On November 6, we hosted our 5th annual Stanley Grenz Lecture Series. The Series is offered in honor of former Professor Stanley Grenz, a prolific Christian scholar with a pastoral heart and deep intellectual presence. In honor of him, the series is designed to invite scholarly theological discourse into the public forum, as an expression of Christian faith and service.
This year, we were grateful to have as our featured speaker, Reverend Dr. Soong-Chan Rah, a professor, pastor and dynamic author whose life work has revolved around theology, lament, and racial reconciliation.
As a community we were invited to reflect on the importance of lament, especially as it relates to racial division within our country. Dr. Rah reviewed the prominence of lament in Scripture and challenged us to consider the ways in which our culture and the American Church has run from lament, leading to a mentality of exceptionalism.
A few notable quotes from the lecture:
“Spiritual confusion can lead to spiritual health. Without disturbance of ourselves, why would any of us want to change?”
“Israel had only two choices in Lamentations: to run away and hide or to lament.”
“Evangelism from the ark works poorly because it is not for others.”
“Exceptionalism keeps me, as a white person, from messages other than ‘You are helpful’ or ‘You can do it.’” – Dr. Ruthruff
“I see lament as awakening truth and then grieving.” – Dr. Hollins
“We need both windows and mirrors to see ourselves and others.” – Tali Hairston