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April 4–April 6, 2019
Dordt College, Campus Center


On April 4-6, 2019, Dordt and the Andreas Center for Reformed Scholarship and Service, in partnership with the Lilly Fellows Program, will host a conference titled “The Prodigal Love of God: Reencountering Dort at 400 and Beyond.” Confirmed speakers include Marilynne Robinson, Richard Mouw, James K.A. Smith, Timothy George, Paul Lim, Suzanne McDonald, Jemar Tisby, and Tish Harrison Warren.


This year and next marks the 400th anniversary of the Synod of Dort, the namesake of Dordt. Many churches and communities have celebrated the quincentenary of the Reformation, but the Synod of Dort does not loom so large in the popular imagination. For some, even members of the Protestant tradition, Dort seems to leave us with a complicated historical legacy of arid doctrinalism.

    However, the story of the Synod of Dort—its legacy and its place in the Christian tradition—is much broader and more generous than this. Dort should be remembered for its rigorous doctrinal disputes, but within those debates there are also profound theological truths that continue to inspire many ecumenical conversations across Christian traditions. In the Canons of Dort, we encounter the prodigal love of God, who offers the blessing of the gospel “to all persons promiscuously and without distinction.” This theological message is something that has shaped and reformed Protestant communities for four hundred years. Through invited plenaries and panel discussions, our conference will feature conversations about the historical legacy and the future of Protestantism as well as the opportunities facing the global church in the decades ahead.




    SCHEDULE

    THURSDAY, APRIL 4

    7:00 PM
    Why Protestantism Still Matters:
    Marilynne Robinson in conversation with James K.A. Smith

    8:00 PM
    Art Gallery Reception
    Commemorating the Synod of Dort: A Collection of Historical Artifacts & Facsimiles of Communication Design

    FRIDAY, APRIL 5

    8:00 AM
    Paper Presentations A

    9:30 AM
    Coffee Break
    (Location: Science Building Atrium)

    10:00 AM
    The Dogma is the Drama
    Tish Harrison Warren

    11:00 PM
    Paper Presentations B

    12:30 PM
    Lunch at Dordt Commons Dining Hall

    • Optional: “Prose and Cons: From Academic Project to That First Book—or Not” with Robert Hosack (Tickets Required - limited spots available)
    • Optional: Lunch with James K.A. Smith (Tickets Required - limited spots available)

    2:00 PM
    Discussion: The Missional Implications of the Canons
    Richard Mouw (moderator)
    Bill DeJong & Sean Michael Lucas

    3:45 PM
    Coffee Break

    4:00 PM
    The Scandal of Sheer Grace: When Mercy Offends
    James K. A. Smith

    5:00 PM
    Dinner Break

    7:00 PM
    Plenary Panel Discussion

    SATURDAY, APRIL 6

    8:00 AM
    Paper Presentations C

    9:30 AM
    Coffee Break

    10:00 AM
    Election, Mystery, and Theodicy: A Theological Exegesis of the Canons of Dort
    Paul C.H. Lim

    11:00 AM
    Paper Presentations D

    12:30 PM
    Lunch at Dordt Commons Dining Hall

    • Optional: Book Club Discussion: Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead with Jessica Hooten Wilson (limited spots available) (Tickets Required - limited spots available)
    • Optional: Lunch with Jemar Tisby (Tickets Required - limited spots available)
    • Optional: Lunch with Timothy George (Tickets Required - limited spots available)

    2:00 PM
    Re-Presenting Election: The Church for the World in the Canons and Beyond
    Suzanne McDonald

    3:00 PM
    Coffee Break

    4:00 PM
    Of Synods and Slavery: The Canons of Dordt and the Black Freedom Struggle
    Jemar Tisby

    5:00 PM
    Dinner Break

    7:00 PM
    An English Separatist at the Synod of Dordt
    Timothy George




    Questions?

    Please contact the Andreas Center at plg2019@dordt.edu.


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    TRANSPORTATION INFORMATION:

    Nearby airports:

    Sioux Falls Regional Airport

    Sioux Gateway Airport

    Omaha Airport Authority

    Register Now
    Conference Schedule
    Meet the Speakers

    April 4–April 6, 2019
    Dordt College, Campus Center


    On April 4-6, 2019, Dordt and the Andreas Center for Reformed Scholarship and Service, in partnership with the Lilly Fellows Program, will host a conference titled “The Prodigal Love of God: Reencountering Dort at 400 and Beyond.” Confirmed speakers include Marilynne Robinson, Richard Mouw, James K.A. Smith, Timothy George, Paul Lim, Suzanne McDonald, Jemar Tisby, and Tish Harrison Warren.


    This year and next marks the 400th anniversary of the Synod of Dort, the namesake of Dordt. Many churches and communities have celebrated the quincentenary of the Reformation, but the Synod of Dort does not loom so large in the popular imagination. For some, even members of the Protestant tradition, Dort seems to leave us with a complicated historical legacy of arid doctrinalism.

      However, the story of the Synod of Dort—its legacy and its place in the Christian tradition—is much broader and more generous than this. Dort should be remembered for its rigorous doctrinal disputes, but within those debates there are also profound theological truths that continue to inspire many ecumenical conversations across Christian traditions. In the Canons of Dort, we encounter the prodigal love of God, who offers the blessing of the gospel “to all persons promiscuously and without distinction.” This theological message is something that has shaped and reformed Protestant communities for four hundred years. Through invited plenaries and panel discussions, our conference will feature conversations about the historical legacy and the future of Protestantism as well as the opportunities facing the global church in the decades ahead.




      SCHEDULE

      Thursday, April 4

      • 7 pm: Plenary Conversation with Marilynne Robinson and James K .A. Smith
      • 8:30 p.m.: Evening Entertainment

      Friday, April 5

      • 8:00 a.m.: Paper Presentations
      • 9:30 a.m.: Coffee Break
      • 10:00 a.m.: Morning Plenary: Tish Harrison Warren
      • 11:00 a.m.: Paper Presentations
      • 12:30 p.m.: Lunch Break
      • 2:00 p.m.: Discussion—The Missional Implications of the Canons: Richard Mouw, moderator
      • 3:45 p.m.: Coffee Break
      • 4:00 p.m.: Afternoon Plenary: James K. A. Smith
      • 5:00 p.m.: Dinner Break
      • 7:00 p.m.: Panel Discussion with Plenary Speakers

      Saturday, April 6

      • 8:00 a.m.: Paper Presentations
      • 9:30 a.m.: Coffee Break
      • 10:00 a.m.: Morning Plenary: Paul Lim
      • 11:00 p.m.: Paper Presentations
      • 12:30 p.m.: Lunch Break
      • 2:00 p.m.: Afternoon Plenary: Suzanne McDonald
      • 3:00 p.m.: Coffee Break
      • 4:00 p.m.: Afternoon Plenary: Jemar Tisby
      • 5:00 p.m.: Dinner Break
      • 7:00 p.m.: Evening Plenary: Timothy George



      Questions?

      Please contact the Andreas Center at plg2019@dordt.edu.


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      SPEAKERS


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      Marilynne Robinson

      Marilynne Robinson is the author of the bestselling novels Gilead(winner of the Pulitzer Prize), LilaHome (winner of the Orange Prize), and Housekeeping (winner of the PEN/Hemingway Award). She has also written multiple works of nonfiction, When I Was a Child I Read BooksAbsence of MindMother Country and The Death of Adam. She teaches at the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop. She has been given honorary degrees from Brown University, the University of the South, Holy Cross, Notre Dame, Amherst, Skidmore, and Oxford University, and was also elected a fellow of Mansfield College, Oxford University.


       



       
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      James K.A. Smith

      James K.A. Smith is professor of philosophy at Calvin College where he holds the Gary & Henrietta Byker Chair in Applied Reformed Theology & Worldview. He is the award-winning author of Who’s Afraid of Postmodernism? andDesiring the Kingdom, and his other books include Imagining the Kingdom (2013), Discipleship in the Present Tense (2013), Who’s Afraid of Relativism? (2014), How (Not) To Be Secular: Reading Charles Taylor (2014), You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit (2016), and Awaiting the King: Reforming Public Theology (2017). Also, he serves as Editor-in-Chief of Image Journal.


       



       
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      Richard J. Mouw

      Richard J. Mouw is President Emeritus and Professor of Faith and Public Life at Fuller Theological Seminary. He returned to teaching after 20 years as president of Fuller (1993–2013). A philosopher, scholar, and author, he served as Fuller’s provost and senior vice president for four years prior to his presidency, and as professor of Christian philosophy and ethics beginning in 1985. He is the author of more than 20 books, including The God Who Commands, The Smell of Sawdust, He Shines in All That’s Fair, Culture and Common Grace, Uncommon Decency: Christian Civility in an Uncivil World, The Challenges of Cultural Discipleship, Talking with Mormons: An Invitation to Evangelicals, and, most recently, Adventures in Evangelical Civility: A Lifelong Quest for Common Ground.


       



       
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      Timothy George

      Timothy George is the dean of Beeson Divinity School, and in addition to his administrative responsibilities teaches church history and doctrine. A prolific author, he has written more than 20 books and regularly contributes to scholarly journals. His recent books include Reading Scripture with the Reformers, The Great Tradition of Christian Thinking: A Student's Guide(with David Dockery), Our Sufficiency Is of God: Essays on Preaching in Honor of Gardner C. Taylor (with James Earl Massey and Robert Smith, Jr.), and Amazing Grace: God’s Pursuit, Our Response. His Theology of the Reformers (25th Anniversary ed., 2013) is the standard textbook on Reformation theology in many schools and seminaries and has been translated into multiple languages.


       



       
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      Paul C.H. Lim

      Paul C.H. Lim is an award-winning historian of Reformation and post-Reformation Europe. His latest book, Mystery Unveiled: The Crisis of the Trinity in Early Modern England (Oxford, 2012), won the 2013 Roland H. Bainton Prize as the best book in history/theology by the Sixteenth Century Society and Conference. Dr. Lim is Associate Professor of the History of Christianity at Vanderbilt Divinity School. He has delivered papers and lectures at places as diverse as Oxford, Rotterdam, Harvard, Yale, Q Ideas, as well as local churches.


       



       
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      Suzanne McDonald

      Suzanne McDonald is a professor of Historical and Systematic Theology at Western Theological Seminary. She taught in the Religion Department at Calvin College for seven years until joining WTS in 2014. Suzanne is ordained in the Christian Reformed Church and is the author of two books, Re-Imaging Election: Divine Election as Representing God to Others & Others to God(2010) and John Knox for Armchair Theologians (2013).


       



       
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      Jemar Tisby

      Jemar (B.A. Notre Dame; MDiv RTS Jackson) is the president of The Witness: A Black Christian Collective where he writes about race, religion, and culture. He is also the co-host of "Pass The Mic”, a podcast that amplifies dynamic voices for a diverse church. His writing has been featured in the Washington Post, CNN, The Atlantic, and the New York Times among others. He has spoken nation-wide at conferences on racial reconciliation, U.S. history, and the church. Jemar is a PhD candidate in History at the University of Mississippi studying race, religion and social movements in the 20th century. In January 2019, he will release his first book, The Color of Compromise: The Truth about the American Church’s Complicity in Racism. Follow him on Twitter @JemarTisby.


       



       
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      Tish Harrison Warren

      Tish Harrison Warren is a priest in the Anglican Church in North America and serves as co-Associate Rector at Church of the Ascension in Pittsburgh, PA. She writes regularly for The WellHer.meneutics, and Christianity Today. Her work has also appeared in Christ and Pop Culture, Art House America, Anglicanpastor.com, and elsewhere. Her first book is Liturgy of the Ordinary (2016).

       



      LODGING


      SIOUX CENTER

      EconoLodge
      (712) 722-4000

      Holiday Inn Express
      (712) 722-3500

      Country Home Motel & Campground
      (800) 919-2309

      ROCK VALLEY

      Knights Inn
      (712) 476-9388

      SHELDON

      Holiday Inn Express
      (712) 324-3000

      Super 8
      (712) 324-8400

      ORANGE CITY

      Hampton Inn
      (712) 707-4100

      Super 8
      (712) 737-2600

      LE MARS

      Holiday Inn Express
      (712) 546-1700

      Baymont Inn & Suites
      (712) 548-4910

      HULL

      The North Place
      (712) 441-2719


      TRANSPORTATION INFORMATION:

      Nearby airports:

      Sioux Falls Regional Airport

      Sioux Gateway Airport

      Omaha Airport Authority