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Halsted to Speak on God and Suffering at Next Philosophy Forum April 16

April 13, 2021

Dr. Matthew Halsted, instructor with Grace Bible College and former pastor of First Baptist Church of McLoud, Oklahoma, will speak during OBU’s next Philosophy Forum event Friday, April 16. The lecture will take place from 4 to 5:15 p.m. in Stavros Hall room 214 on the University’s campus in Shawnee. He will deliver a lecture titled, “Can God Be Incited to Cause Suffering? Evaluating Job 2:3 in Light of Gregory of Nyssa’s Philosophical Theology.”

Philosophy Forums bring issues of broad philosophical importance to the sphere of public conversation on campus. Dr. Tawa Anderson, associate professor of philosophy, organizes the Philosophy Forum series.

“God's relationship to evil and suffering has been a thorny philosophical and theological question for millennia,” Anderson said. “The Old Testament book of Job wrestles with the questions, as do large chunks of Old Testament historical narrative, wisdom literature and prophetic ministries. The apostle Paul recounts his suffering and ponders the role of divine providence.

“The early church father Gregory of Nyssa asks similar questions, and Dr. Halsted thinks Gregory provides some helpful suggestions for re-orienting our consideration of God's place in human suffering. Given that we all, whether Christian or not, wonder how God relates to our suffering, this promises to be a particularly pertinent Philosophy Forum.”

Halsted is an instructor with Grace Bible College and formerly served as associate professor of biblical studies at Eternity Bible College. He served as pastor of FBC McLoud from 2012 to 2020. He graduated with an Associate of Arts in international studies from Rose State College and a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from the University of Central Oklahoma. He also earned a Ph.D. from the London School of Theology/Middlesex University (UK) for his research on biblical intertextuality and philosophical hermeneutics.

The fourth and final Forum of the spring 2021 semester will take place Friday, April 30, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in Stavros Hall 214. This event will be a mock debate, featuring Joshua Knox, senior philosophy major, versus Anderson. The duo will debate the question, “Does God Exist?” with Knox debating the yea, while Anderson will debate the nay.

The events are free and open to the entire campus community. Face coverings and physical distancing are required for those in attendance.