Term Dates  

Winter Dates: January 14th- March 25th
Winter entry slots – January 14th or March 1st.

Summer Term: May 13th – July 22nd
Summer entry slots – May 13th, June 3rd, July 1st.

We are accepting reservation requests for the Winter & Summer 2021 Term, but please be aware that we are only accepting students during entry slots posted above. Guest must stay for a minimum of 2 weeks, with priority given to those who stay the whole term.

In accordance with the State of Massachusetts, you must be tested for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, 3-5 days prior to coming to L’Abri. Documentation of a negative PCR test result is required upon arrival at L’Abri, even if you are traveling from a low-risk state.

 

Winter 2021 Lecture Schedule

Term dates: January 14 – March 25

Due to COVID-19, lectures will not be open to the public, but will be streamed live on our Facebook page and uploaded to our podcast.

 

Jan 22- Joshua Chestnut: Becoming Friends with Time

While time is a tricky matter to fully wrap our heads around, its elusiveness doesn’t keep us from having a complicated relationship with it.  Whether we have too much time on our hands or not enough, for those of us living in “clock time” we often find ourselves having an adversarial relationship with time.  This has been true for so many of us during this year of pandemic.  This lecture will give a history of “clock time” and then consider how we might engage with the time that has been given to us and what it might mean to become a friend of time.

Jan 29- Ben Keyes:  Curiosity: A Diverse and Fruitful Christian Virtue

Curiosity is a quality that is not often counted among the Christian virtues. And yet to be curious can be a wonderful asset to people- a source of learning and joy. In this lecture we will explore different categories of human curiosity and examine some cultural attitudes towards being curious. We will then reflect on some of the ways in which curiosity equips us to better serve God by functioning as a springboard for other virtues. 

Feb 5- Sarah Chestnut: The Importance of Paradox: Poetry, Prayer and the Life of Simon Peter

Paradox is central to Christian theology and experience.  Francis Schaeffer, employing a paradox, described humans as glorious ruins.  We will look to poetry to tutor us in the nature and gifts of paradox, reflect on what are often paradoxical experiences of praying, and with the help of poems, imaginatively enter gospel passages involving Simon Peter (“Rock” and “stumbling stone”!) to better equip us to navigate our complex world.

Feb 12- Joshua Chestnut: The Apostle Paul, Our Mother in Christ: Metaphors, Ministry and Masculinity

This lecture is the second in a series on the Apostle Paul and women. It will be a consideration of the nature of metaphor, Paul’s striking but often overlooked use of maternal metaphors to make sense of his own ministry as well as a consideration of what this might mean for the fraught topic of gender ‘roles’ today.

Feb 19- Ben Keyes: Taking Yourself Less Seriously

The ability to laugh at yourself can be a disarming gift in the midst of difficult conversations and tense relationships, but is laughing at yourself anything more than a communication technique? Is there something fundamentally ridiculous about each of us to which laughter is an appropriate response? What does the Bible teach us about the incongruities of being fallen and limited humans, and why do we experience some of these incongruities as funny? This lecture will examine the potentially redemptive nature of self-directed humor.

Feb 26- Dave Friedrich: When Strangers Become Guests and Guests Become Friends

This lecture addresses two interrelated christian practices, hospitality and friendship. It takes note of how these have brought profound healing to societal divisions in the past, and makes a case for why we would want to recover them in the present. 

March 5- Anna Friedrich:  “She has done a beautiful thing”: The Anointing of Jesus in all 4 Gospels

When God calls something beautiful that seems worthy of our attention! All four gospel writers include a mysterious story of a woman approaching Jesus at a dinner and pouring oil or perfume on him. What is this about? Why does he call it beautiful? And how might this story help us understand beauty today?

March 12- Joshua Chestnut:  The Apostle Paul, A Friend to the Enslaved?

This lecture will be a consideration of some of the Apostle Paul’s seemingly problematic passages around slavery, focusing in particular on 1 Corinthians 7 and his letter to Philemon (give ‘em a read before tuning in!). While it is understandably disappointing for many modern readers of Paul that he does not directly condemn the institution of slavery, yet before dismissing the Apostle for what he doesn’t do, it is worthwhile to considering again what it is he does do.

March 19- Dick Keyes:  Where Did Human Rights Come From?

For our lives to go on we all assume a respect for human rights in ourselves and in our neighbors. What are human rights, how did we get them and why are they important?

Autumn 2020 - Friday Night Lecture Schedule

Updated term dates: Sept 15-Nov 5

Lectures will be closed to the public this fall, but will be streamed live on our Facebook page and uploaded to our podcast.

 

Sept. 18

Hearts Set on Pilgrimage: How Taking Walks Might Become Your Favorite Spiritual Discipline

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?

Anna Friedrich

 

Sept. 25

Fear, Anxiety and the Fear of the Lord

There is a curious line from the well-known hymn Amazing Grace that mentions what appears to be two contradictory out-workings of grace: “ ’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my fears relieved.” In this lecture we will take a closer look at this paradox of grace as we compare and contrast fear, anxiety and the fear of the Lord.

Dave Friedrich

 

Oct. 2

The Apostle Paul, A Friend of Women

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.

Joshua Chestnut

 

Oct. 9

Making and Fixing in a World of Cheap Replaceable Objects

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? 

Ben Keyes 

 

Oct. 16

On Being Politically Homeless

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.

Joshua Chestnut

 

Oct. 23

There Just Aren’t Enough Days in the Weekend: Finding Sabbath Rest in the Lord of the Sabbath

What was Sabbath rest about in the Old Testament? How did Jesus “fulfill” it in the New Testament? And how do we find it in our day? These will be the guiding questions of this lecture

Dave Friedrich

 

Oct. 30

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?

Dick Keyes

Winter 2020 Lecture Schedule

Jan 17 Caring for Creation V: Dappled, Strange, & Glorious: What Can Variety and Abundance Reveal?

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?

Jan 24  “It was meant to be good”: Becoming More Human in the Kitchen and Around the Table

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.  

Jan 31  “Can Christian People hope to have a redemptive influence in the polarization of American Politics?”      

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?

Feb 7  ‘For Your Name’s Sake’: Living for the Reputation of God

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?

Feb 14 In the Garden of Delight: Reading the Song of Songs for a Broken World

 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.      

Feb 21 The Vineyard and the Vine: Reflections on the Biblical Theme of Wine Making

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.

Feb 28 Violence in the Bible from Joshua to Jesus (Part 1 of 2): Joshua and the Conquest     

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.

March 6 Violence in the Bible from Joshua to Jesus (Part 2 of 2): Jesus and the Cross

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.

March 13 Between the Cross and Resurrection: Reflections on Jesus’ Death and Our Own. 

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

Southborough L'Abri
Phone: INT +1 (508) 481-6490, USA (508) 481-6490
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