Samford University’s Beeson Divinity School will begin its weekly community worship services Aug. 28 at 11 a.m. in Andrew Gerow Hodges Chapel on the theme, “The Noble Army of Martyrs.”
The fall 2018 chapel series will explore the theme of Christian martyrdom and will bring attention to several Christian martyrs, such as Polycarp, Perpetua and Felicitas, Hugh Latimer, Nicholas Ridley and more. Beeson Divinity Dean Timothy George will introduce the theme in the opening service of the semester with a sermon called, “Martyria.”
“This theme is problematic for the kind of Christianity-lite, so popular today, that promises prosperity and success and an easy soothing of the soul with few problems and little pain. Martyrdom is counter-cultural,” George said. “Yet, from the beginning of the Christian faith, the willingness to lay down one’s life for the Gospel was recognized as a sign of holiness among faithful disciples of Jesus.”
Opening Convocation will take place the second Tuesday of the semester, Sept. 4, with guest speaker David S. Dockery, president of Trinity International University. Other special guests this semester include, Todd Wilson of The Center for Pastor Theologians and Beeson Divinity alum Ed Stetzer of Wheaton College. Several Beeson faculty and staff also will preach this semester, including Douglas D. Webster, Gerald Bray, Rob Willis and Stefana Dan Laing, one of Beeson’s newest faculty members.
November 6 will feature a special presentation of “The Icon of the New Martyrs,” a painting which depicts the scene described in Revelation 7:9-17 of martyrs “from every nation, race, people and tongue” assembling in heaven. The icon, which includes Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox martyrs, was commissioned by Pope John Paul II and is on display in the Basilica of St. Bartholomew. A large print of the icon, which hangs in George’s office, will be presented during this service.
Several special events and lectureships are also coming to Hodges Chapel this fall.
The divinity school’s first Anglican Theology Conference will take place Sept. 25-26, featuring Archbishop Foley Beach of The Anglican Church in North America delivering the sermon during community worship Tuesday, Sept. 25. The following week, Nik Ripken of Nik Ripken Ministries will speak in chapel as part of Beeson’s Go Global Missions Emphasis Week.
On Oct. 16, theologian Han-luen Kantzer Komline of Western Theological Seminary will deliver a lecture on “Augustine on Martyrdom, Death and Asceticism” earlier in the day as part of Beeson’s annual Finkenwalde Day. Finkenwalde Day is a day of prayer, meditation, worship, lectures and recreation for Beeson students and faculty modeled on the daily routine of 20th-century German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer and his students at Finkenwalde.
The annual Reformation Heritage Lectures will be delivered by Kevin Vanhoozer, research professor of systematic theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Vanhoozer, a leading evangelical theologian, will preach Oct. 30 during community worship and deliver a lecture Oct. 31 at 11 a.m. in Hodges Chapel.
Community worship takes places each Tuesday during the fall and spring semesters at 11 a.m. in Hodges Chapel. Worship and lectures are free and open to the public. View the chapel schedule and the Reformation Heritage Lectures schedule on Beeson’s website.
Paid registration is required to attend the Anglican Theology Conference, with exception for the community worship service at 11 a.m.
To request a fall chapel devotional booklet, email Kristen Padilla.
Andrew Russell is a divinity student and news writer for Beeson Divinity School.