- It is rare to have a United States Senator speak at a church conference. It is even more rare for the Senator to have something theologically interesting to say. On Thursday evening, March 31, Senator Ben Sasse will speak at Christ Reformed Church in Washington, DC (URCNA) on the topic, “The Church as Heaven’s Embassy.” Sasse’s talk is the first of a series of three presentations this spring at Christ Reformed DC addressing the question “Who Needs the Church in a Post-Christian World?” The series will be free to the general public at Christ Reformed DC’s Capitol Hill location, and also available online at its website.
Sasse’s talk will explore how the church functions as “heaven’s embassy,” forming and shaping Christ followers as dual citizens here on earth. Far from making us passive in the affairs of this world, this heavenly calling distinctively shapes our earthly citizenship to be one of selfless love and faithful witness toward our neighbors.
Senator Sasse’s talk has particular relevance for believers working in DC. Many Christians are drawn to DC to make a difference through cultural and political engagement. Too often, however, they fail to recognize the importance of their dual citizenship. Sasse will speak from his own experience about how his heavenly citizenship and church membership forms and shapes his calling in public service.
A Series for a Post Christian World
Christ Reformed DC’s 2022 speaker series seeks to address the realities of living in a post-Christian world and provide a basis for both believers and skeptics to embrace a new role for the church in our society, highlighting the church’s unique and abiding value to our war-torn world, even for those who are not its members. After Senator Sasse’s presentation addressing the church and politics, two additional speakers will join us at Christ Reformed DC.
On Thursday, April 28, Darryl Hart, who teaches history at Hillsdale College, will present “What The Church Can Learn from Benjamin Franklin.” Hart’s talk will explore how the church is called to be in dialogue with our unbelieving neighbors in the world, or in the words of Christ, “be in the world, but not of the world.” Drawing on his recent book, Benjamin Franklin: Cultural Protestant, he will show what the church can learn from secular thinkers such as Franklin, and likewise, what our culture can learn from the church.
On Thursday, May 12, Justin Holcomb will speak on “Abuse, Healing, and the Church.” Holcomb is an Episcopal priest, Professor at Reformed Theological Seminary, and a new co-host of The White Horse Inn radio program. He has extensive experience as a counselor to victims of abuse. His talk will describe how the heartbreaking statistics on various types of abuse do not begin to reveal the darkness and grief experienced by the survivors. However, the work of Jesus Christ deals directly with the effects of abuse. Holcomb will explore how the church can respond and care for survivors in ways that are compassionate, practical, and informed.
Who We Are and the Purpose of this Event
With this series, Christ Reformed DC is returning to its roots. Planted almost fifteen years ago in 2007, the church hosted annual speaker series from 2009–13, on topics such as Calvin in the Capital, Christianity and Politics, Preaching in the Capital, and Finding Comfort in the Gospel: The Genius of the Heidelberg Catechism (and here). Over the years it has been blessed by teaching from speakers such as Michael Horton, W. Robert Godfrey, T. David Gordon, Darryl Hart, David Van Drunen, and others.
The speaker series serves a number of purposes in support of our ministry. Our first and primary goal is that we edify the local church—both our own and neighboring churches—by drawing upon the vast resources of our Reformed heritage. We believe that confessional Christianity possesses abundant wisdom that the church today is desperately in need of hearing.
We also want to make known to our new neighbors on Capitol Hill, the vast majority who are unchurched or post-churched, that we are a safe space to explore the faith and ask questions. We want to engage believers and nonbelievers from all backgrounds and traditions on topics of mutual interest to our community, addressing them from a distinctively Christian and Reformed perspective.
Our prayer is first and foremost that the Lord would continue to preserve and bless us through the ordinary means of grace. We also pray that these upcoming events would open new doors for gospel ministry as we seek ways to lay out the welcome mat for the world around us, and to bring the good news of Jesus Christ to the lost.
©Brian Lee 2022. All Rights Reserved.
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