By Rick Vacek
GCU News Bureau
College of Theology students were among those who benefited Friday from participating in the Evangelical Theological Society’s Far West Regional Meeting, which came to Grand Canyon University for the first time.
The event, titled “Christology: Past, Present and Future” and hosted by Grand Canyon Theological Seminary, attracted more than 160 people – a better than average turnout, according to Dr. Daniel Diffey, Associate Professor of Old Testament in the College of Theology.
The Far West Region includes Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico and Hawaii, and its meeting never had taken place outside Southern California.
The event came to GCU because it always is held at the institution of the regional board’s vice president. Diffey just completed his VP term and took over Saturday as region president.
“It was a good opportunity to introduce them to GCU,” Diffey said. “That’s why we wanted to have it here.”
It also was a good chance to expose students to high-level discussions of theological topics – mainly Christology, which helps us understand the deity of Christ. The plenary address on Christology was delivered by Dr. Stephen Wellum of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and the respondent was Dr. Fred Sanders of Biola University.
Both are “world-famous scholars,” Diffey said, adding that he wanted students to have to stretch to understand it. Friday afternoon classes were canceled to allow students to attend, and he said the message he wanted them to get was, “You haven’t arrived yet, even if you’re at the end of a four-year degree. There’s more learning to do.”
One of the students in the audience, Marshall Bauer, said, “It was really cool for me to hear the implication of the theological disciplines – both sides of it, two different perspectives.”
College of Theology professors and instructors gave 13 of the 40 paper presentations. The one by Amanda Jenkins, “The Beauty of Christ,” was particularly well-attended.
“They can understand beauty, so they can understand Christ,” she said.
Her conclusion: “Beautiful is not in the eye of the beholder. Beauty beautifies the beholder.”
PAPER PRESENTATIONS BY GCU PROFESSORS/INSTRUCTORS
Amanda Jenkins: “The Beauty of Christ”
Ryan Brandt: “Seeing Being and Changing: An Augustinian Resourcement of the Beatific Vision for Integrating Christology and Spiritual Formation”
Peter Rasor: “Reconsidering General Revelation: Epistemological Issues in General Revelation”
Jeff Jibben: “Matthean Quotations of the Old Testament and the Synoptic Problem”
Mark Kreitzer: “The Servant of Yahweh Christology and the Task to Disciple All Peoples”
Steve Duby: “‘For I am God, not a man:’ Divine Repentance and the Creator-creature Distinction”
Mike Richardson: “Worshipping Stewards as a Useful Metaphor for Framing Evangelism”
Justin McLendon: “Christ the Exalted King of Power in Herman Bavinck’s Reformed Dogmatics”
Manny Cota: EPS “How Not to Use the Scientific Data in Bioethics: A Case Study of the Influence of Scientism in Bioethics”
Luke Hoselton: “A Portrait of Many Colors: The Variegated Christology of Colossians”
Sean McGever: “Christ is the Only Incarnation: Appropriate Use of Incarnation Language”
Christian Wilder: “A High Christological Engagement of Pluralism in a Postmodern Context”