By Grace Gaddy
The Parchman Endowed Lectures series is returning to Truett Seminary today, offering students the opportunity to learn about Christianity.
Students may want to attend these lectures because questions surrounding theological topics — such as the role of Christianity in our culture — are bound to flash through a student’s mind or become part of his or her conversations, said Dr. Todd Still, associate professor of Christian Scriptures at the George W. Truett Theological Seminary.
The series, presented by Truett Seminary, starts today and will continue through Thursday. The series features world-renowned scholar Dr. Scot McKnight, who will offer his insight into four areas of faith and preaching under the headlining theme “The Pastor and the Gospel.”
The four-lecture series will begin at 9:30 a.m. today in Truett’s Paul W. Powell Chapel with “American Evangelism and the Pastor.” At 7:30 p.m., he will present “Universalism and the Pastor.”
On Wednesday, McKnight will continue with “The Gospel and the Pastor” at 9:30 a.m., and will conclude at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday with “The Atonement and the Pastor.”
Dr. Derek Dodson, professor of religion, said the lectures would be very interesting for non-seminary students as the topics to be presented converge with those in the two required religion courses of Baylor’s curriculum.
“The topics he’ll talk about with atonement, universalism, theological and historical issues [will] connect with [students’] 1310 and their 1350 experience,” Dodson said.
“But on the other hand, I think that a lot of students on Baylor’s campus simply have an interest in things of the Christian faith to begin with,” Dodson added. “And I think anybody who’s interested in the life of the church and the ministry of the church will find these lectures very stimulating and informing.”
McKnight, who serves as the Karl A. Olsson professor in religious studies at North Park University in Chicago, is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity and the historical Jesus.
“Scot … is quite interested in engaging the broader questions of Christianity in culture,” Still said, adding that the insight McKnight will present would prove invaluable to the overall experience and expanse of a students’ education — a point Dodson also underscored.
“Looking at the titles with ‘pastor,’ the pastor part is really focused toward seminary students,” Dodson said. “But that conversation is going to be large enough and interesting enough for any person who’s interested in the life of the church.”
Dodson said he thinks students — both graduate and undergraduate — should take advantage of the opportunity.
“It’s not often that undergraduate students get an opportunity to be invited to events like this at a seminary,” he said. “So having Truett on our campus and as a part of our larger university, I think, is a real plus for students when these sort of events come along.”
Of the lecture series presented annually by Truett, the Parchman Endowed Lectures are the “gold standard” of open theological lectures Still said.
The series is free and open to the public.