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The Future of Protestantism: Online and at Biola April 29th

April 17th, 2014 | 2 min read

By Matthew Lee Anderson

Future of Protestantism

There aren't many events that could possibly drag me out of bed at 3 AM in the morning, but a rigorous and lively conversation among four thinkers who I have an incredible amount of respect for is among them.

I'm probably biased because one of the participants is a hero and friend of mine, but I couldn't be more excited about seeing Fred Sanders, Carl Trueman, Peter Leithart, and Peter Escalante discuss the Future of Protestantism April 29th at Biola or, if you can't be in the area, livestreamed into your computer or church through the joys of internet wizardry.

The conversation stems from Peter Leithart's controversial essay on the same theme, and aims to extend that further.  I'll be getting up at a ridiculous hour to watch live because...why wouldn't I?

Seriously, look at that list of names again. Think about what fun this is going to be.  Sanders, Trueman, and Leithart are probably best known to readers of Mere-O...and in my opinion they represent about the best and most rigorous of Protestant though.  Peter Escalante is an astonishingly well read fellow whose work at the Calvinist International is newer to me, but I'm awed by his intellect and his knowledge of Reformational sources.

We're Mere Orthodoxy, and while we skew Protestant (and evangelical) in our attention because of my own natural proclivities and interests, this is just the sort of conversation that I would hope any reader would be interested in.  It's sponsored by the good people at First Things, who for years have had a reputation for being mainly a Catholic magazine.  That reputation isn't really their sponsorship of this event makes abundantly clear.

And then there's the Davenant Trust, the other co-conspirator, which has been started by (among others) my friend and sometime Mere-O writer Brad Littlejohn. They're up to the right sort of mischief, what with this event, a convivium that I desperately wish I could attend, and a new center aimed at studying the Reformation.  It's all so great that I'll almost forgive them for housing it at New St. Andrews, rather than my alma mater Torrey Honors.  Almost.

I hope you'll join the event online or in person, if you're able.  It's easy to sometimes be discouraged about the state of the Protestant churches, but this is an opportunity to hear directly from theologians at their best in an environment that is aimed not at wowing the crowds but ploddingly, patiently, and cheerfully taking on difficult questions in an irenic and constructive way for the good of the church.

Matthew Lee Anderson

Matthew Lee Anderson is an Associate Professor of Ethics and Theology in Baylor University's Honors College. He has a D.Phil. in Christian Ethics from Oxford University, and is a Perpetual Member of Biola University's Torrey Honors College. In 2005, he founded Mere Orthodoxy.