MacDonald Lecture Series

Bible and Theology

Every winter, Central Seminary conducts the MacDonald Lectures Series in Bible and Theology. This lecture series was created in memory of Charles MacDonald, Th.D. (1903-1971), beloved professor of pastoral theology at Central Seminary. Dr. MacDonald pastored churches in Illinois and Michigan before coming to Central Seminary to teach. His gracious and loving approach to the ministry served as an example for many who studied under him and observed his life.

Videos of past lectures can be found here.

2018: Christianity & Culture in the Roman Empire

Dr. Paul Hartog is a churchman, published scholar, and a recognized expert on the early Christian father, Polycarp. He is a frequent speaker and presenter at academic conferences.

Throughout the history of Christianity, leaders have often struggled with how to interact faithfully with broader culture. Early Christians were no different, as they engaged Roman society. Often, Christian values came into direct conflict with the cultural values of their day.  At other times, the tensions were more subtle.  These four sessions will focus especially upon the Christian use of rhetoric in a cultural environment that highlighted and even revered oratorical expertise.  We will examine how Christians used and critiqued rhetoric in and through their evangelism, apologetics, and preaching, and how their responses to their culture still influence us today.    


8:00a–8:30 – Registration / Greet

8:30–9:30 – Session I The Apostle Paul and Culture at Corinth

9:30–9:50 – Coffee / Pastry break

9:50–10:50 – Session II The Roman Understanding and Treatment of Christians
Central Women’s Fellowship will have a session for the ladies during this time – speaker Jodi Rich.

10:50–11:00 – Break

11:00–12:00 – Session III Apologetics (Minucius Felix), Preaching (John Chrysostom), and Roman Culture

12:00–1:00 – Lunch

1:00–2:30 – Session IV From North Africa to the New World: The Patristic Rhetoric of “Religious Liberty”

Lunch will be included with the purchase of a ticket.

Contact Central Seminary with any questions.