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‘Theological Conversations’ series continues yearlong celebration of Reformation 500

Study resource, ‘The First 500 Years,’ available as free download

by Emily Enders Odom | Presbyterian News Service

Jerry Andrews (photo by Emily Enders Odom)

LOUISVILLE – “Theological Conversations,” a series of papers designed to invite congregational leaders in the PC(USA) into discussion wherever they gather as sessions, presbyteries or for adult education in congregations, continues its celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation with the release of “The First 500 Years” by the Rev. Dr. Jerry Andrews.

Andrews, senior pastor since 2009 of the First Presbyterian Church in San Diego, holds degrees from William Tyndale College (Michigan), Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Princeton Theological Seminary, the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Chicago, where he earned a PhD in Ancient Mediterranean World. Among his many interests and passions is teaching Patristic literature and the Reformed faith.

In formulating his thesis for “The First 500 Years,” Andrews—along with the 11 other authors with varying backgrounds and contexts who will write papers in 2017—was invited to consider the following question in the light of their own Presbyterian commitments and callings: “What Reformation gifts does the PC(USA) have to offer the church and the world for the next 500 years?”

Andrews answered the question in part by writing, “This is the gift of the PC(USA) to the next 500 years—a church that thinks through, teaches, and tests the faith expressed in distinctly Reformed terms, appropriated by conversing with those who first thought through the faith by being the first interpreters of scripture.”

Each paper is available as a free download on the “Theological Conversations” webpage and is a study resource with accompanying questions for conversation or reflection, suitable for use by individuals and groups. The 2017 series will include one paper written in Spanish and one in Korean.

The series launched with “Theology and Bravery” by the Rev. Laura Mariko Cheifetz, vice president of Church & Public Relations and editor of These Days at the Presbyterian Publishing Corporation.

“Our Reformed faith always moves us forward, loving God with all our mind, as Andrews says at the end of his paper,“ said the Rev. Michelle J. Bartel, coordinator of Theological Education and Seminary Relations for the Presbyterian Mission Agency, who oversees the “Theological Conversations” series. “Study of and conversation with ancient as well as current thinkers keeps us learning and listening, one of the hallmarks of Reformation theology. We study and learn what we have received so we can pass the faith on to others.”


To download Andrews’s paper and other studies in the series, visit the Theological Conversations webpage.

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