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Yes. You heard it right. The Archibishop of Chicago, Francis Cardinal George, will be speaking at Wheaton College next month in an ecumenical dialogue. Although Wheaton is not sponsoring the event, they have graciously allowed ACT3 (who is sponsoring the event) to gather at the Edman Chapel for this land-breaking event.
My friend John Armstrong (president of ACT3) who recently published a book on Christian unity (Your Church is Too Small) is continuing his conversation with the archbishop of Chicago, Francis Cardinal George. The only difference is, now the conversation is going public and will be taking place in a public format at Wheaton College on March 26th, 7:00pm at the Edman Chapel.
If I were in Chicago, I would be nowhere else. But since I’m not, I will be viewing the event live from home via the internet by going to WETN, since they are vodcasting it live.
UPDATE: You can now view the dialogue at ACT3.
This past Monday and Tuesday, October 13-14th, saw history in the making. The first ever SAET symposium was held at Calvary Memorial Church in Oak Park, Chicago, where Todd Wilson, one of the board members of the society, is the pastor. SAET is pronounced, sat, and stands for Society for the Advancement of Ecclesial Theology.
A small group of 13 to 15, composed of mostly pastors, came together in Chicago for the symposium. This year’s theme was Resurrection, and several papers were presented and discussed. Gordon Conwell’s New Testament professor Scott Hafemann, although he did not present a paper, gave oversight to the symposium and all the discussions. Gerald Hiestand, the president of the SAET Society also discussed the future of the SAET Society and facilitated discussion around potential directions for SAET.
While the vision for SAET is still coming together, those who attended the first symposium were enthusiastic about the benefit of starting this new community of fellow pastor-scholars. Among the group was David Rudolph, a messianic Jewish pastor from Los Angeles who is helping develop the first ever Masters of Divinity degree that specializes in messianic Jewish theology, Stephen Witmer, a pastor of a church in Maine, and Owen Strachan, the managing director of the Carl F.H. Henry Center for Theological Understanding at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Chicago.
“It was sort of intimidating for me,” said Bradley Cochran, one of the attenders. “Most of these guys are Cambridge or Oxford graduates with Ph.D.’s. Gerald’s vision for the SAET has birthed new discussions on important issues surrounding the heart of the gospel message itself, and the vision for the Society I found irresistible.”