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'Influenced by its legacy': a celebration of 500 years of the Reformation

Wheaton’s 2016 Theology Conference, entitled “The People’s Book: Reformation and the Bible,” will commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation by hosting speakers and sessions centering around the vernacular Bible’s influence on shaping contemporary Christianity.

Co-coordinator of the event and associate professor of theology David Lauber described this year’s emphasis on the Reformation as a chance to take a look at the Bible’s influence on the life of the church and the lives of the lay people that populate it. In Lauber’s words, the primary interest of the conference “is both the historical question of the Bible uniting the people of God and leading to division, in terms of the Reformation.”

Associate professor of theology and history of Christianity Jennifer Powell McNutt, also a co-coordinator, emphasized the 500 year anniversary of the Reformation. “Whether or not we recognize it,” she said, “we have been influenced by its legacy.”

This event seeks to unpack that legacy by exploring the Bible’s role in “reflecting on matters of access, readership, authority as well as its place in the worship context,” according to Wheaton’s website.

Wheaton will host 12 different speakers from top research institutions like Yale University and Duke Divinity School, as well as major evangelical institutions like Fuller Theological Seminary and Westminster Theological Seminary. With these “high-quality minds” gathered on campus for a few days, Lauber said it is a great opportunity to hear from people who care about the intersection between high scholarship and care for the church.

Why should you be interested in going as a student? Not only is the event free for the Wheaton family, but it is “a wonderful opportunity to learn how Christians in generations past sought to be faithful to the word of God,” according to McNutt.

Partnering with Wheaton to print volumes dedicated to the conference’s presentations is InterVarsity Press. This partnership has endured for 25 years, and McNutt said they are “valuable to the field and to the work of pastors.” In addition to conference volumes being made public, sessions will be made available for free download from the conference’s website.

You can check out the entire schedule of speakers and their presentations at Wheaton’s site under the “2016 Theology Conference” tab.

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