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The Meaning of Church Authority: Second Annual DC Regional Convivium Irenicum

April 28

$15 - $25

The Meaning of Church Authority


Second Annual DC Regional Convivium Irenicum

April 28, 2018

Protestants since Luther have struggled to understand the nature of church authority in light of the priesthood of all believers and Scripture’s final authority. If every believer has direct and immediate access to Christ through the new covenant, and if Scripture is our final authority, is any role left for church authority? If so, what exactly is it?
For several centuries following the Reformation, Protestants gave much thought to these questions, while many evangelicals today wouldn’t know where to begin. Which suggests we have a default setting toward individualism, and any talk of church authority sounds intuitively authoritarian. Luther argued that every believer could contradict popes and counsels based on Scripture. The pope in turn predicted the church would splinter into a thousand pieces. And does not our own era of “Internet churches” prove him correct?
So what exactly is church authority? Is it political? Sociological? Moral? Spiritual? What sanction does it possess? What enforcement mechanism? This regional Convivium Irenicum will draw both from the Bible and earlier Protestants for the purposes of resourcement.
Davenant’s Convivia Irenica aim to to build bonds of friendship and collaboration between Christian scholars, pastors, and theologically-concerned laypeople in the course of discussing and debating key questions facing the church today, in light of the historic Protestant tradition.





9:00-9:30 AM: Coffee served.

9:30-10:30 AM: Jonathan Leeman (9Marks), “Matthew 18:20 and Church Authority as a Matter of Agreement on What  Scripture Teaches”

10:30-10:45 AM: Break

10:45-11:45 AM: Bradford Littlejohn (The Davenant Institute), “‘The Word of God is Living and Active’: The Power of God’s Words and Human Words in the Life of the Church”

11:45 AM-12:45 PM: Lunch (provided onsite)

12:45-1:45 PM: Matthew Tuininga (Calvin Theological Seminary), “‘The Kingdom of Christ is Spiritual’: Spiritual and Political Power in the Church”

1:45-2:00 PM: Break

2:00-3:15 PM: Panel discussion (Jonathan Leeman, Bradford Littlejohn, Matthew Tuininga, Chad van Dixhoorn, Joseph Minich)

Attendees will be welcome to continue conversation at a local pub following. 


April 28
$15 - $25
Event Category:


Christ Reformed Church
1405 15th St. NW
Washington, DC 20005 United States
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27 available
Student Ticket$15.00All current students may purchase tickets at this special rate.

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24 available
Regular$25.00All non-student attendees must purchase a regular ticket to attend this event.

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