Thursday, November 8, 2012

Life, Death and the Doctrine of Man

The 2013 Spring Theology Conference

If, as Scripture reveals in a variety of ways and places, man was created with life, so also was the rest of animate creation that stands in union with him; and death was not present anywhere before the Fall of Man.

That argument will be presented by Pastor Matt Holst, one of the speakers slated to present lectures during the 2013 Greenville Seminary Spring Theology Conference on "The Doctrine of Man." The conference will be held March 12-14 at Woodruff Road Presbyterian Church in Simpsonville, S.C.

"Man is the federal representative of all creation; thus, in principle, man's experience (blessing/cursing, etc.) is also reflected upon the rest of creation," argues Mr. Holst, a graduate of GPTS and pastor of Geneva Orthodox Presbyterian Church on Woodstock, Ga.

Life is an attribute of God which He communicated to the animate creation through the means of "the Breath of Life," "life that is in the blood," the creation of "flesh," and the implantation of "the image of God," Mr. Holst will argue.

The impossibility of death before the Fall can be derived from the doctrine of "covenantal unity of creation," which consists of unity of substance, unity of blessing, unity of cursing, unity of redemption, notwithstanding "disparity of position" within creation, according to Mr. Holst, who will also address issues related to theistic evolution, "scientism," "scientific realism," and materialistic explanations for the nature of creation.

The roster of speakers and their topics is as follows:
  • Dr. Richard Belcher — "The Supernatural Creation of Man" (including examination of modern theories of theistic evolution)
  • Dr. Guy Waters — "The Covenant of Works"
  • Dr. Joel Beeke — "Temptation and Fall" (free Tuesday evening service)
  • Mr. Matthew Holst — "Red in Tooth and Claw? An Exegetical Evaluation of the Doctrine of Death Before The Fall"
  • Dr. Bill Vandoodewaard — "Thomas Boston and the Four-fold State"
  • Dr. Nelson Kloosterman — "Imago Dei – Man, the Image of God"
  • Dr. Joseph Pipa — "Original Sin" (free Wednesday evening service)
  • Dr. Nelson Kloosterman — "The Cultural Mandate and the Great Commission – An Integrationist Model"
  • Mr. Gabriel Fluhrer — "Beware Lest Any Man Spoil You: Questioning the Philosophy of Science Used to Question the Bible's Doctrine of Man"
We see the Doctrine of Man as an increasingly important topic at this time as the biblical understanding of man's origins, nature and purposes is under concerted attack. It is critical for all believers and especially leaders in the church to examine these issues thoughtfully. We hope to see many turn out for this conference and ask that you please encourage your pastors and elders to consider attending. Registration will be available on our website beginning November 15th.