Symposium Sneak Peek #3: Jeff Oschwald

2014 Theological SymposiumThe 2014 Theological Symposium is fast approaching (September 23-24), and we thought we’d give the world a sneak peek into the four plenary presentations that will be given over the two days. They will all, of course, be centered in the theme, “Faithful Witness to God’s Story in the World Around Us: Bringing a Unique Perspective to Common Human Experiences.”

The third plenary will be given by Jeffrey Oschwald. Here’s the official synopsis:

“Faithful Witness in Suffering and Joy”

All human beings live in moments of suffering or joy. As Luther once wrote, “a human heart is like a ship on a wild sea, driven by storm winds …here it is stuck with fear and worry about impending disaster, … here breathes a breeze of hope … there blows security and joy in present blessings. These storm winds teach us to speak with earnestness, to open the heart and pour out what lies at the bottom of it.” As both Christians and non-Christians feel the winds of misfortune is there a common witness here that can point to what God promises for the downtrodden? So also for joy: how does the story of God at work to restore the world in Christ account for the reality and goodness of human happiness, laughter, delight, and celebration? How do we account for, and give witness in, the wonderfulness of life?

And here’s what Professor Oschwald has to say about it:

Jeffrey Oschwald“Christians, I am sad to say, have rarely been regarded as experts on the subject of joy; some would even say that Christianity has been joy’s worst enemy.  What moments come to mind when you are asked, ‘When have you experienced true joy?’  How can you tell true joy from counterfeit joy?  (The same Latin word that gives us our English joy also gives us gaudy.)  What is joy’s opposite?  If it is suffering, how can we be commanded to rejoice in our suffering?  Could it be gloominess, bitterness, or sadness?  What can we teach the world about joy?  And what can the world teach us about joy so that we might ‘sing better songs’?”

For more information on the 2014 Theological Symposium, click here.

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