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Union planning four major church-related events

JACKSON, Tenn.Aug. 25, 2006 – The beliefs and practices of Baptists, the unity of Scripture and global warming will be the topics for four church-related events sponsored by Union University over the next few months.

The first event, “Baptists in America: Baptist Way or Baptist Ways?” is a symposium scheduled for Oct. 16 on the meaning of the Baptist tradition. Speakers will be Gregory A. Wills, professor of church history at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Bill J. Leonard, dean and professor of church history at Wake Forest University Divinity School.

“This will be an engaging conversation between two distinct Baptist voices,” said Greg Thornbury, dean of Union’s School of Christian Studies. “Both men are widely respected scholars and we’re expecting a thought-provoking dialogue.”

The event will begin at 10 a.m. in Harvey Auditorium in the Student Union Building, with a luncheon and question-and-answer session at 11:30 a.m. Cost for lunch is $5.

The second event, “Evangelicals and Global Warming: A Formal Debate,” will be held Oct. 30 and will feature two key voices in the debate over global warming. David Gushee, the Graves Professor of Moral Philosophy at Union, and Cal Beisner, associate professor of historical theology and social ethics at Knox Theological Seminary, will debate how evangelical Christians should respond to the global warming controversy.

Union University professors Charles Baldwin, the Hammons Professor of Pre-Medical Studies, and Michael Salazar, assistant professor of chemistry, will also participate.

The two-hour debate will begin at 10 a.m. in Union’s Savage Chapel. It is free and open to the public.

The third event will be Union’s second “Baptist Identity Conference” Feb. 15-17. The theme for the conference will be “Convention, Cooperation and Controversy.”

Speakers include Timothy George, dean of Beeson Divinity School; Steve Gaines, pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Cordova, Tenn.; Frank Page, president of the Southern Baptist Convention; Paige Patterson, president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary; Russell Moore, senior vice president for academic administration at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; Thom Rainer, president of LifeWay Christian Resources; Ed Stetzer, missiologist and research team director at the North American Mission Board; and Mike Day, director of missions for the Mid-South Baptist Association in Memphis, Tenn., as well as Union University President David S. Dockery and Thornbury.

The fourth event will be the biannual conference of Union’s R.C. Ryan Center for Biblical Studies, set for April 27-28.

The conference theme will be “One Bible, One Gospel: Exploring the Unity of Scripture.” Speakers for the conference will be Paul House, associate dean and professor of divinity at Beeson Divinity School; Ken Mathews, professor of divinity at Beeson Divinity School; Grant Osborne, professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; and Christian recording artist Michael Card.

Union University Christian studies faculty members will also lead sessions at the conference. Cost is $45 and registration will open this fall.

More details about all events will be forthcoming. For more information or to register, call (731) 661-5117.

Media contact: Tim Ellsworth, news@uu.edu, 731-661-5215

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