2015 Biblical Study Tour: Finding God when the church is adrift
BST, 24-31 October 2015
Click to listen to a brief update (31 May 2015).Click here to download.
Every Biblical Study Tour is designed to strengthen faith, build connections among believers eager to learn, and bring the Bible to life as we transport ourselves back into history.
This year we will focus Church History. We'll explore all wings of the Reformation, including the most radical reformers (the Anabaptists). History comes alive when previous generations struggled with our own issues -- materialism, traditionalism, legalism in the church... It’s inspiring how valiantly believers struggled to break out of medieval Christianity into a more biblical faith!
Every day we'll visit sites that played crucial roles in the Reformation, surrounding such eminent figures as Luther, Zwingli, and Calvin -- as well as the countless significant members of the Radical Reformation.
Lectures will be presented by Steve Staten (Chicago), Joey Harris (Augusta), Rolan Monje (Manila), German and Swiss believers, and yours truly. I will share my own commentary at each of the sites we visit.
The goal is to afford a clear understanding of why the abuses of the late medieval church led to the Reformation, and how this in turn triggered further Protestant developments as well as the Catholic Counter-Reformation. You will emerge from the 2015 BST with a good grasp of the 16th century, and understand why it is the hinge between the Middle Ages and the modern era.
ARRIVAL (GERMANY) & DEPARTURE (SWITZERLAND)
Saturday 24 October, in Berlin. The tour begins with dinner at 7pm of the 24th.
All participants would need to arrive at the hotel by the time of the dinner, for orientation. (Please do not arrive at the airport after 5:30 pm, to ensure you make the opening dinner.)
You fly to Berlin; we will take buses around several European cities, including Berlin, Wittenberg, Zurich, and Geneva.
Saturday 31 October, from Geneva. The tour ends with breakfast on the 31st (closing dinner is on the 30th).
The tour is limited to 40 persons. Signed up so far: 25.
MAIN TOUR & POST-TOUR
Every day we will have breakfast, usually begin our program 9:00 am, and explore important Reformation sites. Most days there are 2-3 hours of free time, for fellowship or extra exploration. We will also have at least an hour a day of teaching on church history (post-tour, several hours).
- Saturday 24 Oct: Plan to arrive in Berlin no later than 5 pm. Make your way to the hotel, Park Inn by Radisson Alexanderplatz, Orientation at 7 pm.
- Sunday 25 Oct: Church service with Gemeinde Christi; guided city tour--explore Berlin (Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie, etc). Free time. Dinner.
- Monday 26 Oct: More time to explore Berlin, lecture with Berlin disciples.
- Tuesday 27 Oct: Wittenberg: a private walking tour of the Castle Church grounds (including the door where the 95 theses were nailed, and Luther’s home) with class. We will visit the Mother Church of the Reformation and the little church next to it, Corpus Christi Chapel where we will have a service followed by lunch on your own. From here we continue towards Zurich, overnighting en route in Nuremberg, with dinner at a local restaurant. Maritim Hotel Nuremberg.
- Wednesday 28 Oct: Head to Zurich. Free time to explore city. Dinner at hotel; evening lecture along with Zurich disciples. Ramada Zurich City.
- Thursday 29 Oct: Departure 9:30; Grossmünster church, from which Zwingli launched the Swiss Reformation; the river where the Anabaptists were drowned; head to Lausanne (location of our Geneva area hotel). Dinner at hotel, followed by class.
- Friday 30 Oct: Geneva, including panoramic tour of city; site of John Calvin's preaching; Reformation Museum. Hotel Alpha Palmiers. Closing dinner in outside restaurant.
- Saturday 31 Oct: Departure. For POST-TOUR, visit CERN, followed by buffet lunch and special seminar on Science & Faith. We will be joined by quite a few local Christians on that day.
- Sunday 1 Nov: Departure for Post-Tour group. Church with Geneva Christians.
Special post-tour seminar
If you would like to stay one extra day (departing 1 November), you will have a chance to visit CERN (the Large Hadron Collider) and participate in a special seminar on The Church & Science: Unnecessary Battles. The cost is $269 (one night's hotel, bus charge, and a $99 tuition fee). If you are staying in a private home, the price is $120. You may also want to join L'Église du Christ on Sunday 1 November. If you're interested, please indicate by email.
European 4-star hotels, double-occupancy. If you are coming alone, we will try to arrange a roommate, though if you are signing up later in the year this cannot be guaranteed. (Single rooms: available at a supplement of $545.)
Some local Christians in Berlin, Zurich, and Geneva can provide housing, on a first-come basis. There is one night en route when we will all be in a hotel, but the option is available for all other nights. You will need to arrange your own transit within the various cities to / from our meeting point. We cannot guarantee that friends in each city will be able to drive you, but there are always other ways of getting around.
PAYMENT & PASSPORT
The price for the BST is $2349. For those who participated in the BST last year, this is about $150 more--yet this includes an extra day (good deal). If you are prefer to stay with fellow Christians, then the price is $1494. Includes: Hotel (double occupancy), all breakfasts & dinners, site admissions, coach travel, all tips. Does not include: Travel to Berlin (airfare), lunches, or the post-tour.
There are four ways to pay. You may pay by US check or UK cheque to BST, 2256 Rushmore Dr, Marietta GA 30062. Or use any major credit card (2.2% will be added to cover processing), or a debit card linked with VISA or MasterCard. Or you may pay by PayPal, to "True & Reasonable, Inc.," or "T&R, Inc.," or "Douglas Jacoby"--it's all the same account, at 3.0%. Or skip the added fees by arranging a bank draft; please write for instructions.
Once you've paid at least the non-refundable deposit, you are registered.
Deposit & balance
A non-refundable $400 deposit required to save you a place.
Balance of $1949 ($1094 with private accommodation) is due by 15 June.
* Balance 100% refundable by 15 April
* Balance 90% refundable by 15 June
* Balance 70% refundable by 15 August.
* Balance 50% refundable by 1 September.
* Sorry, no refunds after 15 September.
Your passport will need at least 6 months of validity after your return date from the BST to your home nation.