This year marks the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, which dramatically transformed Western culture, but now recent scholarship has revised the interpretation of the Apostle Paul upon which Martin Luther, the man most associated with the Reformation, relied. This Jesus Seminar on the Road will consider Luther’s evolving legacy and introduce a newly emerging interpretation of Paul. What is the legacy of the Reformation? How might a new portrait of Paul open up its future?
Bernard Brandon Scott (Ph.D., Vanderbilt University) is the Darbeth Distinguished Professor Emeritus of New Testament at the Phillips Theological Seminary in Tulsa, Oklahoma. A charter member of the Jesus Seminar, he is the author of several books including The Real Paul (2015) and The Trouble with Resurrection (2010).
Jarmo Tarkki (Ph.D., University of Helsinki) is Senior Pastor of the Finnish Lutheran Church of California and Texas (ELCA), Adjunct Professor of Theology at California Lutheran University, Teaching Fellow in Philosophical Theology at the Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, and author of several books on the philosophy of religion.
The Legacy of the Reformation
Legend has it that Luther posted his 95 theses on the Wittenberg Castle Church door on October 31, 1517. In doing so, Luther proved that authority could be questioned, the Church could be changed, and truth could be understood historically. How does this legacy find meaning today? Following Tarkki’s introduction to the Reformation, Scott will preview Saturday’s talks. Friday evening, 7:30–9 pm
The New Paul
The Reformation was largely built on Martin Luther’s inspiring interpretation of the Apostle Paul. The key, according to Luther, was justification by faith alone: a person cannot “earn” a place with God but can only receive it as a gift. But today scholars no longer see justification as the central emphasis of Paul. So what did Paul actually care about?
(Scott) Saturday, 9:30–10:30 am
The Enduring Call of the Reformation
The Protestant Reformation did not always express the best forms of theology. Over centuries, several tenets of faith have been challenged and some, such as Luther’s anti-Jewish rhetoric, have been dismissed. But the Reformation still carries an intentional spirit that holds promise for today and for the future. What is the form and nature of a new future among Protestant churches?
(Tarkki) Saturday, 11 am – noon
Relating the Old Paul to the New Paul
For communities rooted in the Reformation, new insights on Paul can challenge the very foundation of Christian orthodoxy. Still, bravely contrasting the Lutheran understanding of Paul with that emerging from recent scholarship is worthwhile because it can help renew his vision. How is the new Paul different from the old? How might this inspire and challenge modern-day communities?
(Scott) Saturday, 1:30–2:30 pm
Jarmo Tarkki and Brandon Scott will hold conversation and field questions about the Apostle Paul and the legacy of the Reformation. Saturday, 3–4 pm
University Congregational UCC Seattle
Local Contact and Information
All events at:
University Congregational UCC
4515 16th Ave NE
Seattle, WA 98105-4201