The fifth annual Reformed Forum Conference will be held October 5–7, 2018 at Hope OPC in Grayslake, Illinois. Our theme will be, “Seeing God: The Deeper Protestant Conception.” We will address important theological challenges and controversies facing the contemporary Reformed church by exploring the theologies of Thomas Aquinas, Karl Barth, and Geerhardus Vos on the beatific vision and glorification of man.
The beatific vision captures the glorious reality believers will experience when Christ returns. “Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2). This presents an important theological question: How shall we be like him? Is it by participating in the divine essence? Is it by being identified with God in a revelatory Christ-event? Does God change his being in some manner to accommodate this new relationship?
Reformed orthodoxy demands a deeper conception.
Our conference theme may sound esoteric, but these are critically important matters facing the Church today as an age-old theological controversy is rising once again. We seek to present a clear thesis that Vos offers the biblical way forward between two forms of divine-human univocism. These are represented by consistent Thomism and modernist Barthianism. Ostensibly, these systems are diametrically opposed to one another, yet Vos’s insights will help demonstrate how Thomism and Barthianism eventually converge in what Cornelius Van Til termed the “Aristotle-Christ-Kant Synthesis.” Through the biblical doctrines of divine immutability, covenant, and the image of God, Vos demonstrates how God enters into a glorious communion bond with his people without deifying them or becoming a creature himself.
We plan to devote several episodes of Christ the Center to this subject leading up to the conference and develop a pre-conference reading list for those who want to get the most out of their experience. We look forward to seeing you in October.