Spring Conference Public Lecture

Public Lecture & Panel Discussion

Friday, June 14, 2024

On the evening of Friday, June 14, 2024, CATA will host a public lecture featuring Dr. J. Richard Middleton
Time: 7:30 – 9:30 p.m.
Venue: The Church of St. Mark and St. Peter
Location: 1650 rue Decelles, Montreal, Quebec, H4L 2E6

Register here to attend the Friday Public Lecture online

A four-minute walk from metro Côte-Vertu; parking available on the street and in
the school parking lot behind the church.

Title & Abstract: The Way Forward Is Back: Navigating the Waters of Chaos and Memory

We live in a time of crisis—at global, ecclesial, and personal levels. Wars and conflicts abound in different parts of our world. Many Christians are “deconstructing” their faith and leaving the church. And we are often faced with interpersonal rifts and the illness (even death) of loved ones and friends. At such times, how may we face the future with hope? In this presentation, Richard Middleton will share the wisdom of Psalm 77 for the path ahead. Like other lament psalms in the Bible, Psalm 77 contains an honest expression life’s difficulty—including the difficulty of praying. The psalm is distinctive in addressing these difficulties by focusing resolutely on remembering the past—both the psalmist’s personal past and the epic story of God’s redemption of his people. With the psalmist, we will explore ways in which memory sometimes doesn’t help us face the future and ways in which memory may be the key to moving forward with hope. But it depends on what (and how) we remember. Ultimately, Psalm 77 suggests that the way forward is back—back to the deepest roots of biblical faith. In its honesty and hope, Psalm 77 can provide guidance for Christians today in navigating the chaos of our lives and the contemporary world.

Speaker: Dr. J. Richard Middleton is Professor of Biblical Worldview and Exegesis at Northeastern Seminary and Roberts Wesleyan University. Originally from Jamaica (where he completed his B.Th. at Jamaica Theological Seminary), he then immigrated to Canada (where he did an M.A. in philosophy and a Ph.D. in theology). He later moved to the U.S. to take up a tenure track faculty position teaching the Bible. Richard has served as a campus minister at four universities in Canada and the US. He is past-president of the Canadian-American Theological Association (2011–2014) and of the Canadian Society of Biblical Studies (2019–2021).

He is the author of five books, his most recent being The Liberating Image: The Imago Dei in Genesis 1 (2005); A New Heaven and a New Earth: Reclaiming Biblical Eschatology (2014); and Abraham’s Silence: The Binding of Isaac, the Suffering of Job, and How to Talk Back to God (2021).

He is currently writing a book on the abuse of power in 1 Samuel, called, Portrait of a
Disgruntled Prophet: Samuel’s Resistance to God and the Undoing of Saul.

Richard loves the Bible, especially the Old Testament, and understands his calling as a teacher of the church, who brings the big picture of the biblical story into dialogue with the details of Scripture, with implications for how we may faithfully follow Jesus in a complex world.