Theology+ Lecture Series begins with ‘Do We Have Free Will?’

By JASE BRANDT, reporter
Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018

Photo by Jase Brandt

Tim Gabrielson, assistant professor of biblical studies, and Pete Kosek, assistant professor of mathematics, held the first lecture of the Theology+ Lecture Series in the Presentation Lab in Cooper Hall on Wednesday afternoon.

The lecture — “Do We Have Free Will?” — explored some of the many connections between theology and mathematics.

The idea for the series started out as a friendly discussion between Gabrielson and Kosek.

Photo by Jase Brandt

“It really started probably first and foremost in our friendship,” Gabrielson said. “Professor Kosek and I are good friends and everything. So, when I kind of came up with the idea of Theology+, we just kind of started talking about like what our intersections between math and theology because that seemed like such a difficult topic. So we batted around a lot of different ideas of how they might overlap. Pete, he was really the one who ended up coming and saying he was interested in mathematical questions about determinism and non-determinism. And as soon as he said that, I was like, ‘Oh yeah. That’d be great.’ And so, he was the one who kind of came up with that particular idea.”

The entire Sterling College Theology and Ministry Department plans on holding two lectures each semester like this one for the foreseeable future. Each theology professor will team up with a professor in a different department to connect theology with the subject the other professor teaches.

Photo by Jase Brandt

Gabrielson hopes this series will allow students to see the relationship between theology and the rest of their classes.

“This is kind of an effort to try to build bridges between departments and start trying to have theology be a synthetic thing that pulls all different departments together so that hopefully it can encourage it to happen more,” Gabrielson said. “The business program will not think about just teaching business but also think about, ‘What is a Christian view of business?’ And the art department would think, ‘What is a Christian view of art?’ Obviously that’s already happening in certain ways but this, we hope, will kind of help that happen.”

The next lecture in the Theology+ Series is entitled, “Are Translators Traitors?” It will be hosted by Roy Millhouse from the theology department and Mark Watney from the Sterling College Language and Literature Department. The date for the lecture has not been officially announced but will take place in early November.

Lectures for the spring 2019 semester will include a Theology+Science lecture as well as a Theology+Business lecture.

Gabrielson holds a doctorate in Judaism and Christianity, a Master of Arts degree in Biblical Studies, Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics.

Kosek has earned a Master of Science degree in mathematics, as well as a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics.

Editor’s Note: This story was updated on Sept. 27, 2018, to correct grammar and usage issues. We apologize for the error.