English L'Abri

Lecture Schedule


Friday Night Lectures at English L'Abri
Summer 2017
The Manor House, Greatham

Dessert, Tea & Coffee 7:30 p.m.

Lecture 8:00 p.m.


19th    ‘Those Human Nests’: Vincent van Gogh’s Search for Home
This lecture will discuss the life and work of Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh as seen through the lens of his deep longing—expressed in his letters and art—for a place to call home.

Lindsey Patton, L’Abri Worker

26th     Baptism and the Body
Christians, even those who say much about ‘incarnational’ faith, can say surprisingly little about the way that God claims our bodies. This lecture will explore the intensely bodily character of baptism as a pledge and seal that anticipates future resurrection, adoption, and the redemption of our bodies.

Alastair Roberts, PhD, University of Durham


2nd      Smuggling Jesus Back into the Church: A Reformation Manifesto
When the integrity of Christianity becomes eroded and compromised, reformation is an inevitability. In light of the 500-year anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, this talk will explore why the history of the church follows this pattern and imagines what reformation might look like today. 

Andrew Fellows, Director, Christian Heritage Cambridge

9th      Hollow Gods: Idolatry in Our Postmodern Society
The here and now usually determines the nature of our gods. What has taken place philosophically in our view of knowledge, freedom and language to mould us into our current idols? Serving the god of our times means self-worship. This lecture will point to the One who said, “Heaven and Earth shall move with the times, but My words shall not move with the times” (C.S. Lewis on Matthew 24:35).

Edith Reitsema, L’Abri Worker

16th    The Cloud of Knowing
The Bible mentions a cloud in many places. Sometimes it is referred to as a cloud of fire or a cloud of darkness. This lecture will explore how we can understand these various cloud events and how we can avoid some major and popular misunderstandings of them.

Ellis Potter,  Itinerant Missionary

23rd    How Technology Behaves: A Christian Response (Part 2)
Many today feel uncertain about how to respond to a changing technological landscape. Having previously outlined a few rules for what technology is and how it behaves, this lecture will explore what we should do about it and propose a response that avoids the double dangers of fear and utopianism.

Andy Patton, L’Abri Worker

30th    How Does the Bible Speak About God’s Action in the World?
The philosopher Alvin Plantinga recently wrote, “There is superficial conflict but deep concord between science and theistic religion, but superficial concord and deep conflict between science and naturalism.” Both Christianity and Judaism rely on Biblical passages to describe the way God acts in the world. This lecture will develop an approach to reading these texts that is generally in line with Plantinga’s insight.

Dr. C. John "Jack" Collins, Professor of Old Testament, Covenant Theological Seminary, USA



7th      Herman Dooyeweerd: A Christian Philosopher (Part 2)
Having previously explored the Dutch Christian philosopher Herman Dooyeweerd's context, critique of modernity, and philosophical anthropology, this lecture will discuss his understanding of Western cultural development with a particular focus on his unique philosophy of history and concept of the religious ground motive.

Josué Reichow, L’Abri Worker 

14th    Let Justice Roll Down: Martin Luther King Jr.  and the Black Lives Matter Movement
This lecture will focus on the circumstances that gave rise to the #BlackLivesMatter movement, as well as the American evangelical church’s response to both the racial climate of the USA and the Black Lives Matter movement. King’s correctives concerning the damaging silence of many Christians during the civil rights era will also be discussed when considering the need for a more robust gospel-centered response to racial injustices. 

Dr. Mary McCampbell, Assosciate Professor of Humanities, Lee University, USA

21st    Why Do People Want to Die? A Psychological Conversation About Suicide and Trauma
The modern world is desperate to live and to die. Medicine has never been more able to prolong and protect life, yet many are equally determined to end their lives. This lecture will explore the effects of psychological trauma on a person’s relationship to life and death, the place of shame in suicide and self-harm, and what can be done to help those who are suffering.

Tom Smiley, Psychologist 

28th   The Era of Choice
The present time is filled with an incredible amount of options in practically every aspect of life. Our job is to choose—to exercise our abilities to understand, analyse, and decide. This lecture will discuss how we arrived at a time of such abundant choice and explore the consequences of this reality for our daily lives.

Lili Reichow, L’Abri Worker



4th     How Should We Then Love? Ordering Desire in a World of Consumption
Saint Augustine once wrote, 'For when we ask whether someone is a good man, we are not asking what he believes, or hopes, but what he loves.’ This lecture will explore the primacy of love in the Christian life by encouraging the cultivation of a love for God which deepens our enjoyment of God’s good gifts.

Phillip Johnston, L’Abri Worker