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Teaching Christians to Become Thinkers and Thinkers to Become Christians

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Dear Friend, We have some important updates to share with you regarding Christian Thinkers Society events and specifically, CTS Trustee and Fellow, Dr. Craig Evans, and an update on my project with LifeWay publishing. We share these events, past and future, because it is important for you to know what Christian Thinkers Society is doing. Some of these things are quite daring and quite strategic. CTS is no ordinary ministry. We are a ministry of strategic mission with a wide reach, specializing on reaching those inside and outside the Church with inquiring minds. Therefore, we need your continued support, encouragement, and most importantly, prayers. On a personal note, how could I ever thank God adequtely for brining Prof. Evans into my life and the leadership at CTS? We have always had a Paul-Timothy relationship. I recently read an excellent post by Rick Warren on pastor.com discussing the three phases of the Paul-Timothy relationship: Parenthood (“my son in the faith” 1 Tim. 1:2), Pacesetting (“you know what I teach, and how I live, and what my purpose in life is.” 2 Tim 3:10), Partnering (Timothy, my fellow worker, send you his greetings.” Romans 16:21). Dr. Evans and I are now in the third phase of our relationship, “partnering,” in bringing the Gospel, through Christian Thinkers Society, throughout the world. We cannot do it alone and we don’t do it alone. You are part of this ministry and for that we are very grateful.

Sincerely,
Jeremiah J. Johnston, Ph.D.
P.S. To make a tax-deductible donation to Christian Thinkers Society, click here.
(image below: Jeremiah and Craig researching early fragments in the Sackler Library at Oxford University)
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image-1image-8A core value of Christian Thinkers Society is to focus annually on a specific two-thirds world country to provide free Pastor training and materials for Christian leaders. Next month Professor Evans accompanied by Dr. Philip Nation of Lifeway (and close CTS friend), and Jeff Siegel of Global Baseball will visit Cuba, where they will teach at the only evangelical seminary in this country and distribute baseball equipment to children. Professor Evans and his colleagues will host 50 pastors at a retreat and, if the door opens, will visit members of the Castro family. This is a historic opportunity. Please keep Professor Evans and his colleagues Philip and Jeff in your prayers Please specificaly pray for all the pastors being trainined, and of couse, for more opportunities to share the Gospel in Cuba.
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Professor Evans is a member of the Green Scholars Initiative, an initiative funded by the Green family of Oklahoma City, owners of Hobby Lobby. Through this initiative Evans and colleagues around the world are engaged in studying the oldest biblical manuscripts in the world, including fragments of the Greek Old Testament and the Greek New Testament recovered from ancient cartonnage (papiermaché). See the accompanying image. Recently Professor Evans received a lot of positive attention when he explained why the original writings (a.k.a. the “autographs”) and first copies of the New Testament probably survived for 100 years or more, thus assuring the stability of the biblical text. His first publication on this important topic will appear soon in the Bulletin for Biblical Research. Hundreds of news outlets were discussing Prof. Evans’ recent work: See here: http://www.livescience.com/49489-oldest-known-gospel-mummy-mask.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This is not the first high profile ecumenical outreach that Professor Evans has been involved. As some of you may recall, in October 2013 Professor Evans was invited to present a paper at the Christology in History and Theology conference in Rome, sponsored by the Vatican. Dr. and Mrs Evans spent one week in the Vatican, staying in the residence where Pope Francis lives. They ate breakfast with the Pope everyday. It was quite an experience. Professor Evans was pleased to see how open Catholic scholars are to evangelical input. His paper has been published in the conference volume. Professor Evans was one of only two Protestant scholars invited to give plenary papers.

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Dr Evans, who is currently the Payzant Distinguished Professor of New Testament at Acadia Divinity College in Nova Scotia, Canada, returned recently from one week of teaching, lecturing, and consultation at Brigham Young University. As you may know, in recent years a number of Mormon faculty have begun to reassess aspects of Latter Day Saint theology and thinking with regard to the Bible. Their desire is that BYU students and LDS laity in general come to a deeper and more accurate understanding of the Bible. To this end, they invited Dr Evans to give lectures and            meet with faculty and students to talk about biblical interpretation in full and original context. Dr Evans was very pleased with this new openness. We are sure that in the not-too-distant future there will be more good things to report with regard to this important development.

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Next month Dr. Johnston will be filming a video series with Lifeway Publishing at the beautiful Lanier Theological Library. Dr. Johnston’s Bible study and video series will release in stores on November 1, 2015. In the study (title to be announced soon), Jeremiah brings scholarly authority to answer everyday questions. Rather than addressing objections from atheists, this study will tackle pressing questions from believers, such as suicide, mental illness, resurrection, and how we got the Bible? The study’s intent is to provide believers with tools for answering tough questions – their own and others. Stay tuned for more information on this project and how to bring this study to your church and BIble study.

 

Christian Thinkers Society is a Resident Institute of Houston Baptist University
Teaching Christians to Become Thinkers and Thinkers to Become Christians
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