Gospel Solutions to Prejudice and Separation
2009 International Teaching Seminar, August 14-16
Atlanta, Georgia 

by Steve Staten

Can the gospel that is proclaimed for “every nation, tribe, language and people” also be the solution to widespread strife in the world? If so, then Christians ought to exemplify God’s multicultural intent in fellowship and worship.

This seminar is about recognizing biblical solutions to all forms of prejudice and separation that are biblical, timeless and unspecific to geography. Atlanta is a perfectly suited city for this discussion because it was the cradle of the American Civil Rights movement. Join us as we stare down some of today’s greatest challenges with the Bible and the Gospel.

Friday night, 14 August
7:00     Welcome coffee
8:00     Introduction and Video address from Fred Gray
Our Enemies on the International Scene.  The Scriptures demonstrate God's heart for all people—even the enemies of His Law and His people.  Let us allow the Scriptures to guide us past our prejudices through sacred stories from the Exodus to the Exile where God's people were called to overcome their inbred fallacies about others.

Saturday 15 August
8:30-12:00 -- Morning program
8:30     Coffee hour
9:30     THERE IS NO SCYTHIAN IN CHRIST -- Steve Staten
Class Distinctions in the Fellowship.  Jesus and his apostles faced status issues in the Gospels and Acts.  In time the church reached beyond barbarians to the (presumably more despised) Scythians. How do traits such as snobbery, envy and entitlement appear in the Scriptures? Also considers the possibility that subtle class and status prejudice does more harm than obvious prejudices.

10:45     THE WOLF WILL DWELL WITH THE LAMB -- Abdel Aziz Sarah
Politics and the Disciple’s Heart. Must we be Pro-Israel or Pro-Palestine?  There are many political pundits and fear-mongers whose ultimate goals are very different than those of the followers of Christ.  As ministers of reconciliation we should grasp the historical and contemporary issues but keep the eternal perspective in mind.

12:00     Lunch break

* The Early Church Fathers on Prejudice and Separation
* Disciples wealthy and poor—Joey Harris

1:45     A Case Study: Atlanta Churches and Diversity

3:15     Break


Panelists have been asked to prepare opening and closing comments to one of the following questions—(1) “How can we increase diversity in spiritual roles without compromising biblical standards in order to appear diverse?” (2) “What solutions to prejudice are being missed among religious people?” (3) "What light do the Scriptures shed on the relationships between culture, geography, and the ethnic make-up of a congregation?

Steven Collier
Ben Barnett
Gordon Ferguson
Joey Harris
Scott Kirkpatrick
Abdel Aziz Sarah
Steve Staten

4:30    Dinner break

Saturday evening program

7:00     NO DIFFERENCE IN THE FARE -- Ben Barnett
National Racial Prejudice Enters the Church. An exploration of race issues in the west due to western Eurocentricism.  In America this has resulted in slavery and segregation (Blacks), anti-semitism (Jews), internment (Japanese), Zoot Suit Scapegoating Affair (Hispanics), fear-mongering (Middle Easterners) and her most homogeneous hour among professing Christians—Sunday 11am.  Also covers biblical contributions to the early Civil Rights movement.

Sunday 16 August
10:00    Church with North River

An oft ignored Part of the Great Commission. Jesus gave his Galilean followers the mandate to go to train the various ethne (ethnic groups, nations). As evident in the book of Acts, Jesus’ followers gradually overcame many difficulties with the help of the Spirit.  Some challenges were overcome in the baptistery while others took some time.

Options for the Saturday afternoon field trip include the Civil War Museum and the King Center.

(1) The Atlanta Cyclorama & Civil War Museum, 800 Cherokee Ave., Atlanta, GA 30315. Phone:  404-658-7625
Features:  Sit at the center of a sweeping panorama of the Battle of Atlanta, fought on July 22, 1864, during the American Civil War. Miniature figures in the foreground, music and narration enhance the painting through a theater-in-the-round experience.  See civil war artifacts and a steam locomotive.

(2) The Martin Luther King Center
446 Auburn Ave., NE, Atlanta, GA  30312. Phone:  404/526-8900
Features:  King self guided tour of museum with King memorabilia, photographs and more;  self guided tour of the church and fire station as well; for the homes – tours every 30 minutes in groups of 15 (first come first serve basis – sign-up in the King Center)

Group Rate: Free (accepting all donations)

320 Austin Avenue, Marietta, Georgia
This is the meeting place of the North River Church of Christ

All Christians are invited to this seminar. There is an expectation that participants will come ready to learn, but it is not necessary to be a teacher, church minister, or staff member.

There are hotels in the area. You may also ask to be housed in homes of North River members (limited availability).

$180 is the registration fee. This is the price for all attending from the US and Canada.


* Congregational discounts: 1/3 off when 5 or more attend from any single congregation, and 1/2 off when 10 or more attend from any single congregation. And yes, this discount can be combined with the other discounts below.

* Spouses -- 1/2 off.

* Full-time students -- 1/2 off.

* Seniors (65 and above) -- 1/2 off.

* Children under 18 -- 2/3 off.

* Foreign guests (outside US/Canada) -- 2/3 off (no spouse discount).

For questions about the combination of discounts, please send an email.

Send an email to dj@douglasjacoby.com for further details. Payment can be made by check, bank wire, or credit/debit card (Amex, Visa, MC, Discover).