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Symposium "The Lord´s Prayer.." 1. -3. October in Tübingen

Birgit Hallmann

 Symposium  "The Lord´s Prayer: Origins, Significance, and Reception"  in Tübingen Presenters, students and EES and TCM guests

Symposium "The Lord´s Prayer: Origins, Significance, and Reception" in Tübingen
Presenters, students and EES and TCM guests

by Dennis Lindsay

The international symposium on “The Lord’s Prayer: Origins, Significance, and Reception” marks another important milestone in the ongoing work of the European Evangelistic Society in Tübingen, Germany. The Institute for the Study of Christian Origins, along with the Institute for Ancient Judaism of the University of Tübingen and the Protestant faculty of the University of Munich, played host to the three day event in Tübingen from Oct. 1-3, 2018. Fourteen scholars from twelve institutions, representing seven different countries (Germany, USA, Canada, Ireland, South Africa, Israel, and Denmark), and various religious traditions (Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox, and Jewish) provided the material for discussion during the Symposium.

Presentations by Prof. Rodney A. Werline (USA), Prof. Benjamin G. Wold (Ireland), Prof. Judith H. Newman (USA/Canada), Prof. Cana Werman (Israel), and Prof. Ulrich Mell addressed the redaction and interpretation of the Lord’s Prayer in the context of Second Temple Judaism, First Century Judaism and Qumran, and, more directly, in the context of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount in Matthew’s Gospel. Other papers focused attention on various petitions of the prayer, including “Our Father in heaven” (Prof. Hermann Lichtenberger, Tübingen), the “lead us not into temptation” petition (Prof. Wilfried Eisele, Tübingen), and the concepts of “earth” and “heaven” in the light of early Jewish cosmology (Gert J. Steyn, South Africa). A third major focus of the Symposium had to do with the ongoing influence of the Lord’s Prayer in the lives of its recipients (Prof. Karl-Heinrich Ostmeyer, Dortmund), in the Gospel of John (Prof. Kasper Bro Larsen, Denmark), in second century Christian writings prior to Origen (Prof. Tobias Nicklas, Regensburg), and in the liturgical use of the Lord’s Prayer in the Orthodox worship service (Prof. Konstantin Nikolakopoulos, Munich).

Friends of the European Evangelistic Society will recognize the names of two further Symposium participants. Dr. Ronald E. Heine, Director of the Institute for the Study of Christian Origins from 1989-2000, presented a paper on Origen’s exposition of the Lord’s Prayer through the lens of a saying from Jesus that is only known to us from Origen’s writings: “Ask for the great things and the little things will be added for you; ask for the heavenly things and the earthly things will be added to you.” Dr. Dennis R. Lindsay, pastor of the Christliche Gemeinde from 1987-1992, spoke on the topic of “Pistis (faith) and Prayer in the New Testament” as a broader context for interpreting the Lord’s prayer in light of Jesus overall instruction on prayer. (Dr. Heine and Dr. Lindsay are currently associated with Northwest Christian University in Eugene, Oregon.) 

The Symposium gave rise to a number of questions and discussions that will certainly continue to inform and enlighten further studies of the Lord’s Prayer and its role in and for the Church today. The papers presented at the Symposium will be edited into a forthcoming volume to be published by Mohr Siebeck Publishers. This Symposium on the Lord’s Prayer was a great success due to the detailed planning and careful execution of the three primary organizers, and special thanks is due to: Dr. Beth Langstaff, Director of the Institute for the Study of Early Christianity; Prof. Dr. Loren T. Stuckenbruck of the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München; and Prof. Dr. Michael Tilly, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen.

Ron and Gill Heine visit the Institute

Birgit Hallmann

by Ron Heine

 Gill and Ron Heine  in Tübingen Sept. 2018

Gill and Ron Heine
in Tübingen
Sept. 2018

The ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus is known for his statement, “All things are flowing”. He thought of life as a river whose water is constantly in motion making it impossible to step into the same water twice. He argued this position against the contrary view that nothing ever changes. Life would suggest that Heraclitus’ view was closer to the truth than the opposing view. This ancient debate comes to my mind on the occasion of being back in Tübingen after returning to the U.S. eighteen years ago. When we arrived a week ago Gill remarked that it feels like coming home. And there certainly are aspects of that feeling that are true. But much has changed. Shops we knew are gone, replaced by other shops; many people we knew are gone; and the Institute itself has moved to a new location.

            Change is a part of life. But other things remain. While many people we worked with in the eleven years we lived in Tübingen are gone, many are still here and we are enjoying getting in contact with them again. And, more importantly, the Gospel and its relevance to human life has not changed; the need for the Gospel in our world has not changed; the purpose of the Institute for the Study of Christian Origins has not changed nor has its relevance diminished. It is encouraging to see the Institute still alive and well, and its work continuing under the able leadership of Beth and Birgit. Beth is unfortunately now on sick leave from her work. We encourage you to pray for her complete healing and recovery in the weeks ahead.

The focal point of the Institute’s energy in the immediate future is on the International Symposium which will take place October 1-3. Fourteen scholars from seven countries will gather to present papers on and discuss the Lord’s Prayer.

Some thoughts on the Lord’s Prayer may be an appropriate way to end this brief message. Many of us have memorized the Lord’s Prayer and repeat it regularly in worship services. This is good, but in our repetition, we may fail to notice how relevant some of its petitions are to our world today. Petitions such as “May your kingdom come; may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” leap out with startling sharpness. The third century Church Father Origen proposed that the second part of this twofold petition might perhaps be added after each of the initial petitions in the prayer, so that we would pray, “Hallowed be your name on earth as it is in heaven, may your kingdom come on earth as in heaven, may your will be done on earth as in heaven.”  May you bathe the work of the Institute for the Study of Christian Origins with your prayers for, to quote Origen again, “We will only receive if we ask.”

Walker Lecture Breakfast

Birgit Hallmann

by Wye Huxford

Approximately 100 people attended the Walker Lecture Breakfast on Thursday, June 26 during the North American Christian Convention in Indianapolis. EES and TCM Staff welcomed the guests and gave updates on the ministries of EES and TCM.  Tony Twist introduced the speaker, Dr. Bobby Harrington, Executive Director of Discipleship.org.  Dr. Harrington spoke on the topic, Disciple Making - Renewing our Movement.  He talked about doing disciple making using the model of Jesus with an emphasis on love.

The program was well received and was an inspiration to those attending.  We want to thank all who participated in the program and all of our supporters who attended!

The entire program was recorded and is  available  here: click to podcast

Walker Lecture Breakfast 2018 NACC

Birgit Hallmann

   Indianapolis, Indiana


 Dean E. Walker

Dean E. Walker

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TCM Logo.jpg

In honor of Dean E. Walker, the European Evangelistic Society (EES) and

TCM International Institute (TCM) will be hosting

the Walker Lecture Breakfast at the 2018 NACC


            Thursday, June 28, 2018

              7:30 AM – 09:00 AM

                Westin, Grand Ballroom 1

               Downtown Indianapolis

          Join EES and TCM for a light breakfast

Guest Speaker: Dr. Bobby Harrington, Executive Director, Discipleship.org  

                        Disciple Making and Renewing Our Movement

 No cost; Reservations required.

To make reservations contact Debbie Poer (debbie.poer@tcmi.org or 317-299-0333)


Bobby Harrington is the executive director of Discipleship.org, a national forum and ministry that advocates for Jesus’ style of disciple making. Bobby has led many trips to Israel. He loves to study the Bible and go to Israel because it helps him to better trust and follow Jesus. He is the founding and lead pastor of Harpeth Christian Church in Franklin, TN. He is a Bible scholar, an experienced church planter, coach of church leaders and he is the author of several books on discipleship. Bobby has studied at University of Calgary & Regent College (in Canada), Asbury Seminary, Harding School of Theology, and Princeton Theological Seminary and has a Doctor of Ministry degree from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his wife Cindy treasure spending time with their grown children, their spouses, and their grandchild. Contact bobby@discipleship.org


News from Tübingen

Birgit Hallmann

by Beth Langstaff

Spring has finally arrived here in Tübigen; the daffodils are in bloom and the ice cream shop along the Neckargasse has sold a great many cones today.

The summer semester starts in two weeks.  In the Theological English class this summer, we'll be reading and discussing the fantasy writings of C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien.  This is the third time I have taught a class on Lewis and/or Tolkien, and I am looking forward to it, not in the least because the topic tends to attract participants from a variety of academic disciplines (English literature and philology as well as theology).  Neither Lewis nor Tolkien was a theologist, strictly speaking, but their respective fantasy writings are rich in theological motifs:  creation and re-creation, good and evil, fall and redemption, death and immortality, pity and mercy, hope and heaven.

The story of Lewis's conversion to Christianity is well known; the role of Oxford professor J. R. R. Tolkien in that conversion may well come as a surprise.  A late-night walk and long, intense conversation with Tolkien and another friend, Hugo Dyson, was a major factor in moving Lewis (one-time atheist) from "believing in God to definitely believeing in Christ — in Christianity."