Repentance and Forgiveness

Repentance and Forgiveness

    I hope you will consider attending the "Repentance and Forgiveness" conference that's coming up in early June in Baltimore. For the next two weeks, you can register "early bird." But even at full price it is worth the cost, and your time.
    This is a conference sponsored by the Center for Catholic and Evangelical Theology, an ecumenical outfit founded 25 years ago by two great American theologians, Carl Braaten and Robert Jenson. Two years ago I was made Program Director. My principal concern, as a trustee (as it were) of what was so wisely founded by thinkers I admire, is a simple one: not to mess up!
     The conference starts Monday evening, June 5, with an address on the biblical foundations of the topic. On subsequent days we continue with addresses on the differences of Christian and Jewish understandings of forgiveness, on being a sinner, and on the history and variety of church practices pertaining to reconciliation (e.g., "the sacrament of penance"). We also have addresses on contemporary concerns: whether reconciliation is still relevant in an age that values diversity, and what to make of this whole matter in our "emerging technoculture."
     All our speakers are sound scholars, an ecumenical group. They will be aiming their talks at clergy and laity who are theologically interested but not professional theologians. (Basically, if you are a reader of this blog, you are the target audience of the conference.) After each talk there is time for Q&A, and a panel discussion with our presenters will wrap things up by noon on Wednesday.
     Registration includes the banquet on Tuesday night. I hope a number of my readers will be able to come -- it would be great to see you! And, if the open bar is still the amazing $3 a glass, I'll buy you a drink.

    SIGN UP HERE

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     A personal note. My father was admitted to a nursing home last week. He has had cancer for a few years, and it is now taking (rather quickly) a toll on him. I'd appreciate your prayers for him (Marshall).
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    Out & about. Thursday, March 23, I'm to speak in the Lenten series of All Saints' Church in Phoenix. The series includes meditations on the beautiful St. John's Bible. My talk will be on "Humans and Other Animals in Genesis." The program starts at 6 p.m. Mountain Standard Time. (Oh how blessed it is, to dwell in Standard Time!)
    Friday, March 31, I am to give a meditation on "Jesus Falls the Third Time" at St. John's Episcopal Church, 848 Harter Road, Dallas.

    Sunday evening, April 2, and Monday midday, April 3, I am to give some Lenten ecumenical talks in Mount Pleasant.

The Rev. Canon Dr. Victor Lee Austin is the Theologian-in-Residence for the diocese and is the author of several books including, "Losing Susan: Brain Disease, the Priest's Wife, and the God who Gives and Takes Away."