Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Start December First Friday at the Tree Lighting on the LTSP Campus

✶ Caroling with the Salvation Army Philadelphia Citadel Brass Ensemble
✶ Refreshments
✶ Bring unwrapped toys for children ages newborn to 12 years

Start off your December Mt. Airy First Friday and celebrate the first event at the new William Allen Plaza on the campus of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia with a Tree Lighting and Carol Sing! Join the community on Friday, December 5 at 6 pm at the plaza, next to the Schaeffer-Ashmead chapel at the southeast corner of the LTSP campus, 7301 Germantown Avenue, Mt. Airy, Philadelphia. There is free parking on campus adjacent to The Brossman Center. Click here for a campus map and directions. The celebration is free and open to the public, and will be held rain, clear or snow!

More information, directions and a downloadable flyer are at

Monday, November 17, 2008

Lecture to explore the role of churches in human rights and the global economic ‘meltdown’

During the current global “economic meltdown,” what is the role of today’s churches and other faith organizations in establishing an effective global economic order? And how do the United Nations and the issues of human rights connect to the process?

Those critical issues will be explored by British author Canon John S. Nurser, whose career has focused on human rights issues internationally, with an address for the O. Frederick Nolde Ecumenical Lectureship and Seminar on Human Rights. The lecture is at 11:30 am on Tuesday, December 2 in Benbow Hall of The Brossman Center at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP), 7301 Germantown Avenue in the city’s Mt. Airy section. Nurser’s remarks are entitled “Human Rights Needs the Churches: The Gospel Needs Human Rights.” Admission is free and open to the public. The Nolde Lectureship and Seminar honors the work of the late LTSP professor O. Frederick Nolde. More information about Canon Nurser, O. Frederick Nolde and the Nolde Lectureship and Seminar, and directions are on the LTSP Web site –

photo courtesy Eaden Lilley - Cambridge

Monday, November 10, 2008

Advent Vespers coming December 7

The Choir of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia will lead the annual Advent Vespers on Sunday, December 7, at 7:30 pm at Grace Epiphany Episcopal Church in the Mt. Airy section of Philadelphia, near the seminary campus.

All are invited to this service of sung Evening Prayer as we mark this season of anticipation and expectation with the reminder that “God will reign in peace forever” (#256, Evangelical Lutheran Worship). Under the direction of Michael Krentz and John Weit, the choir will sing selections by William Billings, Andre Thomas and Magnificat by Giacomo Puccini (1712-1781, direct ancestor to the celebrated opera composer), and lead hymns and songs from many times and places.

Grace Epiphany Church is located at 224 East Gowen Avenue, Philadelphia, PA. For more information, visit the seminary Web site,

Friday, November 07, 2008

Chris Satullo to speak at LTSP on media, the Gospel and public life

Chris Satullo, a columnist and director of civic engagement at The Philadelphia Inquirer, will explore the connections between the media, faith and the public in a lecture entitled “Brood of Vipers: The media, the Gospel and public life” at the Tuesday, November 18 convocation at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP). The convocation begins at 11:30 am in Benbow Hall, The Brossman Center on the seminary campus at 7301 Germantown Avenue in the Mt. Airy section of Philadelphia. The convocation is free and open to the public.

Satullo previously was editorial page editor of The Inquirer, serving in that role for seven years. He’s been with the paper 19 years. He is the founder and director of the paper’s Citizen Voices program, an effort to engage readers in deeper political dialogue, and writes a regular column called Center Square.

For more information and directions, visit the seminary Web site:

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Quodlibet 2008 - any question whatever

Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Distinguished Presenter: Dr. Erik Heen, Professor of New Testament and Greek

From the Great Plains to the Cross: Professor Erik Heen's Quodlibetal message

Through Scripture, God reveals God's self to us through Christ crucified on the cross for our sins. That reality alone makes it a good thing to read the Bible.

And in keeping in mind the theology of the cross, it is a great challenge for disoriented believers to constantly keep their guard up against that "trickster" the devil, lest we allow the devil to substitute for God "something less than God."

These points and many others were delivered Tuesday, November 4, 2008, by Dr. Erik Heen, professor of New Testament and Greek at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia. He was the annual "Quodlibet" respondent, dealing with "any question whatever" that had been posed to him the week before by the seminary community. Prof. Heen was introduced by The Rev. Dr. Robert Robinson, Anna Burkhalter Professor, Old Testament and Hebrew at LTSP and acting co-dean.


  • Heen traced the Great Plains roots of his upbringing with affection, noting that "real people stand behind" the pietistic perspectives found in the Midwest. Heen added that there is a limit to how much one can generalize from the specificity of one's influential social location experienced during formative years. He cautioned against unduly disparaging Pietism and the tendencies to generalize narrowly, noting that "real people stand behind" Pietistic perspectives.. A theological principle of Pietism, he said, is "that righteousness is granted us by the grace of God through the death of Jesus." He said this understanding should never come at anyone else's expense.
  • Heen noted that the hard-working farmers he had grown up with seldom had much money, were hard-working and had little in the way of formal education, but they were diligent about their faith and the reading of Scripture. The rise of education today has had much to do with the way the Bible is read, and these changes are not always for the better.
  • Sin comes with a capital "S" and a small "s." The small "s" has to do with behaviors such as chemical dependency. The capital "S" form of sin has to do with our unbelief in God, which denies the voice of a believer's conscience, and thus separates us from God - a form of death. This reality needs to be a focus of one's theological concern and is frequently a reality believers do not comprehend because "we are so disoriented."
  • A knowledge of God "is possible only through a theology of revelation," Heen said. "For Paul the cross was the central revelation event. Christ crucified for Paul was the sole basis for theological knowledge, the way God speaks to the world. The cross reaches out in our disorientation to save the world."
  • Heen also spent considerable time discussing the Bible as "inspired" and the subject of Biblical inerrancy. He concluded his perspective by saying "yes" to the notion the Bible is an inspired book and "no" to the notion of Biblical inerrancy.