The first Lilly Grant sponsored forum will be held on Thursday, Nov. 6, in Christ Chapel. This forum will be an interactive conversation about a paper written by religion professor James Mead titled, “The Divine Vocation: Reformed Theology’s Conversation with the Call of God in the Biblical Traditions.”
Dr. Mead will be sharing his reflections on this paper, with Dr. Keith Anderson, Dean of Spiritual Formation and Vocation, and Dr. Keith Sewell of Dordt College giving responses. The conversation will then be opened up to the faculty and staff of both Northwestern and Dordt. The forum will begin at 7:00 p.m. with a reception to be held afterward in the choir room. Chapel credit will be given to students who attend.
According to Anderson, this forum will be “a very stimulating time of thinking about how we conceptualize the view of calling.”
“Whether we think about it or not, we all use ideas of being called frequently,” he said.
Anderson claims that we tend to think of calling in individualistic terms, such as “What am I going to do with my life?” According to Anderson, however, Reformed theology challenges us to view calling in terms of community and the idea of finding our place in God’s kingdom.
Some of the issues that will be addressed at the forum will be whether or not the experience of calling is different for Christians and non-Christians, the difference reformers have made to our idea of calling and how that relates to our education here at NW and how the historic ideas of the reformers can relate to students today.
Junior Amelia Odens expressed her excitement about the upcoming forum. “I think it’s really great that acquiring the Lilly Grant has provided us a more effective platform for discussing the integration for faith and learning,” she said.
More information about Dr. Mead’s paper can be found on the campus intranet. The paper is on the Lilly Grant website under faculty/staff resources.