“On the Road to Becoming Flesh: Israel as the Womb of the Incarnation in the Theology of T. F. Torrance” by Dr C. Baxter Kruger. Essay can be found at

Further details TBA


In November, Dr Ben Myers: Why I think T. F. Torrance is not a Barthian

Ben Myers lives in Brisbane with his wife and three kids. He is a research fellow at the University of Queensland’s Centre for the History of European Discourses, as well as a 2008 member-in-residence at the Center of Theological Inquiry in Princeton. Ben has published Milton’s Theology of Freedom (2006), together with many essays on contemporary systematic theology. His current research includes a book on Karl Barth, a critical introduction to Rowan Williams, and an edited volume on the theology of Robert Jenson. In his spare time he enjoys cooking Italian food, drinking espresso, reading novels, and listening to Bob Dylan and Tom Waits.

In October, Joel Atwood’s paper Why I think we need to recapture aesthetics was the focus of discussion.

For centuries Western thinkers has struggled with aesthetics. The category of how we perceive and judge the world around us, especially in the area of the ‘beautiful’ has been alternately indulged to the point of decadence, or dismissed as naïf and even unethical. Reformed Christianity has long allowed itself to be guided in its thinking and practices by reaction to the decadence of its predecessors and the pragmatism of the Industrial Revolution. Then, the world changed. First the artists, then the physical scientists, and even the literary critics championed the recovery of aesthetics. ‘Beauty,’ as one writer put it, ‘will have its revenge.’ Are we to be the subject of this revenge? Or can we, as God’s people in God’s world, be at the forefront of this recapture of aesthetics as part of God’s redemption of His creation?

Joel rather abruptly found himself on a tropical island this year, working with students of the University of the South Pacific campus in Port Vila, Vanuatu. He lends a hand with the bible teaching, training the current and future leaders, and has most recently planted a university church to try and see as many students as possible come under the headship of Christ. Other than that he loves wandering around the middle of the jungle, subsisting on fine coffee, and surfing whatever waves he can find…

In September Ian Packer discussed his paper Why I think most debates on the Lord’s Table miss the point or An Immodest Proposal for the Practice of the Lord’s Table: Toward a Neo-Anabaptist Recovery of the Ancient Christian Meal for the ‘People of the Way’ in a Postmodern, Australian Context: A Theological Primer


This brief study of the practice of the Lord’s Table comes from a systematic theology perspective and does not aim to be a comprehensive nor merely descriptive treatment of all relevant biblical material. Nevertheless, its grounding in a re-reading of the biblical material suggests that much systematic theological discussion has been shaped by misleading questions. Within the limits set, this paper seeks to introduce and illuminate various theological issues surrounding or arising from historical and contemporary discussion of the Lord’s Supper (or “Lord’s Table”/ “Holy Communion”/ “Eucharist”). Thus various theological, philosophical, methodological, contextual, and cultural questions are raised as well as issues of theological ethics, and their connection to some wider ecclesiological understandings in systematics/ dogmatics.

My main contention in this paper is that much systematic discussion of the Lord’s Supper is dominated by reactions to medieval Roman Catholicism and that a radical, ‘critical primitivist’ approach is required in order to recover important elements of Christian practice. Emboldened by the Reformation examples of Luther, Zwingli, and the Swiss Anabaptists, and 20th Century theologians Karl Barth and Emil Brunner, I move toward an ‘evangelical’ (gospel-shaped) revision of ecclesial practices along with a challenge to the idea of these practices as ‘sacraments.’ Some implications for Christian practice today are also briefly outlined. 

For a copy of Ian’s paper please email Theology and Praxis.

Ian works as Director of Public Theology for Australian Evangelical Alliance and regularly lectures for Macquarie Christian Studies Institute. He has just finished a term as an interim Assistant Pastor at Pennant Hills Baptist Church. He completed his BA (Hons) in Politics, Philosophy and Sociology at Murdoch University, his M.Div at Ridley College and Morling College, and is working on a PhD on a Christian philosophy of vocation at Macquarie University. He is married to Libby and they have four kids to ‘keep it real’. Though compelled by the Gospels to be a pacifist, he has been repeatedly caught playing Halo and watching ‘Aliens’. 

In August, was David W Congdon’s paper entitled Why I Think Missional Theology is the future of Theology.

David W. Congdon will begin the first year of a Ph.D in Systematic Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary this fall.  His research interests include the work of Karl Barth, Rudolf Bultmann, Eberhard Jüngel, and Hans Urs von Balthasar.  He is passionate about the “deghettoization” and integration of theology and ecclesial practice, particularly in terms of catechesis and missional theology.  He is committed to the task of doing ecclesial and exegetical theology, which refuses to divorce dogmatics from the mission of the church or the biblical text.   Since 2005, he has been married to his wife, Amy, and together they are involved in liturgy and music at their local church.  Amy plays piano and sings, while David plays the bass.  On a personal note, he is a connoisseur of indie music, independent and foreign films, pipe tobacco, and dark chocolate.  He has an article forthcoming from the Journal of Theological Interpretation entitled, “The Trinitarian Shape of Pistis: A Theological Exegesis of Galatians.”

June 21st John Alchin paper inspired by the fifth chapter of Torrance’s The Mediation of Christ entitled “The Atonement and the Holy Trinity”

May 25th, we listened and discussed T F Torrance’s lecture “The Incarnate Saviour”

March and April we had off.

Saturday 16th February, 2008
Michael Pailthorpe presented a paper based on Chapter 2, “The Mediation of Reconciliation” in Thomas F Torrance’s, The Mediation of Christ.

Saturday 19th January, 2008
Rev Dr Alan Harley delivered a brilliant paper unpacking T F Torrance’s first chapter of his influential work The Mediation of Christ.

Saturday 1st December, 2007.
Michael Pailthorpe gave a presentation for discussion on an essay by Kevin Vanhoozer on Karl Barth’s approach to Scripture in Kevin J. Vanhoozer, “A Person of the Book? Barth on Biblical Authority and Interpretation” in Karl Barth and Evangelical Theology – Convergences and Divergences, edited by Sung Wook Chung, (Baker, 2006).

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