Southborough L'Abri

Lecture Schedule


 






 


For access to the most current lectures from the Southborough branch, simply click the lecture's title to be directed to an audio file of the lecture or subscribe to the L'Abri Southborough podcast on iTunes.
These and many other lectures from L'Abri branches around the world are available at the L'Abri Ideas Library.

If you would like to make a contribution for the lectures, please see our PayPal link.


 
 

 

Winter 2019 Lecture schedule  

All lectures begin at 7:30*
(change of time for the winter term)

and are held at L'Abri
49 Lynbrook Road
Southborough, MA 01772

        Join us for tea and treats at 7:15
       

    

 

Jan 18- The Last Laugh:  Perceiving and Receiving the Incongruity of Grace

Dave Friedrich

 

Jan 25- The Gift of Grace:  No Strings Attached or Call and Response?

Dave Friedrich

 

Feb 1 Revolution or Recession?: Sex in Pre- and Post-Christian Cultures

Joshua Chestnut

 

Feb 8 Caring for Creation Part III: Our Relationship to Farmed and Domesticated Animals

Ben Keyes

 

Feb 15 Sight for the Blind: A Study on the Significance of Eyes in the Biblical Story

Anna Friedrich


 

Theme Weekend-

To Heal What is Broken: Hope in a Time of Fragmentation


 

Friday, Feb 22
7:30 PM
A Tree Without Roots: How Can We Reconnect Contemporary Virtue With Christian Belief?

Ben Keyes 
 

Saturday, Feb 23
9:30 AM
Political Polarization, Pervasive Loneliness and the Exhausted Middle 

Joshua Chestnut

Lunch - 12:30

 

Saturday, Feb 23
1:30 PM

Friendship & Redemption in the Story of Ruth: How Self-Giving Loyalty Changes Everything

Anna Friedrich

*If you would like to join us for the day on Saturday, please email us your reservation NO LATER THAN Thursday, Feb. 21st to southborough@labri.org. The seminar is free, although there is a suggested donation of $5.00 to offset the cost of lunch on Saturday.

*The Saturday portion of this seminar is being given in conjunction with our lecture on Friday evening.  Attendance both days is not required.


*Limited overnight accommodations may be available at L'Abri. Please email southborough@labri.org if you would like to add your name to the waiting list for overnight accommodations, and you will be notified if/when space becomes available.


 

March 1 What does God mean by his promise, "I will be with you"?

Dick Keyes

 

March 8   What is the heart and can it be 'altared'?

Sarah Chestnut
 

March 15 There's a Crack in Everything:  Learning from The Broken Hallelujah of Leonard Cohen

Dave Friedrich

 

March 22  Space, Place, and Grace: Musings on the Meaning of Home

Mary Frances Giles
 




- Autumn Term 2018 - 
All lectures begin at 8:00pm 
and are held at L'Abri
49 Lynbrook Road
Southborough, MA 01772


Join us for tea and treats at 7:45


 

Sept 14  Between the Sound and the Sense: Reading the Bible to Find the Trinity

In this talk we will look at how the doctrine of the Trinity arises not from leaving the biblical witness aside (as it has been accused of or assumed to) but instead from understanding the bible as a narrative whole whose center is the sending of the Son and Spirit. 

~Joshua Chestnut

 

Sept 21 Caring for Creation Part I. Friends, Foes or Food: What is the nature of our relationship to Animals?

This lecture begins a series on Creation Care (continued by Anna Friedrich, Oct 26). The human relationship to animals is a broad topic that includes our treatment of wild animals, companion animals (pets) and farmed animals. Each of these areas has long standing controversies connected with it. This lecture will focus primarily on wild animals. We will explore the nuanced perspective that the Bible brings to an often polarized conversation.

~Ben Keyes

 

Sept 28  Life in the Spirit in our Age of Authenticity  

If the spirit of our age is to be true to oneself over all others, what might the work of the Holy Spirit look like?  In this lecture we will consider some patterns of chaos in our day as the backdrop to reconsidering the unexpected work of the Holy Spirit.

~Joshua Chestnut

 

Oct 5  Double Listening

To meet someone who listens well to others and to God is both rare and rewarding.  But there is a way to become that person – someone who practices what John Stott called double listening.

~David Friedrich

 

Oct 12 Can Irony and Humor be Persuasive for Christian Belief?

The Christian diagnosis for our situation is that we are each a “glorious ruin”. That human condition is itself bound up in profound ironies. As we look at the efforts of Biblical figures to persuade people to believe the Gospel, we can learn from their use of irony as they did it.
 



Theme weekend- October 19th & 20th
Created to Make a Difference: Redeeming Human Agency in God’s World

Friday, Oct 19                  
8:00 PM - Creational Dominion and its Fallen Distortions 

Humans were created by God to have agency in the world. To live with true dominion, as God designed it, is still an essential part of human thriving and yet with the Fall this dominion has become corrupted in a myriad of ways. What is true dominion? What are some of the universal ways in which it has been distorted?

~Ben Keyes
 

Saturday, Oct 20
9:30 AM
The Vanishing American Adult: A Field Report on the Crisis of Agency Today        

~Joshua Chestnut

10:15Am
"Self- Love, Self-Help, Self-Control?: Thinking About Dominion from the Inside-Out"

If a biblical understanding of human dominion involves exercising care and responsibility for God's creation, how might we exercise dominion over our inner worlds--our thoughts and feelings?  What might self-control have to do with this endeavor?  We will consider how the Holy Spirit's work of  're-humanizing' us empowers us to do the work of dominion from the inside-out.
~Sarah Chestnut

12:30 Lunch

1:30-3:30 PM - Film showing and Discussion  Film: Making Peace with Creation
~Dave Friedrich

*If you would like to join us for the day on Saturday, please email us your reservation NO LATER THAN Thursday, Oct 4th to southborough@labri.org. The seminar is free, although there is a suggested donation of $5.00 to offset the cost of lunch on Saturday.

*The Saturday portion of this seminar is being given in conjunction with our lecture on Friday evening, Oct 19th- Attendance both days is not required.


*Limited overnight accommodations may be available at L'Abri. Please email southborough@labri.org if you would like to add your name to the waiting list for overnight accommodations, and you will be notified if/when space becomes available.


 

Oct 26  Caring for Creation Part II.  The Glory of the Small: What do butterflies have to do with following Jesus?

Butterflies and moths are among the most intriguing insects of our ecosystems. From their physical transformations to their epic migrations, these fragile little things continue to surprise and challenge us. In this lecture, we will dip our toes into the deep waters of Lepidoptera, and wonder together about how these small creatures play a part in God’s big story.

~Anna Friedrich

 

Nov 2 The Changing Relationship of Young People to Work

From the birth of our nation, the relationship of young people to work has varied according to geography, gender, ethnicity, class, race and religion. But it is a fair to say that in general, young people (children and teenagers) used to be economic assets to their families. For many, young peoples’ work was (and in some cases still is) necessary for family survival. Today, many couples consider children a “luxury” they cannot afford. We will consider some of the consequences of “modern childhood” that emerged with the middle class in the 19th century – a childhood free from labor, dedicated to age-graded schooling and separated from casual (non-professional) relationships with adults.

~Mardi Keyes

 

Nov 9  The Way of Worship after Wayward Worship:  Worship from the Perspective of Ezra

~Dr. Donna Petter

 


 



- Summer Term 2018 - 
(all lectures are given by L'Abri workers unless otherwise noted)

May 18   Gratitude Part III: Toward an Apologetic of Thankfulness
Ben Keyes
Many non-religious Americans view gratitude as an important virtue to cultivate in life. In one sense this seems to be a point of connection with the Christian faith, and yet there are key differences between contemporary and biblical notions of thankfulness. This talk will explore just how common is the common ground of gratitude. How is it that Christians might help direct the gratitude of our culture towards the true giver of all gifts?

 

May 25   Reflections on Women and Sexual Assault in the Era of #MeToo
Mary Frances Giles and
Dr. Janese Free Newell (Assistant Professor of Sociology/Criminology, Emmanuel College, Boston, MA)
Over the course of the past year, the #metoo movement has catapulted sexual harassment and assault, primarily against women, to the forefront of our cultural awareness. There appears to be a shift occurring in our collective American consciousness. Acts of sexual harassment and assault that have been historically overlooked are now being publicly discussed and confronted - from the covers of newspapers to our daily Facebook feeds. This lecture will explore the issues and questions brought forth by this cultural moment from theological, criminological, and sociological perspectives.

 

June 1  Poetry and the Language of Loss
Anna Friedrich
All of us know loss of some sort, whether it's the loss of a friendship, the loss of a season of life, or the more dreaded loss of love, of faith, and finally the loss that death brings. Those who have walked the darker valleys of loss often speak of a lack of resources in our day - where are the cultural practices that help us grieve? Can we affirm God's sovereignty and human grief? Many poets have wisdom to share here. The unique expression of poetry can be a healing place that invites and makes room for the complicated experience of grief. Together in this lecture, we will look at a handful of poets who give voice to, challenge, and wrestle with the reality of loss.

 

June 8  Beneath and Beyond the Sun: A Brief History of The Good Life
Dave Friedrich
In his book, A Secular Age, philosopher Charles Taylor claims that, for millennia, very few people could imagine the good life apart from a transcendent reality. Now many people can. How did this happen? What challenges and opportunities does this bring? And just where is the good life to be found?

 

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Summer Seminar: "A Flash of Eternity: Happiness, Joy and the Good Life"
June 15-16

Friday June 15, 8:00pm   Life’s Elusive Goal: Reflections on Contemporary Views of Happiness
Ben Keyes
What is happiness to the average American today? We are told to do whatever makes us happy and our nation is founded in part on the right to pursue that goal. To achieve happiness is touted as a sufficient source of meaning in life and yet few people seem to understand what it is. How are Christians to understand the longing for happiness that we see around us and in ourselves? Can the Christian faith challenge and comfort an unhappy culture seeking happiness?

 

Saturday June 16, 9:45am  "Happy Are Those”: The Bible's Vision of Happiness and the Obedient Life   & Discussion
Joshua Chestnut
Part of the paradox of modern life is that while everyone claims to want happiness, few if any of us have found it. With so many competing and ultimately self-serving views of happiness on the market, it’s understandable why some Christians have given up on it, but this lecture will outline the unique take that the Bible has on human happiness and the good life.

 

Saturday June 16, 1:30pm  Cultivating Joy: Learning from Flow Psychology, Ecclesiastes, and Jesus
Dave Friedrich
This lecture will compare and contrast what positive psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, the Assembler of Ecclesiastes (also known as the Preacher), and Jesus of Nazareth have to say about the meaning and promotion of joy.

                  *Lectures will include relevant poetry readings and reflections by Sarah Chestnut

*If you would like to join us for the day on Saturday, please email us your reservation NO LATER THAN Thursday, June 14 to southborough@labri.org. The seminar is free, although there is a suggested donation of $5.00 to offset the cost of lunch on Saturday.

*The Saturday portion of this seminar is being given in conjunction with our lecture on Friday evening, June 15. Attendance both days is not required.


*Limited overnight accommodations may be available at L'Abri on the evening of Friday, June 15. Please email southborough@labri.org if you would like to add your name to the waiting list for overnight accommodations, and you will be notified if/when space becomes available.

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June 22   Creative Work is Work (Part 2): What is (and isn't) Artistic Inspiration?
Sarah Chestnut
This lecture will explore conceptions - and misconceptions - about artistic inspiration and experiences of transcendence in the arts, considering questions such as, "Where do ideas come from? Is there something—or someone—other than me involved in the creative process? What is meant by having a ‘transcendent experience’ with a piece of art? What are we after when we engage with art?"
 

June 29   America’s Polarized Politics
Dick Keyes
We will reflect on the nature of our polarization and ask – could Christian people help?

 

July 6   “Surprised by Joy”: Apologetics and the Imagination
Linny Dey (Co-Founder and Dean Emeritus, The Imago School, Maynard, MA)
While “honest answers to honest questions” are still helpful for some, there are fewer questioners and fewer people today who believe that there is one answer that fits all.  If Christianity is the truth which all people need, Christians need to consider ways other than reasoned argument to make that truth clear.  This lecture will look at how understanding the significance of the imagination and our imaginative vision of reality can be an aid in developing a different kind of apologetics.  We’ll look at, among other things, how the great thinker C.S. Lewis’s conversion to Christianity, his being “surprised by joy”, was primarily a conversion of his imagination.

 

July 13  Traveling Plans for Following Jesus as Suggested in “…deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me.”
Dick Keyes
How can you hold together the idea of denying yourself and taking up your cross with the abundant life of following Jesus?

 

July 20  Skills for Being Human in a Smartphone Culture
Joshua Chestnut
From giving you the best route home to tracking your workouts and communicating across the world, no other gadget in human history can compete with a smartphone in its ability to consolidate so much of your life into a device that fits into your pocket. But this convenient consolidation has come with a host of problems, and in this lecture we will consider some of these negative consequences as well as constructive practices with the hope of learning to live well and wisely in this wor