RIGHTEOUSNESS FROM GOD:
The Revolutionary Message of Romans
In 57 A.D. a Palestinian Jew sat down and wrote a long letter introducing himself to a group of Romans, citizens of the Empire and inhabitants of the greatest, most powerful city on earth. The result of this unlikely correspondence is what the English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge would later call "the most profound book in existence." Paul's letter to the Romans is the fullest, richest, most comprehensive examination of God's provision of salvation, an essay so majestic the commentator Godet deemed it "the cathedral of the Christian faith."
Perhaps no other book, outside of the gospels, has had so great an impact over the centuries. For example, in the year 386 A.D. a dissolute young professor of rhetoric named Aurelius Augustinius picked up a Bible, which fell open to the book of Romans. There his eye fell upon the words "not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature" (13:13-14). His heart convicted, the professor renounced his wicked past and became a Christian, and the man the world would come to know as Saint Augustine went on to develop into one of the most influential scholars in the history of Christianity.
One of the greatest religious upheavals in history was launched on October 31, 1517 – almost exactly 500 years ago – when a German monk named Martin Luther penned his 95 Theses. Luther, who for many years had struggled to pacify his tormented conscience by strenuous works of religious merit, had been appointed to teach the book of Romans at the University of Wittenberg. He learned from Paul's letter that salvation is not earned by human righteousness, but that "The righteous will live by faith" (1:17). This insight not only gave Luther spiritual peace, but it provided the spark which ignited what we know today as the Protestant Reformation.
The Methodist revival, which swept over this country like a mighty force in the eighteenth century and had a profound spiritual impact on millions, began in a small Bible study in London in 1738 when John Wesley heard someone reading from Luther's Preface to Romans and for the first time understood, in a personal way, that the death of Jesus was for his benefit.
The utopian, humanistic religious liberalism which held sway at the turn of this century fell by the wayside when a Swiss theologian named Karl Barth, disillusioned by the carnage of World War I, published in 1918 a commentary on Romans which reaffirmed its sobering message of the sinfulness of sin and the "Godness" of God.
Here at Harding University, generations of college students took Jimmy Allen’s class on Romans and testified to the way his lectures opened their eyes, often for the first time, to the richness of God’s salvation. As Jimmy often said, “If you ‘get’ Romans, God will get you.”
And, of course, the greatest spiritual impact of this remarkable book has been in the hearts of countless Christians who have been transformed by this sweeping exposition of sin, salvation, sanctification, and God's sovereignty and have experienced for themselves the “righteousness” from God” (Romans 1:17, 3:22).
That’s why the theme of the 2017 Harding Bible Lectureship will be “RIGHTEOUSNESS FROM GOD: The Revolutionary Message of Romans.” I encourage you to mark your calendar for September 24-27, 2017 and join us for a rich spiritual experience!
-Dan Williams, Lectureship Director
2017 KEYNOTE SPEAKERS
Alan Robertson is the oldest son of The Duck Commander. He grew up hunting and fishing and helped build the foundation of the family business in the ’70s and ’80s. Alan returned to the family business after serving in full-time ministry for more than 25 years. Alan plays a vital role in his family’s commitment to spreading the gospel of Christ through their love of hunting and the great outdoors.
Alan and his wife Lisa have been married for over 32 years and are parents of two grown daughters who are married to bearded men. Alan and Lisa are also proud grandparents to three granddaughters and two grandsons. They are expecting their 6th grandchild in September. They all live in West Monroe, Louisiana.
Alan will be speaking on Sunday, September 24 at 7:00 p.m. on "I Am Not Ashamed of the Gospel."
Jeff Jenkins serves the Lewisville church of Christ as the preaching minister. He has been preaching for nearly forty years. He is a graduate of Freed-Hardeman University, where he currently serves on the Board of Trustees. He also serves on the Lads-to- Leaders Board of Directors. Jeff is blessed to be involved in many gospel meetings and lectureships. He is co-founder and co-director of The Jenkins Institute which is committed to helping preachers. Jeff and his wife, Laura, have two children and two grandchildren.
Jeff will be speaking on Monday, September 25 at 9:00 a.m. on "The Power of God" (Romans 1:16).
Dr. Harold Shank serves as the President of Ohio Valley University. This private, faith-based, liberal arts college associated with the churches of Christ serves students throughout the northeast from its location in Vienna, West Virginia. Both Harold and Sally speak widely in churche
s of Christ. They also host the twice yearly Barnabas Couples for younger ministers and spouses. Harold blogs regularly on Facebook (Haroldshank) and on his web site. He is currently writing a commentary on the book of Deuteronomy.
Before he began his presidency at Ohio Valley University, Dr. Shank was a tenured Professor of Old Testament at Oklahoma Christian University and also served with the Christian Chronicle, an international publication serving churches of Christ. Originally from Indiana, Pennsylvania, Harold’s family came to Christ when he was a teenager.
Dr. Shank’s experience in Christian higher education and ministry runs deep. Harold and Sally were part of a team that planted the Northtown congregation in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and for 20 years he served as the preacher for the Highland Church of Christ in Memphis, Tennessee, where he was involved in helping to establish several urban ministries. He taught for 22 years at two Christian universities. He has also been active in short term missions work in Belize and Ukraine.
He received his undergraduate degree in Bible from Oklahoma Christian University. He holds an M.A. and an M.A.R. degree from the Harding School of Theology; and received his Ph.D. in Theology from Marquette University. He has written seven books (see http://www.haroldshank.com/books/)
Harold and his wife Sally are both members of the Camden Avenue Church of Christ in Parkersburg, W.Va. They have two adult sons.
Dr. Shank will speak on Monday, September 25 at 7:00 p.m. on the topic of "Righteousness From God."
Phil Brookman, a 2005 Oklahoma Christian Graduate, is the preaching minister at the Memorial Road Church of Christ in Edmond, OK. He earned his M.A. in Bible from Oklahoma Christian in 2009, and has been preaching for four years after spending his first seven in youth ministry. He has been married for 11 years to Mary and has two beautiful daughters. Phil loves being formed by God’s word and sharing that word with others.
Phil will be speaking on Tuesday, September 26 at 9:00 a.m. on "Peace With God" (Romans 5:1-11).
Lamont Ross has been the Senior Minister of the Marsalis Avenue Church of Christ in Dallas, Texas since January 2015. Prior to that, he served seven years as the congregation’s Family and Youth Minister and was the Youth Minister at the Eastside Church of Christ in Austin, Texas for six years. Lamont’s engaging style has touched people of all ages, ethnic backgrounds, and walks of life.
He holds a Master of Arts in Theological Studies from the Austin Graduate School of Theology and a Masters in Professional Counseling. He graduated with honors from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Science in Communication Studies.
Brother Ross has been preaching for over 20 years. He is the author of Real Life Studies, a Bible study series that addresses contemporary issues from a Biblical perspective. He is a seminar director for PREPARE/ENRICH,
equipping therapists, clergy and marriage educators with valuable tools to empower engaged and married couples. He and his wife, Stacy, have three children.
Lamont will be speaking on Tuesday, September 27 at 7:00 p.m. on "For Everyone Who Believes."
Alexander Jamerison lives in Searcy, AR with his wife Mercedes. He is the Assistant Director of Admissions for Harding University. Alexander graduated from Harding with a Bible and preaching degree. He is currently finishing his Masters of Arts in Christian Ministry. Alexander has traveled and preached in various places on behalf of the university and through his ministry, Preaching the Distance. He has recently been named Director of Diversity for Church Relations effective August 2017.
Alexander will speak on Wednesday, September 27 at 9:00 a.m. on "More Than Conquerors" (Romans 8:28-39).
On June 1, 2013, Dr. Bruce McLarty became the fifth president of Harding University. Prior to that, he served the University for eight years as the VP for Spiritual Life and for three years as the dean of the College of Bible and Ministry.
Bruce was born in Nashville, TN, and grew up in Oklahoma, Arkansas and Tennessee. He graduated from Harding College with a B.A. in Bible in 1978, from Harding School of Theology with the M.Th. in 1982, and from Ashland Theological Seminary with the D.Min. in 2010. He spent twenty five years as a preacher, working with churches in Marks, MS, Memphis and Cookeville, TN, Searcy, AR, and Meru, Kenya.
Bruce and his wife, Ann, have been married for 37 years and have two grown daughters and three grandchildren.
Dr. McLarty will close our Lectureship on Wednesday, September 27 at 7:00 p.m. with a presentation on "The Churches of Christ Salute You" from Romans 16:16.
2017 SCHEDULE NOW AVAILABLE!
Exhibit / Vendor Info
"RIGHTEOUSNESS FROM GOD : The Revolutionary Message of Romans"
Exhibit information is in the link below. Exhibit spaces are reserved on a first-come, first-served basis.
The 2014 and 2015 Lectureship recordings are available for download at Lectureship Archive. The 2016 recordings will be available soon.
The 2016 recordings are already available, with several previous year's classes and keynotes, at
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