do when a New Testament quotation seems to differ radically from the Old Testament text it is quoting? This lecture will argue that the classic evangelical understanding of Scripture is robust today and is able to deal with the data of the manuscripts. However, one of the main risks to evangelicals comes through widespread misunderstanding of what they believe. Lazy thinking and confused use of terminology represent major threats to the spread of evangelical approaches today.

 

Is Penal Substitution a Late Theological Development? Counterexamples from the Church Fathers

Adam Szabados

We are often told that penal substitution as a model of the atonement is a late invention of Saint Anselm or the Reformers, and so we are encouraged to go back to earlier interpretations of the death of Christ. This talk will use patristic evidence to demonstrate that this is a false reconstruction of history and explain the biblical basis of the penal substitutionary view of atonement.



Day 3

A Moral Issue Only? Assessing Theologically the Sexual Abuses of the Catholic Church

Leonardo De Chirico

The public image of the Roman Catholic Church emerging out of the sexual abuse scandals is that of a disrupted institution going through a season of internal turmoil. Having several top leaders (cardinals, bishops, priests) and institutions (seminaries, schools, the Vatican curia itself) incriminated for either abusing children or covering up abuse undermines the moral, spiritual, and institutional credibility of Rome. A significant factor in determining the present-day moral disaster lies at the very heart of the theology of the Roman Church. After surveying the relevant reports that show the self-protecting attitude of Rome, the session will seek to argue that the problem has to do with the Roman theology of authority that warrants the primacy of the interest of the church over biblical truth and public transparency.

 

Evangelising the New Atheists with the Old Testament: Preaching the Canaanite 'Genocide'

Steffan Jenkins

The “New Atheists” speak as though portions of the Bible were smoking guns, as obviously evil as revelations of abuse from priests. They assume that Christians will blush and either apologise for these passages, or explain them away. In fact, the gospel calls the New Atheists not only to repent of sins in general, but to repent specifically of their claim to be moral judges standing over the Bible. We will look at the command to destroy the Canaanites within its biblical context and show that it is integral to God’s nature as life-giving and life-protecting. In fact, we will further show that it is only when we listen to what the OT teaches (including these commands) that we can call genocide evil. By contrast, atheists (new or otherwise) have no solid grounds for critiquing the violence which filled the 20th century.



Day 4

How Do We Present Evidence for Jesus' Resurrection in the Modern University?

Daniel von Wachter

This talk shall suggest that arguments for the resurrection of Jesus are important and valuable for Christians as well as for evangelism. It is powerful evidence not only for the existence of God but also for the truth of the gospel. In contemporary philosophy this topic is approached with Bayes’ theorem, which is entailed by the standard axioms of probability. This talk shall explain in simple terms how this can be employed usefully. Appealing to the fact that we generally trust our senses, it shall present a way of structuring the argument which makes it particularly effective.

 

Theological Education Today

Michael Reeves

Theological education at all levels and across Europe is facing a number of common challenges today. This session will look at some of those key challenges and offer principles and examples to encourage good practice among evangelicals.


 

 

 

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