New Ministry – Newish Blog

I’m excited to announce the next big step in my family’s life….

A while ago I announced that I would stepping onto Young Life staff to serve as the Trainer for the Los Angeles Young Life Region! My new role – which I’m starting today (!) – will allow me to do what I’m most passionate about: equipping Christians to be effective on mission. I’ll get the chance to work with students aspiring to go into ministry as well as with those who have years of experience doing Young Life. My purpose is to seek, develop, equip, and unleash leaders to introduce kids from all walks of life to Jesus. This ministry does so much to introduce kids – especially those who are the furthest from Jesus – to who Jesus really is. I’m excited to play a role in equipping leaders on the front lines to be a witness to Jesus as they invite kids from all over Los Angeles into the abundant life that Christ offers! I’m also immensely excited about Young Life’s vision to reach even more areas within Los Angles. We are currently in 30 areas and we are actively working on establishing a gospel presence in Simi Valley, Carson, Compton, Inglewood, Downey, La Miranda, Alhambra, West Covina, and Pomona (just to name a few). With 1600 kids in club each week, 7600 kids know by name, and a presence in 82 schools, I know that we are poised to make an impact on this city. I’m stoked to step back into vocational ministry!

Because of my shift in focus, my blog will also shift it’s focus a bit too. While I will still blog about calls for papers, conferences, academic projects I’m working on, etc., I will turn towards blogging about ministry and mission related topics a bit more. That was actually the original focus of this blog when I started it! When I started this blog I was working as the college ministry director at a church in the West San Fernando Valley. This blog let me think through some ministry/mission topics out loud. Writing was part of the way that I would process things. Now I’m turning back towards the very reason I started this blog, to present scattered thoughts about theology, ministry, mission, and culture. You’ll get to see Woznicki Think Out Loud (get it, CWoznicki Think Out Loud is the name of the blog) a bit more in the coming months.

This is where Young Life is currently doing ministry in LA and where we hope to do ministry.

Call for Papers: 2021 Virtual Southeast Regional Meeting of the Evangelical Philosophical Society

Call for Papers: 2021 Virtual Southeast Regional Meeting of the Evangelical Philosophical Society

On March 19-20, 2021, Charleston Southern University will host the Southeast Regional Meeting of the Evangelical Philosophical Society, in conjunction with the meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society.

The conference will be held live via Zoom.

Conference Theme: The Doctrine of God

Plenary speaker: Dr. Scott Swain (President of the Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando, FL)

All members of EPS (full, associate, and student) are invited to submit a paper proposal on any philosophical topic (papers connected to the conference theme will be given priority). To sign-up/renew EPS membership, please go here (membership includes a print subscription to Philosophia Christi).

Paper proposals of 200-300 words, prepared for blind review, should be sent via e-mail as an attachment to Ross Parker, associate professor of Christian Studies at CSU (dparker@csuniv.edu). Include a title for the paper.

In the body of your e-mail include the following: contact information (e-mail and phone number), membership status in EPS, institutional affiliation (school, church, or ministry name).

Deadline for proposals: February 12th

Presenters must register for the conference, which can be done at https://www.churchandgospel.com/southeast-regional-ets/.

Books Read in 2020

By now it’s a tradition: at the end of each year I post all the books that I finished reading during year.  Here are all the books I read in 2020. Some are brand spanking new books. Others are older books. This year’s total is…. *drumroll please*:

64 Books Read in 2020

So what was my favorite book this year?

The book that I was most enthralled by this year was actually delivered as one of the Gifford Lectures (2011). In The Territories of Science and Religion, Peter Harrison argues that the shift in conceiving of religio and scientia as virtues to seeing them as external practices (a shift that began to occur in the early modern period) is in part what has led to the–supposed–modern conflict we see today. Approaching the “conflict” in terms of virtue was a paradigm shift for me.


January

  1. Heresies and How to Avoid Them – Ben Quash and Michael Ward
  2. Children of God: The Imago Dei in John Calvin and His Context – Jason Van Vliet
  3. Authority – Jeff VanderMeer
  4. Acceptance – Jeff VanderMeer
  5. The Extent of Atonement: The Dilemma for Reformed Theology from Calvin to the Consensus – Michael Thomas

February

  1. The Liturgy of Creation – Michael LeFebvre
  2. Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God – J. I. Packer
  3. Born Again: The Evangelical Theology of Conversion in John Wesley and George Whitefield – Sean McGever
  4. Hearers and Doers – Kevin Vanhoozer

March

  1. Calvinism and the Amyraut Heresy – Brian Armstrong
  2. For Us and Our Salvation: Limited Atonement in the Bible, Doctrine, History, and Ministry – Lee Gatiss
  3. The Death Christ Died: A Case for Unlimited Atonement – Robert Lightner
  4. Living in Union with Christ: Paul’s Gospel and Christian Moral Identity – Grant Macaskill
  5. On Death – Timothy Keller

April

  1. Aliens in the Promised Land: Why Minority Leadership is Overlooked in White Christian Churches and Institutions – Anthony Bradley
  2. The Atonement and the Modern Mind – James Denny
  3. Definite Atonement – Gary Long
  4. Approaching the Atonement – Oliver Crisp
  5. Walking with the Poor: Principles and Practices of Transformational Development – Bryant Myers
  6. The Comanche Empire – Pekka Hämäläinen
  7. The Ten Commandments – Peter Leithart

May

  1. Insider Jesus: Reflections on New Christian Movements – William Dyrness
  2. Foolishness to the Greeks: The Gospel and Western Culture – Lesslie Newbigin
  3. Ethics: A Very Short Introduction – Simon Blackburn
  4. Logic: A Very Short Introduction – Graham Priest
  5. In My Place Condemned He Stood – J. I. Packer and Mark Dever

June

  1. The Possibility of Prayer – John Starke
  2. God and Guns in America – Michael Austin
  3. The History of Bourbon – Ken Alba

July

  1. Canoeing the Mountains: Christian Leadership in Uncharted Territory – Tod Bolsinger
  2. On the Road with Saint Augustine – James K.A. Smith
  3. A Grow-Up Guide to Dinosaurs – Ben Garrod

August

  1. The Atonement and the Death of Christ – William Lane Craig
  2. Baptists and the Christian Tradition – Matthew Emerson, Christopher Morgan, R. Lucas Stamps
  3. A Discourse Touching Prayer – John Bunyan
  4. Edward Irving Reconsidered – David Malcolm Bennett
  5. The Saint’s Privilege and Profit – John Bunyan
  6. The Breadth of Salvation – Tom Greggs

September

  1. How to Read Theology for All Its Worth – Karin Stetina
  2. The Story of God: How the Cosmos Declare the Glory of God – Paul Gould and Daniel Ray
  3. Surprise the World: Five Habits of Highly Missional People – Michael Frost
  4. The Work of Christ – P. T. Forsyth
  5. God’s Philosophers: How the Medieval World Laid the Foundations of Modern Science – James Hannam

October

  1. Alta California: From San Diego to San Francisco, a Journey on Foot to Rediscover the Golden State – Nick Neely
  2. The Soul of Prayer – P. T. Forsyth
  3. God’s Mediators: A Biblical Theology of Priesthood – Andrew Malone
  4. Divided We Fall: America’s Secession Threat and How to Restore Our Nation – David French
  5. Caffeine – Michael Pollan
  6. Science and the Good: The Tragic Quest for the Foundations of Morality – James Davison Hunter and Paul Nedelisky
  7. Before the Bear: The History and Legacy of California Before it Joined the United States – Charles River Editors
  8. Jesus Christ in the Preaching of Calvin and Schleiermacher – Dawn DeVries

November

  1. Territories of Science and Religion – Peter Harrison
  2. Toward a Theology of Nature – Wolfhart Pannenberg
  3. Before You Open Your Bible – Matt Smethurst
  4. I am Restored – Lecrae
  5. Trinity and Creation: A Scriptural and Confessional Account – Richard Barcellos

December

  1. Stewards of Eden: What Scripture Says about the Environment and why it Matters – Sandra Richter
  2. By Design: Developing a Philosophy of Education Informed by a Christian Worldview – Martha MacCullogh
  3. The Liturgy of the Ordinary – Tish Harrison Warren
  4. Creation and Doxology: The Beginning and End of God’s Good World – Gerald Hiestand and Todd Wilson
  5. Lost in Thought: The Hidden Pleasures of an Intellectual Life – Zena Hitz
  6. The Doctrine of Creation: A Constructive Kuyperian Approach – Bruce Ashford and Craig Bartholomew
  7. Journey into God’s Word – J. Scott Duvall and J. Daniel Hays
  8. On the Apostolic Preaching – Irenaeus

Call for Papers: Jonathan Edwards and the Early American Republic: Patriotism, Exceptionalism, and the Pursuit of Happiness

While Jonathan Edwards has been crowned “America’s Theologian,” his successors in the early republic can rightly be called American theologians. Known pejoratively as “The New Divinity,” the Edwardsean tradition was a socially-oriented Calvinism, confronting the most controversial and even volatile issues in their infant nation. With the ideas of Edwards and some of the most capable thinkers for their age, the New Divinity became the first indigenous school of Calvinism in American history, shaping the American theological tradition and helping forge the national identity. A volume that examines the influence of America’s theologian on America’s founding would thus fill a gap in historical studies and better explain the development of religious identity in the United States.

The editors of the proposed volume, Jonathan Edwards and the Early American Republic: Patriotism, Exceptionalism, and the Pursuit of Happiness are seeking chapter contributions of 5000-7000 words. Chapters should focus on the Edwardsean engagement with salient issues in the early American nation. Suggested topics include: political economy and the expansion of trade and/or capitalism; language, epistemology and the organization of knowledge; human rights, and thinking about war and peace; slavery and abolitionism; gender and the church; international relations; the social hierarchy; poverty and the marginal of society; anthropocentrism and ecological dominance; etc. Other related but not listed topics would be welcomed as well. The chapters shall be arranged into thematic sections. Contributors must be Ph.D., or at least ABD. Contributors must use The Chicago Manual of Style and conform to the norms of the Jonathan Edwards Center (see the Jonathan Edwards Studies Journal).

Deadline for Abstracts: 31 December 2020 (300 Words and CV sent to john.lowe.2@louisville.edu and obbie.todd@lutherrice.edu)

Answer to Authors: 1 March 2021

Full Chapters to Submitted: 1 June 2021

Analyzing Doctrine Book Panel

November 30, 2020
Virtual Meeting via AAR/SBL Registration

4:00 – 5:30 PM (EST)

Analyzing Doctrine Book Panel

Last year marks the ten-year anniversary of the publication of Michael Rea and Oliver Crisp’s book, Analytic Theology: New Essays in the Philosophy of Theology. While, arguably, analytic theology had been done prior to this book, this edited volume gave a name to a particular approach to doing theology. This approach applies the ambitions of analytic philosophers in a style that conforms to the prescriptions that are distinctive of analytic philosophy and engages the literature that is constitutive of the analytic tradition.

Ten years after the publication of Analytic Theology, one of the main architects of analytic theology, Oliver Crisp, has published a new volume, Analyzing Doctrine: Towards a Systematic Theology. This marks a significant contribution to the field because it is the first attempt to construct something close to an entire systematic theology. Although it is not yet a complete systematic theology, Crisp draws upon theological and philosophical literature to establish the elements that will form th foundation of a completed study. As such he focuses on core Christian dogmas like, the doctrine of God, Christology, and soteriology.

The fact that this is the first attempt by an analytic theologian to put together a systematic theology demands a response.

Moderator: Christopher Woznicki, Fuller Theological Seminary) will provide a brief introduction toAnalyzing Doctrine.

Panelists:

  • Ross Inman, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
  • Thomas McCall, Asbury Seminary
  • Gray Sutanto, Reformed Theological Seminary
  • Jordan Wessling, Lindsey Wilson College

Respondent: Oliver Crisp, University of St. Andrews

Important Registration Information: This session is part of a series of other virtual EPS sessions happening in light of the 2020 AAR/SBL conference. All presenters/panelists and attendees must register via the AAR website. You do not have to be a member of AAR/SBL in order to register.

  • Current EPS members can directly register at the discounted affiliate rate ($225 compared to AAR/SBL’s non-member rate of $385). At the linked page, click “New Registration” and proceed with the prompts (to sign-up/renew EPS Membership, please click here).
  • If you are a current AAR/SBL member but not an EPS member, please register here for the conference.
  • AAR does not offer a ‘per session’ rate or registration. Registration includes all AAR/SBL sessions (pdf of program is available here).
  • Once registered, proceed to sign-up for sessions via AAR/SBL’s schedule builder.

If you have questions about registration for the AAR/SBL conference, please contact reg@aarweb.org. For questions about EPS sessions at AAR/SBL, please send via our contact form.Type of event: EPS at the American Academy of Religion/Society of Biblical Literature

CFP: E.J. Lowe’s Metaphysics and Analytic Theology

An International Journal for Philosophy of Religion and Philosophical Theology

CALL FOR PAPERS

E. J. LOWE’S METAPHYSICS AND ANALYTIC THEOLOGY

Guest editors Mihretu P. Guta: Biola University, Addis Ababa University & Azusa Pacific University Eric LaRock: Oakland University & University of Michigan, Center for Consciousness Science

Edward Jonathan Lowe was one of the most distinguished metaphysicians of the last 50 plus years. He made immense contributions to analytic philosophy in as diverse areas as metaphysics, philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, philosophical logic, modern philosophy (especial on John Locke) and philosophy of religion. Lowe was a realist metaphysician. Like Aristotle, he thought that, with sustained reflection and responsible engagement with empirical research, the nature of a mind independent reality can be discovered. In all of this works, Lowe consistently maintained that our common-sense pre-philosophical convictions about reality should not be ignored unless there is a good reason to do so. Even in such cases, Lowe firmly believed that common-sense should rather be corrected and further enriched in light of relevant empirical discoveries. But Lowe never accepted the idea that, in light of the advancement of science, somehow we should entirely stop our reliance on common-sense in our inquiry into the nature of reality. Partly in defence of this very view, Lowe developed his most influential and highly original work: the four-category ontology. The gist of this work concerns metaphysics as an inquiry into the structure of ultimate reality (taken in general), provides a foundation for natural science. Lowe strongly believed that it is metaphysics not science that can set the terms for what is possible and not possible. Lowe believed that figuring out what actually exists in the natural world falls within the purview of science. On Lowe’s view, metaphysics and science can and should work in synergy, each playing its distinctive role in enhancing our knowledge of a mind independent reality. Lowe extended his realist view of reality to causation, laws of nature, modality, personal identity, logic, language, God’s existence, time and space, human ontology, properties and many other issues. Lowe’s views on ontological issues also have direct implications for issues in philosophical theology as well as philosophy of religion such as incarnation, trinity and divine attributes. One of the things that makes Lowe’s work uniquely suitable to apply to various issues in either philosophical theology or philosophy of religion has to do with its systematic nature. Lowe built an extremely sophisticated ontological system as shown in his the Four-Category Ontology. In so many ways, Lowe’s highly original ontological system will prove relevant to address questions that arise in philosophical theology. Many contemporary metaphysicians influenced by Lowe’s system also have an interest both in philosophical theology and philosophy of religion, and have integrated elements of Lowe’s metaphysics in their treatment of these questions. Yet, to this date, no attempt has been made to take a general look at how Lowe’s metaphysics relates to various issues in the philosophy of religion. This is the first attempt to take concrete steps to fill in the existing gap in this regard. To this effect, we would like to invite paper contributions that connect any relevant aspect of Lowe’s work to any issue in philosophical theology or philosophy of religion, especially incarnation, trinity, divine attributes, human agency and divine sovereignty, unified experience and the existence of God, divine causation, divine temporality or atemporality et cetera.

Deadline for submissions: September 30th, 2020

Full papers should be submitted via our website: https://ojs.uclouvain.be/index.php/theologica/index or sent to: managingeditor.theologica@gmail.com. In order to contribute equally to scientific international discussions held in several languages, articles written in English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish are accepted. Visit the TheoLogica homepage for a description of the journal and instructions to authors.

For a brief biography on Lowe’s life and work, click on the link below: https://www.jstor.org/stable/43047040?seq=1#metadata_info_tab_contents

For an extended discussion on Lowe’s work, click the link below: https://www.iep.utm.edu/lowe-ej/ Yours sincerely, Mihretu P. Guta & Eric LaRock

Blueprint 1543 – A New Science & Theology Venture – Launches

Justin Barrett and Rebecca Dorsey Sok have co-founded a new venture, Blueprint 1543, with a mission to integrate Christian theology and the sciences to answer life’s biggest questions. The Knoxville-based organization is focusing on three broad initiatives—leadership development, sciences-engaged theology, and science stewardship—supported by a portfolio of programs and projects. Blueprint 1543 will be developing their own projects, as well as consulting and coaching for partner organizations. Sok and Barrett have managed over $16 million in grants with multiple funding partners (such as the AT project, and TheoPsych: Bringing Theology to Mind). This new venture signals their exit from running Fuller Theological Seminary’s Office for Science, Theology, and Religion (STAR), which also supported interdisciplinary research and programs in faith-science integration. Sarey Martin Concepción joins Barrett and Sok as Blueprint 1543’s Director of Communication. BP1543 is currently building its roster of partners from the fields of theology, philosophy, and the sciences. To stay up to date on projects and opportunities, follow on Facebook, Twitter, or sign up for their newsletter. More information at www.blueprint1543.org.

Angels – The Andrew Fuller Virtual Conference

Among the fascinations of western culture in the early twenty-first century are angels and extra-terrestrial beings. Yet the church, which has a rich history of reflecting on such beings, especially angels, is virtually silent about the subject. This is especially true of those people who prize the Bible, namely, Evangelicals, who have largely ceded this subject to Western culture. This conference is nothing less than an opening exercise in the retrieval and recovery of a biblical angelology from some of the great Christian thinkers of the past–Augustine, John Calvin, Jonathan Edwards–as well as a study of how popular Christian culture has shaped thinking about angels. Come and join us for a day of intellectual feasting and delight!

SCHEDULE

Friday, September 25, 2020 

9:00 AM Augustine & the Patristic Tradition  | Corneliu C. Simuţ

10:45 AM John Calvin | Herman J. Selderhuis

12:00 PM Lunch

1:30 PM    Jonathan Edwards & Evangelical Tradition | Dustin Benge

3:15 PM    Isaac Ambrose & the Puritan Tradition | Tom Schwanda

4:30 PM Dinner

6:30 PM    Charles H. Spurgeon & the Baptist Tradition | Tom Nettles

8:15 PM    C.S. Lewis & Billy Graham | Michael J. Plato

REGISTRATION

COST | $35REGISTER

The Gospel as Prisoner and Liberator of Culture

Missiologist and church historian Andrew Walls begins his classic essay, “The Gospel as Prisoner and Liberator of Culture,” with a fascinating thought experiment. An extraterrestrial who is a “Professor of Comparative Inter-Planetary Religion” has come to earth to study the Christian religion. The alien visits Christian gatherings across various times and places.  He finds that there is historical continuity but he also discovers that these groups have significant differences. Some emphasize Jewish law, some put an emphasis on Greek metaphysics, others use rather extreme ascetical methods for sanctification, still others gather in large groups to hear individuals speak, and some seem to be fixated on invisible realities. Despite these differences there is a lot of continuity regarding some foundational beliefs, for example the centrality of Jesus, the use of Scripture, and the taking of the Lord’s supper. Yet the alien concludes, “these continuities are cloaked with such heavy veils belonging to the environment that Christians of different times and places must often be unrecognizable to others, or indeed even to themselves, as manifestations of a single phenomenon” (Walls 1996, 18).

What explains these similarities and differences? Walls suggests that there are two principles underlying Christian history: an Indigenizing Principle and a Pilgrim Principle. He says that “Church history has always been a battleground” for these two tendencies. By the “Indigenizing Principle” Walls means to say that every human being is conditioned by their historical and cultural context. Because of this, every expression of Christianity will be culturally contextual, it will be indigenized. On the other hand there is the “Pilgrim Principle.” This principle leads Christians to believe that “he has no abiding city and wars him that to be faithful to Christ will put him out of step with society… there will be rubs and frictions—not from the adoption of a new culture, but from the transformation of the mind towards that of Christ” (Walls 1996, 19).

There is a danger when Christians live out the Indigenizing Principle or the Pilgrim principle improperly. When Christians lean too heavily into the Indigenizing principle the gospel becomes a prisoner of culture. When they lean too heavily into the Pilgrim principle they lose their sense of responsibility for the culture in which God has placed them. When this happens then the gospel does not bring any transformation to society.

To be honest I see many Christians in my American context leaning towards these divergent ends of the spectrum. Perhaps this extremism is a symptom of the kind of polarization that marks our culture, I don’t know though. Regardless of why Christians are currently leaning into each principle in such extreme ways, instead of finding the appropriate response that takes into account both of these principles, the fact is that the reputation of the gospel suffers and society suffers because of this.

Future Glory in Heaven and Future Justice on Earth

I planned this discussion forum for my “Orientation to Theological Studies Course” many months ago… but the topic is especially relevant this week.

One key aspect of Derek Hicks’s essay, “Eschatology in African American Theology” was the notion that for African American theologians “eschatology is woven together by thoughts of future glory in heaven and future justice on earth.” (250)  This idea is eloquently expressed by Martin Luther King Jr. when he said that, “It’s all right to talk about ‘long white robes over yonder,’ in all of its symbolism. But ultimately people want some suits and dresses and shoes to wear down here! Its alright to talk about ‘streets flowing with milk and honey,’ but God has commanded us to be concerned about the slums down here, and his children who can’t eat three square meals a day. It’s all right to talk about the new Jerusalem, but one day, God’s preacher must talk about the new New York, the new Atlanta, the new Philadelphia, the new Los Angeles, the new Memphis, Tennessee. This is what we have to do.” (247)

1) If you could categorize the eschatology expressed in Martin Luther King’s quote, how would you categorize it? Why? (I.e. consistent, realized, inaugurated?)

2) In conversation with the readings and videos, reflect upon, and defend your own understanding of the balance/tension between the already-not yet of the eschaton and how that impacts our call to ministry, service, and justice.