Free Will Baptists Attend the 2023 Evangelical Theological Society

Kevin L. Hester

The 75th annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society met in San Antonio, Texas from November 14-16, 2023. Almost 3,000 full and student members attended the conference. Among this number were several Free Will Baptists who made significant contributions to the meetings. There were both faculty and student participants from Welch College and Welch Divinity School.

President of the Evangelical Theological Society, Dr. Timothy George, gave the President’s Address that recalled the history of the movement since its founding in 1948 and called the meeting to its historical absolute commitment to God’s existence in an eternal trinitarian relationship of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and the inerrancy of Scripture. Flowing from this, he called those gathered to work to be characterized by love. He characterized evangelicalism through the two poles of conviction and love. Love will work to meet the needs of the culture and society in two distinct ways. A convictional, loving evangelicalism should guard and proclaim the truth of God’s revealed word in Scripture. Second, evangelicalism must always express God’s divine love for fallen humanity through the presentation of a warm gospel witness.

The theme of this year’s meeting was dedicated to theological anthropology. Plenary sessions included discussions of the imago Dei (Marc Cortez), monism and the resurrection of the body (Nancey Murphy), and a critical appraisal of gender identity theory (Abigail Favale). Sessions. Annual Program.

The following Free Will Baptists made contributions to the meeting:

Matthew Bracey: “What Conservatism Teaches About Theological Anthropology.”

Moderator – Theological Anthropology: Systematic Theology II

Kevin Hester: “A Gregorian Bestiary: Human Nature as Fallen and Redeemed in Gregory the Great’s Moralia.”

Moderator – Theological Anthropology: Early Church History

Joshua Hunter: “The Egyptian Cult of Isis in Ancient Corinth and I Corinthians.”

Matthew McAffee: “Souls of the Living and the Dead: Reflections on Two Hebrew Anthropological Expressions,” and “Toward a Pecking Order of Comparative Analysis: Case Studies from Hebrew and Ugaritic.”

Moderator – Old Testament Backgrounds/Ancient Near East I, Old Testament Backgrounds/Ancient Near East II, and Torah (Pentateuch)

Jesse Owens – Moderator – Theological Anthropology: 16th and 17th Century Church History

Matthew Pinson – “Thomas Grantham’s Revelational Epistemology.”

Moderator – Church History: Faith of Our Fathers

Christopher Talbot – Moderator – Practical Theology: Image of God, Disability, and the Body of Christ.

Daniel Webster – “The Father, Son, and Spirit Taught in Ante-Nicene Christian Hymns.”

Moderator – Church History: Studies in Patristics II

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