"Does not wisdom call out?
Does not understanding raise her voice?"
Summer 2018 Schedule
This Summer we will offer two different programs at the Davenant House (Lake Lanier, SC): our two-week Protestant Wisdom Program and our week-long Protestant Primer course, both led by Dr. Alastair Roberts and hosted by Grant and Abi Sutherland
June 11-16, 2018: Protestant Primer: a five-day primer in Protestant Philosophy, Ethics, and Politics.
June 18-30, 2018: Protestant Wisdom Summer Program: a ten-day study program in Christian wisdom and faithful citizenship.
Dr. Alastair Roberts is a Teaching Fellow of the Greystone Theological Institute and the Davenant Institute, a leading evangelical blogger and writer, and one of the hosts of the Mere Fidelity podcast. He is lecturing in Christian Ethics at London Seminary, and is author of two books forthcoming from Crossway, Heirs Together: A Theology of the Sexes and Echoes of Exodus: Tracing Themes of Redemption through Scripture. He blogs at www.alastairadversaria.com and also serves as Editor of the Politics of Scripture section of Political Theology Today.
Hailing from Toronto, Grant and Abi Sutherland currently reside in Hamilton, Canada. With its many waterfalls, sprawling trails, and vibrant community, it’s beginning to feel like home to them. Abi studied Sociology at the University of Toronto, and Grant studied Biblical Studies and Theology at Tyndale University. Grant is currently undertaking an MA in Theology at McMaster University, and Abi works as a commercial underwriter at an insurance firm. When not knee-deep in these, you will find them cooking, reading, or making travel plans. And when not behind the stove, keyboard, or a book, they love to hike those sprawling trails. Grant and Abi worship at Hughson Street Baptist church and delight in the opportunities they have to serve their local community.
Tired of Easy Answers to Hard Questions?
For all the good that has come of “Christian worldview” discipleship in recent decades, too often it has relied on polemic generalizations, caricatures, and easy answers. This keeps those in its school dependent on being fed superficial talking points, rather than training them to be attentive to the fine-grained complexity of created reality.
Wisdom, unlike worldview, cannot be downloaded from a server or acquired from a video course. It requires a retrieval of the lost art of conversation and the cultivation of intellectually rich friendship. Wisdom is a gathering of truth in love of God, so as to embody and radiate it to the world. It comes from possessing the principles of reality in the mind, illuminated by the Spirit-filled heart, and for the sake of the knowledge of God and glorifying Him. It makes free men and women capable of prudence and virtuous practice who can lead in their communities as servant heroes.
This is the vision for Davenant House.
THE FIVE THEMES OF DAVENANT HOUSE PROGRAMS
Bible and Core Dogmatics
Sure, you’ve studied the Bible before, but do you understand the grand narrative of Scripture—creation, fall, redemption, new creation? Do you have a sense for which doctrines are central to Protestant faith and which are peripheral. Gain a firmer grounding in your faith through readings from Martin Luther, John Calvin, Zacharias Ursinus, Al Wolters and Todd Billings.
Principles of Christian Philosophy
Given that God equipped us with the gift of reason and called us to the vocation of knowing the world, how is it that we come to knowledge and what can we know? And how, on the Christian view, can an infinite God relate himself to a finite creation? Explore the answers to these foundational questions through readings from Thomas Aquinas, Richard Hooker, Stephen Clark, and Pierre-Marie Emonet.
A Christian Natural Philosophy
So many conflicts today center on the relationship between the data of faith and the data of empirical science, but few pause to consider the more fundamental questions of a philosophy of nature that should help orient both faith and science in their approach to the physical world. Christians of the past thought deeply about the meaning of the natural world and how best to understand its workings. Discover this older, richer understanding of the cosmos through readings of Richard Hooker, Stephen Clark, E.A. Burtt and C.S. Lewis.
Ethics and the Challenge of Modernity
Nowhere has modernity’s assault on the foundations of a Christian understanding of the world been fiercer than in the realm of ethics, and few Christians have been equipped with the tools to resist this assault. Learn how a Christian philosophy of nature anchors a Christian understanding of moral order through readings of Richard Hooker, C.S. Lewis, and Oliver O’Donovan.
Ultimately, Davenant House is about drawing together the wisdom of the Christian intellectual tradition, the unique beauty of Davenant House’s surrounding geography, and the riches of good conversation between friends. It is the accumulated effect of all these things that, with the aid of the spirit, produces wise Christian citizens who have been transformed by divine grace and will be equipped to serve their local communities.
Politics and Faithful Citizenship
As the Religious Right politics that has sustained evangelicalism for three decades has crumbled, Christians are more confused than ever about what their faith means in the public square. Gain new perspective through readings of political theologians of the past and present, including Richard Hooker, Johannes Althusius, John Ruskin, Emil Brunner, and Oliver O’Donovan.
OUR FACILITY AND PROGRAMS
“The combination of rest, fellowship, work, worship, study, lectures, and discussion were deeply gratifying and beneficial to me at a very personal level, and I should think other people would feel the same way. . . . I have to say I thought the program was beautifully constructed and executed. Thank you for helping provide one of the better experiences of my life.”
—David Larson, North Dakota
Full room and board at our beautiful property are provided as part of our summer programs, so we encourage students to be residential for the full experience, although a limited number of commuter students will be accepted. Days will begin and end with prayer together, friendships will be strengthened through times of working together to maintain the beautiful woodland property, and there will be plenty of free time for reading, meditation, and walks in the woods. Students must be 18 or older to participate. Below you will find details for this year’s programs.
ON PHILOSOPHY, ETHICS, & POLITICS
In this intensive five-day primer, students will dig deeper into the intellectual riches of their faith to discover a Protestantism more rooted in the classical and catholic traditions and more able to confront the challenges of modernity. Orienting lectures from Dr. Roberts, and readings from E.A. Burtt, C.S. Lewis, Richard Hooker, John Ruskin, and Oliver O’Donovan will serve as the foundation for wide-ranging Socratic discussions in which students will be encouraged to bring their own questions and hammer out answers in charitable discussion and debate.
The cost for the program is $600 for residential students, and $400 for commuter students. Residential student ticket will include all of their room and board for the period of their stay. Some scholarships are available for students for whom the cost is prohibitive. Early applicants (by March 17) receive a 20% discount.
“Alastair was fantastic. He was both magisterial and approachable. He made the work of Theology something much less abstract than had been taught to me before.”
“The Davenant House has all the ingredients for a stimulating period of intellectual and spiritual growth: excellent books, stirring conversations, homemade meals, stunning nature vistas, and a commitment to pursue wisdom together through communal work, reasoning, and recreation. I’ve never experienced such a unified curricula, where each week—drawing on Aristotle, Aquinas, Calvin, and post-Reformation theologians—built upon the last and the selected texts incrementally brought us closer to the real, enduring, and solid principles of life in God’s world.”
Jonathan Kuo, California
“I did not expect that I would enjoy the program as much as I did. The best part was getting to know the other people. I made great friends while reading great books and working in the woods. Two weeks of almost constant laughter.”
Graham Sommers, Minnesota
Protestant Wisdom Study Program
This program will offer something of an intellectual crash course in how to be an intelligent, faithful and historically-grounded Protestant in the twenty-first century. Beginning with a grounding in key biblical themes and Protestant doctrines, the program will continue with explorations of the four other core themes described above: Philosophy, Natural Philosophy, Ethics, and Politics. Featuring readings, lectures, and discussion seminars each day, it will provide an intense but rewarding time of intellectual stimulation, laying a foundation for faithful Christian discipleship in the modern world, rooted in the wisdom of the past.
The cost for attending the program is $1,200 for residential students, $800 for commuter students. For residential students, their payment will include all of their room and board for the period of their stay. Although we encourage students to be residential for the full experience, a limited number of commuter students will be accepted. Some scholarships are available for students for whom the cost is prohibitive. Early applicants (by March 17) receive a 20% discount.
50% of tuition is payable after your application is accepted and is refundable through May 15; the other 50% is payable on arrival.
“The session times of lecture and discussion truly changed my perspective and opened my eyes in a number of ways I did not expect. The Davenant Institute is doing some great and inspirational work!”
“The Church, now as always, needs open discussion of important, intellectual issues, as well as active collaboration and fellowship among Christians in advancing the mission of the Church, and the Davenant House is a good effort towards that direction.”
Angie Tang, New York
“Being instructed in Theology as a discipline by someone who does it professionally…exceeded my expectations.”