Summer 2020: On Sabbatical
Autumn 2020: September 15 – November 5
Winter 2021: January 14 – March 25
Autumn 2020 - Friday Night Lecture Schedule
Updated term dates: Sept 15-Nov 5
Walking is as ordinary as it gets. It’s so commonplace, it’s almost pedestrian. But the Scriptures, especially Proverbs, elevate this simple activity to a rich analogy for life with God. If we’re invited to “walk with God” how do we do that? And might regular, literal walks be a way to stay on the Way?
While many discussions of women in the writings of the Apostle Paul begin and end in the infamous controversial passages, this lecture will start elsewhere and instead look at the often overlooked named women in Paul’s letters. My hope is that by looking at who these particular named women are, what they appear to be up to and the way Paul describes them will provide us a fresh way into the often fraught discussion of Paul and women.
Most contemporary people are surrounded by cheaply made, easily replaceable products. In addition to this, many of our lives are so mediated through digital technology that we seldom use our hands to engage the physical world at all. Is the loss of ‘manual competence’ really a loss, or is it simply the way of the modern world?
In a way that seems prophetic of today, C.S. Lewis commented that one symptom of a sick society is that it talks about politics too much. Wanting to move beyond the incessant, performative, tone-deaf, package deal platform of partisan politics in America, this lecture will consider the quasi-religious nature that politics has taken on today and place that in conversation with the “politics” of Christians in the first few centuries.
There Aren’t Enough Days in the Weekend: Finding Sabbath Rest in the Lord of the Sabbath
The Rise of Outrage
In a world where the dominant source of moral authority for the individual is increasingly one’s own emotions, outrage has become the quickest path to moral conviction and to political influence. How should we understand this and respond to it?
Winter 2020 Lecture Schedule
By Anna Friedrich
This lecture is part of our ongoing series on the goodness of creation and our unique role as humans to explore, care for, protect, and delight in it. We will look at two things revealed in what we see around us and what we read in the Bible — Variety and Abundance. What can these two teach us about who God is and who we are?
By Sarah Chestnut
What does good food mean? What makes food good? Can learning to cook- or even just hanging around the kitchen- make us more human? Is eating a spiritual act? In an age of individualized diets that can become their own religions, is there hope for “family style” eating and true hospitality? Does what and how we eat really matter? With these questions and many more in mind, we will explore the significance of cooking and eating for the recovery of our true humanity.
By Dick Keyes
Political Polarization threatens to cripple our government. There seem to be few solutions on offer, but could Christian people willing to stand under the whole counsel of God make a difference?
By Ben Keyes
The biblical writers often tell us that God acts in the world ‘for the sake of his name.’ Biblical characters sometimes plead with God to intervene ‘for His name’s sake.” What does it mean that God defends his reputation to people? What difference would it make to pray with the glory of God’s name in mind?
By Joshua Chestnut
What was once the most popular and most commented on book in all of the scriptures, the Song of Songs (or sometimes called the Song of Solomon) plays little role in shaping contemporary imaginations about what it means to be human. Often assumed to be simplistic love songs, these ancient Hebrew love poems hold beautiful and timely wisdom on the goodness of human love, the problematic dynamics of abused power, the significance of place as well as the delight of life with God.
By Ben Keyes
In ancient Israel vines, vineyards, grapes and wine making were a part of every day life and good wine was considered a sign of God’s blessing. The cultivation of grape vines also provides a rich source of metaphorical imagery throughout the bible. This lecture will attempt to follow the thread of vine imagery throughout scripture to see what is communicated about God and his saving relationship to his people.
By Dave Friedrich
How are we to understand the violence we encounter in the Bible within the broader culture and context of Scripture? That will be our guiding question as we look at Joshua’s Conquest in Canaan and address further questions surrounding genocide, the inspiration of Scripture and the goodness of God.
By Dave Friedrich
What are we to make of the similarities and significant differences between Joshua and Jesus, especially as it relates to the role of violence in the Promised Land? That will be the guiding question of this lecture as we look at how Jesus ‘conquers’ in the gospels and the book of Revelation.
By Joshua Chestnut
This lecture will be an exploration of the theology of Holy Saturday. Taking what the Apostle’s Creed refers to as Jesus’ “descent to the dead” as our starting place, this lecture will consider what it means that Jesus was dead as well as what this might mean for us as we consider the inevitability of our own death.
March 20 Desiring, Trusting, Knowing and Being Known – A psychiatrist considers: are our basic instincts illusions, or intimations? Cancelled
Dr. Brandon Unruh
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
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.