On Saturday, October 22, Ozarks BSU hosted a one-day conference on the topic of Christian engagement with contemporary culture. We had four main sessions with four breakout session options. Among the topics covered were the Church’s role in racial reconciliation, social issues, politics, and the Arts. The lineup of speakers and audio of their talks are below.
Primary Conference Sessions:
In this opening session, Jay will help lay the groundwork by defining culture and exploring the proper goal of Christian cultural engagement with the aid of James Davison Hunter’s work, To Change the World.
In this session Rusty will begin with the reality of the role of the prophet in the OT as a vehicle of the word of YHWH to the current power structures of their day. He will then look at Jesus and Paul as NT examples of bearing witness to truth before Jewish and Roman authorities. He will conclude by drawing application to the fact that every believer has access to the word of God and is called to bear witness to truth in the face of modern power structures within our culture.
In our third main session, Kyle will be speaking on the role of Christians and the church in responding to social injustice, racism, and working towards the biblical goal of shalom (human flourishing).
In our final main session, Richard will focus his attention in this session on how the Holy Spirit uses artists and/or cultural forms to speak to believers and to reveal his sovereign glory over all things. He will use both biblical and modern examples.
- Mark Rapinchuk, “Christian Engagement in the Midst of Changing Cultural Morality”: Mark will explore the shifting culture of morality on three key issues–abortion, gender identity, and homosexuality–and discuss how Christians can enter into fruitful conversation on these divisive issues.
- John Collins, “Courageous Community”: This session will be an exposition of Philippians 1:27-30 that calls us to strive side-by-side for the faith of Gospel in a contentious culture. John will utilize examples geared toward rural churches, though it will be applicable to all.
- Adam Stoddard, “The Role of the Local Church in Engaging an Urban Culture”: This session will consider the role of the local church in engaging its immediate context, focusing particularly on more urban contexts, though it will be applicable to all.
- Jay Todd, “Models for Cultural Engagement”: In this session, Jay will explore four common categories of approaches to cultural engagement, assessing the strengths and weaknesses of each before advocating for critical engagement with the culture.
Kyle Rapinchuk (PhD, Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary) is Assistant Professor of Christian Worldview at School of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, MO, and also serves as Ozarks BSU Director/Campus Missionary to College of the Ozarks. Kyle has been married to Kristin for 12 years and they have three children–Karis (10), Anastacia (8), and Aviel (6).
Rusty Osborne (PhD, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary) is Assistant Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies at College of the Ozarks. Rusty is the faculty sponsor for BSU and part of the preaching team for Monday Gather worship services. He and his wife Sara also lead a small group of BSU students in their home on Sunday nights. The Osbornes have four children: Sophia, Eleanor, Moses, and Henry.
Jay Todd (PhD, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary) is Assistant Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies and a Division Chair at College of the Ozarks. Jay is a regular member of the preaching team for Monday Gather worship services. He and his wife Christina have three children: Maisy, Lily, and Isaac.
Mark Rapinchuk (PhD, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) is Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies at College of the Ozarks where he is now in his 20th year. Mark teaches worldview and philosophy courses and is a teaching elder at Harvest Evangelical Free Church. Mark and his wife Dori have been married for 39 years and have two grown sons: Kyle and Brendon.
Richard Cummings (DWS, Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies; MAFA, University of Leeds) is Professor of Art and Director of the Boger Art Gallery at College of the Ozarks where he is now in his 16th year. Richard and his wife, Alana, have two sons–Richie and Will.
John Collins (MDIV, New Orleans Theological Seminary) is pastor of Second Baptist in Poplar Bluff, MO, where he has served for 3 years. He previously served as BSU Director at Three Rivers College for 9 years. John has been married to Kendra for over 10 years, and they have a 3 year old daughter, Madison.
Adam Stoddard is Pastor and Lead Teaching Elder at Hope & Anchor Church in Springfield, MO. Adam and his wife Kristie have five children; Samuel, Madeleine, Chloe, Brennan, and Lottie Jane.