Lydia Marcus – Staff Writer
“Is there a theology department at Dordt?”
Yes, there is, and the lecture series “Dordt has a Theology Department” aims to remind people of that specific fact.
“Sometimes our Kuyperian perspective, with the emphasis on serving God in every area of life (which we agree with), can downplay the importance of theology,” said Dr. Jason Lief. The faculty of the theology department were concerned that many members of the Dordt community were not cognisant of the research and writing done by theology professors.
“The goal is to highlight the usefulness and necessity of academic study of the Bible and Theology, and to introduce the community to Dordt faculty members who specialize in this work,” said Professor Benjamin Lappenga. One of the objectives of this series is to make the theology department more visible on campus.
The theology department also hopes to challenge and instruct those who attend. “Students [who attend] can expect to get a taste of high-level biblical study and theological reflection, and will have the opportunity to hear about the research interests of the Theology faculty,” said Professor Lappenga. “The lectures will be rigorous, but also accessible for any audience, including those with little experience in this kind of study.”
“Dordt has a Theology Department” gives students who are not studying theology an opportunity to observe and engage with the work done by the theology department.
“The study of theology is an attempt to give language and symbols to help make sense of our experience of God and God’s action in the world,” said Dr. Jason Lief. “The purpose of this lecture series is to bring in speakers to help us wrestle with our experience of God, and to help us see a little bit better how God is at work in the world.”
The series, which is open to the entire community, began on Sept. 18 in SB1606 with Professor Lappenga’s engaging lecture, “What it Means to be a Zealot: Paul’s Redefinition of ‘Zeal for the Good’ in Galatians 4:12-20.” Professor Lappenga’s lecture was well received, and students expressed their appreciation for the theology department’s initiative. “It went really well,” said Dr. Lief.
The next lecture in this series will be delivered by Pastor Scott Evans at 7pm on Oct. 1. Scott Evans is a speaker, author, and director of youth ministries.
On Nov. 3, the theology department will partner with the Andreas Center to host Professor Rikk E. Watts for an evening lecture. Professor Watts teachers New Testament studies at Regent College in British Columbia.
Students are encouraged to watch for more information about the next theological lectures in the “Dordt has a Theology Department?” series.