The Freed-Hardeman Lectureship came to an end Thursday and brought a close to Crying Out to God: Praise and Prayer in the Psalms.” This 73rd annual lectureship was well attended with over 2,000 registrants plus the student body.
Winford Claiborne, the well read host of the International Bible Hour led off at 7:30. Claiborne’s great strength is his intense familiarity with the most dangerous social and cultural movements. Unyielding in his defense of truth this former lectureship director the peace that comes when brethren dwell together in unity.
Bible Department Chairman Billy Smith addressed the 8:30 group on the subject of Godly hope. Later in the day listeners were still commenting on the strength of that lesson.
Dr. Jack Lewis, an impressive scholar with earned Ph.D’s from both Harvard and Hebrew Union, discussed Psalm 51:5 where David declares that he was conceived in sin. Lewis noted that this had become a favorite proof text for those who hold Calvin and Augustine’s view of original sin. Through a careful analysis of the text, the language, the context and other parallel passages, Lewis demonstrated the fallacies of the total depravity doctrine. As with all lessons, recordings are available through the University website.
Open Forum ended on a quite note. Ralph Gilmore has done a remarkable job of encouraging critical thinking throughout the week. Not everyone agrees with everything they heard. However that is the strength of Open Forum. It forces people to rethink and re-evaluate their ideas and positions.
Next year the Freed-Hardeman Lectureships will focus on 1st and 2nd Corinthians. I am already planning on being present for what will surely be enlightening and very pertinent to the present age.