True Christianity is to be discussed next week at Riverside Baptist here, where Larry Hubbard is pastor.
DENHAM SPRINGS – True Christianity is to be discussed next week at Riverside Baptist here, where Larry Hubbard is pastor.
Guest presenters from the Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale University
and from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary have been invited by
Eastern Louisiana Baptist Association to speak on “What is True
Christianity?” Monday, Nov. 6, with sessions starting at 1 p.m. and
concluding about 7:30 p.m.
“As evangelism director for our association, I wanted to have an event
that would provide historical and theological insight into our purpose
for evangelism,” Hubbard said. “We’re going to look at true
Christianity from Jonathan Edwards’ perspective and an historical
Baptist perspective. Our hope is that this discussion will help us have
a clearer understanding of the biblical and historical foundations of
Jonathan Edwards was a theologian – some say America’s first and most
distinctive theologian – who in the late 1700s wrote Religious
“He was trying to show the desperate need for spiritual
self-examination,” Hubbard said. “Christians today need to determine in
the light of scripture the nature of authentic faith and how it is
reflected in our lives and ministry.”
Daniel H. Holcomb ThD, chairman of the theology and historical studies
division at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, is to open the
conference with the topic, “What is true Christianity from an
historical Baptist perspective?”
That topic is to be followed by “What is true Christianity according to
Jonathan Edwards?” led by Kenneth P. Minkema, executive director of the
Jonathan Edwards Center and an assistant professor of American
Religious History at Yale University. Caleb J.D. Maskell also is to
contribute to the topic. He is associate director of the Jonathan
Dr. Maskell leads the team behind the “Works of Jonathan Edwards
Online,” a digital edition of Edwards’ work – all 100,000 pages of it –
that has garnered wide acclaim as “setting a new standard for digital
The third topic of the day’s conference is to be “Similarities and
differences between early and contemporary Baptists,” led by Dr.
After supper, the conference is to conclude with a “structured discussion” between Drs. Minkema and Holcomb, and Mr. Maskell.
“This is a substantive and timely conference,” Dr. Holcomb said. “It
addresses issues of faith and practice of vital importance to our
“At NOBTS, I have witnessed a growing concern of students to move
beyond a superficial appropriation of Christian faith and to address
classical and historical expressioons of Christian life and doctrine –
what did early Baptists believe and why, and how this should affect the
way we think and live as Baptists,” Dr. Holcomb said.
His role in the conference is to reflect on the Baptist heritage side
of the issue, Dr. Holcomb said. <okay to cut if need be>
“Historically, Baptists in general have been a practical and serving
people, especially in the United States,” Dr. Holcomb said. “The way
Baptists rallied after Katrina is an example of that. … I would
understand the conference to say that reflection and praxis are
friends, not foes. Mature thinking about our faith should shape what we
do and what we say about our faith.”
Jonathan Edwards was the most unique – and many say the best – American theologian to date, Dr. Holcomb said.
“This conference will disclose some of the riches of his thought and
then look at how that has influenced American Christianity, and at the
same time look at Baptists’ life and faith as it addresses the issue of
what constitutes authentic Christianity,” Dr. Holcomb said.
The conference came about when Hubbard was on the Yale University
campus, doing research on his doctorate, which is about Jonathan
Edwards. He met Dr. Minkema and Dr. Maskell at the Jonathan Edwards
Center. Conversations led to the conference, which is free and open to
Pre-registration is requested, to ensure enough materials are made
available. Please call 225-664-1278 or online at 222.riversidebc.com.
More on Edwards: Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) was a pastor, revivalist,
Christian philosopher, missionary and college president. He is the
subject of intense scholarly interest because of his significance as an
historical figure and the profound legacy he left on America’s
religious and intellectual landscapes.
The Works of Jonathan Edwards –critical edition of Edwards’ writings–was created at Yale University in 1954.