A Center for the Retrieval of Christian Wisdom

Talk ~ Laugh ~ Share ~ Feast ~ Learn ~ Grow

Davenant Discussions

a monthly gathering where we discuss a chosen topic and either invite a speaker to lead us through the topic or follow the lead of an author in a chosen reading

There’s no homework and you’re always welcome to jump in and participate.


This is a free event, but we do request donations to cover the cost of speakers and food.

Next Discussion December 10, 2021: “Between Legalism and Antinomianism: The Law-Gospel Debate in Modern Protestant Theology” with Dr. Jady Koch

December 10, 2021: "Between Legalism and Antinomianism: the Law-Gospel Debate in Modern Protestant Theology" with Rev. Dr. Jady Koch

 

In the 500+ years since Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the church door in Wittenberg, few aspects of his subsequent theological reformation remain as contentious and debated as the distinction between law and Gospel. Indeed, to this day the discussion divides not only Roman Catholics from Protestants, but is hotly debated within Protestantism itself; there is an agreement on the importance of the distinction, but a decided lack of consensus about how it should be understood and implemented. Far from a merely academic dispute, how one understands this important theological concept will largely determine his or her reading of scripture, the purpose and nature of the church, and—according to Luther—the Gospel itself. “I lacked nothing before this [revelation]” . . . he wrote, “. . . except that I made no distinction between the law and the gospel. I regarded both as the same thing and held that there was no difference between Christ and Moses except the times in which they lived and their degrees of perfection. But when I discovered the proper distinction – namely, that the law is one thing and the gospel is another – I made myself free.”

 

Come learn about how this debate over how to understand this important distinction is taking place today and the various arguments concerning how this distinction can help combat (or perpetuate!) the errors of legalism, antinomianism, and gnosticism.

 

A graduate of Washington & Lee University (2000) and Trinity School for Ministry (2007), The Rev. Dr. John D. “Jady” Koch earned his Doctorate in Systematic Theology at the University of Humboldt in Berlin, Germany in 2014. In addition to various articles and lectures, he is the author of The Distinction Between Law and Gospel as the Basis and Boundary of Theological Reflection, which was published in 2016 (Mohr/Siebeck) and explores the interrelationship between the doctrine of justification by faith alone and the preaching and teaching ministry of the church. Having served churches in Berlin, Vienna, and Louisville, KY,  Jady is excited to have been called to Christ Church and is looking forward to continuing his work in bringing the truths of the Gospel to bear on the everyday realities of life in our modern world. He and his wife, Liza, have three children (Tucker, John, and Carrington) and about a thousand house plants. Dr. Jady Koch is Associate Rector at Christ Church Anglican in Mt. Pleasant, SC.

Join us on December 10th, 2021 from 6:30-9pm. Light refreshments and fellowship will begin at 6:30pm with the lecture beginning around 7pm. Fellowship always continues indoors or around the fire afterward.

Suggested Donation: $10-$15 

January 8, 2022: "The Clapham Way: Lessons on Cultural Engagement from William Wilberforce and His Circle of Friends" with Dr. Nathan Finn

Join us for this film viewing, lecture, and discussion as we learn from the Clapham Saints and consider how to apply their vision to our contemporary context in post-Christian America.

Some Christians are “doctrine people” who are deeply committed to orthodox theology and ethics shaped by Scripture and the best of the Christian tradition. Other Christians are “piety people” who are mostly concerned with walking closely with Christ and pursuing personal holiness and spiritual maturity. Still other Christians are “justice and mercy people” who are committed to challenging injustice and promoting the common good. Finally, some Christians are “Great Commission people” who are passionate about spreading the gospel to the spiritually lost and promoting mission work among the unreached. While this sort of division is overly simplistic, we are always tempted to overemphasize some elements of the Christian life at the expense of others. In William Wilberforce (1759-1833) and his close friends, the so-called Clapham Saints, we have a historical example of holistic Christian faithfulness that embraced the importance of both doctrine and piety, both justice and evangelism.

Dr. Nathan Finn serves as Provost and Dean of the University Faculty at North Greenville University in Tigerville, SC. He is a historical and systematic theologian with expertise in Baptist history and thought. Most recently, Nathan is co-editor of Historical Theology for the Church (B&H Academic, 2021) and the forthcoming Theological Handbook for the People of God (B&H Academic, 2022). He has also published popular essays for The Gospel Coalition, Public Discourse, Baptist Press, Christianity Today, and the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. Nathan is an ordained minister in the Southern Baptist tradition who frequently preaches and teaches in local churches. He has been married to Leah for 21 years and is the father of four children.

Join us on Saturday, January 8th, 2022 from 9:30 am – 3:00 pm

10:00 Intro – 10 minutes
10:10 Movie – 120  minutes
12:10 Lunch/Fellowship – 60 minutes
1:10 Talk – 45 minutes
2:05 Discussion – 45 minutes

 

Suggested Donation: $10-$15 

Register Now

 

February 4th, 2022: “Where Shall Anthropology Be Found in Wisdom?” with Dr. Benjamin Quinn

What does Proverbs teach us about what it means to be human?  We’ll discover that Proverbs (and, Dr. Quinn would argue, the Scriptures on the whole) are more concerned with being human than with answering the many concerning what is a human being, important though these questions are. 

Dr. Benjamin Quinn serves as Associate Dean for Institutional Effectiveness and Assistant Professor of Theology and History of Ideas at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and the College at Southeastern. He also serves as pastor of Holly Grove Baptist Church in Spring Hope, NC. Benjamin earned his doctorate of philosophy in theology from the University of Bristol, U.K., and lives with his wife and four children in Youngsville, NC.

Join us on Friday, February 4th, 2022 from 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm. Light refreshments and fellowship will begin at 6:30pm with the lecture beginning around 7pm. Fellowship always continues indoors or around the fire afterward.

Suggested Donation: $10-$15 

Register Now

 

March 4th, 2022: "The Doctrine of Assurance: Early Debates and Ongoing Significance" with Dr. Jonathan Master

Can we ever know that we are saved? If so, how? Find out why the doctrine of assurance was called the most dangerous doctrine of the Protestant Reformers, and why it still matters for Christians today.

Session 1: From Calvin Through Westminster: The History of the Doctrine of Assurance
Session 2: The Importance of Assurance Today

Jonathan Master (Ph.D., University of Aberdeen) is President of Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, , Associate Editor for The Banner of Truth Magazine, and co-host of the Theology on the Go podcast. Dr. Master is the author of the books Growing in Grace (Banner of Truth, forthcoming) and A Question of Consensus: the Doctrine of Assurance after the Westminster Confession (Fortress, 2015), co-editor (with Dr. David W. Hall) of On Reforming Worship (Covenant Publications, 2018), and editor of The God We Worship: Adoring the One Who Pursues, Redeems, and Changes His People (P&R, 2016). He is married to Elizabeth, and they are the parents of two daughters.

Join us on March 4th, 2022 from 6:30 – 9 pm. Light refreshments and fellowship will begin at 6:30pm with the lecture beginning around 7pm. Fellowship always continues indoors or around the fire afterward.

Suggested Donation: $10-$15 

Register Now

 

Future Discussions will be announced soon!

“There were other joys to be found in their company which still more powerfully captivated my mind – the charms of talking and laughing together and kindly giving way to each other’s wishes, reading elegantly written books together, sharing jokes and delighting to honour one another, disagreeing occasionally but without rancour, as a person might disagree with himself, and lending piquancy by that rare disagreement to our much more frequent accord. We would teach and learn from each other, sadly missing any who were absent and blithely welcoming them when they returned.”

Augustine, Confessions IV.8.13