onWORD-conference-logothe 5th Annual onWORD Conference

October 24-25, 2014

Location: Greenfield Community Church


7:00 PM - Plenary Session #1: Ancient Bible and Modern Faith: My Own Journey

9:00 AM - Plenary Session #2:God Likes Stories
10:45 AM - Breakout Sessions A
Noon - Light Lunch Served
1:30 PM - Breakout Sessions B
3:00 PM - Plenary Session #3: Rereading the Story of Israel through Jesus
4:00 PM - Dismissal

Registration: $59.99 

Our Speaker:
Peter Enns portraitDr. Peter Enns will be joined by a number of other speakers who will help us experience, learn and enjoy the Scriptures. The theme for the conference this year is "For the Bible Tells Me So: Faithfully Reading the Stories of Scripture."

Dr. Enns is a professor at Eastern, a Christian university in Pennsylvania, where he teaches courses in Old Testament and New Testament. He is a prolific and provacative author and blogger. He has taught at Westminster Theological Seminary, Harvard, Princeton, Fuller, Lutheran Theological Seminary (Philadelphia), Biblical Theological Seminary and Temple University. He is a graduate of Messiah College (BSc), Westminster (MDiv) and Harvard (PhD).

Our Theme:
The purpose of onWORD is to enjoy Scripture -- to encounter, read, hear, study and enjoy it in various ways (including teaching, music and art). This year, we are delighted to partner with Greenfield Community Church to explore the Bible as story.

The theme of the 2014 onWORD Conference is:
For the Bible Tells Me So: Faithfully Reading the Stories of Scripture

The truth is that God loves stories, and loves to communicate through story. The Bible's stories can be understood and applied in many different ways, and all of our speakers will help us see and consider these stories in fresh and rewarding ways.

As one of our early onWORD speakers said: Scripture is not meant to be consumed in high volume, but is best savored like chocolate. Take a small bite and let it melt on your tongue, enjoying the texture and taste. 

Attendees at the onWORD conference come from a wide range of churches, and attendance has grown every year. For this 5th annual event, we extend a warm welcome to you -- Come and join us as we enjoy the Book!

Plenary Sessions, featuring Dr. Peter Enns:

Friday Evening
Plenary 1: Ancient Bible and Modern Faith: My Own Journey

Saturday Morning
Plenary 2: God likes Stories

Saturday Afternoon
Plenary 3: Rereading the Story of Israel through Jesus

Other Topics and Speakers:

There will be a total of six (6) sessions offered on Saturday (Oct. 25) and they will each be repeated twice (once in the morning at 11:00 AM and another time after lunch, around 1:30 PM).

-Two hermeneutical sessions (Dr. David Williams and Dr. Jerry Shepherd),
-Two OT/HB ones (Pastor Tyler Williams and Dr. Randal Rauser), and
-Two NT (Dr. Jo-Ann Badley and Dr. Keir Hammer)

Each break out session will be one hour long (including introductions, presentation, and at least 10 minutes for Q&A at the end).

Keir-smSpeaker: Dr. Keir Hammer

Session Title: Blindness, Faith and Fear: The Story of Jesus in Mark

Session Description: Have you ever wondered why the Gospel according to Mark is even in our Bibles? More than 90% of the content of Mark is found in the Gospel according to Matthew. 60% is found in Luke. Why bother with Mark? Often we are unaware of the distinctive qualities of these important accounts, and, when one of them says something that doesn’t fit our perception of Jesus, we sometimes turn to a different gospel for “clarification.” In this breakout session we will explore some of the unique characteristics of Mark that are key to understanding specific features of Jesus’ ministry—features that are not necessarily highlighted in the other gospels.

Bio: Dr. Keir Hammer has worn several hats over the years including pastor, professor and administrator. He thoroughly enjoys encouraging others to read and understand the Bible. As a professor, Dr. Hammer has taught at the University of Toronto, Emmanuel Bible College, Wilfrid Laurier University, Taylor University College and Taylor Seminary. Currently he serves as the Director of White Cross Canada at Taylor and teaches sessional courses at The King’s University College and Concordia University College in Edmonton. He has a Ph.D. in New Testament/Early Christianity and lives in Edmonton with his wife and two (nearly grown) children.

JoAnn-Badley-smSpeaker: Dr. Jo-Ann Badley

Session Title: Reading Paul’s Letters as Story: The Example of Philemon

Session Description: Paul's epistles each tell a story of the apostle and his congregation. As well, Paul relies on the gospel story to challenge his readers to live lives that imitate Christ. In this workshop we will read the epistle to hear the ancient story of Paul, Philemon and Onesimus and to understand how Paul expects the gospel to be lived faithfully.

Bio: Dr. Jo-Ann Badley is Dean of the Seminary at Ambrose University in Calgary. She studied at Regent College and the Toronto School of Theology. She has taught New Testament scriptures for over twenty five years, particularly loving her work in the letters of Paul.

Jerry-Shepherd-02Speaker: Dr. Jerry Shepherd

Session Title: "The Sweet Psalmist of Israel": Jesus Sings His Own Songs

Session Description: Preachers and commentators often refer to the idea of "messianic psalms," psalms which they say are about Christ. This then raises the question as to which psalms are messianic, or which verses in these psalms are messianic. This workshop will look at another way to frame the discussion. That is, rather than thinking in the terms of the Psalms being "about" Christ, I will propose that we think instead in terms of the Psalms being "by" Christ. So how many messianic psalms are there? My answer will be, "one hundred and fifty." We will also look at the implications of this understanding for how we might read, pray, sing, and use the Psalms, both in the church, and in our own individual Christian lives.

Bio: Dr. Jerry Shepherd is Associate Professor of Old Testament at Taylor Seminary, where he has taught for 21 years. 
Has written a number of entries for various biblical and theological reference works, wrote the commentary on Ecclesiastes for the revised edition of the Expositor's Bible Commentary, and is currently writing a commentary on Leviticus for the Story of God Bible Commentary series.

Randal RauserSpeaker: Dr. Randal Rauser

Session Title: Joshua and Genocide: Readings in the Divine Violence of Scripture

Session Description: Today Christians share with other people a unilateral condemnation of the evil of genocide. And yet, the text of Joshua seems to depict God commanding a genocide of the Canaanites. In this seminar we consider several of the responses that Christians have proposed to address the moral tensions that this text presents.

Bio: Dr. Randal Rauser is Professor of Historical Theology at Taylor Seminary where he has taught since 2003. He is the author of several books including "What on Earth do we Know About Heaven?" (Baker, 2013) and "Theology in Search of Foundations" (Oxford, 2009). Randal is a prolific author, blogger and speaker, and lectures widely on areas relating to Christian apologetics, theology and worldview.

David-WilliamsSpeaker: Dr. David Williams

Session Title: All You Need is Love: Augustine's Hermeneutic of Love

Session Description: 
Like us, St. Augustine lived at a time when the teaching of Scripture was often disputed, and often brought disrepute on the witness of the church. His approach to interpretation was new, profound, and important in many ways: a "hermeneutic of love." This approach left a powerful impact on the church and is part of Augustine's great legacy. This workshop will suggest  interpretive resources for our time that draw on this approach.

Bio: Dr. David Williams is the president of Taylor College and Seminary, and has been the director of the Wahl Centre since it was formed in 2008. He also teaches in the area of ethics. David earned his doctorate in Theological Ethics from Drew University and taught at Colorado Christian University for almost 20 years. He moved to Edmonton from Colorado in 2004 to become the Academic Vice-President at Taylor University College and became President in 2008.

TylerWilliams-smSpeaker: Pastor Tyler Williams

Session Title: Will the Real King Manasseh Please Stand Up?

Session Description: According to the book of Kings, Manasseh was the absolutely worst king of Judah bar none (2 Kings 21:1-18). He was so evil that despite the wonderful reforms of his grandson King Josiah, Judah’s fate was sealed because of “all that Manasseh had done to provoke [God] to anger” (2 Kings 23:26). The account in the book of Chronicles paints a very different picture of this Manasseh. While he starts off just as wicked, the book of Chronicles tells of his amazing repentance and transformation (2 Chronicles 33:1-20).  The startling differences between these accounts of Manasseh’s reign will be used in this session to explore the nature of ancient history writing and how today we may faithfully read the histories of Scripture.

Bio: Tyler Williams is Lead Pastor at Greenfield Community Church in Edmonton. He taught Bible, theology, and biblical languages for over fifteen years at Taylor University College & Seminary and The King's University, Edmonton, and continues to teach adjunct at both institutions.  Tyler completed his master’s degree at Regent College, Vancouver, and did doctoral studies in Hebrew Bible at the University of Toronto. He has published a number of scholarly studies, including articles and dictionary entries. Tyler has most recently co-edited a collection of essays on the book of Chronicles entitled, Chronicling the Chronicler: The Book of Chronicles and Early Second Temple Historiography (Eisenbrauns, 2013). Tyler will be teaching a course on the Book of Genesis at Taylor Seminary in January, titled "Creation and Covenant".