The first "Theology Weekend" at Karis was amazing. That mainly had to do with our guests for the weekend, Tom and Diane Schreiner. Tom is a New Testament professor at Southern Seminary, as well as the Preaching Pastor for Clifton Baptist in Louisville, Kentucky. We had the opportunity to have them in our home the whole time, and we were so blessed. Being a planter/pastor in a very young church, we have not had much in the way of shepherding by older believers most of the time. It felt like the Schreiners ministered to us from the moment they entered the door. They are the most down-to-earth, humble, and loving people. We are so grateful for them and their ministry to us and our congregation this weekend. Following is a brief recap. The MP3s of the weekend should be available on our site very soon. First, Friday night saw the highlight of the weekend. Karis hosted "Jesus... Who?", a debate featuring Shakir Al-Ani of the Islamic Center of Mid-Missouri, Bill Haney of the Universalist-Unitarian Church of Columbia, and Tom. This was all that we had hoped. Each man began by presenting for 20 minutes on who he thought Jesus was and what he did. During this opening segment, it was abundantly clear that the takes of the three men on Jesus were dramatically different. Tom did a fabulous job of laying out a biblical-theological understanding of our Lord. The men then responded to each other for 10 minutes each. The final segment allowed for questions from the audience, and many helpful ones were asked. The evening allowed all present to see the differences between the panelists. Tom was able to present the gospel clearly. There was much energy and authenticity expressed by the men, yet there was an overall respectful atmosphere. Nearly 200 people joined us for this great event.
Second, Saturday morning we hosted a Q and A session at the Cherry Street Artisan with Tom. Around 30 came downtown to ask Tom a host of questions which included those covering the "New Perspective on Paul," the "Emerging Church," as well as the problem of evil and how to solve it. Again, my friend and mentor was humble, respectful, yet honest.
Third, on Sunday Tom taught us in two different sessions. He first preached on the mission of Jesus in our Sunday morning Gathering. He second taught on the person of Jesus over lunch at the Forge & Vine. Following that session, he again opened up himself for another Q and A time. Tom's words were helpful, challenging, and encouraging. Our Lord Jesus Christ was lifted up by our time together on Sunday. His gospel was clearly taught in all its glory.
In all, "Theology Weekend" was a smashing success. As I was singing following Tom's sermon on Sunday morning, I was in tears, thankful for God's goodness to us in brothers and sisters like Tom and Diane, but ultimately in the gospel my friend made so clear and glorious to us during that message. God is good.
I would also like to announce that this fall, Dr. Bruce Ware, another professor from Southern Seminary, will be joining us October 24-26. You won't want to miss that, either. How does a forum about the exclusivity of Christ sound?