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In this Issue Luther and the Reformation | 6
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PRESBYTERIAN THEOLOGI C AL
Luther and the Reformation
Theodore J. Wardlaw
Board of Trustees
G. Archer Frierson II, Chair James C. Allison Margaret Aymer Janice L. Bryant (MDiv’01, DMin’11) Claudia D. Carroll Katherine B. Cummings (MDiv’05) Thomas Christian Currie Jill Duffield (DMin’13) Jackson Farrow Jr. Beth Blanton Flowers, MD Stephen Giles Jesús Juan González (MDiv’92) Walter Harris Jr. John S. Hartman Rhashell D. Hunter Bobbi Kaye Jones (MDiv’80) Keatan A. King Steve LeBlanc J. Sloan Leonard, MD Sue B. McCoy Matthew Miller (MDiv’03) B. W. Payne David Peeples Denise Nance Pierce (MATS’11) Mark B. Ramsey Conrad M. Rocha Matthew E. Ruffner Lana E. Russell Lita Simpson Martha Crawley Tracey John L. Van Osdall Carlton D. Wilde Jr. Elizabeth Williams Michael G. Wright
Volume 133 | Number 1
The Ongoing Reformation
Brother Luther Served the Church
6 We couldn’t let the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation pass without lifting up Luther and the significance of his faithful protest—including a Reformation Faire for students and their families.
By David W. Johnson
By Cynthia L. Rigby
“Table Talk” An Ecumenical Dialogue David Johnson, Lois Malcolm, Cynthia Rigby, and Steve Rodenborn
Luther, Music, and Reformation
Calvinists and Lutherans on the Lord’s Supper
By Eric Wall
By Timothy Lincoln
How to Host a Reformation Faire
By John Leedy (MDiv’11)
Max Sherman Louis Zbinden
seminary & church
twenty-seventh & speedway
17 live & learn
Austin Seminary Association (ASA) Board Matt Miles (MDiv’99),President Kristy Vits (MDiv’98), Past President Denise Odom (MDiv’99), Vice President Barrett Abernethy (MDiv’13), Secretary Kennetha Bigham-Tsai (MDiv’03) Paul Harris (MATS’10) Dieter Heinzl (MDiv’98) Sandra Kern (MDiv’93) Josh Kerr (MDiv’14) Daniel Molyneux (MDiv’86) Valerie Sansing (MDiv’00) Sheila Sidberry-Thomas (MDiv’14) Ayana Teter (MDiv’06) Caryn Thurman (MDiv’07) Michael Ulasewich (MDiv’05)
Selina Aguirre Jacqueline Hefley April Long Usama Malik Gary Mathews Alex Pappas Alison Riemersma Sharon Sandberg Mona Santandrea Kristy Sorensen
18 faculty news & notes 20 alumni news & notes
Windows is published three times each year by Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. To read prior issues, go here: AustinSeminary.edu/windows Austin Seminary Windows Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary 100 E. 27th St. Austin, TX 78705-5711 phone: 512-404-4808 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org austinseminary.edu ISSN 2056-0556; Non-profit bulk mail permit no. 2473
President’s Schedule 2018 January 14 – Preach, Brick Presbyterian Church New York, NY March 1 – Partner Lunch, Northwest Arkansas March 4 – Preach, First Presbyterian Church Burlington, North Carolina March 8 – Evening with the President, Austin, Texas March 25 – Preach Westminster Presbyterian Church Greenville, South Carolina April 19 – Partner Lunch Dallas, Texas April 26 – Coffee with the President, Houston, Texas
f you promise not to tell anybody, I’ll share a secret. As recently as late-summer 2016, I had not even thought about how the next year—now this one—would include the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. I was sitting at a breakfast table at the Seminary for an annual ecumenical gathering of Austin-area pastors (we do this every August), and the person sitting next to me was the priest at the Catholic church nearest our campus. He said to me, “Our two communities ought to do something together for the 500th anniversary of the Reformation next year.” I was quietly embarrassed—not just by the relative nearness of that date some fourteen months away, but by the fact that it took a Catholic priest to remind me of the Protestant Reformation. That was then, and this is now—just a few weeks, as I write these words, after churches and communions around the world have celebrated Luther’s sending his ninety-five debating points regarding indulgences to the Archbishop of Mainz. And, in fact, we did mark the moment on Reformation Day with an ecumenical presentation including a Catholic scholar from St. Edward’s University in Austin, a Lutheran scholar from Luther Theological Seminary in St. Paul, and three theologians from our own faculty. We also had some fun on campus with a zany Reformation Faire created by alumnus John Leedy (whose article in the pages ahead recounts how you, too, can celebrate the Reformation next year in your own parishes). And, in Shelton Chapel at the end of the day, we dedicated our very first Hopson Symposium to the music of the Reformation as led by the Seminary’s Eric Wall, dean of the chapel and assistant professor of sacred music, and Tony McNeill and the Reverend Paul Roberts from Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary in Atlanta. In the gothic chapel of the Central Presbyterian Church in Atlanta, where I served as pastor before coming here, the Reformation window features references to Luther and Calvin and St. Augustine (perhaps a particular godfather for reformers). But the centerpiece of the window features a dramatic depiction of Czech priest and reformer Jan Hus being burned at the stake, almost a hundred years before Luther’s theses. His likeness as flames surround and devour him is so vivid that, when I used to walk past that window, I could practically smell burning flesh. It was a tribute to commitment, to commitments of all types, to what one is willing to do in the context of great challenge when what is at stake is living out the core convictions of the Gospel. Such commitments are always calling forth to us, in every time and place, and when we answer them we recapitulate anew the necessity of an ongoing Reformation.
Theodore J. Wardlaw President
May 9 – Coffee with the President, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
2 | Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary
Sarah Gaventa Named Dean of Students
he Austin Seminary Board has called The Reverend Sarah Kinney Gaventa to the newly named position of dean of students. Gaventa has been the interim vice president for student affairs and vocation since May 1. She is a graduate cum laude of the University of Richmond and earned the MDiv from Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Virginia. She also holds a certificate from the Association for Intentional Interim Ministry. An accomplished preacher, leader, and administrator, Gaventa is an Episcopal priest whose parish work includes deep experience in pastoral care, Christian education, youth ministry, stewardship, liturgy and preaching, theological dialogue with seminarians, and experience creating congregation-wide conversations around race. She and her husband, Matt, pastor of University Presbyterian Church, Austin, are parents to a six-year-old son, Charlie.
“Here I Sing,” the initial event of the Hal H. and Martha S. Hopson Endowed Symposium Fund, was held on October 3o. Organized by Professor Eric Wall (below), the evening’s guest leaders were Paul Roberts (far left) and Tony McNeill (near left) of Johnson C. Smith Seminary in Atlanta and featured choirs from Austin Seminary, University Presbyterian Church, Austin, and Texas Southern University.
board actions | Austin Seminary Board of Trustees took the following actions at its fall meeting: • Approved the sabbatical proposal for Jennifer Lord, January 1-June 30, 2019 • Approved the sabbatical proposal of Song-Mi Suzie Park, January 1-June 30, 2019 • Reappointed Carolyn Browning-Helsel as assistant professor of homiletics for a three-year term, effective July 1, 2018 • Granted tenure to SongMi Suzie Park, effective July 1, 2018 • Adopted the Green Seminary Initiative Resolution • Approved the election of Elizabeth Currie Williams to the Board of Trustees Class of 2020 and installed the following new members: Jill Duffield, Bobbi Kaye Jones, Denise Nance Pierce, and John Van Osdall • Approved the appointment of Janice Bryant to serve as the at-large member of the executive committee • Approved a change in title for Jack Barden to vice president for enrollment management • Approved the appointment of the Sarah Gaventa as dean of students, effective November 1, 2017
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Meet the entering class for 2017: Master of Arts in Youth Ministry (MAYM) students at right; all other master’s-level students above.
Former trustee Jeffrey Richard was our Constitution Day speaker, September 14.
4 | Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary
background photo: It was another big win for the Seminary’s flag football team at this year’s Polity Bowl, November 11.
Pets and their people gathered for a Blessing of the Animals service on September 24.
Friends from Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church, Northridge Presbyterian Church, and NorthPark Presbyterian Church in Dallas made a pilgrimage to Austin Seminary for a day of worship and fellowship with the Seminary community, October 3.
Three Austin Seminary alumnae were commissioned as trustees on November 6, 2017: Denise Nance Pierce (MATS’11), Bobbi Kaye Jones (MDiv’80), and Jill Duffield (DMin’13).
New Leadership Added to Austin Seminary Board
ustin Presbyterian Theological Seminary welcomed five new trustees to its governing board on November 6, 2017. These new members include three alumnae of Austin Seminary: Jill Duffield (DMin’13), Bobbi Kaye Jones (MDiv’80), and Denise Nance Pierce (MATS’11), in addition to two returning trustees: John L. Van Osdall and Elizabeth Currie Williams. The Reverend Dr. Jill Duffield, of Charlottesville, Virginia, is the editor of The Presbyterian Outlook, the first woman to serve as editor of the publication in its 157-year history. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a BA in history. Her graduate studies include an MDiv degree from Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, a doctor of ministry degree from Austin Seminary with a concentration in preaching, and studies in medieval church history at the University of Pennsylvania. The Reverend Bobbi Kaye Jones, of Austin, Texas, is senior pastor of Tarrytown United Methodist Church in Austin. Previously she served four years as a district superintendent within the Rio Texas Conference of The United Methodist Church. Jones received a BA in Liberal Arts Plan II from The University of Texas at Austin in 1977
and an MDiv from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary in 1980. John Van Osdall, of Houston, Texas, is executive vice president of USI Southwest. A member of St. Philip Presbyterian Church, Houston, he is on the board of Faith in Practice, which serves the poor in Guatemala through short-term surgical, medical, and dental mission trips and healthrelated educational programs. He also serves on the board of Mo-Ranch Conference Center. Van Osdall previously served on Austin Seminary’s Board for three terms and currently chairs the Seminary’s Weaving Promise & Practice into Ministry capital campaign. Denise Nance Pierce of Austin, Texas, is the founding principal of The Law Office of Denise Nance Pierce in Austin. She also serves as the Women’s Ministry Leader at the Greater Mount Zion Baptist Church, Austin. At the center of the development of Texas’s public charter school law and regulation, she was vice president and general counsel for the Texas Charter Schools Association and has served on the national advisory council of the Alliance of Public Charter School Attorneys.
She has a BA in political science and economics from Texas A&M University and the JD from The University of Texas at Austin School of Law. She earned the Master of Arts (Theological Studies) from Austin Seminary in 2011. Elizabeth Williams, of Dallas, Texas, retired in 2008 having served as CFO and then treasurer of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, for nineteen years. She earned degrees from Rhodes College and the University of Virginia and did graduate study at Yale University and the Institute for Educational Management at Harvard Business School. Williams served as director on corporate boards including Chaparral Steel Company, Texas Industries Inc., and Sterling Bancshares. She is active in community and church service organizations including The Hockaday School, the Summerlee Foundation, and NorthPark Presbyterian Church, where she is an elder. Elected the first woman to chair Austin Seminary’s Board of Trustees in 2002, she is the daughter, granddaughter, sister, and sister-in-law of Austin Seminary graduates. v Winter 2018 | 5
The Ongoing Refor By David W. Johnson
October 31, 1517.
We have just pulled out all the stops to celebrate the 500th anniversary of what happened on that day. From the perspective of five hundred years, that is one of the most important dates in the entire history of the world. From the perspective of those living at that time, it was a nothing day. What happened on that day? What do we celebrate? Martin Luther mailed a copy of his ninety-five point treatise, “Disputations on the Power of Indulgences,” which he had been working on for several months, to the Archbishop of Mainz, one Albert of Brandenburg, who passed it on to Rome. Whether or not Luther actually posted a copy of this treatise on the door of All Saint’s Church in Wittenberg is a matter of some dispute. The evidence is slim, but the story continues to be told. (It seems that a great many people harbor a secret fantasy about nailing something onto a church door.) Luther certainly did not intend at that point to split the church. But over the next three years he engaged in several theological disputations. He was examined, excommunicated, and finally, at the Diet of Worms in 1521, declared an outlaw, subject to arrest and execution. Were it not for the intervention of Frederick the Wise, the ruler of Saxony (Luther’s home territory), Luther very likely would have been killed, possibly burned at the stake as a heretic. During those three years, Luther worked out the implications of the theological insights he had gained in the years before 1517. One can see the culmination of that in three treatises which were published in 1520. “The Babylonian Captivity of the Church” was an analysis—
or rather an attack—on the sacramental system of Roman Catholicism. “To the Christian Nobility of the German Nation” argued that the church was subject to lay governmental authority rather than only spiritual authorities—particularly those who lived in Rome. The third treatise, “The Freedom of a Christian,” is less combative and polemical than the other two. It is an exposition of Luther’s understanding of the Christian life. He began the treatise by stating that two propositions are true for Christians: The first is that the Christian is a perfectly free lord of all, subject to none. The second is that the Christian is a perfectly dutiful servant of all, subject to all. These two propositions seem to be contradictory, but, Luther argues, the second follows directly from the first. The freedom is the work of God’s redemption through Christ, which frees the soul from any necessity for any kind of deeds that merit salvation and guarantees that the soul can never be separated from God. The only requirement is faith in God’s promises. This freedom enables a dutiful life. Since the soul is liberated from any necessity to merit salvation through deeds, it is free to give itself to the neighbor. We are able to be, in Luther’s phrase “Christ to the neighbor” precisely because we can respond to the neighbor’s need rather than being obsessed with our own spiritual situation. Christian freedom, a gift of God’s grace, is freedom to serve. The principle that radical freedom enables radical service is one of the keys to understanding Luther’s career as a reformer. He had become convinced that the idea of grace mediated through the
David Johnson is associate professor of church history and Christian spirituality at Austin Seminary. An ordained minister in the PC(USA), he is the author of Trust in God: The Christian Life and the Book of Confessions (Geneva Press, 2013) and entries in the Dictionary of Biblical Interpretation. Johnson is an avid photographer who also writes reviews, stories, essays, poems, and memorable Facebook posts. 6 | Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary
mation sacramental system, the requirement of meritorious works for salvation, and the necessity of obedience to the directives of the church, resulted in spiritual enslavement. The Gospel itself required him to oppose them, even at the risk of his life. As it happened, he lived a relatively long life, married and had children, and died in his bed. But to the end of his life he held to the principle that grace was the free gift of God and not the reward for meritorious deeds. A note was found by his deathbed that said, “We are all beggars. This is true.” We have nothing to bring before God but our need. The Reformation Era is commonly held to have ended in 1648, when the Peace of Westphalia ended the Thirty Years’ War. It now seems very long ago, and the passion that led people to put each other to death is difficult to comprehend. There is now broad agreement between Protestants and Catholics over the issue of justification, which was so divisive in the sixteenth century. The polemics by various denominations which demonized each other are now an embarrassment and confined to foot-
notes in modern editions of the crucial writings. Luther’s hymn, “A Mighty Fortress is our God,” is found in Roman Catholic hymnals, and the very Catholic “Faith of our Fathers” is contained in almost every Christian hymnal on the planet. It is a blessing that all such things have ended. But in a crucial sense, the Reformation has not ended and will never end. That sense revolves around the relationship between freedom and duty. It remains true that God gives radical freedom from all earthly things: to be bound to God is to be free from all else. And it remains true that we who call ourselves Christian must use that freedom in radical service. No matter how often we fail, and we fail countless times, the gift of freedom remains, and the need that calls it also remains. The ongoing Reformation means that we will always have the opportunity—and the need—to start over and try again to be Christ to all of our neighbors. Now, five hundred years after a single treatise ultimately inflamed the world, it is time to try again. v
All of the images accompanying these essays were taken during Austin Seminary’s Reformation festivities (panel discussion and fair) on October 30, 2017; the Reformation Faire collection courtesy of John Leedy (MDiv’11); photographer, senior student Usama Malik. Winter 2018 | 7
Brother Luther Served the Church
By Cynthia L. Rigby
n the context of a recent dinner hosted at Austin Seminary, President Wardlaw asked faculty members to say something about what their respective disciplines offer to the life of the church. I said something like this about the contribution of “theology”: “Nones” believe the church talks about God in ways
that are irrelevant. Sometimes they’re right. “Dones” believe the church talks about God in ways that are damaging and even abusive. Sometimes they’re right. Republicans and Democrats see the church speaking in ways they can use to serve their own ends or ideologies. But the purpose of God-talk is to bear witness to God and God’s will for the world, not to promote human politics. The discipline of theology rejects all irrelevant, abusive, and ideological forms of God-talk. It invites the church to speak true words about a God who is not irrelevant, but relevant. About a God who is not abusive, but loving, gracious, and compassionate. About a God who has little interest in our ideologies; a God who will undo all our idolatrous plans and agendas to transform us, and the world, into something altogether new.
The morning after the dinner I sat down to write this piece for the Reformation issue of Windows. And it struck me how much I—and all theologians, and the church as we know it—are in debt to the Reformers, and particularly to Martin Luther. To be quite sure we can rethink and re-shape our understandings of God, repenting of our idolatrous self-promotions and correcting those words that fly in the face of God’s love and compassion! To feel at liberty to give it another try, to seek again to discern who God is and what God is up to, and to bear witness to it with our words, our worship, our work! This is a Reformation mindset through and through, but how often we Protestants take it for granted. One of the historical moments in which this ethos took shape was at the trial of Martin Luther at the Diet of Worms in 1521. This is where and when Luther was
purported to have made the famous affirmation: “Here I stand. I can do no other.” As inspiring as those words are, biographer Roland Bainton reminds us there is more to the story. As he tells it, Luther’s examiner, Archbishop Eck, gestured to a number of Luther’s books stacked on a table and asked Luther whether he would “repudiate” what he had written. Luther requested time to consider, explaining that he wanted to be sure to formulate a response that would in no way “deny Christ.” That next day, Luther cleverly refrained from answering “yes” or “no,” Bainton explains, creating a space to give a speech. The three points he makes in this speech have a lot to teach us, I believe, about how Christians today might faithfully engage in the work of ongoing theological discernment. First, Luther points out that his numerous writings are not all of the same type or intended for the same audience. Surely, he says, the gathered assembly would not want him to recant those teachings that have inspired the people of God to lead more faithful Christian lives. Second, Luther explains he is not at liberty to repudiate his set of writings that critique and condemn the false teachings of the papal church. To do so, he says, “would open the door to more tyranny and impiety” being imposed on the German nation.” Finally, Luther confesses that, in a third type of writings, he has attacked individuals in ways that are “more caustic than comports with my profession.” Nonetheless, he insists, what he has written cannot be recanted because it is true and beneficial to the public. He follows this persuasive mix of appeal, instruction, explanation, confession, and reaffirmation with an invitation. He requests that all his teachings be tested by Scripture, promising emphatically that “if I am shown my error, I will be the first to throw my books into the fire.” His examiner at this point loses patience, perhaps because
Cynthia Rigby is The W.C. Brown Professor of Theology at Austin Seminary. She is one of the four general editors of the forthcoming nine-volume commentary series, Connections (WJK). She has written or edited four books and is working on an introduction to feminist theology. Her most recent book, Holding Faith: A Practical Introduction to Christian Doctrine (Abingdon Press) comes out in the spring. 8 | Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary
CHRONOLOG Y OF T H E E A R LY R E F OR M ATI ON
Luther has turned the tables on his accusers. “Your plea to be heard from Scripture is the one always made by heretics,” Eck tells him. “Would you put your judgment above that of so many famous men and claim that you know more then they all?” But Luther is undeterred. “Unless I am convicted by Scripture and plain reason” he says, “I do not accept the authority of popes and councils, for they have contradicted each other—my conscience is captive to the word of God.” In this sentence we are handed a large sum from our Reformation inheritance. There is no question Luther was brave—we can add him to the lineup of all the courageous men and women in history who have risked their lives for something they believed in. But the unique contribution of Luther that characterizes what has been passed on to us is not that he refused to budge in his critique of the church, but that he was genuinely willing to be corrected, even when he believed himself to be right. He was willing to be re-formed by the Word of God, which he insisted could be discerned by his brothers and sisters in Christ, if they took their Bibles in hand and committed to seeking, together, what was true and good. It is no accident that, when Luther escaped his trial intact, he set his hand to translating the Greek New Testament into German. He did this in eleven weeks, and then got a committee of Hebrew scholars together to translate the Old Testament. When it was finished, he used the latest technology—the printing press—to manufacture thousands of copies. He then worked to get the “Luther Bible” into every German home, so people could read and interpret it for themselves. Could it be that the theological malaise of today— of the “Nones” and the “Dones” and the politicians who wield God-language like a weapon—could be countered by a church that models ongoing study and discernment rather than always being “right”? On the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, in this time when we are so polarized in our discourse and so self-certain about our own positions, Luther’s example suggests change can take place only as we lay our own rightness to the side and allow ourselves to be reoriented by the God who invites us to a new way of being—sometimes, even, through the conflicting interpretations of others. v
1483 1484 1509 1516
Luther publishes 95 Theses
Luther tried at the Diet of Worms, refuses to recant. He is declared an outlaw.
Luther translates the New Testament from Greek into German.
Zwingli born Calvin born Johann Tetzel sent to Germany to sell indulgences to pay for rebuilding St. Peter’s Luther excommunicated
Zwingli attacks the practice of fasting, eats and distributes smoked sausages on Sunday. “Affair of the Sausages” regarded as the beginning of the Swiss Reformation.
Luther marries ex-nun Katharina von Bora
1525-7 Conflict with Anabaptists in Zurich
Luther and Zwingli are unable to resolve their differences at Colloquy of Marburg
Henry VIII declared head of church in England
Calvin publishes first edition of Institutes of the Christian Religion, goes to Geneva
Council of Trent (Roman Catholic) begins
Michael Servetus burned at stake in Geneva
Winter 2018 | 9
“Table Talk” An ecumenical dialogue
As part of Austin Seminary’s Reformation Day festivities, we invited conversation partners from the Lutheran and Roman Catholic traditions to campus for a discussion about the ongoing Reformation
Does this event that happened 500 years ago still matter? Why or why not?
us to comprehend what has been done, what we need to preserve, and what we might need to undo.
David Johnson (Austin Seminary) This event matters if you would like to know how the world in which you live came about. The Reformation Era (roughly 1517-1650) had numerous political and social consequences as well as religious ones. This era saw the split of Western Christianity into several denominational families. It also saw global colonization by the European powers, and the evolution of medieval feudalism into modern nation states. The Reformation might be in the past, but the consequences of the Reformation shape the present and will continue to shape the future. This helps
Lois Malcolm (Luther Seminary, St. Paul) Yes, I would concur that we still live with the consequences of the Reformation Era—both political and religious. I also think that the Reformation—for all its ambiguous consequences—does point to the profound transformative effect of the gospel “for you” and “for me.” Thus, it calls us (as do the early witnesses to the gospel in the New Testament) to ask again, Do we proclaim and embody the gospel in our own time knowing full well that our own attempts to proclaim and embody that gospel might have ambiguous consequences as well?
The Reformation Panel presented at Austin Seminary on October 30, 2017, featured, (above from left) David W. Johnson, associate professor of church history and Christian spirituality at Austin Seminary; Steve Rodenborn, director of the University Honors Program and chair of the Department of Religious and Theological Studies at St. Edward’s University; Lois Malcolm, professor of systematic theology at Luther Seminary; and Cynthia L. Rigby, The W.C Brown Professor of Theology at Austin Seminary. 10 | Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary
Steve Rodenborn (St. Edward’s University, Austin) Prof. Johnson’s comments bring to mind Faulkner’s observation: “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” I agree that the Reformation does still matter. The diverse expressions of Christianity that emerged out of the Reformation gave rise to a faith context that stimulates reflection on what it means to be a Christian. This is perhaps an ambiguous experience, asking us to reflect routinely on what we believe and on what grounds we believe it, but it’s a context that resists growing too comfortable in one’s Christian identity. Without the Reformation, we’d have a very different context from which we ask what it means to be a Christian and a different array of potential responses. Cynthia Rigby (Austin Seminary) I think one of the questions they were asking during the Reformation was whether the ecumenical councils of the early church still mattered. It strikes me that one reason the Reformation matters for us, today, is because the Reformers modeled what it looks like to go back 500—no, 1000—years and remember the contributions of those who have gone before. I value the way the Reformers reclaimed the Chalcedonian Statement of 451, for example, hearing in it the idea that Jesus Christ is the one mediator between God and humanity. I like the way they embraced this idea in their day to promote direct relationships to God and egalitarian ways of living in community such as that characterized by “the priesthood of all believers.” I think we should learn from the Reformers how we don’t have to choose between keeping the tradition and rejecting it, because tradition
Bill Greenway, professor of philosophical theology at Austin Seminary, moderated the panel.
itself, when it is pondered and handled in new contexts, can take on new and relevant shapes. This is something we have forgotten, that attention to the constructive theology of the Reformation can help us reclaim.
Are there things about the Reformation that call for our repentance? Lois Malcolm Definitely. Luther’s statements about the Jews and his call to murder protesting peasants clearly call for repentance—to name two things. More could be added. David Johnson There are many things about the Reformation that cause—or should cause—contemporary Christians to blush in shame. Some of Luther’s words make one cringe. Calvin’s (and not just Calvin’s) treatment of Michael Servetus is a black mark against the Reformed tradition. Henry VIII is as famous for murdering his wives as he is for establishing the Anglican Church. The treatment of the Huguenots in France was shameful. And the Thirty Years’ War, which was the culmination of the Reformation Era, was such a long and brutal conflict that many people were led to renounce religion altogether, because it seemed only to lead to conflict. Remembering the Reformation is not just a matter of celebrating and honoring the heroics of the Reformers. It is also reason to renounce those things which Jesus condemned, but which all too often have been done in his name. Winter 2018 | 11
Cynthia Rigby I think we need to repent of the ways Luther’s and Calvin’s doctrines of “vocation” have been used to control people. Luther said something along the lines of, one can glorify God every bit as much when one is changing the diaper on a baby as when one is doing a theological lecture, if this is what God is calling them to do. Beautiful idea. Consistent with “the priesthood of all believers,” it argues that everyone’s work, when done before God, has equal value. But when these ideas were used—as they often were—to keep some people changing diapers and other people doing theological lectures, with no room for either to aspire to the other job, well … this was an abusive use of a powerful theological concept. We should repent of the ways we’ve taken theologies of freedom and twisted them to re-instantiate again the domination of some over others.
In light of The Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification in 1999 between the Roman Catholic Church and the Lutheran World Federation—adopted by the World Methodist Council in 2006 and the World Communion of Reformed Churches in 2017—how do you see church unity and division? What is still keeping us apart? Lois Malcolm In our time, I don’t think the deepest divisions are between Roman Catholics and Lutherans. I use Walter Kasper’s Mercy in my introductory theology course precisely because it provides such a clear and comprehensive understanding of God’s mercy and grace. (I teach at a Lutheran Seminary and Walter Kasper has been called Pope Francis’s theologian.) Our deepest divisions are
probably within our respective communions—and it is these divisions we need to address in our time. (My denomination, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, for example, predominates in “swing states”— as do many Roman Catholic parishes.) Steve Rodenborn Prof. Malcolm’s characterization of our times is spot on. I’d also add that the landscape in which we approach church unity and division is in flux. Individualization and pluralization characterize our culture, including our religious culture. Rather than growing up within a particular religious tradition, a tradition from which one might then engage another tradition, men and women are often constructing their religious commitments from an array of alternatives that are frequently detached from their originating tradition. In this context, church unity is more difficult to define. For that matter, church division is more difficult to define. It certainly creates a complex ecumenical landscape. Cynthia Rigby It seems to me that the “internal” divisions in our ecclesial communities (of which Professor Malcolm and Professor Rodenborn speak) are, at least in the US context, mirroring the polarizations that characterize our culture. Even worse, our church divisions are feeding the polarities in a nation that is decidedly not, at the moment, believing it is “one nation, under God, indivisible.” Churches are proud, these days, of identifying themselves as “purple churches.” But “purple” isn’t used to reference unity. It isn’t even trying to. It is referencing the fact that there are a substantial number of people standing on each side of the blue/red “divide.” And yet the question of unity isn’t only about whether we have representation of all views, but whether these diverse representatives can lean on, learn from, and hold one another to account when it comes to living as citizens or, even, as Christ’s disciples. David Johnson Doctrinal consensus is to be celebrated, but in and of itself is not enough to produce ecclesiastical unity— although it can remove an impediment to such unity. The 1999 document officially articulated what was previously generally acknowledged to be the case: that there was general agreement between Lutherans and Roman Catholics on justification, and what differences there were was not enough to justify division. The breakthrough study was Hans Kung’s book,
12 | Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary
Justification: The Doctrine of Karl Barth and a Catholic Reflection, first published (in German) in 1957. Kung’s conclusions were resisted by both Lutherans and Catholics, but the 1999 Declaration ended the matter (at least in theory). Many doctrinal divergences remain, not the least of which is the status of the papacy. But there is a new atmosphere in ecumenical discussion— primarily, I suspect, due to the ecclesiastical documents of Vatican II. The era of mutual anathemas, if not entirely over, appears at least to be waning. Doctrinal differences are real, but they can be acknowledged without condemning the opponents to an eternity of hellfire. There is a rather large difference between saying, “We’re right and you’re wrong,” and “We’re right and you’re damned.” I think it is doubtful that there will ultimately be institutional unity of all Christians worldwide. If that were to come about, historical patterns suggest that it would be no more than a prelude to other schisms. But a unity of witness does not require institutional unity. If we can say, “Jesus is Lord” and mean it, and others can say “Jesus is Lord,” and we recognize that they also mean it, that would at least give us a place to stand—together.
Are we in the middle of a new reformation? How might we know? Do we need another one? David Johnson We’d better be. Otherwise, we are failing to be the church. The Latin, ecclesia reformata, semper reformanda secundum verbi Dei, often attributed to Augustine, Calvin, or Barth, actually articulated by one Jodocus van Lodenstein, is properly translated, “The reformed church, always needing to be reformed according to the word of God.” That standard needs to be applied every day, not every five hundred years. Lois Malcom I don’t think we’re in the middle of a new reformation yet—since a strong case for a fresh understanding of the gospel in our time still needs to be articulated—but
I definitely sense that we are in a time when a new reformation is needed (see, e.g., Pankaj Mishra’s Age of Anger: A History of the Present). I sense that the Holy Spirit is calling us into an even bolder witness and public proclamation of the “ministry and message of reconciliation” to which we have all been called through Christ (2 Cor. 5:11-21)—an even bolder witness (and enactment) than we have been making to the announcement of God’s reign in our midst (see Jesus’s inaugural sermon in Luke 4; cf. Isaiah 61). Steve Rodenborn A number of cultural, political, and theological strands needed to have intersected in the Reformation to create such a dramatic transformation in the Christian community. I don’t think a new reformation is underway. That said, I’d like to see the church continue to move even further outside spheres of power and wealth. A church of the poor and estranged is a church that can offer an alternative vision of power and human flourishing, kindling both social and personal conversion. Cynthia Rigby I think trying to speculate about whether or not reformation is coming is kind of like trying to predict the second coming of Christ. No one knows the day nor the hour. I think it’s kind of silly to imagine that just because reformation happens every 500 years it is somehow automatically happening or about to happen now. What makes reformation happen is not a calendar, but faithful people following Jesus. What is important is not making predictions, but being faithful. I hope that doesn’t sound boring—because it is the most challenging thing in the world to just try to be faithful to what God is calling us to, day by day. Jesus modeled this, of course. He never aimed to be a revolutionary, though his life had a revolutionary impact (Barth). The Reformers were not trying to start a new church, they were trying to be faithful to what they believed was the true church. What we need, today, are disciples who are willing to pick up their crosses and follow Christ. A better question might be, What would that even look like, in 21st-century American culture? v Winter 2018 | 13
And We Will Gladly Sing Luther, Music, and Reformation By Eric Wall
From heaven above to earth I come to bring good news to every home; glad tidings of great joy I bring to all the world and gladly sing.
So wrote Martin Luther—the words and
music. In this first stanza of his Christmas hymn, “Vom Himmel Hoch,” he places the angel’s words in all of our mouths. Luther’s legacy in church music is deep and wide and with us today, and its premise is placing song in our mouths—not just in the preacher or a choir, but in all of us. The practice of singing vernacular hymns in worship did not begin with him, but his fierce love of and talent for music propelled the writing, singing, and even publishing of congregational songs. Luther placed extraordinarily high value on music; he took his own musical cues from historic and sophisticated traditions, but always with the goal of and belief in the singing of the assembly—the whole people of God. Luther, his contemporaries, and his successors wrote hymns and set psalms to music. Presbyterian Reformation traditions flowered with psalm-singing; Methodists were singing from their beginnings with the thousands of hymns written by Charles Wesley and his successors. All over the world, the music of Christian worship has tapped into indigenous musical traditions, produced utterly new expressions, cross-pollinated, overlapped, and
spread in waves that have been felt as ripples, shock waves, and everything in between. The people of God sing from memory, in call and response, from books, and from screens. They sing with drums, with guitars, with organs, with pianos. They sing their own languages and others’ languages. They sing in different musical genres and styles. But the crucial core is that they sing—and also that they sing. Song in the church is intended for all. Liturgy is the work of the people—it is also the song of the people. Our breaths and voices are animated, empowered, enlivened, and led by the wind-breath of God’s Spirit. We are constantly “being reformed” by the surprises, awakenings, and stirrings that songs bring us. Luther’s first thesis, from the Ninety-Five, was that Jesus “willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.” It may not be too much to imagine that Luther would have willed the entire life of faith, prayer, and worship to be one of song. In the 1960s, Peter, Paul, and Mary sang, “If I had a hammer … If I had a bell … If I had a song.” Whether Luther had a hammer and nailed up the Theses may be obscure, but the resounding bell and the ongoing songs that are part of his legacy are firmly and vibrantly with us. v
Eric Wall is assistant professor of sacred music and dean of the chapel at Austin Seminary. A gifted musician and music and worship consultant, he serves as the Conference Center Musician at Montreat Conference Center. 14 | Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary
Calvinists and Lutherans on the Lord’s Supper By Timothy D. Lincoln
By the end of the sixteenth century,
the spiritual descendants of Calvin and Luther understood themselves as quite distinct from each other. Luther’s reforms of the Catholic Church were rooted in precise theological positions about grace and works, the sacraments, and the right ordering of the church. Calvin and Luther agreed about the relationship between grace and good works. We are saved by grace through faith in God’s promises centered in Jesus Christ. We do good works as a response to God’s grace, not as a payment. In the sixteenth century, Lutherans and Calvinists disagreed in their understandings of the presence of Christ in the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. Lutherans affirmed that Christ was truly present in the bread and wine. In some sense, Christ descends from heaven to the faithful. Followers of Calvin talked about Christ’s presence differently. Calvin taught that Christ is seated at God’s right hand and is “spiritually present” to us in the supper. Each side said that their view was superior theologically and biblically to the view of the other movement. In the jargon of the twentieth-century ecumenical movement, these differences were so large that they were considered “church dividing.” Lutheranism and Calvinism remained separate confessions for centuries. The ecumenical movement and the liturgical renewal movement (both twentieth-century developments) moved many Lutherans and Calvinists to see their different understandings of the Lord’s Supper as complementary and not church-dividing. As part of the ecumenical movement’s agenda to seek greater visible unity among Christians by respectful dialogue, Calvinists and
Lutherans re-visited their understandings of the Lord’s Supper. Aided by dispassionate historical research about Luther and Calvin, scholars and church leaders came to see the real presence versus spiritual presence distinction as not church-dividing. The Arnoldshain Theses about the Lord’s Supper, agreed to in Europe in the 1950s, became the basis of Reformed-Lutheran dialogue in the United States. The ecumenical movement also chided churches for valuing “denominational distinctives” more than the faith held in common by many churches. Theological and practical differences should be celebrated as part of “reconciled diversity” among the churches. The liturgical renewal movement also aided reforms of the celebration of the Lord’s Supper in both confessions. By studying the development of liturgical rites, Calvinists and Lutherans realized that some of their reforms went further than Calvin or Luther would have authorized. Many revised Protestant rites for Holy Communion include a Great Thanksgiving in addition to the Words of Institution. For more than twenty years Austin Seminary has celebrated the Great Three Days (Maundy Thursday through Easter) with worship services that would have seemed “too Catholic” in ceremonial richness for our great grandparents. The PC(USA) and my church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, have established a relationship of full communion: agreement on the central tenets of doctrine and mutual recognition of ordained ministries. The Lord’s Supper no longer is a point of contention but is the common meal that grants Christians forgiveness and empowers us for service. v
An ordained Lutheran minister, Timothy Lincoln is associate dean for seminary effectiveness, director of the Stitt Library, and research professor in theological education at Austin Seminary. Winter 2018 | 15
How to Host a Good Old Fashioned Totally Historically Accurate Reformation Faire By John Leedy (MDiv’11)
I feel your pain.
October 31 brought a worldwide observance of the 500th anniversary of a cantankerous German monk going all Tim the Tool-Man Taylor on a perfectly good church door on Halloween. Maybe the panel discussion in your adult Sunday school class with that one Catholic you know and your Lutheran fantasy football buddy left your Reformed soul a little, shall we say, unfulfilled. Have no fear, my friend, you still have more than 300 days left in this quincentenary! In my congregation we celebrate Reformation Sunday in style each and every year! Herewith, I’ve compiled a step-by-step party-planning guide for a Reformation Faire that is so decent and in order it will make your Clerk of Session weep. Step 1. As soon as possible, befriend a known heretic. You’ll need one for something later. Step 2. Begin the publicity campaign. Invite your whole church and neighborhood. When you’re printing flyers, find some old timey font and spell words like they did back in 16th-century Germany (except, you know, in English). “Ye olde Reformation Faire” and “Huzzah for Total Depravity!”—stuff like that. Honestly, if all of your branding for this event doesn’t utilize Shakespearean English, then what are you even doing? Step 3. Recruit help. Lots of it. The Reformation may have been started by one guy and a hammer, but pulling off a Reformation Faire is a lot of work. You’ll need a costumer, a few cooks and servers, church members to play the historical characters, a team of people to decorate, youth to run the carnival booths, a blacksmith, a falconer, a cooper, a chandler, a reeve, and a dude to take tickets at the door. Step 4. Costumes. Costumes. Costumes. This is the Project
Runway of church fellowship events. Find that one person in your church who does the sewing. Ask them to make you the following character costumes: Pre-1517 Martin Luther, Post-1517 Martin Luther, Pre-Luther Katharina von Bora, Post-Luther Katharina von Bora, Pope Leo X, John Calvin, John Knox, Marguerite de Navarre, Johann Tetzel, Marie Dentière, Argula von Grumbach, and Ulrich Zwingli. On the off chance your sewing person begins to foam at the mouth in rage, don’t fret. Just back away slowly and head to your local party or Halloween store. Buy costumes for a monk, a priest, a nun, a medieval barmaid, a renaissance princess, a pope, a witch, and Ulrich Zwingli. Make it work, people. Step 5. Make some money for a good cause by selling indulgences. Seriously. Dress up a teenager in a Johann Tetzel monk costume, print out a bunch of “Get out of purgatory free” cards, and have them walk around looking vaguely menacing. Bonus points if you can teach them to sing “Sobald der Pfennig im Kasten klingt, die Selle aus dem Fegfeuer springt.” Step 6. Brats. German mustard. Sauerkraut. Pretzels. Anything more is hipster nonsense. Step 7. Plan some historical booths where people can work off those bratwurst calories. For starters, build a simple, gothic arched hardwood church door with wrought iron hardware where folks can hammer their own handwritten theses. Build a “Pin the Papal Bull on the Reformer” booth, a “Dunk the Heretic” booth, and a booth where John Calvin gives out silk TULIPs to kids. That’s not weird at all. As fun as it is to remember and play with the past, I hope you will take this 500th anniversary as an opportunity to look also to the future of our church—for opportunities to foster reconciliation and understanding between ecumenical traditions and to boldly trust in the work of the Holy Spirit as we live into the next 500 years of being an “always reforming” church. v
John Leedy (MDiv’11) is associate pastor of University Presbyterian Church, Austin, and as of today the first alumnus to retroactively fail his Church History class. The photographs accompanying these articles and on the back cover are from the Reformation Faire John brought to Austin Seminary on October 30. 16 | Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary
Pastoral Leadership for Public Life (PLPL) Fellows
ducation Beyond the Walls’ PLPL Fellowships increase early to mid-career pastors’ awareness of public life, their confidence to engage, and their capacity to reflect theologically. Our current class of Fellows takes on issues of race through a trip to Washington, D.C., on immigration issues in San Antonio, Texas, and on issues of public education in Austin. Fellows will engage in executive communication training with the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life at UT, Austin, and learn deliberative dialogue methods with the Baylor Public Deliberation Initiative. The class continues together through 2019.
New PLPL Fellows include: Daryl Horton (MDiv’15), Tim Bauerkemper, Carolyn Albert Donovan, Jonathan Snape, Kimberly D. Smith-Stanley (MDiv’13), Ella Leal Luna (not present; represented by the heart), Lisa Mason, Sharolyn Browning (MDiv’14), Laura Walters (MDiv’11), Amelia Fulbright (MDiv’07), Josh Robinson, and Vincent Carpenter.
selected offerings from education beyond the walls
“Youth Ministry Academy: TXT2SPEECH: Proclaiming Scripture to Youth in a Digital Age” | January 18-20; starting at $129 (includes lunch Friday) | How might we move from mere sermons and “youth talks” into affecting the lives of young hearers? Bringing together a diversity of voices for workshops and “big room” sessions, we’ll explore both the present and future of Christian proclamation in a digital age. Register at: www.youthministryacademy.com. In partnership with The Center for Youth Ministry Training “Reconceiving Hope” | featuring Serene Jones and Joel S. Baden with music from Carrie Elkin | April 13; $60 (includes lunch) | Infertility is an often silent and agonizing form of grief. It is rife with hope deferred and can threaten one’s sense of being whole, complete, and beloved. Through plenary talks and breakout sessions we will explore how religious identity can affect one’s experience of infertility, both positively and negatively. We will examine how traditional, biblical interpretations can be reframed for healing and hope. In partnership with the Steve Hicks School of Social Work, The University of Texas at Austin WESLEY CONNECTION “Emerging Methodist Voices: Constructing a Narrative of Revitalization” | with Donna Claycomb Sokol | May 9; $60 (includes lunch and a copy of A New Day in the City: Urban Church Renewal) | Led by a fresh voice in The United Methodist Church, pastors will delve into stories of transformation to share practices, gain perspective, and find encouragement for new life. This is for pastors of all denominations who are leading congregations experiencing or longing for renewal. “How Pastors Write for Public Life” | with Charlotte Gullick | May 14-17; $460 (includes lodging and meals); scholarships available | In this workshop, dive into your creative interests, expand the language palette you use, adopt a collaborative practice, and expand your own public voice. Charlotte will coach participants individually as well as teach writing methods. Applications accepted from February 1 through April 16. | In partnership with the Collegeville Institute
Join Ted Wardlaw, Paul Hooker, and Melissa Wiginton online this Spring for Webinar Wednesdays!
Learn more and register for events at AustinSeminary.edu/ebwworkshops Winter 2018 | 17
faculty news notes
Professor Margaret Aymer installed in The First Presbyterian Church, Shreveport, D. Thomason Chair of New Testament Studies
he Reverend Dr. Margaret Aymer has been promoted to full professor and appointed to The First Presbyterian Church, Shreveport, D. Thomason Chair of New Testament Studies. A Service of Inauguration and Installation took place on Tuesday, November 7, in Shelton Chapel; Austin Seminary Board Chair Archer Frierson, a member of First Presbyterian Church, Shreveport, presided. Aymer joined the Austin Seminary faculty in 2015. Previously she taught for a decade at Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Georgia. She earned the PhD in New Testament and Early Christianity at Union Theological Seminary in 2004. She holds the MDiv in New Testament and Early Christianity from Union Theological Seminary (1996) and the BA in US History from Harvard University (1989). She was honored in 2013 with the Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, from Hood Theological Seminary in Salisbury, North Carolina. Dr. Aymer is the sixth woman to achieve the level of full professor at Austin Seminary —the highest rank a faculty member can achieve—and the first woman of color to do so. Following her promotion in July, she was featured in an NBC News story about black women “making strides and challenging the status quo” in theological education. Aymer has published four books: First Pure, Then Peaceable: Frederick Douglass, Darkness and the Epistle of James (T&T Clark, 2008), James: Diaspora Rhetorics of a Friend of God (Sheffield Publishing, 2014), Fortress Commentary on the Bible (Fortress Press, 2014); and Islanders, Islands and the Bible: Ruminations (Society of Biblical Studies, 2015). An ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Aymer has been deeply involved in denominational life. She has served on the Presbyteries’ Cooperative Committee on Examinations (2010-present), was a member of the PC(USA) Committee on Preparation for Ministry (2010-2011), a member of the General Assembly Task Force on Civil Unions and Marriage (2009-2010), and served as a steering committee member for the Committee on Theological Education Consultation on Racism (2004-2008). The First Presbyterian Church, Shreveport, D. Thomason Chair in New Testament Studies was established by the Board of Trustees in 1991 by a gift from First Presbyterian Church, Shreveport, Louisiana. The initial holder of the chair was Professor John Alsup who became The First Presbyterian Church, Shreveport, D. Thomason Professor Emeritus following his retirement in 2014. v
Professor Aymer, right, was supported on this historic day by friends and colleagues, family members, and the Austin Seminary community.
18 | Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary
faculty notes | On October 13, Margaret Aymer (New Testament) preached at the 125th anniversary service at Carver Presbyterian Church in Newport News, Virginia. She gave a paper and participated in a panel discussion at the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) Conference in November. Whit Bodman (Comparative Religion) met with the National Council of Church’s MuslimChristian Dialogue in Princeton on October 17 and with the Jewish-Christian Dialogue in Washington D.C. on November 1. This fall he led a Disciples of Christ Men’s Retreat on “ISIS and the Modern Muslim World,” a four-week presentation on Islam for five churches in New Braunfels, Texas, and moderated a forum organized by the Gents of Texas A&M on November 8. He is opening an Austin chapter of Civic Series, making the inaugural presentation November 14. Carolyn Helsel (Homiletics) presented a paper at SBL in November. September 7-9, Phil Helsel (Pastoral Care) led the Westminster Presbyterian Church, Austin, retreat, “The Psalms as Healing Stories,” at Mo Ranch. On October 2-4 he presented the paper, “Attachment and the Care for Stories,” at The Group for New Directions in Pastoral Theology conference at Princeton Theological Seminary. In October David Johnson (Church History and Christian Spirituality) taught two sessions on Reformed spirituality and the contemporary church at Arkansas Presbytery and on “The Reformed Churches Past and Present” at San Gabriel Presbyterian Church, Georgetown. On October 12-13, Timothy Lincoln (Institutional Effectiveness) met with deans and professors from five
seminaries to discuss findings of his study, “Mapping the Pastoral Mind.” The study was funded by the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning. Jennifer Lord (Homiletics) preached at Lake Travis Presbyterian Church, September 17 and lectured October 29 for San Gabriel Presbyterian Church’s (Georgetown, Texas) Reformation celebration. Over fall break she spent time with the priest and parishioners of St. Nicholas Orthodox Church in San Anselmo, California, preparing for the travel component of her spring semester course “West Meets East.” Eric Wall (Sacred Music) led an EBW workshop, “Music for Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany” on September 22. He led music for the “Radical Beauty” Conference in Montreat on October 12-13 and led a Reformation Celebration Hymn Festival at Princeton Seminary on November 1. He also taught online as a Learning Partner for Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary’s “Leading Intentionally” Worship Certificate program. Phil Wingeier-Rayo (Mission and Evangelism) presented a paper, “Religious Tolerance or Intolerance? Protestant-Catholic Relations in Mexico 500 years after the Reformation,” at the Southwest Council on Latin American Studies, Universidad Autónoma de Campeche, Campeche, Mexico, in March. David White (Christian Education) will offer a webinar on “Beauty and the Church’s Ministry” on December 13. v
Listen to the faculty’s
“Here I Stand” sermon series
good reads | Calling All Years Good: Christian Vocation throughout Life’s Seasons, Kathleen A. Cahalan and Bonnie J. Miller-McLemore, eds. (Eerdmans, 2017, 244 pp)
or much of the twentieth and into the twenty-first century, our views of the human life cycle from infancy to elder adulthood have been shaped by social scientific approaches projecting varying capacities—cognition, mutuality, psycho-social adaptation, etc.—as key to human development. These theories of human development have been enormously helpful to those in the church ministering across age groups. Yet for many Christians these approaches have always been problematic. Specifically, they tend to suggest a normative adulthood that diminishes the significance of every other age, obscuring the ways in which, for example, infants, children, and adolescents bear gifts for the human family in response to God’s call. Calling All Years Good includes the insights of six scholars, mostly in practical theology, convened by the Collegeville Institute Seminar on Vocation across the Lifespan, who met regularly over a period of five years to explore the question, “What would a lifelong perspective do to our understanding of vocation?” In exploring this question they gathered Protestants and Catholics in small groups, primarily from congregations, to respond to a series of questions: What is my sense of God’s callings in my life? How can I learn to listen to God’s call? How do I live out multiple callings in service to others? How have challenges and struggles shaped my callings? How is my vocation changing over my lifetime? They discovered that across the age range and varied cognitive capacities, people already serve in response to God’s call as fathers, mothers, husbands, wives, leaders, little league coaches, and a great many other roles. Unfortunately, the authors observe, the key practices of vocation—discernment, prayer, and storytelling—are not fostered in congregations, the most obvious places where one might expect such activities to
occur. And, although vocation is a central Christian doctrine, the language and concept is foreign to most people or used almost exclusively by young adults discerning a call to professional religious service, ignoring a central tenet of Christian faith—that God is active in all of life. Kathleen Cahalan explains callings over a lifetime under four headings: in relationship, through the body, over time, and for community. This echoes Edward Hannenberg’s explanation of vocation: “God calls me through others for others.” The book then moves on to six chapters discussing various life stages: childhood (Bonnie J. Miller-McLemore), adolescence, younger adulthood (both by Kathleen Turpin), middle adulthood (Matt Bloom), late adulthood (Kathleen Cahalan), and older adulthood (Joyce Ann Mercer). Amidst these chapters are biblical interludes in which Jane Patterson reframes familiar passages from Scripture in a new dialogue of God as caller and humans as responders. Each chapter has a description of the characteristics of a particular stage of life, how they affect the understanding of being called, and the transition to the next stage of life. This book would be valuable to individuals interested in revitalizing their sense of faith and its relevance to all of life, but will be especially helpful to ministry students, pastors, chaplains, spiritual directors, in congregations, church camps, campus ministries, retreat centers, schools, and health care or elder care facilities. v
–Written by David F. White, professor in The C. Ellis and Nancy Gribble Nelson Chair of Christian Education Winter 2018 | 19
alumni news notes
class notes | 1970s Bob Lively (MDiv’73, DMin’79) has written his eleventh book, So What’s the Point?… A Primer in True Spiritual Awakening, published by Treaty Oak Publishing. Bob notes, “This book is a compendium, of sorts, of the wisdom I have gleaned from the experience of surviving forty years in pastoral ministry. It was written in response to a despondent friend’s question posed to me at my brother John’s graveside.” After forty years in ministry, Woody Berry (MDiv’77, DMin’77), retired this summer. His last call was as pastor to Maxwell Street Presbyterian, Lexington, Kentucky, from 2004-17; that congregation named him Pastor Emeritus upon his retirement. The husband of Cynthia Logan (MDiv’79), John Logan, died September 4, 2017, in Dallas.
1980s Neill Morgan (MDiv’85) began serving July 23, 2017, as interim pastor for Darnestown Presbyterian Church near Gaithersburg, Maryland, in National Capital Presbytery. Daniel Molyneux (MDiv ’86) had his most recent book published earlier this year. Judas Son Of Simon is an extensively researched historical novel written from the perspective of Judas Iscariot. The March 15, 2017, edition of Library Journal said, “In Molyneux’s skillful hands, the story comes alive in a new way that humanizes Judas and provides insight into the life of Jesus ... Emotionally intense and intricately plotted, this provocative novel profiles Judas in unexpected ways.” Maury Millican (MDiv’89) LTC and chaplain for the US Army recently returned from a one-year deployment to Army Central Command (Middle East) with the Texas Army National
Guard. Maury is now assigned to the III Armored Corps Chaplains Office at Ft. Hood, Texas.
1990s Jesse González (MDiv’92) was elected to serve as Treasurer on the executive committee of the Hispanic Ministries Mission Network. Scott Snider (MDiv’96), priest of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield, Illinois, was named ecumenical and interreligious officer for the diocese in July. Snider is also the pastor of three parishes in Pierron, Grantfork, and Pocahontas, Illinois. Arthur (Tom) Paine (MDiv’98) is a Lt Colonel in the LA Air National Guard as well as serving two congregations in the New Orleans area, Parkway and St. Charles Avenue Presbyterian Churches. He has been selected to serve as protestant chaplain for Operation Deep Freeze in Antarctica from October to December 2017.
in Los Angeles and has relocated to New England to be closer to family. Chris Drew (MDiv’07) has transferred his ministerial credentials to the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, and he was installed as pastor of Faith Presbyterian Church (OPC) in Grand Forks, North Dakota, in June. Chris and his wife, Sara Stegemann Drew (MDiv’07) celebrated the arrival of their fourth child, Anna Louise, on September 30, 2016.
2010s Kathy Escandell (MDiv’10) was installed as pastor at First Presbyterian Church, McAllen, Texas, on October 22. Brian Plescher (MDiv’11) has begun doctoral work in Jewish Studies at Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning. Cam Burton (MDiv ‘13) was approved as a board certified chaplain by the Association of Professional Chaplains and currently serves as chaplain and coordinator of spiritual care at St. David’s South Austin Medical Center. Angela and Chad Lawson (MDiv’15) welcomed the arrival of baby Grace Anne Lawson (below) on Sept. 21, 2017.
Dale Schultz (DMin’00) is now pastor at St. Paul United Methodist Church in Hurst, Texas.
20 | Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary
Nettie Reynolds (MDiv’17) has been selected as a new mentee by the Association of Writers and Writing Programs—the only playwright chosen. Nettie reports she’ll be working on a (funny) play about end of life decisions.
ordinations | David Watson (MDiv’15) was ordained as a teaching elder in the PC(USA) on August 13 at his home church, Covenant Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. He works for the New Orleansbased non-profit BCM, serving as a chaplain for the New Orleans Police Department. Matthew Aldas (MDiv’16) was ordained on September 17 in his first call as associate pastor for youth at Raleigh Court Presbyterian Church in Roanoke, Virginia.
in memoriam | William C. Washburn (MDiv’48), September 7, 2017, Bland, Virginia.
Frank Alverson (MDiv’54), August 31, 2017, Dallas, Texas Lawrence (Larry) Correu (MDiv’55), July 17, 2017, San Antonio, Texas
Ray Santillano Jr. (MDiv’05, DMin’13) continues to serve as an active duty US Army chaplain, recently assigned to Ft. Sam Houston in San Antonio.
Kevin Downer (MDiv’06) completed time as interim senior pastor at Founders MCC
Sarah Lancaster (MDiv’16) is “happily teaching Pre-K” in the Austin, Texas, area and she continues to work with families in school and home settings.
Thomas (Tom) Christian McGee (MDiv’52), August 26, 2017, Austin, Texas
Mary Jarnagin (MDiv’02) has retired from ministry and notes she is enjoying the leisurely life that comes with retirement.
Mitch and Leigh Wisner Hargis (MDiv’05) welcomed Riley Elise Hargis into the world on August 22.
Planning Team and Immigration Crisis Team.
Richard H. Schmidt (MDiv’55) June 6, 2017, Garland, Texas
Donna Neilson (MATS’15) is serving as ministry area co-coordinator for Radical Welcome at Pleasant Hill Community Church (United Church of Christ) in Pleasant Hill, Tennessee. She also serves on that congregation’s Worship
Benjamin Gutierrez (MDiv’56), Nov. 2, 2017, Keller, Texas Walter Buehrle (Certificate’59), August 18, 2017, Plano, Texas Faulder Colby (MDiv’73), August 6, 2017, Clinton, Washington
MidWinters 2018, January 29-31 The Reverend Dr. Willie James Jennings is associate professor of
systematic theology and Africana studies at Yale University Divinity School. The author of The Christian Imagination: Theology and the Origins of Race (2010) and Acts: A Commentary, The Revolution of the Intimate (WJK, forthcoming), he won the Grawemeyer Award for Outstanding Work in the Field of Religion in 2015. CURRIE LECTURES: Forming Holy Places: Race, Geography, and Discipleship
“These lectures will explore the relationship between race and place, between our current racial antagonisms and geography. I hope to help churches begin to attend more carefully to place and geography as the essential context for their discipleship.”
The Very Reverend Dr. Cynthia Briggs Kittredge is dean and president of Seminary of the Southwest, an Episcopal Seminary in Austin, Texas. A New Testament scholar, she is a contributor to The New Oxford Annotated Bible and the Women’s Bible Commentary and is the author of Conversations with Scripture: The Gospel of John and Community among others. JONES LECTURES: Politics and Poetry in Paul’s Letter to the Romans “In these lectures I will explore how Romans has been implicated in the politics of the past and how reading it can illuminate the politics of the present.”
The Reverend Dr. Frank Yamada is executive director of the Association of
Theological Schools, the accrediting body for North American seminaries and divinity schools. He was previously president of McCormick Seminary in Chicago, the first Asian American to lead a PC(USA) seminary. WESTERVELT LECTURES: Ch-ch-ch-changes from 50,000 Feet: The Currents and Futures of Theological Education “To say that theological education is changing is an
understatement. There are much larger social forces at play in the broader landscape of religion in US society that are contributing to these seismic shifts. These two lectures will outline the hopes and challenges of this present moment and chart the future of theological education.”
MIDWINTERS PREACHER The worship leader for MidWinters will be The Reverend Dr. Jonathan Walton, The Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church and Professor of Religion and Society, Harvard Divinity School. His book Watch This! The Ethics and Aesthetics of Black Televangelism (NYU Press, 2009) disrupts commonly held assumptions that associate evangelical broadcasting with white, conservative evangelical communities.
Highlights of the 2018 MidWinter Lectures: • We will honor the 2018 Distinguished Service Award recipients: The Reverend Dr. Valerie Bridgeman (MDiv’90), and The Reverend Dr. David Gambrell (MDiv’98). Special reunion events are planned for the Classes of 1958, 1968, 1978, 1988, 1998, and 2008-2017. • The Ministry & Practice Luncheon discussion on Tuesday, January 30, features Dr. Anna Vu-Wallace, who trains medical professionals in the art of centering prayer. The luncheon is free, but advance registration is required. Prior to worship on Tuesday, grab a bite to eat from the on-campus food trucks. The ASA Banquet and Annual Meeting is on Wednesday, January 31; tickets are $15 and reservations are required. • Note: our Opening Worship service begins at 7:00 p.m. on Monday night.
Register @ AustinSeminary.edu/midwin18
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The last word â€¦ from our Reformation Faire!
The magazine of Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary: Luther and the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation
Published on Dec 6, 2017
The magazine of Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary: Luther and the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation