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The Stanley Grenz Lecture Series with Phil Allen, Jr.

This series is offered in honor of former Professor Stanley Grenz, a prolific Christian scholar with a pastoral heart and deep intellectual presence. In his memory, each year The Seattle School hosts theological leaders and thinkers to advance theological discourse.

On Friday, January 13th at 7:00 pm, Phil Allen, Jr., will join us on campus for a conversation on “Between Liminality and Liberation: Altering and Alternative Narratives”. We all not only have a story, but we understand the world best through story. We locate ourselves inside of narratives that have either been given to us or that have unfolded over the course of our lives. What does it mean to participate in writing our own stories (agency) while allowing God to be the ultimate author of our stories (providence)? How are agency and providence compatible especially within the contours of life events? The narratives, or stories, that we live into are altered by the negative disruptions of trauma, as well as the positive influences of art and life-giving relationships. These events and relationships lead us to new and transforming experiences. 

Please RSVP to attend in-person at The Seattle School campus. Doors open at 6:30 pm. Note: Low-residency students at the Winter 2023 residency are required to attend this lecture and do not need to RSVP. 

If you are unable to attend the 2023 Stanley Grenz Lecture and would like to access the recording when it is available later, please fill out this form to request access.


6:30 pm Doors open

7:00 pm Welcome by President J. Derek McNeil

7:05 pm Lecture by Phil Allen, Jr.

7:45 pm Panel discussion

8:05 pm  Audience Q&A

8:20 pm Closing remarks


Phil Allen, Jr., is a Ph.D. candidate in Christian Ethics at Fuller Theological Seminary. He is also a Fellow for the Pannell Center for Black Church Studies at Fuller Seminary. He researches and writes on issues at the intersection of theology and ethics, race, and culture. His book Open Wounds: A Story of Racial Tragedy, Trauma, and Redemption (Fortress Press) was released in February 2021. This book tells the tragic story of his grandfather’s murder and cover-up in Georgetown, SC in 1953. His second book The Prophetic Lens: The Camera and Black Moral Agency From MLK to Darnella Frazier (Fortress Press), released in September 2022, takes a historical look at how indispensable and “prophetic” the camera has been for the Black community in their quest for racial justice. He is a speaker, poet, documentary film producer, and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion consultant. He is also founder and Executive Director of Racial Solidarity Project based out of Pasadena, CA. As a former Division 1 college basketball player, he has enjoyed opportunities as a guest chaplain for several college and professional sports teams highlighted by guest chaplaincy of his beloved Dallas Cowboys.