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In the Image of God:
A Christian Vision for Love and Marriage
 
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Dr. Louis A. Brighton

Dr. Louis A. Brighton

Dr. Louis A. Brighton is the author of numerous scholarly journals, and his commentary on Revelation was published by Concordia Publishing House in 1999.  He is a 1952 graduate of Concordia Seminary and studied at Cambridge University prior to receiving the Ph.D. in Biblical Languages and Literature in 1991 from Saint Louis University.  Upon seminary graduation, Dr. Brighton served as pastor in England, Illinois, and Kentucky prior to being called to be professor of exegetical theology at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, where he has served since 1974.

Dr. Brighton was born in Saskatoon, Canada and is married to Mary Belle Williams.  They are the parents of five children and ten grandchildren.  He is widely known as an engaging and provocative speaker, and we are pleased to welcome Dr. Brighton as our banquet speaker for Tuesday evening, Sept. 19.

Dr. Scott Bruzek

Dr. Scott Bruzek
The Rev. Dr. Scott Bruzek is the Senior Pastor of St. John Lutheran Church, Wheaton, Illinois.  He has received advanced degrees from Cambridge University and Princeton Seminary in systematic theology, with doctoral work on the Lord's Supper.  His interests lie in pastoral care, the incarnational life, teaching, and missions.           

Workshop Title: Incarnational Marriage:  How the Presence of Christ Matters

Workshop Description: Often it seems there is a lot of talk about Christian marriage without any reference to Christ, especially the incarnate Christ, who gives Himself to us in Word and Sacrament.  Jesus' first miracle happened at a wedding, and His presence there changes everything.  Today Jesus matters for our marriages in just the same way, and when given to His gifts, marriage flourishes.
Dr. Michael Eschelbach

Dr. Michael  Eschelbach 
Dr. Eschelbach earned his Bachelor of Science from Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, Michigan; his Master of Divinity from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana; and his Ph.D. from Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  He currently serves as an Assistant Professor of New Testament Studies and Greek at Concordia University, River Forest, Illinois.  He is currently working on a pre-marital/marriage counseling text and workbook.

Workshop Title:  Ships Passing in the Night?  Biblical Means of Navigating Divorce and Re-marriage 

Workshop Description:  Broken marriages and families have become the rule rather than the exception.  Even among people who would claim a Christian confession, God's Word on the matter and how to follow His will is unclear.  This workshop will present both a biblical perspective and means for shepherding people through these circumstances.

Melissa Fryrear

Melissa Fryrear
Ms. Fryrear holds a Master of Divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary.  She serves as the Gender Issues Analyst within the Government and Public Policy Division for Focus on the Family, Colorado Springs, Colorado. She is committed to proclaiming Biblical truth with regard to the issue of homosexuality, complemented with grace and compassion. She continues to serve as the Church Affiliate Representative for Exodus, the nation's largest organization assisting individuals and families affected by homosexuality.

Workshop Title: Understanding the Roots of Homosexuality

Workshop Description: Male homosexuality is not a pre-determined, biological condition.  The true nature of this condition develops progressively, over time, in the life of a boy and young man.  There are also many common contributing factors, such as family dynamics, peer rejection, sexual abuse, and personality temperament that lead to the evolution of same-sex desires.

Although every woman dealing with female homosexuality is unique in her situation, there are a number of common "roots" existent in the lives of most women affected by lesbian issues.  These factors include relational deficits within the family, sexual abuse, gender role misperceptions, and personality temperament.  Similar to male homosexuality, it develops progressively and as a result of a number of factors.

Mike Haley

Mike Haley
Mr. Haley is the Director of the Gender Issues Department of Focus on the Family, Colorado Springs, Colorado.  He has a degree in Christian education from Biola University and is currently pursuing a master’s in counseling.  He also oversees and speaks at the ministry’s Love Won Out conferences, which offer accurate information and hope to families affected by homosexuality.  He serves as chairman of the board of directors of Exodus International, the world’s largest Christian ministry offering support to individuals who want to walk away from homosexuality.

Workshop Title: How Should the Church Respond to Homosexuality?

Workshop Description: Many Christians are willing to respond to the issues surrounding homosexuality and the people affected by it.  But how we respond is just as important as responding.  The eminent challenge is being Christ-like in an ungodly world. John, in his Gospel, spoke of Jesus as being “full of grace and truth.”  As Christians, our mandate is to be Jesus' visible expression on earth of both His mind and His heart towards homosexual people and homosexuality itself.  Our challenge is to be full of truth, balanced with grace.

Rev. Matthew Harrison

The Rev. Matthew Harrison
Rev. Harrison is currently Executive Director of LCMS World Relief and Human Care Ministries. He received his Bachelor of Arts from Morningside College; his Master of Divinity from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana; and a Master of Sacred Theology, also from Concordia Theological Seminary. He currently represents the LCMS on the boards of Lutheran Services in America and Lutheran World Relief (Baltimore). Rev. Harrison is pursuing a Ph.D. in Systematic Theology at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis.

Workshop Title: Sex, Lies and Marriage: Cohabitation as the Pastoral Challenge of Our Age

Workshop Description:  This workshop will evaluate the challenge which cohabitation poses to pastors, the church, families, and the individuals involved. The workshop will present a definition of marriage, evaluate reasons couples cohabit and over practical responses for assisting such couples. The presenter's Second Thoughts on Living Together (CPH 2006) will be the primary text for the presentation.

Rob Jackson

Rob Jackson
Mr. Jackson has provided professional counseling through his private practice since 1991. He offers workshops, seminars, and intensives for individuals, couples, and families. Having earned a master of science in clinical psychology in 1986, he is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Colorado and Mississippi and a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Washington. He is a National Board Certified Counselor and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors.  He has served as an adjunct professor for a seminary, an instructor for a university, and an instructor for a high school. He is a licensed and ordained minister and deacon.

Workshop Title: Treating Intimacy Disorders: The Iceberg TM Method and the Example of Sex Addiction

Workshop Description: Sex addiction wounds both spouses and is the result of sin's trauma, arrested personality development, and underlying intimacy disorders. Sadly, Christians are as likely to suffer from sex addiction as are non-Christians. Most churches lack comprehensive recovery ministries that treat the whole person and the family system. Christian counselor Rob Jackson will help participants learn how to respond to sex addiction with his original treatment method, the Iceberg TM.

Dr. Nathan Jastram

Dr. Nathan Jastram
Dr. Jastram received his academic degrees from the University of South Dakota; Concordia Theological Seminary; and Harvard University. He is currently the Chairman of the Theology Department at Concordia University, Mequon, Wisconsin.  He is the author of “Man as Male and Female: Created in the Image of God,” Concordia Theological Quarterly 68, no. 1 (2004).

Workshop Title: The Spitting Image of Love

Workshop Description: When a man and a woman marry each other, they form a spitting image of love. All too often the spitting turns ugly; but the teaching that God created man, male and female, in the image of God shows that the spitting image can be a beautiful reflection of a heavenly reality. The help that marriages need is built into the institution of marriage and into the love that gives it life.

Maggie Karner

Maggie Karner
Mrs. Karner holds a Bachelor of Science in humanities from Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana.  She is currently the Director of Life Ministries for the LCMS World Relief and Human Care Department, St. Louis, Missouri.  Her interest in promoting teen chastity is a hallmark of her work with LCMS Life Ministries.  Maggie has written articles and spoken to young people on teen chastity at a variety of LCMS churches, as well as the LCMS Youth Gathering in Orlando, and at the Higher Things Youth Gathering in Seattle and St. Louis.

Workshop Title: It’s Not About The Birds And The Bees Anymore: Talking To Teens About Sex and Relationships When They Think You’re Clueless

Workshop Description: Hang on for the ride, ‘cause it’s a whole different world out there!  Guiding kids through the tough choices in a sex-obsessed culture can be pretty scary.  Get the facts and get some encouragement to help your kids through the teen years.

Dr. David Ludwig and Mrs. Kathy Ludwig

Dr. David Ludwig and Mrs. Kathy Ludwig
Dr. Ludwig holds a Master of Divinity from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri and a Ph.D. in psychology from Washington University, St. Louis.  He is currently a Professor of Psychology at Lenoir-Rhyne College, Hickory, North Carolina.  He is also the Director of The Power of WE: Center for Family and Community Relations at Lenoir-Rhyne College.

Mrs. Ludwig earned a Bachelor of Science in Education from Concordia University, River Forest, Illinois.  She is a co-presenter with her husband in numerous seminars and family retreats. 

Workshop Title: Marriage: The Joy of Faithfulness

Workshop Description: God's design for marriage is exciting and brings deep fulfillment to life.  The "one flesh" of the marriage is an actual spiritual structure (called a WE) that is built on the cornerstone of Christ for the Christian marriage.  Fidelity is a critical part of a healthy WE that spawns trust and allows wonderful depth and closeness

Dr. Gilbert Meilaender

Dr. Gilbert Meilaender
Dr. Meilaender holds a Ph.D. from Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey.  He teaches at Valparaiso University, where he holds the Phyllis and Richard Duesenberg Chair in Christian Ethics.  Dr. Meilaender has published eleven books and numerous articles.  Among the books is Friendship: A Study in Theological Ethics; Faith and Faithfulness: Basic Themes in Christian Ethics.  Bioethics is one of the areas to which Dr.  Meilaender has given considerable attention in his teaching and writing.  He is a Fellow of the Hastings Center and has been a member of the President's Council on Bioethics since it was established in January, 2002.

Plenary Topic:  Marriage as a Form of Life

Description:  Although our culture thinks of marriage largely in terms of choice and consent, marriage as a form of life involves much more than that.  Understanding this "more" requires thinking about the moral meaning of the body, the history our commitments need, and the relation between the generations.

Rev. Richard Nuffer

The Rev. Richard Nuffer
Rev. Nuffer holds a Master’s degree from Baylor University's School of Law.  He practiced law in Texas, specializing in civil litigation. He received his Master of Divinity from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana.  He is a member of the CTS faculty where he is an Assistant Professor of Pastoral Ministry and Missions. He also serves as Director of Vicarage.   

Workshop Title:  Love, Marriage, and the Law of the United States

Workshop Description:  This workshop will examine the current state of marital law in the United States, with a special emphasis upon the intersection of law and theology in the area of marriage.  Topics addressed will include common law marriage, domestic partnership law, covenant marriage, and the redefinition of marriage itself.

Rev. John T. Pless

The Rev. John T. Pless
Rev. Pless earned a Masters of Divinity from Trinity Lutheran Seminary, Columbus, Ohio. He later completed the colloquy process at Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana.  He currently serves as an Assistant Professor of Pastoral Ministry and Missions and Director of Field Education at CTS. He is also the Editor of For the Life of the World magazine.

Workshop Title: Luther on Marriage: Creation and Cross

Workshop Description: This workshop will examine Martin Luther’s theology of marriage as it is rooted in the created order and lived out under the cross. Luther’s doctrine of vocation, especially the “three orders,” shaped his teaching and preaching about sexuality and marriage. Using the reformer’s understanding of marriage as the arena for faith and love, the workshop will probe the implications of Luther’s work for the pastoral care of marriages in our own day.
Dr. Randall Schroeder

Dr. Randall Schroeder
Dr. Schroeder a Bachelor of Arts from Concordia University, River Forest, Illinois; a Master of Divinity degree from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana; and a Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Counseling from The Chicago Theological Seminary, Chicago, Illinois. He currently serves as an Assistant Professor of Pastoral Ministry and Missions at CTS.

Workshop Title: ABUSE:  The Silent Sin

Workshop Description: We can never underestimate the pain caused by both verbal abuse and domestic violence.  Domestic violence occurs every 15 seconds in the United States and verbal abuse is even more prevalent.  Unfortunately, Christian marriages and families are not immune from these sins of abuse.  Learn the warning signs and understand the impact of abuse in Christian marriages.

Workshop Title: Apologizing and Forgiving: The 'Heart' of a Christian Marriage

Workshop Description: A fundamental truth is that Christian spouses experience pain in marriage. Just as Christianity may be called the Good News of forgiveness, this same Good News heals marital relationships. For a satisfying, rewarding relationship, learn the practical aspects of apologizing and forgiving for marriage in the Christian vision.

Dr. Harold Senkbeil

Dr. Harold Senkbeil
Dr. Senkbeil received his Master of Divinity and Master of Sacred Theology from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana. His contributions to the church at large were recognized by Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri, in the bestowing of the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity.  He is an Associate Professor, Pastoral Ministry and Missions and D.Min. Supervisor at CTS.  He is the author of Dying to Live: The Power of Forgiveness (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1994) and When the Crying Stops: Abortion's Aftermath (Milwaukee: Northwestern Publishing House, 1992). 

Workshop Title: And Such Were Some of You–Sexual Sin and Pastoral Care

Workshop Descriptions: Sins of the body wreak deep havoc on the soul.  This workshop focuses on the spiritual care of those who are victims or perpetrators of sexual sin, addressing both guilt and shame, providing healing and restoration in Christ.
Glenn Stanton

Glenn. Stanton
Mr. Stanton earned a Master’s Degree in interdisciplinary humanities from the University of West Florida, Pensacola, Florida. He is the Director of Global Insight for Cultural and Family Renewal and Senior Analyst for Marriage and Sexuality at Focus on the Family, Colorado Springs, Colorado.  He is the author of My Crazy, Imperfect Christian Family (NavPress, 2004), an exploration of the value of imperfect families.

Workshop Title: My Crazy Imperfect Christian Marriage 

Workshop Description: Glenn Stanton, drawing from his provocative book, My Crazy Imperfect Christian Family, explores the larger picture of what marriage is in the Christian story and how the idea of the perfect, idealistic is a myth. But rather than being bad news, he shows how incredible this news is, because perfect marriages have no need of Christ. Using illustrations from scripture and his own life, Mr. Stanton shows how the imperfectness of our own marriages is one of the deepest ways Christ brings His redemption and transformation to our lives.

Worshop Title: Why Not Gay Marriage?

Worshop Description: Glenn Stanton debates the issue of same-sex marriage at major universities around the nation and trains local leaders how to defend natural marriage with intelligence and compassion. In this workshop, Stanton shares the answers hea has hones in the rough and tumble of this debate to the top 10 questions in this important national discussion.

Dr. William C. Weinrich

Dr. William C. Weinrich
Dr. Weinrich holds a Master of Divinity degree from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri, and received his Doctor of Theology degree from the University of Basel, Switzerland. He currently serves as a Professor of Historical Theology and Academic Dean at CTS. In addition, Dr. Weinrich is the Book Review Editor for the Concordia Theological Quarterly.

Plenary Topic: Man and Woman: Spiritual Dimensions of a Fleshly Distinction

Description: The gender distinction of male and female is not merely a “natural” or social distinction; it is also a spiritual distinction which indicates the human vocation to which each person is called. Male and female are not extraneous to our personal humanity.  They are manners of living as human persons.
Daniel Weiss

Daniel Weiss
Mr. Weiss earned a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin.  He is the Senior Analyst for Media & Sexuality at Focus on the Family, Colorado Springs, Colorado.  Daniel tracks the cultural developments, business trends and media messages that contribute to the mainstreaming of pornography.  He has also spoken about pornography at the U.S. Capitol, before the Colorado House of Representatives and at various retreats and workshops. 

Plenary Topic: We've Come Undone: Human Division and Sexual Disintegration

Description: Using the proliferation of pornography and immorality as his starting point, Daniel Weiss explores our world's greater sexual and spiritual breakdown through the lens of division: between humans and God, husband and wife, women and men, and internally between body, mind and spirit. By understanding the core of this global division and disintegration, Christians can more fully articulate the Gospel message of reconciliation with God and others, leading the church to recover a hopeful, Christian vision for sexuality and the human person.

Workshop Title: How to Talk about Sex, Even in Church

Workshop Description: It's one thing to understand God's design for sexuality, but another matter entirely to share it with others. In this workshop Daniel Weiss addresses some of the common problems keeping Christians from talking about sex and equips parents, spouses, singles, teachers and pastors to share a Biblical vision of sexuality without discomfort, embarrassment or fear.
Christopher West

Christopher West
Mr. West is Christopher West is a fellow of the Theology of the Body Institute, at the Pope John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family, Washington, D.C. All three of his books:  Good News About Sex & Marriage, Theology of the Body Explained, and Theology of the Body for Beginners have become Catholic best sellers and his supplemental Marriage Prep program, God’s Plan for a Joy-Filled Marriage, has been embraced by numerous dioceses and parishes.

Plenary Topic: Theology of the Body: A Refreshing Biblical Approach to Sexual Morality

Description: We live in a world so starved for love that we’re often willing to eat out of a dumpster to satisfy that hunger.  What is needed to respond to the crisis of our day is not a list of prohibitions but a proclamation of the glorious banquet presented by the scriptures.  Christ took on flesh to reveal to the world the true meaning of the human body.  Right from the beginning, as the apostle Paul tells us, the one flesh union was a foreshadowing of Christ’s union with the church. (Eph. 5:31-32)  What does this teach us about the theological meaning of the human body and sexuality? In this presentation Christopher West will demonstrate how the biblical view of the body and sexuality corresponds perfectly with the most noble aspirations of the human heart for love and union.

Workshop Title: Proclaiming the Gospel to a Pornified World

Workshop Description: Spousal theology looks to the nuptial bookends of the Bible– the marriage of Adam and Eve in Genesis and the marriage of the lamb in the book of Revelation–as a key for interpreting and proclaiming the Gospel itself.  Why was Christ so compassionate with sexual sinners, particularly women?  Could it be because he knew that they were actually looking for Him, the true bridegroom?  In this presentation Christopher West will demonstrate that the world is a mission field ready to soak up the authentic Biblical vision of human sexuality and that a theology of the body presents a key to proclaiming the Gospel in the modern world.
Lauren Winner

Lauren Winner
Mrs. Winner has degrees from Columbia and Cambridge universities and is currently at work on her doctorate in the history of American religion.  She is the author of three books:  Girl Meets God, Mudhouse Sabbath, and Real Sex: The Naked Truth about Chastity.  Her essays have been included in The Best Christian Writing.

Plenary Topic: Allowing Sex to be Ordinary

Description: Mrs. Winner will sketch the ways that marital sex is quite different from extra-marital sex, and will challenge Christians to present marital sex as truly good news.
Dr. Beverly Yahnke

Dr. Beverly Yahnke
Dr. Yahnke is a clinical psychologist and the Executive Director of Christian Counseling Services in Milwaukee.   Her clinical work allows her to serve children and families requiring traditional psychological services where she also invites her clients to bring the resources of their faith with them into the counseling setting  Dr. Yahnke has written numerous articles in the area of psychology, education and faith.

Plenary Topic:  When God's Good Gifts are Defiled:  The Sinner and the Sinned Against
 
Description: When the Christian vision of love and marriage is shattered, the spiritual and emotional debris can leave souls and lives wounded or paralyzed.  The church must bring light, life, and holy consolation into the darkness of this despair.  Conferees will be challenged to examine how pastors and laity alike can become compassionate torch bearers of truth and hope for their flock, their families and their neighbors.

Rev. Philip Zielinski

The Rev. Philip Zielinski
Rev. Zielinski earned a Bachelor of Arts from Concordia University, River Forest, Illinois, and a Master of Divinity from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana.  He is presently serving as Associate Pastor of Christ Lutheran Church, Platte Woods, Missouri

Workshop Title: Sex and Marriage: Gift of God, Image of Grace

Workshop Description: This workshop will offer a sexual education curriculum presenting sex within the context of marriage as an institution established by God for one man and one woman to enjoy as a life-long relationship. It will help prepare the students for sexually pure lives in an increasingly promiscuous society which does not value the life-long commitment of marriage and its purposes established by God.

 

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