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      March 20, 2018

      Tuesday   6:30 PM

      30 West Front St. Suite 400
      Youngstown, Ohio

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      Matters That Matter

      Matters That Matter Malone University's Center for Christian Faith & Culture is partnering with the C.S. Lewis Institute of Northeast Ohio to offer a series of lectures titled "Matters that Matter." These lectures will address pressing issues facing the church in our time from a perspective deeply rooted in classic, orthodox, biblical faith - what C.S. Lewis referred to as "Mere Christianity." The presenter for all of these lectures will be Dr. Bryan Hollon. The four lectures in the series are described below:  Canon and Creed: A Story of Origins (11/28/17) There are perhaps 40,000 Protestant denominations in the world today, and this raises troubling questions. For instance, what are we to do when christians arrive at wildly different and even contradictory interpretations of the Bible - our source and standard of Truth? Are some interpretations better than others? Who is to say, and by what authority?  In recent years, scholars have taken special interest in christian disunity, and several proposals for overcoming it are especially noteworthy. From Christian Smith’s The Bible Made Impossible to Peter Leithart’s The End of Protestantism and Kevin Vanhoozer’s Biblical Authority after Babel, we have much to learn about the causes of the current breakdown and about a better way forward. In this presentation, Dr. Bryan Hollon will offer his own thoughts about the future of Christian unity by looking back to theological developments that helped shape the New Testament canon in the first place. Attendees will come away from the presentation with renewed confidence that there is a classical christian consensus of faithful and authoritative biblical interpretation. Some interpretations are better than others, and we can know enough about biblical truth to discern when Christian teaching is consistent with apostolic authority. Knowing & Loving: Reading Scripture for Union With God (1/23/18) In 1 John 4:8, we learn the remarkable truth that God is love and that we must love others in order to know God. In this presentation, Dr. Bryan Hollon will (1) explore the theological interdependence between knowing God and loving others, (2) explain how the early church read and interpreted scripture with this connection in mind, and (3) discuss some ways that Christians today can do the same.  Identity Politics and the God Who Names (3/20/18) Biblical christianity has always affirmed that personal identity is illusive and that human life is characterized by a restless search for peace, stability, and love.  Although the human quest for meaning and worth is nothing new, the nature of the quest changes with the times. In our own culture, there is a growing assumption that the essence of personal identity is found in sexual orientation, gender, race, political ideology, national and tribal affiliation, etc. This trend is often called “identity politics,” and its consequences in our communities are palpable as dissension is growing among these subgroups. In this presentation, Dr. Hollon will explore the contemporary problem of identity politics from the perspective of a biblical understanding of personal identity. Specifically, the biblical theme of God’s “naming” those called into his service will be used to illustrate the truth that, for Christians, the essence of identity is not found within. Rather, it is a gift received from God. The Marriage Covenant: Ancient Wisdom for Confused Times (5/22/18) Christians are sometimes known more for what we oppose than what we affirm. One wonders whether this would be true if more Christians were willing and able to articulate the deep and compelling truths of the faith as it relates to controversial issues. The Gay Marriage controversy is a case in point. While it is no secret that many Christians oppose same sex marriage, it is unfortunate that few Christians could explain the Church’s traditional theological understanding of the marriage covenant in a way that is clear, thorough, and winsome. How would we respond when pressed with questions such as these: Why exactly, must marriage be restricted to a man and a woman? How is it not discriminatory to deny Christian marriage to persons with same sex attraction?  In this presentation, Dr. Hollon will offer an exploration of key themes from the Marriage liturgy from the Anglican Book of Common Prayer (the source of most protestant marriage ceremonies) in order to explain the deep theological truths that Christians affirm - including the truth that Christian marriage is necessarily restricted to heterosexual unions. About our Speaker In addition to serving as a Professor of Theology and Director of Malone's Center for Christian Faith & Culture, Dr. Hollon is the Resident Scholar at the C.S. Lewis Institute of Northeast Ohio. As a scholar, he specializes in ressourcement theology, which is best exemplified in the work of Henri de Lubac. As an Anglican Priest serving at St. John's in Canton, Ohio, he is always interested in the ways that Christians and Christian churches engage contemporary culture and struggle to remain faithful to the gospel in different contexts. Dr. Hollon is a proponent of the great consensual tradition that C.S. Lewis referred to as “Mere Christianity,” and his various activities tend to focus on different aspects of this tradition. He and his wife Suzanne met at Baylor University and were married in 1993. They have three children in their teens and twenties. For a list of his publications, you can follow this link. 

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