January 10 – March 28
May 9 – July 18
September 12 – November 21
Lecture Schedule 2019
All lectures begin at 7:30PM on each Friday evening and are held at L’Abri at 49 Lynbrook Road Southborough, MA 01772
Join us for tea and treats at 7:15PM.
Spring/Summer 2019 Lecture Schedule
A Creation Care Weekend at L’Abri
featuring co-founders of A Rocha International
art by Heidy Sumei Chuang
poetry by Anna A. Friedrich
Saturday, May 11th
10:00 AM: Butterfly Project, Art Exhibition
– Opening words from the artist, Heidy Sumei Chuang
– Poetry Reading by Anna A. Friedrich
12:30 Lunch: All are welcome, suggested donation $5
2:00-4:00 PM: Sustaining Hope on our Groaning Earth with Peter and Miranda Harris
May 17 – Joshua Chestnut
Children’s development specialist Margaret McFarland taught that “anything human is mentionable, and whatever is mentionable is manageable.” This simple yet profound insight into being human was also a guiding principle of Fred Rogers, one of America’s most beloved TV personalities. In this lecture we will consider Rogers’ life, work and faith through the lens of some of his most famous children’s songs in order to see the gentle wisdom of this quirky and endearing Christian man who was fiercely committed to the dignity, intelligence and emotional capacity of children in a culture which all too often overlooked them.
May 24 – Ben Keyes
Why is it that we often find ourselves longing for adventure and security, for new challenges and for the comfort of what is known? While individuals differ greatly in how they experience and act on these two desires, we all seem to have elements of both in our hearts. We will explore these twin desires to ‘set out’ and to ‘come home’ as clues to our God-designed nature. Is it naïve to expect the fulfillment of these two seemingly contradictory longings?
May 31 – Dave Friedrich
“A Shelter For Conversation”
June 7 – Joshua Chestnut
Pornography, Shame and What to Do With Unwanted Sexual Behavior
For many of us our internet searches and browser histories reveal a record of unwanted, compulsive behavior which compounds a deep sense of shame and self-loathing. Addiction specialist Gabor Mate writes that often it is “emotional isolation, powerlessness and stress which are the conditions that promote the neurobiology of addiction.” Starting with Mate’s basic insight, we will look at the neurological, human and spiritual nature of pornography addiction including practical ways to move through unwanted sexual behavior.
June 14 – Ben Keyes
“Shouldn’t the Christian Faith be Easier?”
Have you ever felt that if Christianity were really true, it would be easier to live out? This is a very common contemporary sentiment, but what does it presuppose? What are our expectations of the Christian life and how are they influenced by the modern belief that ‘ease determines right.’ What does the bible encourage us to expect of life following Christ?
June 21 – Dick Keyes
Letting God be God in a Fragmenting World
In a fragmenting world a Christian must guard against fragmentation not only in the world but within the Christian faith itself. It often comes in the form of false choices, separations which should not be separated. To counter this problem, we will look at the need to treat God as God in two examples of false choice.
June 28 – Marta Crilly, Archivist
From segregated seating in the 1840s to the Memphis Kneel Ins of the 1960s, America’s white congregations have a long and painful history of working to promote segregation in church pews. Examining the long tradition of segregationist theology, polity, and culture in the white church sheds light on the current racial situation in American churches, and helps us to understand why 11:00 on Sunday morning is still the most segregated hour for American Christians. This lecture delves into the pro-slavery and pro-segregation theology accepted in many white churches in the 19th and 20th century and how that theology manifested in local church practice.
July 5 – Mardi Keyes
Why did Feminism happen in America? In 1776, Abigail Adams wrote a letter to her husband John, who was a member of the committee drafting the Declaration of Independence. She asked, “…in the new code of laws…remember the ladies, and…Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the husbands. Remember all men would be tyrants if they could. If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation.” She was referring to the law, by which women, upon marriage, lost their civic identity, all rights to their property, to their bodies and their children. The “rebellion” she predicted was later called “Feminism.” John Adams responded dismissively, “Depend on it, we know better than to repeal our masculine systems…” Why is it that in culture after culture, “masculine systems” have defined men as entitled to liberty and justice, while women are not? What light can the Bible shed on these questions?
July 12 – Dr. Andrea Gurney, Professor of Psychology, Westmont College
In a world that is more connected than ever before, we are somehow missing the mark on the very thing we were created for — loving, intimate relationships. As a society, we experience more depression, anxiety, and suicide than years past, and it is postulated that a primary reason for the increase in suicide is lack of social connections. This lecture will seek to provide practical tools from relationship science and Biblical truths to equip us in building healthy relationships.
Winter 2019 Lecture Schedule
What is grace? What are the different ways people have defined grace? And what caught Paul’s eye when he wrote about grace in Galatians and Romans? These are the questions New Testament scholar John Barclay asks in his book, Paul and the Gift (2015). Barclay’s questions and research will be the basis of this lecture. (This is the first lecture in a two part series, but also stands alone. Part two is, The Gift of Grace.)
This lecture considers the research of New Testament scholar John Barclay in his book, Paul and the Gift (2015), that challenges the definition of Divine grace as a gift with no strings attached and helps us see the gift of grace in Galatians and Romans as both divine call and human response. (This is the second lecture in a two part series, but also stands alone. Part one is, The Last Laugh)
One might assume that in a culture as tolerant and progressive as our own that these would be booming times for sex, yet a growing body of research seems to point in the opposite direction that more and more people are in fact retreating from physical intimacy. In this lecture will not only consider the sexual landscape of our current post-Christian culture, but reconsider the surprising distinctives of Christian sexual ethics as they emerged in the Pre-Christian world and how it revolutionized human sexuality.
What does the bible say about raising animals for food? How can we apply God’s word to our contemporary food system that relies so heavily on intensive factory farming? Should we all be vegetarians as many Christians argue, or are we entitled to rely on animals for food? Is this even a question that should concern Christians?
From the “pleasing to the eye” fruit of Genesis 3 to the four living creatures in Revelation “covered with eyes all around,” the Bible is full of references to sight. God’s sight and human sight seem to compliment and challenge each other. What does it mean for God to see us, or for us to “fix our eyes on Jesus”? We’ll explore these questions among others in a broad stroke “look” at sight through the Bible.
Theme Weekend – To Heal What is Broken: Hope in a Time of Fragmentation
Friday, February 22
Contemporary psychologists say that it is good for us to forgive, to give thanks and to seek humility. These traditionally Christian ways of life are being recognized as important aspects of human thriving but without any connection to biblical belief. How long can the secular appreciation of Christian virtue last without Christianity. In what ways could this trend be an opportunity to communicate Christian Truth?
Saturday, Feb 23
A recent social survey found that the amount of Americans with no close friends has tripled since the mid-80’s and that nearly 25% report having no one in their life who they consider a trusted confidant. How might these epidemic levels of loneliness, combined with the echo-chamber nature of social media have contributed to our national crisis of political polarization and what are some ways forward for those who find themselves exhausted by the angry discourse by those on extremes of the political spectrum?
Lunch – 12:30
1:30 PM: Friendship & Redemption in the Story of Ruth: How Self-Giving Loyalty Changes Everything
The road back to Bethlehem. Two hungry refugees. Famous vows from one to another. The ensuing story of Ruth and Naomi (and later Boaz) continues to reverberate down through history. Why is this little tale of friendship so powerful? And how might our lives be transformed through this kind of radical loyalty.
*If you would like to join us for the day on Saturday, please email us your reservation NO LATER THAN Thursday, Feb. 21st to firstname.lastname@example.org. The seminar is free, although there is a suggested donation of $5.00 to offset the cost of lunch on Saturday.
*The Saturday portion of this seminar is being given in conjunction with our lecture on Friday evening. Attendance both days is not required.
*Limited overnight accommodations may be available at L’Abri. Please email email@example.com if you would like to add your name to the waiting list for overnight accommodations, and you will be notified if/when space becomes available.
Some say that the best place to hide is in plain sight. “They’ll never think of looking here!” Sometimes this is the sad fate of Biblical truths which are so familiar to us that their life and importance is hidden simply by their familiarity. God’s amazing promise, “I will be with you” may have suffered this fate. It appears explicitly many times in the Bible and many more times implicitly or as an assumption. But what does it actually mean to us in our daily lives which range from triumph to tragedy with lots of routine in between?
From the muscle-pump that keeps blood moving through the body, to a symbol of romantic love, the heart is understood (and misunderstood) in a variety of ways. How did the biblical authors understand the heart and what might it mean for Christ to “dwell” in our hearts–and change them?
Mary Frances Giles
These days we are surrounded by conflicting messages of “home”. An advertisement for a furniture store might be immediately followed by a report on the refugee crisis. Americans are more transient than ever, yet we are obsessed with home improvement shows. This lecture will use the Biblical narrative as a lens to examine what it means to build a home, both in the world and with God.