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2022 Theologians Network

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    Theologians
Equipping Christian leaders to effectively defend the truthfulness of the Christian faith and the reliability of the Scriptures

Many evangelical theologians teach in universities, seminaries, and colleges with little opportunity for dialogue, fellowship, and encouragement from their evangelical brothers and sisters. The Theologians Network has been designed to provide this context and to make available an opportunity to interact with some of the world's leading evangelical scholars.

Applicants should be involved in full-time theological education (such as teachers, professors, and theology students).

Network Leadership

Dirk Jongkind is a Dutch biblical scholar who finished his Ph.D. at Cambridge University. His main scholarly interest is in the Greek text of the Bible and the Graeco-Roman backdrop of Acts and the letters. Currently, he is the Research Fellow in New Testament Text and Language at Tyndale House, Deputy Senior Tutor at St Edmund's College, Cambridge, and affiliated lecturer at Cambridge University. He has done much work on Greek manuscripts and other remains from the ancient world.

Peter is the Principal and CEO of Tyndale House, Cambridge. He was educated at Cambridge University, where he received his MA, MPhil, and PhD in the study of ancient languages related to the Bible. After his PhD, he was on staff in the Faculty of Divinity, Cambridge University (1997–1998), and thereafter taught Hebrew and Old Testament at Cambridge University as Affiliated Lecturer in Hebrew and Aramaic and as Research Fellow in Old Testament at Tyndale House, Cambridge (1998–2003). From 2003 to 2007 he was on the faculty of the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, where he became a Senior Lecturer in New Testament and Deputy Head of the School of Divinity, History, and Philosophy. Since 2007 he has been leading Tyndale House, and he is also an Affiliated Lecturer in the Faculty of Divinity in the University of Cambridge. He is a member of the Translation Oversight Committee of the English Standard Version of the Bible. He assisted Dr. Dirk Jongkind in Tyndale House’s production of a major edition of the Greek New Testament (2017) and has written Can We Trust the Gospels (Crossway, 2018), which has now been translated into 7 languages.

Network Speakers

Ralf Bergmann, born in 1962, is married and has three adult children, two children in-law and one grandchild. He received his degree in physics and a doctorate from German universities. He was involved in several areas of applied physics at several research institutions in Germany and Australia and has also worked in industrial research. Since 2008 he is a professor and head of a research institute working on optical technologies and optoelectronics. Beyond his research, he is interested in defending the reasonability of Christian faith, especially in the border triangle of physics, philosophy, and theology as well as the relevance of Christian faith for modern western society. In 2019, he wrote the book Gott und die Erklärung der Welt (God and the Explanation of the World) and in 2021 he wrote Die freie Gesellschaft und ihre Feinde (The Free Society and Its Enemies), in remembrance of Karl Popper's famous book The Open Society and Its Enemies and the work of Francis Schaeffer.

Ralf Bergmann is, amongst other organisations, a member of the Leadership team of the German Professorenforum, and is a founding member of the “Netzwerk Wissenschaftsfreiheit” (Network for the Freedom of Science) with members in all European German-speaking countries. He is also active as a speaker at national and international occasions and is a predicant within the protestant church.

Leonardo De Chirico is the pastor of Breccia di Roma, a church that he helped plant in Rome in 2009, and Vice Chairman of the Italian Evangelical Alliance. Previously, Leonardo planted and pastored an evangelical church in Ferrara, Italy from 1997 to 2009. He earned degrees in history (University of Bologna), theology (ETCW, Bridgend, Wales) and bioethics (University of Padova). His PhD is from King's College (London); it was published as Evangelical Theological Perspectives on Post-Vatican II Roman Catholicism. His recent books are A Christian Pocket Guide to Papacy (Christian Focus, 2015); A Christian Pocket Guide to Mary (Christian Focus, 2017), and Same Words, Different Worlds. Do Roman Catholics and evangelicals believe the same gospel? (IVP, 2021). He is a lecturer of historical theology at Istituto di Formazione Evangelica e Documentazione in Padova, Italy. Additionally, Leonardo is the director of the Reformanda Initiative, which aims to equip evangelical leaders to better understand and engage with Roman Catholicism, and the leader of the Rome Scholars and Leaders Network (RSLN).

Wayne Grudem is Distinguished Research Professor of Theology and Biblical Studies at Phoenix Seminary in Arizona. He is a graduate of Harvard (BA), Westminster Seminary-Philadelphia (MDiv, DD), and the University of Cambridge (PhD). He has served as the president of the Evangelical Theological Society (1999), as a member of the Translation Oversight Committee for the English Standard Version of the Bible, and was the General Editor for the ESV Study Bible (2008). He has written more than 25 books, including Systematic Theology (2nd edition, 2020), Christian Ethics (2018), The Gift of Prophecy in the New Testament and Today, Business for the Glory of God, Politics According to the Bible, and (with Barry Asmus) The Poverty of Nations: A Sustainable Solution. He also co-edited (with John Piper) Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. Over 300 of his articles and lectures are available at www.WayneGrudem.com.

Dirk Jongkind is a Dutch biblical scholar who finished his Ph.D. at Cambridge University. His main scholarly interest is in the Greek text of the Bible and the Graeco-Roman backdrop of Acts and the letters. Currently, he is the Research Fellow in New Testament Text and Language at Tyndale House, Deputy Senior Tutor at St Edmund's College, Cambridge, and affiliated lecturer at Cambridge University. He has done much work on Greek manuscripts and other remains from the ancient world.

Kaspars has been fascinated by ancient languages since his teens. His training is in historical linguistics, specifically Indo-European linguistics, a field which integrates traditional philology (the close reading and analysis of ancient texts) and the diachronic study of language. In his doctoral dissertation, he examined the phenomenon of Schwebeablaut, a marginal phonological process (distinct from ordinary ablaut) present in Indo-European daughter languages.

His current work is in Northwest Semitic philology (chiefly Ugaritic and Biblical Hebrew). In particular, he is studying the many personal names found in administrative records at Ugarit. These names, written in alphabetic cuneiform, are being incorporated into a rich database that is the basis for further research, including linguistic and prosopographical analysis. The goal of this and related scholarship is to gain a better understanding of the Ancient Near Eastern linguistic context of the Hebrew Bible and, in turn, a greater knowledge and appreciation for the Hebrew Bible itself.

Greg earned his MA from Trinity School of Divinity before continuing on to finish his PhD at Northwestern University. The intersection of theology, history, philosophy and sociology is Greg’s primary focus both in teaching and writing. He has taught graduate-level courses on apologetics, theology, history, leadership, the New Testament, ethics, and Christian Thought at American, European, and Asian institutions of higher learning. His book, Willow Creek Seeker Services, has been published in four languages. Currently, Greg serves as the President of the Forum of Christian Leaders and as the Director of the European Leadership Forum. He, his wife, Lori, and their three children reside in Naperville, IL.

John Stevens is the National Director of the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches, a family of over 500 Bible-centred churches in the UK, a position that he has held since 2010. Prior to this, he was one of the founding pastors of City Evangelical Church Birmingham, which was planted in the centre of the UK’s 2nd largest city in 1999. He was instrumental in starting the Midlands Gospel Partnership, was the course Director of the Midlands Ministry Training Course and is a visiting lecturer at Oak Hill Theological College. John is also one of the pastors of Christchurch Market Harborough, a church he helped to plant when he took up his current role.  He was converted whilst studying law at Cambridge University, and after taking a post-graduate degree at the University of Oxford worked for 16 years as a University Lecturer, ending his career as Deputy Head of the Law School at the University of Birmingham. John is married to Ursula and they have four children aged between 12 and 7. He blogs at www.john-stevens.com on theology, church life and ministry, culture, and politics.

Daniel Strange is director of Crosslands Forum, a centre for cultural engagement and missional innovation. Formerly he was college director and tutor in culture, religion, and public theology at Oak Hill College, London. Strange is a contributing editor for Themelios, and is a member of Hope Community Church, Gateshead, UK, which is part of the Fellowship of Evangelical Churches (FIEC). He is the vice president of The Southgate Fellowship. His book, Their Rock Is Not Like Our Rock: A Theology of Religions (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2015), received an award of merit for theology/ethics in the Christianity Today 2016 Book Awards. His most recent books are Plugged In (The Good Book Company, 2019), and Making Faith Magnetic (The Good Book Company, 2021).

Ádám Szabados is a Hungarian theologian and the leader of the Hungarian Evangelical Forum. Until 2017 he had been a pastor for 20 years. He is married to Dóra and has two adult sons. He studied English literature and linguistics at the University of Veszprém (MA equivalent, with honours), and theology at Schloss Mittersill Study Center (Diploma in Biblical Studies and Culture) and at Covenant Theological Seminary (ThM in Exegetical Theology). He received his PhD (summa cum laude) in the area of New Testament at Károli Reformed University. His study on the Reformational understanding of sin has been published by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. He wrote three other books: Erosz nyomában (Traces of Eros) (Harmat Publishing House, 2008), Az apostolok hagyománya (The Tradition of the Apostles) (KRE-L'Harmattan 2020; 2nd edition 2021), and Teológus a sakktáblán (Theologian on the Chessboard) (Luther-Harmat - 2021). Ádám also has a popular theological-apologetic website (divinity.szabadosadam.hu).

Peter is the Principal and CEO of Tyndale House, Cambridge. He was educated at Cambridge University, where he received his MA, MPhil, and PhD in the study of ancient languages related to the Bible. After his PhD, he was on staff in the Faculty of Divinity, Cambridge University (1997–1998), and thereafter taught Hebrew and Old Testament at Cambridge University as Affiliated Lecturer in Hebrew and Aramaic and as Research Fellow in Old Testament at Tyndale House, Cambridge (1998–2003). From 2003 to 2007 he was on the faculty of the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, where he became a Senior Lecturer in New Testament and Deputy Head of the School of Divinity, History, and Philosophy. Since 2007 he has been leading Tyndale House, and he is also an Affiliated Lecturer in the Faculty of Divinity in the University of Cambridge. He is a member of the Translation Oversight Committee of the English Standard Version of the Bible. He assisted Dr. Dirk Jongkind in Tyndale House’s production of a major edition of the Greek New Testament (2017) and has written Can We Trust the Gospels (Crossway, 2018), which has now been translated into 7 languages.

Network Programme

Sunday, 22 May

Incorrect methods produce incorrect results. Or, as Marx said: "He who formulates the question, answers it." This is certainly true in theology. When we find ourselves in disagreement with contemporary liberal theologies, it is not sufficient to question their conclusions; we need to question the process itself that led to the problematic conclusions. In this session, we will look at seven methodological errors that contribute to erroneous conclusions in modern liberal theologies and one core issue that is the root of all seven.

In the 2021 ETS presidential address, Dr. Al Molher spoke of the four temptations for evangelical theology: fundamentalism, atheism, Roman Catholicism and liberalism. Following Mohler's insight, this session will analyze Roman Catholicism as a temptation by looking at some of the arguments suggested and assessing their biblical relevance for our work in Europe.

Monday, 23 May

Christians and, specifically, theologians are nowadays frequently considered irrelevant, unless they support a current secular mainstream. As public debates are often morally loaded, theologians are tempted to submit or self-surrender to secular and often quasi-religious claims. This session will examine the background of the current cultural landscape and the role theologians can play in bringing about a change that emphasizes the relevance of Christian faith. Changing the cultural landscape of whole nations and thus increasing the acceptance of Christian faith, requires intellectual, cultural, and social leadership rooted in biblical wisdom and courage.

The European Leadership Forum is not associated with any particular denomination or church but rather seeks to unite evangelical leaders from a variety of Evangelical Christian traditions. We hold to the essentials laid out in the Lausanne Covenant and the Evangelical Affirmations. Yet what informs the strategy and ethos of the Forum? What is the Forum trying to accomplish in the lives of the leaders who participate? This session will address these questions and include a robust discussion of ELF’s “Core Convictions” and “Leader Impacts” documents.

Tuesday, 24 May

The godfather of the phenomenology of religion Ninian Smart infamously declared that theology was a ‘conceptual albatross around the neck of religious studies’. Although often existing in the same university department, theology and religious studies have not had a good relationship. In recent years theologians such as Gavin D’Costa and Paul Griffiths have argued that religious studies can only, and indeed must, find its true home in theology. In this session, we will outline the need and shape of an evangelical theological religious studies to be developed under the disciple of missionary apologetics also known as ‘elenctics.’ 

The relationship between theology and local church ministry is often strained. Academic theology is perceived as too intellectual, obtuse, and irrelevant to the realities of pastoral ministry and mission. However, biblically faithful theology is essential because the church needs to be founded on the truth of God and his gospel, and equipped to meet the many challenges of our secular post-Christian context. Without a solid theological foundation churches and pastors will drift into liberalism and heresy. This session will encourage theologians to serve the church appropriately and churches to appreciate and benefit from the work of theologians.

Wednesday, 25 May

Wayne Grudem is a well-known Evangelical scholar and leader in the United States. He is the author of over 20 books, including his best-selling Systematic Theology. His experience in both the publishing and academic worlds provides him with unique perspectives on how academics and theologians engage in their work and with those around them. This interview will delve into those experiences and perspectives and reflect on decades of studying God’s Word and teaching others to do the same. This is a joint session of the Academic and Theologians Networks.

Both K.A. Kitchen and Rick Hess have made arguments that the names in the Old Testament fit the right time period (and place) for the various stories. A powerful argument has been made for the New Testament that the names fit the right place (and time period) for the events of the gospels. In 2018 Tyndale House began a ten-year project investigating and seeking (if possible) to develop this argument for the Old Testament as well. This session will provide the first public report on the progress so far, which has been significant.