On Wednesday morning (July 4) at the Presbyterians for Renewal (PFR) breakfast, PFR Executive Director Paul Detterman exuberantly led those gathered in singing beloved old standards such as “On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand” and “Blessed Assurance.” Those present responded with robust harmonization, singing with evident pleasure.
Two awards were given during the breakfast. The Bell-Mackay prize, named for L. Nelson Bell and John A. Mackay, was awarded posthumously to Joyce McMillan. McMillan, a missionary to Taiwan, worked tirelessly on behalf of children from 1960 until her death in 2007. The $5000 award will be given to the Happy Christian Home for children, which McMillan founded.
The other award—the Lydia Fund scholarship—is awarded to women training for ordained ministry in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) that have a vision for spiritual renewal in the church. Kris Johnson, a student at Gordon Conwell Seminary, and Kari Olsen, a student at Princeton Seminary, were this year’s recipients.
Keynote speaker, the Rev. Kenneth Bailey, laid out “theological foundations for sexual practice,” from his extensive exposition of 1 Corinthians, reminding his audience that the tradition rests on “sola scriptura.” Focused on Christian sexual morality, he spoke about the connection between the believer’s body and the body of Christ.
Bailey concluded that “marriage between a man and a woman is meant to be a hymn of praise to God.” He noted that the sexual behavior causing controversy for those in the Corinthian church were not in alignment with this Pauline mandate. For Paul, according to Bailey, sexual ethics rests on the resurrection, the cross, the doctrine of the Trinity, the doctrine of the Church and the doctrine of Creation.
Bailey is a New Testament scholar, well known for vividly detailing aspects of life in the Middle East in biblical times.