Luther and His Legacy: Gospel Promise in Cracked Pot/s

Date(s) - 10/07/2017
9:00 am - 1:45 pm

First Christian Church Tyler


Luther and His Legacy: Gospel Promise in Cracked Pot/s
Saturday, October 7, 9:00 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.
First Christian Church, Tyler
James Duke, I. Wylie and Elizabeth M. Briscoe Professor of History of Christianity and History of Christian Thought, Brite Divinity School, Fort Worth, TX

Even now Martin Luther sports the public name-recognition lead of Protestantism’s 16th century founders. No wonder: Who did more to shift the flow of Christian history from what it once was into what it is today? Luther’s brand remains controversial. Acclaim comes for fearless faith challenging Church and Empire alike, and ringing appeals to faith, God’s grace, the Bible alone, freedom of conscience, and priesthood of all believers. Detractors target narrow-mindedness, anger-management issues, and mere half-way reforms—a“Dr. Easychair and Dr. Pussyfoot” compromiser. This 2017 class notes the 500th anniversary of the 95 Theses Luther tacked on his own home parish-church door. We take a second, fresh look at his life, his times, and his legacy in light of Luther-studies, theology and the church, today. Four themes are uppermost: (1) Luther’s dogged efforts to grasp Christian faith’s ‘gospel’, as good news from God; (2) Luther’s view of ‘the Bible alone’ over church tradition and philosophical learning; (3) Luther’s unsaintly decisions, vicious or comprising, tarnishing his reputation; and (4) Still-swirling trends, controversies, and challenges he bequeaths to today’s Christians.

James Duke, Professor of the History of Christianity and the History of Christian Thought at Brite Divinity School, received his BA from the University of Maryland and his MDiv and PhD from Vanderbilt University. He is recipient of the TCU Deans’ Award for Distinguished Teaching and the Catherine Saylor Hill Award for Faculty Excellence. His publications include translations of German theologian Friedrich Schleiermacher as well as studies in the history of theology in North America, history and doctrine of the Stone-Campbell movement, and theological methodology. He has served as editor of American Academy of Religion publications, and the editorial team for The New Westminster Dictionary of Church History. An ordained minister of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Duke has participated in the Theology Task Force of Churches Uniting in Christ (COCU/CUIC), the Theology Commission of the Disciples Council on Christian Unity, and the Disciples-Reformed and Disciples-Roman Catholic dialogues.