For our locals looking for some theological learning this summer, in two weeks we’re hosting a Continuing Education course on “Early Christian Mercy to the Secular Culture” here on our campus. This course actually manages to hit an intersection between several topics: history and evangelism in a non (and in some ways anti) Christian society.
Attendees will take a look at the early Christian Church, from the words of the apostles to such examples as Clement of Alexandria, a Greek convert to the faith who taught Christianity in the late 100s and early 200s AD, only a handful of generations after Jesus’ death and resurrection. There are pretty strong parallels between our modern day society and his: what we think of as “New Age” thinking (such as “I’m spiritual, not religious” and the postmodern idea of “my truth is my truth, and your truth is your truth”) is actually another play on Gnosticism, a popular and heretical philosophy of Clement’s time that “rests on personal religious experience” (if that sounds at all familiar).
Rev. Chad Kendall, adjunct professor here at CTSFW, will use Scripture to consider how Clement and now we in the Church today can draw people of a postmodern society into the Church, by countering the idea of no absolute truth with the absolute truth of Scripture.