Covenantal Apologetics Colloquium

Call for Papers

Reformed Forum is sponsoring a colloquium for the discussion of developing work in the tradition of covenantal apologetics. The Colloquium will be held online via YouTube and Google Hangouts, on Saturday, December 5, from 7pm to 10pm (EST). For the Colloquium Reformed Forum is calling for papers exploring and advancing the defense of the faith in the covenantal tradition. Papers should explore the principles of covenantal apologetics or apply covenantal principles in theological, philosophical, or cultural apologetics.

Submission Guidelines

  • Maximum 10k words. Include an abstract of approximately 200 words.
  • Submissions are due October 31, 2015, 11:59pm (EST).
  • Submit a .doc or .docx file as email attachment to Submissions will be prepared for blind review and submitted to the panel.
  • Authors must be available to present their papers on the day of the colloquium.
  • Selected papers will be announced by November 25.

Colloquium Format

  • The Colloquium will run from 7pm to 10pm EST.
  • Three papers, selected by the review panel, will be presented.
  • Each paper will be scheduled for approximately 35 minutes for presentation and 15 minutes for questions.


Review Panel:

  • Scott Oliphint, Professor of Apologetics and Systematic Theology, Westminster Theological Seminary; author of Covenantal Apologetics: Principles and Practice in Defense of Our Faith (Crossway, 2013)
  • James Anderson, Associate Professor of Theology and Philosophy, Reformed Theological Seminary, Charlotte; author of What’s Your Worldview?: An Interactive Approach to Life’s Big Questions (Crossway, 2014)
  • William Dennison, Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies, Covenant College; author of In Defense of the Eschaton: Essays in Reformed Apologetics (Pickwick, 2016)


  • Nathan Shannon, Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology, Torch Trinity Graduate University, Seoul
  • Camden Bucey, President, Reformed Forum

Leave a comment


2 years ago

This is a wonderful idea. I look forward to listening/learning from the papers and discussion. Thank you for another great ministry to and for the church.

Scott Terry

2 years ago

I’m not saying that if my essay is selected, Dr. Oliphint would get his car washed and grass cut every weekend, but…

Bruce Sanders

2 years ago

If someone is looking for a topic I suggest an apologetic to address the growing chasm between ongoing scientific discoveries and young-earth-creationists’ teachings. While proponents of the latter have their right to ‘believe,’ their presence in Reformed circles reduces the credibility of the Reformed Church and hence undermines the veracity of the preaching of the gospel.

The idea that natural theology in some instances has more truth than special revelation is not without precedent. Early Reformers such as Calvin, Luther, and Melanchton used Scripture to teach a geocentric world … later found to be a false teaching.

Regarding Genesis 1:1, the Hebrew text does not mean “in the beginning” … beresheet, ending with a tav, is in the construct state, and means “at the start of” (compare Jer 26:1; Jer 28:1, etc). Furthermore, Gen 1:2, “surface of the waters” (and not ice), indicates heat, atmosphere, gravity, mass, hydrogen, oxygen, protons, electrons … in other words, more than 90% of ‘creation’ had already occurred before Day One. Genesis 1 is something other than the “big bang” of science, ‘x’ billions of years earlier.

The second word in Gen 1:1 (spelled beth, resh, aleph) can also be an active participle, and the root does not mean ‘ex nihilo’ (compare the ‘creation’ of man out of the dust of the ground in Gen 1:27 and following). An accurate translation of Gen 1:1 is, “At the start of God’s creating / redeeming the sky and the land, the land was … (unproductive) …”.

The context of Gen 1 is the land … it starts in darkness under the waters (vs.2), rises to become shallow seas in the translucent light (vs. 3), etc … (this theme is already developed by other authors). It ends with the land / dust taking on the form of redeemed man as the start of a new genealogy. If the context of these events is an island rising out of the sea on an inhabited planet earth, then its return to the sea is the context of Noah’s story. This interpretation solves many problems, starting with Cain’s wife not being an outcome of incest. In short, a 10,000-word paper could build an interesting theology to expand on redemptive history.

No matter what interpretation is developed, Part II should propose methods to unify Reformed congregants at large. The scientific naivety and desperate statements by young-earth creationists, especially on the Internet, has become unproductive.

Scott Terry

2 years ago


If you write that paper, I’d happily supply the “opposing” position from a Young Earth perspective.

Speaking anecdotally (although, I believe this is supported by Scripture) non-believers will always find reasons to reject Christianity. If you’ve experienced ridicule concerning Yong Earth creationism, imagine what you’ll experience when you talk about blood atonement or the immorality of homosexuality.

These “intellectual” unbelievers, with all their ridicule of YEC, are, themselves, mired in irresolveable philosophical issues. The “demarcation” problem in the philosophy of science, alone, is embarrassing enough. They can’t even agree on what is or isn’t “science”.

So while I’m not clear on how you’ve derived your beliefs about YEC’s undermining the “veracity” of Christianity (perhaps you’re alluding to a statistical survey or maybe just citing your own intuitions?), it doesn’t seem relevant to me.

Sam Parkison

2 years ago

Does the 10k word count include footnotes?

Camden Bucey

2 years ago

Yes, that’s the intent. We look forward to seeing a submission!


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