Thurber Lecture Archives

Ronald White — Thurber Thursday 12 March 18h30

Abraham Lincoln 2015; Wisdom for Today

Ronald C. White, Jr.

Our guest speaker will be Ronald C. White, Jr., graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary, and author of A. Lincoln: A Biography, a New York Times, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times bestseller. The book was honored as a best book of 2009 by the Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, History Book Club, and Barnes & Noble.His Lincoln biography won the coveted Christopher Award in 2010 which salutes books “that affirm the highest values of the human spirit.”

White is also the author of Lincoln's Greatest Speech: The Second Inaugural (2002), honored as a New York Times Notable Book of 2002, and a Washington Post and San Francisco Chronicle bestseller, and The Eloquent President: A Portrait of Lincoln Through His Words (2005), a Los Angeles Times bestseller, a selection of the History Book Club and the Book-of-the-Month Club.

Listen to Dr. White preaching on Abraham Lincoln's Sermon on the Mount at the ACP on 8 March here.

He is presently writing a comprehensive biography of Ulysses S. Grant — American Ulysses — which will be published in the spring of 2015 by Random House. He has lectured at the White House and been interviewed on the PBS News Hour.

Dr. White is a graduate of UCLA and Princeton Theological Seminary with a Ph.D. in Religion and History from Princeton University. He has studied at Lincoln Theological College in England. He has been honored with a D. H. L. [Doctor of Humane Letters] from Whitworth University. He has taught at UCLA, Princeton Theological Seminary, Whitworth University, Colorado College, Rider University, and San Francisco Theological Seminary. He is a Fellow at the Huntington Library, Visiting Professor of History at UCLA, and a Senior Fellow of The Trinity Forum. He lives with his wife, Cynthia, in La Cañada, California.

Dinner served at 18h30; lecture at 19h30.

Thurber Thursdays is an adult community gathering and growth time that is open to all.


Dr. Linda Stratford — Thurber Thursday 20 Nov 18h30

Modern Art and Christian Pilgrimage

Dr. Linda Stratford

Was Pop Artist Andy Warhol really a deeply religious man? Was the paint-flinging Jackson Pollock actually seeking representation of spiritual rebirth? Could many of today’s so-called “heretical” artists be representing Christian sensibilities; or asking theologically poignant questions?

Our guest speaker, Dr. Linda Stratford, traces the dialogue between art and religion with interest in the possibility that in the process of stating why it can’t be (in regard to religion), we have failed to recognize where it in fact is. Images will be provided to support discussion.

Dr. Stratford is director of Paris Semester, a semester of credits offered in Paris by Asbury University each fall (open to non-Asbury applicants). She received her Ph.D. from the State University of New York, Stony Brook with an emphasis on Art and Society in France.

As a historian of art and society Dr. Stratford's interests include the means by which artistic initiatives come to be viewed as belonging, or not belonging within the framework of a community. The dynamics of inclusion and exclusion have led her to question the largely secular methodologies in art history and criticism today. 

Dinner served at 18h30; lecture at 19h30.

Thurber Thursdays is an adult community gathering and growth time that is open to all.

Dr. Andrew Root — Thurber Thursday 19 June 18h30

Bonhoeffer, the Young, and the Future of the Church

Dr. Andrew Root

German culture in the 1920s and 30s had become obsessed with the young, believing the political power and religious institutional strength was contingent on capturing young people's energy and commitment.  Dietrich Bonhoeffer saw how this anxious desire was problematic for the church and its theological commitments.  This lecture will explore how Bonhoeffer's own thought was fueled by his work with young people. It will make a case that Bonhoeffer's understanding of resistance, the church, and the concrete action of Jesus Christ in the world was bound within his ministry to young people.

Dr. Andrew Root, Ph.D., Princeton Theological Seminary) is the Olson Baalson associate professor of youth and family ministry at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. For more information, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Dinner served at 18h30; lecture at 19h30.

Thurber Thursdays is an adult community gathering and growth time that is open to all.


Dr. Mark Labberton — Thurber Thursday 9 Oct 18h30

Called: The Crisis and Promise of Following Jesus

Dr. Mark Labberton

Dr. Mark Labberton is the fifth President and Lloyd John Ogilvie Professor of Preaching at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. Described as a “Renaissance Man” by the Pasadena Star-News, he is a painter, musician and a well-travelled public speaker - and universally admired by his students. He took his Master’s degree at Fuller and went on for a Ph.D. in theology at Cambridge University.

He speaks of challenges facing institutions of higher education and seminaries today, especially financial and technological: “I think that technology, while it disrupts higher education, also creates opportunities for connections to the wider world.” It is this philosophy of blending worship and scholarship that brings Reverend Labberton to Paris. He says, “There are a lot of different bridges that need to be built and encouraged and that’s a big piece of what I want to do.” The Fuller Board of Trustees Chairman describes him as “a man of incredible breadth. He is a scholar, a pastor and a leader.”

Finally, Dr. Labberton says, “Because I’ve been a pastor for the better part of 30 years, I have a deep sense of what the local church is about. Because I have served in a creative, dynamic place – in Berkeley, California – for most of those years, I have a sense of the way that culture is changing.”

Dinner served at 18h30; lecture at 19h30.

Thurber Thursdays is an adult community gathering and growth time that is open to all.

Dr. Greg Cootsona — Thurber Thursday 25 Sept 18h30

C. S. Lewis and the Crisis of Science

Dr. Greg Cootsona

Dr. Greg Cootsona is associate pastor for adult discipleship and college ministries at Bidwell Presbyterian Church in Chico, California. He co-directed Scientists in Congregations, a program from which the American Church in Paris received a grant to encourage the dialogue of faith and science. He has just finished his fifth book, C. S. Lewis in Crisis. Greg has a B.A. in Comparative Literature from the U.C. Berkeley, a Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. in Theology from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. Greg and his wife, Laura, live in Chico and have two teenage daughters. Besides hanging out with his family, he loves to mountain bike, read, and drink good coffee.

Dinner served at 18h30; lecture at 19h30.

Thurber Thursdays is an adult community gathering and growth time that is open to all.