2006 Confessional Worldview SeminarProf. Lyle LangeAbstract: The Confessional Lutheran Worldview
Presenters' vitae and abstracts
(Thursday, 6:30-8:15 p.m.; Friday, 8:00-9:45 a.m.)
In a global society, Christians are confronted by a myriad of worldviews which offer to deal with mankind’s needs. How are they to judge these various views? Only God Himself gives the standard: His Word, the Bible. Only God’s Word solves everyone’s greatest need—the need for redemption. Only the words and promises of God are good for all people of all times. The Lutheran Confessions accurately reflect God’s Word as they present a worldview centered on Jesus Christ and rooted in Scripture. This presentation begins by defining what constitutes a Christ-centered worldview, followed by a survey of Scripture, and concluding with how other worldviews deviate from God’s Word, undermining both Christ’s work and His revelation to us in Scripture. It is designed to help Christians understand what they face as they strive to preserve and proclaim the confessional and biblical worldview in the twenty-first century.Vita:
Professor Lyle Lange graduated from Northwestern College in 1965 and Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary in 1969. He has been at Martin Luther College since 1978 where he has taught Christian Doctrine, Old Testament, the Gospels, Acts, the New Testament Epistles, and Western Civilization. He has various synodical and inter-church positions and is currently the chairman of the Theological Commission of the Confessional Evangelical Lutheran Conference. His books include Our Great Heritage (editor), Sanctification – Alive in Christ, Outline of the Book of Concord, and God So Loved the World: A Study of Christian Doctrine.Rev. Steven L. Reagles, Ph.D.ABSTRACT: Old Kissing Cousins and The DaVinci Code: Eastern Religion, Gnosticism and the “God Within” In American Past and Present Cultural Trends
(Friday, 10:15 a.m.-noon)
Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code exposes people to a Gnostic version of Christ that is foreign to historical, creedal Christianity. In fact, it is at this very point that one realizes that the Gnosticism of Brown’s work deconstructs the Divinity of Christ and like Buddhism and Hinduism argues for trusting a “God within.” The Buddhist and Gnostic view is found everywhere in contemporary American culture. This presentation by Dr. Reagles will provide an historical context for understanding The DaVinci Code and the influence of Gnosticism and Eastern Religion on select aspects of American thinking today.Vita:
Dr. Steve Reagles teaches courses in communication, media ecology and religious studies at Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato, MN. Steve attended WELS elementary and high schools and seminary. Prior to his ordination and ministry as pastor in Jackonsville, Florida he flew as a commercial pilot and worked as an FAA flight instructor in helicopters and airplanes. He served five years in the U.S. Army, including time as a helicopter pilot and Mission Commander of 7/1 Air Cav Troop in Vietnam, 1969-1970. Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for Vietnam action he left military service at the rank of Captain, returning to complete his university education, which included three graduate degrees, including an M.Div., an M.A. in Communication at Minnesota State U., and a Ph.D. in Rhetoric & Linguistics at Indiana University-- Pennsylvania. Steve has received several writing awards for his work, including three grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and has been published in various journals, including Concordia Journal. He speaks at numerous professional conferences throughout the country. He and his wife Patti have six children and four grandchildren.Rev. Edward BryantAbstract: The Disciplines of Truth Telling and the Activities of Uncertainty: Assumptions, Message, and Method in American Education
(Friday, 1:30-3:15 p.m.; 3:45-5:30 p.m.)
As parents try to pass on the culture of heritage and faith to their children, they find themselves engaged in skirmishes about mental health screening, federal curriculum standards, and inclusion of "diverse" forms of "families" in curriculum materials. While these are real issues, just the fact that they are subjects for discussion tells us that the position of the front in the war of worldviews has shifted radically. If we are to pass on our heritage of faith and culture to our children, we will need to do more than skirmish over whatever reprehensible scheme is unleashed in the schools this week; we will need to radically reestablish the assumptions upon which the whole educational edifice is built. The whole nature of the educational enterprise has shifted from a set of disciplines equipped to convey truth, to a set of activities calculated to convey only uncertainty, and it has brought private and parochial eduction along with it. It is time to rediscover these disciplines.Vita:
Rev. Edward Bryant has been involved in education at practically every level for over 30 years. He grew up in a family with a keen interest in education. His father, an M.D. was active in the resistance to “progressive education” in California in the 1950’s. Edward graduated from Western Washington University, a radical bastion of behaviorism, in 1971. He then attended an independent Lutheran seminary while teaching at a connected K-12 parish school, St. Matthew Lutheran in Detroit, a Lutheran school “in the classical tradition.” He was eventually called to assist the pastor and to serve as principal and upper grades teacher, a post that he filled for nearly 12 years. During that time, Edward completed a Masters of Arts in Educational Administration at Pacific Lutheran University. He also served on the board of the Washington Federation of Independent Schools, a group working to cope with state control of non-public schools, and on the Board of Regents of Bethany Lutheran College. His published papers include “Are You Teaching Behavior Mod or Law and Gospel,” “The Christian and the Two Kingdoms,” and “For You and Your Children.” Edward is married to Deborah, and they have four children.Prof. John BrennerAbstract: The Spirit of Pietism—Anthropocentrism in the Worldview of American Christianity
(Friday, 6:30-8:15 p.m.)
Lutheran Pietism was as reaction to a perceived lack of spiritual life in the Lutheran territorial churches in 17th and 18th century Europe. Pietism emphasized sanctification over justification and religious experience over doctrine. There are direct historical and theological links between Pietism and the development of Protestantism in America. In fact, the spirit of Pietism is the dominant spirit in American Christianity. It opposes the Confessional Lutheran worldview by raising human experience above the objective truths of God’s Word and making what humans do for God more important than what God has done for sinful human beings in sacrificing his Son for their sins.Vita:
Prof. Brenner is a 1977 graduate of Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary. He served as a Dean’s Assistant at Northwestern College 1977-1979; a parish pastor at Redeemer Lutheran Church Big Rapids, MI, 1979-1985; and Dean of Students at Michigan Lutheran Seminary in Saginaw, 1985-1991. Since 1991 he has taught church history, the Augsburg Confession and Apology, and Christian education at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary. He also serves as the dean of students. Prof. Brenner has done additional study at Saginaw Valley State University, the University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee, and Marquette University where he is completing a Ph.D. program in Historical Theology.
Dr. David N. MentonAbstract: Evolution: Science or Scientism?
(Saturday, 8:00-9:45 a.m.)
Evolutionist Julian Huxley has declared that “the whole of reality is evolution - a single process of self transformation.” Today people hear in science curriculum controversies in our schools that “nothing in biology makes sense without evolution.” Many people are confused when evolution is touted as a “fact” and at other times as a “theory.” While it is possible for a scientific phenomenon to be at one and the same time a fact, a theory, and even a law, evolution qualifies as none of these. This presentation will examine the limitations of science in addressing the question of origins and show that empirical scientific evidence is entirely consistent with the Biblical truth. The things God has made attest to His eternal power and Godhead (Rom. 1:20).Abstract: Implications of Evolutionism
(Saturday, 10:15 a.m.-noon)
Many Christians have attempted to accommodate an evolutionary worldview into Christianity. This compromise is not only unnecessary but undermines the very Gospel of Jesus Christ. Even the widely held view of an old earth (4.5 billion years) makes death natural and removes the causitive link between sin and death. This presentation will compare and contrast the biblical teaching of Creation with the materialistic worldview of evolution, including the influence Darwinism and Darwin and on today’s culture. Examples will be given of spokesman from several major Christian denominations that have compromised on evolution and show the devastating effects it has had on their doctrine and view of God and man.Vita:
Dr. David Menton received his undergraduate degrees in biology and chemistry from Minnesota State University and his Ph.D. in cell biology from Browns University. Since 1966 he served as Associate Professor of Anatomy at Washington University School of Medicine. Dr. Menton is member of the American Association of Anatomists and has been honored with numerous recognitions, including “Professor of the Year” in 1998. He has written numerous articles in technical and scientific journals dealing with the wound healing, biomechanics of skin and epidermal barrier function. He has lectured throughout the United States, Canada, Australia, Turkey, Trinidad, Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom and Peru on the Creation-Evolution controversy. He is a member of Faith Lutheran Church (CLC) in Ballwin, MO where he has served as president, elder, and SS teacher of high school youth. He has also served as Technical Advisor for the Institute for Creation Research out of San Diego and is currently a Seminar Lecturer with Answers in Genesis, Florence, KY.
Craig PartonAbstract: The Defense of the Faith in the Marketplace of Ideas
(Saturday, 1:30-3:15 p.m.; 4:45-5:30 p.m.)
This presentation will trace what apologetics is and what it is not, the need to pursue the apologetical task, why most Christians do not do apologetics (sociological and theological reasons), the rise and challenge of secularism, and suggestions for defending the faith with both the tough and tender minded non-Christian…..”Vita:
Mr. Craig Parton, Esq. is a trial lawyer and managing partner of the oldest law firm in the Western United States--Price, Postel and Parma of Santa Barbara, California. Upon graduation from college, he spent seven years on staff with Campus Crusade for Christ, the last four of which were spent as national lecturer for Crusade. Mr. Parton traveled to over 100 universities and colleges across the country defending the Christian faith through lectures and debates. He received his Master’s degree in Christian Apologetics under Dr. John Warwick Montgomery at the Simon Greenleaf School of Law, an institution devoted to the integration of Christian faith and legal reasoning. Craig Parton is also the United States Director of the International Academy of Apologetics, Evangelism and Human Rights in Strasbourg, France (www.apologeticsacademy.eu). His latest book is entitled “The Defense Never Rests: A Lawyer’s Quest for the Gospel.” He has published articles in both law reviews and in theological journals, including Modern Reformation, Logia–A Journal of Lutheran Theology, and the Global Journal of Classical Theology.Rev. David Kind
, Banquet Speaker
Rev. David Kind, LCMS pastor at the University Lutheran Chapel at the University of Minnesota, has agreed to be the featured speaker at the banquet for the 2006 Confessional Worldview Seminar to be held at King of Grace Lutheran Church in Golden Valley, Minnesota. His presentation is titled: Confessing Christ on Campus, the confessional Lutheran approach to campus ministry and missions and its impact on students today.
Rev. David A. Kind has been campus pastor at University Lutheran Chapel in Minneapolis since 2001, serving the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus. A native of Wisconsin, Kind is an alumnus of the University of Minnesota (class of '92) and was active in ULC's campus ministry as a student. Kind received his MDiv degree from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne Indiana in 1996. He has served as pastor of: First Lutheran Church in Waldorf and St. John's Lutheran Church in Minnesota Lake, Minnesota (1996-1999), and as a recruiter for Concordia Theological Seminary (1999-2001).
While serving at ULC Pastor Kind has been involved in Higher Things (Dare to Be Lutheran!) as a conference chaplain and breakout session speaker; and in Christ On Campus, the campus ministry arm of HT, as a member of Christ On Campus leadership team. He also has served as a regional pastoral advisor for Lutheran Student Fellowship, the LC-MS national student group.
Kind is the author of the book About Our Liturgy: History, Meaning and Practice. His sermons have also been featured in the journal "Concordia Pulpit Resources".