Hope for Mortals: The Church’s Witness in the Midst of Dying and Death
Often Christians inhabit a theological vision guided by instrumental outcomes – a growth in the evangelistic and social outreach of the church, a revitalization of community and discipleship. But what happens to the church’s witness when all of our grand plans and visions for change stop short against the brick wall of death? In this lecture, J. Todd Billings reflects upon the way in which death, although the last enemy to be destroyed through Christ, also has the possibility of exposing the nature of a Christian hope which goes beyond trusting in our own efforts and plans.
J. Todd Billings (PhD Harvard) is the Gordon H. Girod Research Professor of Reformed Theology at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, MI. An ordained minister in the Reformed Church in America, Dr. Billings’ interests include Reformed theology, the sacraments, salvation, and theological hermeneutics. His first book, Calvin, Participation, and the Gift (Oxford, 2007) won a 2009 Templeton Award for Theological Promise. His most recent book, Rejoicing in Lament: Wrestling with Incurable Cancer and Life in Christ (Brazos Press, 2015), combines personal narrative with rich theological discourse to profound affect.