The Toronto Mennonite Theological Centre (TMTC) is excited to announce that our 2019 Public Lecture will be held on Thursday, March 14th at 7pm in the Jay Boardroom at the Toronto School of Theology. Our lecturer this year is Dr. John D. Rempel, who is no stranger to TMTC and served as its Director from 2011–2015 and is now a Senior Fellow, and we are delighted to have Dr. P. Travis Kroeker of McMaster University responding.
John's lecture is drawn from his current work and is entitled "An Impossible Task: Trinitarian Theology for a Radical Church?" and he describes the scholarly terrain of his lecture as follows: As the early church expanded, its most challenging theological task was to hold together New Testament claims about Jesus and his relationship to the God of Israel. After much wrangling, the early church concluded that nothing less than the Nicene Creed was able to do that. At the time of the Reformation almost all of the Anabaptists accepted the claims of this creed as binding. All subsequent Mennonite confessions of faith have done so. At the same time, at three different historical moments Mennonite scholars put aside the doctrine of the Trinity. This happened for the first time in the 17th century Netherlands when Mennonite thinkers joined the Enlightenment and affirmed its anti-Trinitarianism. This happened for the second time in Germany in the 19th century when Mennonite scholars appropriated the Free Thinkers movement, an offshoot of the Enlightenment, and its anti-Trinitarianism. This happened for the third time in the late 20th century in Canada and the United States. Scholars seeking to apply the Anabaptist vision to a new context created theologies that stopped short of affirming the doctrine of the Trinity or openly rejected it. The tasks of this lecture are the following: in outline form to make the case for historic Trinitarianism, to examine the historical and theological dynamics of Mennonite anti-Trinitarianism in the three case studies mentioned, and finally, to offer samples of late 20th century Trinitarian thought as the most adequate foundation for a radical church.
A reception will follow the lecture and all are invited. For those of you that cannot be there in person, the lecture will be recorded and available to view online. Please spread the word about this event and plan to join us for what promises to be an engaging evening!