Greg Strand is EFCA executive director of theology and credentialing, and he serves on the Board of Ministerial Standing as well as the Spiritual Heritage Committee. He and his family are members of Northfield (Minnesota) EFC.
The pre-conference theme to our EFCA Theology Conference is “Soteriological Essentials and the 'Significance of Silence': Arminianism, Calvinism, Lutheranism and the EFCA.”
Our longer title, which is more descriptive, is “Soteriological Essentials and the ‘Significance of Silence’” or “Unity in Essentials – Dialogue in Differences”: Arminianism/Wesleyanism, Calvinism/Reformed (Baptist), Lutheranism and the EFCA.”
We will address the doctrine of salvation and how it is understood biblically, theologically and pastorally. This is particularly pertinent to those in the EFCA since we allow and welcome these various views on the doctrine of salvation and its application in the life of a believer. We will debate this doctrine but not divide over it. This position, we believe, allows us to thrive and flourish in a way greater than embracing one view denominationally. In this way we seek to reflect our unity in the gospel of Jesus Christ, and that this truth is of “first importance” in doctrine, ministry and life.
Each of the three positions regarding the doctrine of salvation (Arminian/Wesleyan, Calvinist/Reformed, Lutheran) will be grounded biblically and theologically, with historical awareness and pastoral sensitivity. An overview of the position will be presented, along with strengths and weaknesses of the position. Each lecturer will, additionally, address caricatures of the position. The goal is to educate, inform and equip in an irenic and constructive manner. It will not follow debate format. This will manifest unity in essentials, dialogue in differences.
D.A. Carson, Research Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
David Luy, Assistant Professor of Biblical and Systematic Theology, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
Thomas McCall, Associate Professor of Biblical and Systematic Theology, Director, Carl F. H. Henry Center for Theological Understanding, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
Wednesday, January 28
1:00 – 5:15 pm Pre-conference - “Soteriological Essentials and the Significance of Silence: Arminianism, Calvinism, Lutheranism and the EFCA”
1:00 – 1:15 pm Welcome, “Framing the Issue” – Greg Strand
1:15 – 2:15 pm Teaching Session 1 – Arminianism/Wesleyanism, Tom McCall
2:15 – 3:15pm Teaching Session 2 – Calvinist/Reformed, D.A. Carson
3:15 – 3:30 pm Break
3:30 – 4:30 pm Teaching Session 3 – Lutheranism, David Luy
4:30 – 5:30 pm Panel
In the three main sessions, McCall will address the Arminian/Wesleyan perspective, Carson will address the Calvinist/Reformed (Baptist) perspective, and Luy will address the Lutheran perspective. Since it will be most helpful for attendees if a similar format is followed, the speakers will address their respective views using a similar outline:
The panel will focus on these questions: How do we engage in life and ministry together, affirming the gospel in principle and practice, while embracing different views on soteriology? What is required to do this? Why is it important? What is gained and lost by it?