Alumni Conference 2014
The Mid-America Alumni Association held an alumni conference on April 8-10, 2014 entitled Church and Kingdom: Addressing Contemporary Challenges. The Alumni Council is pleased to make the following videos of the conference lectures available to you at no charge. PLEASE NOTE: Mid-America’s video service is experiencing some technical difficulties that are causing the audio and video to be out of sync on several videos. We are working with our video service company to rectify this problem. We apologize for this.
Dr. J. Mark Beach: "The Two Kingdoms: A Lutheran or a Reformed Idea?"
The language of the “two kingdoms” has pedigree in both the Lutheran and Reformed tradition, but does each tradition construe this language in the same way? In this address, after providing a brief synopsis of the biblical import of “the kingdom of God,” Dr. Beach will present first a typical Lutheran interpretation of the “two kingdoms” doctrine, followed by how the Reformed used this language in a manner distinct from their Lutheran antagonists. Dr. Beach will conclude the address with a brief critique of the Lutheran position and present why the Reformed model is more faithful to the biblical portrait and meaning of “the kingdom of God.”
Dr. Cornelis Venema: "Christ's Kingship in All of Life: 'Butchers, Bakers, and Candlestick Makers' in the Service of Christ"
The relation between Christ’s kingship and the calling of Christians to serve him in all of life poses an inescapable question: How are the citizens of Christ’s kingdom to be “in” but not “of” the world? Should Christian believers seek Christ’s kingdom in their daily vocations, in the areas of education and culture, or even in the “public square?” In his address, Dr. Venema will focus upon this question, and offer an evaluation of the recent “two-kingdoms/natural law” answer to it.
Rev. Alan Strange: "Seeking to Define the Spirituality of the Church"
The doctrine of the spirituality of the church has been variously understood and abused. The meaning of the doctrine is that the church is a spiritual, not a temporal, institution and that its concerns are therefore properly spiritual. The importance of the doctrine appears in that the church’s calling is to minister the means of grace in the gathering and perfecting of the saints, not to serve as a running commentary on the political scene. But its spirituality has been so narrowly constructed by some as to render the church altogether mute concerning all matters in the civil realm, even though the Scriptures may address such matters. We will look particularly at the question of slavery and see how its addressed biblically, especially in Paul’s epistle to Philemon.
Rev. Marcus Mininger: "Eschatology and Protology, Christ and Culture: The Nature of Marriage as a Biblical Test Case"
Questions about the relevance of Christ to culture are complicated by how seldom the Bible speaks directly to various specific cultural endeavors. How does the Bible inform me in my plumbing? What relation does Christ have to doing math? However, one aspect of general culture activity that the Bible does speak to quite frequently is the institution of marriage, and what it says about marriage can provide a helpful paradigm for how the Kingdom of God and our general cultural activities do and do not interrelate.
Rev. Mark Vander Hart: "Resurrecting the House of the Lord"
From the beginning God’s will was to fill the earth with people who bore His image. God makes His home with those who are His holy people. Sin ruined both humanity and the earth. Yet God is not defeated. Throughout the Old Testament, the Kingdom of God comes down to restore that dwelling so that God will dwell with His people forever.