2016 Thematic Bible Conference

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W4CAA will hold a Bible conference in Princeton this summer, 2–3 July 2016 (and in Alhambra, California, 2 July), to the theme “What Is Mark’s Gospel? Hebraic & Græco-Roman perspectives”. We encourage all to attend. Hear the Gospel of Mark expounded by Benjamin Alley, J.D.; study selected passages in Mark with a group (and have the opportunity to be trained to lead inductive Bible study); worship God according to the solid, scriptural piety of the Book of Common Prayer; and deliberate with Richard Yen, Ph.D., M.D., (1) on Genesis and genetics, and (2) on Jesus’s comment about marriage and divorce.

Please register online if possible (online payment is available); walk-in registration will also be available, 2–3 July, at Princeton Theological Seminary’s Erdman Center:

For those who cannot be in Princeton, there is a secondary site in Alhambra, California, and online participation elsewhere (e.g. Cupertino, California).

For additional information, please write to Tony Chan or Lue-Yee Tsang.

Conference schedule

In Princeton, the schedule will be as follows:

EDT 2 July (Sat.) 3 July (Sun.)
9:00 Morning Prayer (worship) Morning Prayer (worship)
10:00 Bible Study Leader Training:
Textual Analysis
Bible Study Leader Training:
Question Sets
11:00
Noon
1:00 Lunch* Lunch*
2:00 Scripture Exposé (Mr. Alley) Jesus on Divorce (Dr. Yen)
3:00 Study: Mark 13:1–13
4:00  Study: Mark 1:14–28 Study: Mark 14:1–11
5:00 Evening Prayer (worship) Evening Prayer (worship)
6:00 Scripture Exposé (Mr. Alley) Study: Mark 16:9–20
7:00 Dinner* Dinner*
8:00  Study: Mark 8:27–38 Genetics & Genesis (Dr. Yen)
9:00  Study: Mark 10:17–31

* In Princeton, lunch and dinner costs will be shared by those who choose to do so; registration fees cover snacks and coffee, to be provided at breaks.

OUTSIDE OF PRINCETON

The other sites will have different, one-day schedules. Please click your location to find your schedule: either Alhambra or Cupertino.

Speakers

Benjamin Alley, J.D., who will be speaking remotely from Alhambra, southern California, has a passion for teaching God’s word in context. He has master’s degrees in divinity, biblical languages, and biblical archaeology, and has taught the Bible as a licensed minister for nearly two decades. Mr. Alley is also a licensed California attorney and runs his own estate-planning practice in southern California. He and his wife Anna currently live in West Covina, California.

Richard Yen, Ph.D., M.D., who will be speaking on site in Princeton, is well known for his involvement with the West Coast Chinese Christian Conference (WCCCC), for which he has served as staff, and as speaker and advisor, since 1971; he is also the founder and chairman of the W4C Alumni Association (W4CAA). Dr. Yen obtained his Ph.D. degree in 1976 from the University of California, Berkeley, and researched human genetics at the University of California, San Diego. After practicing anæsthesia for 25 years at Kaiser Permanente, he took early retirement in May 2012. He is the CEO and founder of a privately held company specializing in the development of artificial platelets that can be used in cancer patients and in patients exposed to lethal doses of irradiation, such as after a nuclear event. Dr. Yen is the sole inventor of more than 30 US and international patents.

Alternate locations

Alhambra, CA Cupertino, CA Philadelphia, PA
photo5110f9d6c1168 New Life Church metal cross ucccc
Secondary site Satellite site for online participation Satellite site for online participation

Registration

On-site individual Online group (5+) Online individual
Early-bird (by 5 Jun.),
Professional
$100, 2 days;
$60, 1 day.
$250, 2 days;
$150, 1 day.
$50, 2 days;
$30, 1 day.
Early-bird (by 5 Jun.),
Student
$75, 2 days;
$45, 1 day.
$250, 2 days;
$150, 1 day.
$50, 2 days;
$30, 1 day.
Standard (6–30 Jun.),
Professional
$125, 2 days;
$75, 1 day.
$300, 2 days;
$180, 1 day.
$75, 2 days;
$45, 1 day.
Standard (6–30 Jun.),
Student
$100, 2 days;
$60, 1 day.
$300, 2 days;
$180, 1 day.
$75, 2 days;
$45, 1 day.
Walk-in (2 or 3 Jul.) $150, 2 days;
$90, 1 day.
n/a n/a

Registration is available online. Please register and pay as soon as you can, so that you don’t miss the deadline!

Those who register to attend the conference remotely will need a high-speed Internet connection to connect to the conference through GoToMeeting.

Lodging

Conference attendees who require lodging will need to book their own rooms at the Erdman Center.

Welcome speech transcript

Brethren, welcome to the 2016 Thematic Bible Conference. My name is Lue-Yee Tsang, and I am privileged to be part of the team organizing this conference. Like many of you on the West Coast, I graduated from the University of California (go Bears!); this fall, I will be joining those who are studying on the East Coast, pursuing a degree in religious studies at Duke University.

I am delighted to be here with you today, as we start the first Thematic Bible Conference on the East Coast. For this endeavour I congratulate the alumni association of the West Coast Chinese Christian Conference. The Lord has shown his faithfulness since the year of grace 1969, when a group of foreign-born Chinese Christian students gathered for fellowship over the Christmas break; this gathering came to be known as the first West Coast Chinese Christian Conference – the first of 48 winter conferences thus far. Today, having blessed almost 50 years of winter conferences on the West Coast, the Lord has also seen fit to provide for a summer conference on the East Coast to equip the Church in the study of the holy Scriptures, for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. This conference is being held for the first time in the historic town of Princeton – and, God willing, will continue for many years – but we also have brethren taking part from the West Coast, from Canada, and even from Asia. As you can all see, moreover, the Lord has brought more than Chinese believers to this conference today. Let me therefore welcome everyone who has come to this conference in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Let me welcome especially Dr Richard Yen, who has come to us from California. Dr Yen is well known for his involvement with the West Coast Chinese Christian Conference, for which he has served as staff, and as speaker and advisor, since 1971. As the founder and chairman of the W4C Alumni Association (W4CAA), he has also created the training videos for inductive Bible study leaders which we are using this weekend. Thank you, Dr Yen.

Our other plenary speaker, Mr Benjamin Alley, will be giving two expositions today. I shall introduce him when he speaks.

In a challenging time when the world is set against the word of God, the Church must know the Scriptures, that we may know the truth and stand firm in what is real and substantial. Our aim is especially to promote the learning of the Scriptures among students, both in study and in worship, that they may be equipped to help others learn what God, man’s maker and saviour, has revealed for the salvation of man and the restoration of all things. Through inductive Bible study, our hope is to promote a common habit of disciplined thinking and serious study of God’s word, and thus to develop clear and honest thought about the world we live in, according to the sight which is above sight, the reason which is above reason, the God which is above all gods.

Our conference’s theme this summer is ‘What is Mark’s Gospel?’. To those of us who have tasted its sweetness, for those of us who have eaten it in the wilderness, the holy gospel of Jesus Christ is our life. All the same, when it comes down from heaven by no power of our own, we ask: What is it? The more we eat of this life-giving food, and the more we behold its power, the more we seek to know what this manna is. For this reason also the great bishop St John Chrysostom, John of the Golden Mouth, said 1600 years ago, ‘It is not possible, I say not possible, ever to exhaust the mind of the Scriptures. It is a well which has no bottom.’ Israel’s father Abraham rejoiced to see the day of the gospel: and he saw it, and was glad. To us, the everlasting God has given four unshakeable witnesses of the holy gospel, and we are here to read just one of these four pillars, to touch this one pillar in its particular glory, that at the foot of this pillar we may learn the meaning of ‘gospel’ from St Mark the Evangelist and behold the Son of God enthroned in glory. For this reason we in Princeton shall study all six passages in which St Mark uses the word ‘gospel’, that through these passages our hearts may gain passage to the heavenly realms where Jesus of Nazareth is seated today. Some know the gospel more, some less, but everyone who has been born since Adam is called to obey the holy gospel and, as he dwells with the Lord of life, to learn it over and over. As the poet T. S. Eliot said,

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.

And now, as our Lord Jesus Christ has taught us to pray, so we say, Our Father &c.