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Dr. Cornelius Plantinga, President, Calvin Theological Seminary


February 5, 2011 at 11:00 AM EST


411 Willard Straight Hall

The annual Institute of Biblical Studies, sponsored by Chesterton House, Bethel Grove Bible Church, and New Life Presbyterian Church, is designed to teach from the Scriptures, challenging participants to deepen their knowledge and understanding of God’s Word. Past speakers have included Dr. D.A. Carson, Dr. Walter Kaiser, Dr. Roger Nicole, and Dr. Richard Pratt. 

This year’s guest is Rev. Dr. Cornelius Plantinga, who will be speaking on the theme of The Way It’s Supposed to Be: A Breviary on Christian Virtue. The first lecture will be delivered Friday evening, 7:30pm, on the Cornell University campus, and is free and open to the public. The conference will continue on Saturday and conclude with a Sunday morning sermon.

The New Testament has many joyful directives on how to get a Christian life up and running and then keep it running: Run the race. Keep the commandments. Strive first for the kingdom. Sow to the Spirit. Follow Jesus. These are all powerful practices which set up and maintain a Christian life. But there’s one practice that yokes believers to Jesus Christ in his greatest work. The key to it is the sober truth that Jesus Christ did not die and rise alone. Believers share in these events in painful and glorious ways. In five sessions, the Institute of Biblical Studies will explore how dying and rising with Jesus Christ can yield the virtues that mark a healthy Christian life.


9:00am – Lecture 2: Rising with Compassion

In Colossians 3, compassion is the first virtue mentioned as fitting people who have been raised with Christ. What is the biblical pedigree for compassion, and why is it so essential to a healthy Christian life?


10:45am – Lecture 3: Rising with Humility

Like all virtues, humility has its counterfeits. What are the counterfeits and what is the real thing? What are some of the habits of “highly humble” believers?


1:30pm – Lecture 4: Rising with Forgiveness

Everybody admires forgiveness, said C. S. Lewis, till they have to do it. Why is this virtue so hard to practice? How may believers practice the “craft of forgiveness”? Why is forgiving those who offend us a particularly poignant example of dying and rising with Jesus Christ?



Dr. Cornelius Plantinga is an ordained minister in the Christian Reformed Church and the president of Calvin Theological Seminary where he also teaches systematic theology. He studied at Calvin College, Yale University, Calvin and Princeton Theological Seminaries, and Cambridge University. He pastored at local churches in New York and New Jersey and also taught at Princeton and Fuller Theological Seminaries and held positions at Regent and Calvin Colleges. He is the author of a number of books, including Christianity Today’s book of the yearNot the Way It’s Supposed to Be: A Breviary on Sin (1995), Engaging God’s World: A Christian Vision for Faith, Learning and Living (2002) and Discerning the Spirits:A Guide to Thinking about Christian Worship (2003).

Chesterton House Painting