Matthew Breakout Sessions
Larry McKnight · Believe. Proclaim. Don’t Defend.
It takes a lot of humility to realize the need to rethink your long-held beliefs. Once seen with fresh eyes, such beliefs (like God’s essential nature as Love; the truth, or lack of it, about hell; the myth of ETC; or the God-appointed restoration of all things) call for faith and more than a little courage as you hold fast and walk them out among family, friends, and peers—believing and unbelieving. You will be challenged, debated, and maybe even branded a heretic. In this breakout session, Larry McKnight will share three simple keys to holding a controversial belief with steady assurance and a gentle good will without becoming defensive or being victimized by those whom your beliefs might threaten. These keys are: to be comfortable with the fact that your beliefs come directly from scripture, to talk about them and share them in the same language the scriptures used to reveal them, and lastly to discover the power of saying, “I don’t know” and turning the question—Jesus was a master practitioner of this art—back on those challenging your belief.
Larry and Vickie (married 43 years) lead a small but intriguing community called Joyland in Colorado Springs, CO and online via Zoom meeting room 3377733377. Joyland’s mission statement reflects Larry’s view of every much-loved believer’s mission: We exist to help you experience the affection of God without judgment or religious pressure. Larry has served as a pastor, teacher, and church planter for about 40 years and spanning a few denominations. He knows both the cost and the privilege of responding open-heartedly to growing revelation and the need to be comfortable with changing beliefs. In this season, Larry, Vickie, and the friends at Joyland are captivated by growing in fellowship in Papa’s goodness, Jesus’ centrality and accessibility, and Holy Spirit’s presence and intimacy.
Mike Owens · Perfect Imperfection and PRA
If God is omnipotent and omniscient (sovereign) and if God is love—why did He design a world of pain and suffering? Perhaps everything we see and experience is within our Creator’s perfect plan and PRA—Post Resurrection Amazement?
Mike and his wife of 45 years, Susan, live in the Dallas area. They have five children and their youngest son was killed in a tornado in 2006. After 31 years in a bible church, Mike was excommunicated when the elders discovered he no longer believed in hell or decisional regeneration.
Gerry Beauchemin · Why Embracing Mystery Is Crucial to our Faith, Fellowship, and Witness
The power of our witness is our love for one another (John 13:35). Yet we who embrace God’s Relentless Love are a motley crew, coming from all backgrounds with countless differing doctrines. Making it worse, we are now prone to question everything since we were so terribly misled about eternal conscious torment. Unity can be a major challenge in our community. I propose a simple, Biblical solution that can strengthen our Hope, draw us together in love, and empower our witness to the world.
Gerry and his wife Denise married in 1980, raised a family, and have been involved in Christian missions since 1986. They’ve lived and served for years in Asia and Africa, having helped start the House of Hope, a medical-dental clinic in Senegal. They manage several Hope For All websites and oversee Hope For All Fellowship and Tentmaker Ministries. Gerry is the author of Hope Beyond Hell and Hope For All. His passion is promoting the Victorious Gospel in context of nurturing community and fostering unity among all who share our Joyful Hope. See Values We Cherish in Jesus Savior of All link: https://youtu.be/wGmSUpUgjrE
Tentmaker.org · we are privileged to preserve the wonderful life’s work of
Gary and Michelle Amirault, renowned pioneers in promoting the Victorious Gospel
Jeff von Klock · Who Are the Recipients in Romans 5:17? All or Some? Is Paul’s Gospel a Gospel of Partialism or Inclusivism?
This presentation will focus on the phrase “oi lambanontes” in Romans 5:17 that is typically translated, “those who receive.” Traditional Christian scholars and commentators state that the meaning of “receive” here is an active acceptance and taking of God’s proffered gift of Grace by an enlightened, fortunate few. I have a different idea. I will show that the context and Paul’s use of “oi lambanontes” suggests that all people of all time are the recipients of God’s Grace. Are “those who receive” the relatively few lucky ones who through their own will, upbringing, and/or effort partake of God’s Grace, or does God generously and freely pour this Gift over all Mankind in a demonstration of His relentless and overwhelming love until every single human being is transformed into His image?
I grew up in a Christian tradition that taught a gospel of partialism; some people will be “saved,” but most will not. I began to question this doctrine during my studies at Fuller Seminary. After several years of study, prayer, reflection, and struggling with long-held beliefs, I arrived at a dramatically different conclusion that is encapsulated in what I refer to as God’s Gospel of Great News: not just Good News, but GREAT, exciting news for all humanity. I now embrace this gospel of love, revelation, judgment, redemption, and reconciliation, believing the Scriptures show that it applies to all people of all time, though I struggled with Romans 5:17, until recently. My upcoming book and screenplay will dramatically demonstrate this relentless love of God for even one of the most evil, infamous, and notorious humans who has ever lived: Adolf Hitler.
William M. Brennan · Theodicy and the Problem of Evil: An Evangelical Universalist Resolution
There are two kinds of Theodicies. The Augustinian (backward-looking) and the Irenaean (forward-looking) defenses. Neither offers a solution to the problem of evil on partialist terms. Either God’s sovereignty or his love must be denied on that basis. Universal Restoration is the via media between the Augustinian and Pelagian sides of evangelical theology and presents the only cogent solution to the problem.
William Brennan is a graduate of Rowan University and Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary (M Div). He has also done post-graduate work toward a Doctor of Theology in Philosophy at Whitefield Seminary, while serving as senior pastor at Covenant Reformed Presbyterian Church in Painesville, OH. He currently lives in Toms River, NJ with his wife and children.