At this week’s Theological Research Seminar, Tim Hutton will be presenting Persons in a Relationship-of-Grace: Shaping the Life and Mission of the Church After the Triune God. Read the abstract and bio below.
All are welcome to attend in Hurlburt Hall at McMaster Divinity College at 1:00pm or via livestream at the link below:
Join the Livestream
Password: z00m (Note that the password has zeros rather than “o”)
This study offers exploration into the nature of the church’s participation in the life and mission of the triune God. Investigation begins by approaching Paul’s use of grace amidst the backdrop of the Greco-Roman system of gift giving and reciprocity wherein grace establishes a social bond and is expectant of a response. Framing grace (charis) as a reciprocal relationship holds particular theological implications for God, the human person, and the church. The concept is woven through a perichoretic relational trinitarianism, as well as an anthropology of personhood shaped by God’s gift of atonement offered towards human eikons. By proposing the triune God to be constituted as persons in a relationship-of-grace, the ecclesial body itself can further be depicted as bearing image to this grace-centered relationship. Within this renewed vision of God and humanity, the church is established as participants in the life of the Trinity as persons come to reside in the divine reciprocal interiority while simultaneously discovering corporate ecclesial communion. Accordingly, ecclesial missiology is argued to be rooted in holistic reconciliation as grace is continually received and reciprocated, offering a social vision for the missional practices of local churches globally.
Tim has served with CBM (Canadian Baptist Ministries) in Bolivia for the past nine years. He works alongside the Bolivian Baptist Union, supporting its community development arm OBADES as they innovate effective ministries. These include caring for vulnerable children and women, promoting local economic ventures, health care initiatives, food security, and responsible environmental practices. He also teaches at the Baptist Theological Seminary, sits on their board as an advisory partner, and has the opportunity to train and support churches across the country as they launch integral mission ministries.
Tim’s research dissertation explores the practice of local Bolivian churches undertaking holistic ministry projects directed at marginalized populations and prevalent justice issues present in their communities. His intent is to study the operant missiology embedded in ecclesial life and the way in which more formal theology manifests in these experiences. To this end, he hopes to offer new insight into how atonement, discipleship, grace, and missiology are embodied and lived out by churches through their practice of mission within their local context.
The MDC Theological Research Seminar (TRS) is a bimonthly gathering for all MDC students and faculty. TRS meets over the lunch hour on Wednesdays, and includes about thirty minutes for the paper presentation and twenty minutes for discussion.
All advanced degree students are invited to present a paper and share your research with your colleagues. TRS is an excellent opportunity to “test drive” a paper you will be presenting at an upcoming conference and receive helpful feedback on your current research projects. Thinking about submitting an article to a journal and want some interaction first? TRS will provide it. Just published an article or an essay and want to share it us? TRS is an excellent opportunity to broadcast it.
This year the organizing committee consists of Dr. Francis Pang, Dr. Wendy Porter, and Dr. Steve Studebaker. To submit a paper, contact a member of the organizing committee.