The speakers have been announced for the 2021 Carl E. Braaten and Robert D. Benne Lectures in Theology. The annual theological conference, held during Lutheran Week, is August 3-4 at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas.
The 2021 Lutheran Week of the North American Lutheran Church will draw our attention to the person of God, the Father. Continuing the six-year cycle focusing on the persons and work of the Holy Trinity, the Braaten-Benne Lecture series and the NALC Mission Convocation will each aspire to point to the nature and being of God the Father, who is creator of heaven and earth!
The Rev. Dr. Nathan Howard Yoder, STS will introduce and frame the theme, giving a history of the doctrine of God the Father. Pastor Yoder is the dean of the Catawba Valley Mission District of the Carolinas Mission Region, serves on the NALC Commission for Theology & Doctrine, and chairs the NALC Braaten-Benne Lectures in Theology.
Dr. Paige Hochschild will be discussing the current trend in religious studies to curtail masculine language in speech about God, as well as the apostolic response to this movement and the need for faithful persistence in addressing God as Father and using complementary language. Dr. Hochschild is a Roman Catholic who serves as the Chair of Theology at Mount St. Mary’s University.
The Very Rev. Patrick Henry Reardon will be speaking on how the gnostic heresy (back then, and right now) is linked implicitly to a rejection of the God of the Old Testament and an apostolic understanding of God the Father. Fr. Reardon is an archpriest of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese, author, lecturer, podcaster, and senior editor of Touchstone Magazine: A Journal of Mere Christianity.
The Rev. Dr. Eric M. Riesen will be speaking on our address of God as Father as commanded by Jesus in the Lord’s Prayer. Pastor Riesen is the President of the North American Lutheran Seminary and author of The Christian Faith: A Catechism for the Curious.
The Rev. Dr. Amy C. Schifrin, STS will be speaking on how the divine name of YHWH revealed in the Old Testament relates to our understanding of God the Father revealed in Christ – as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob – while at the same time speaking in Trinitarian terms. Pastor Schifrin is President Emeritus and Associate Professor of Liturgy and Homiletics for the North American Lutheran Seminary.
The Most Rev. Dr. Ray R. Sutton will be speaking on the significance of the title “Abba” in the New Testament to our Trinitarian theology. Bishop Sutton serves as the Presiding Bishop of the Reformed Episcopal Church (REC) and the Ordinary of the Diocese of Mid America. He is also the Dean of the Province and Ecumenical Affairs of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), of which the Reformed Episcopal Church is a founding member and special jurisdiction.