Gardner-Webb Instructor to Discuss Relationship Between Baptist and Catholic Doctrine

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Joyce Compton Brown Lecture Series Presents Author Steve Harmon on Oct. 3rd

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. – In the next installment of Gardner-Webb University’s Joyce Compton Brown Lecture Series, theologian Dr. Steve Harmon will discuss the similarities and differences between Baptist and Catholic approaches to scripture and tradition.  This event will be held on Monday, Oct. 3 at 7:00 p.m. in the Ritch Banquet Hall, located in the Dover Campus Center, and is free and open to the public.

Harmon, adjunct instructor of Christian theology at Gardner-Webb, is a Baptist ecumenical theologian who participated in international theological conversations between the Baptist World Alliance (BWA) and the Roman Catholic Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (2006-10).  His lecture will address relationships between Baptists and Roman Catholics in the light of their perspectives on the relationship between scripture and church tradition – the very matter on which the two traditions would seem to be most polarized. A question-and-answer session will follow Harmon’s lecture.

Harmon insists that the purpose of ecumenical discussion is not to water down core Baptist doctrines or to sacrifice congregational autonomy.  “Ecumenists strive to clearly understand what other traditions believe and practice on their own terms, rather than our own caricatured images of them,” said Harmon.

Harmon has made the ecumenical quest for Christian unity his life’s work.  He teaches various courses on Christian theology, ecumenism, and ethics.  He is currently completing a book, tentatively titled “The Baptist Vision and the Ecumenical Future.”

The scholarly lecture series at Gardner-Webb is named after Dr. Joyce Compton Brown, professor emeritus, who retired from the University at the end of the 2004-05 academic year after almost 40 years of service in the Department of English.  Dr. Matt Theado, GWU associate professor of English, says the lecture series is about opening up the world of scholarship.  “Many folks in the university community are unaware of the ongoing investigations, research, and explorations of others.  We hope to share with students how good scholarship is done and what some of the possibilities are,” said Theado.

For more information contact the Office of University Communications at 704-406-3221.

Located in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb University seeks a higher ground in higher education – one that embraces faith and intellectual freedom, balances conviction and compassion, and inspires in students a love of learning, service, and leadership.