Paul’s ‘conversion’ is topic of lunchtime lecture

Friday October 16th 2009

‘Was St Paul Really Converted?’ is the title of the next lunchtime lecture to be given at St Bartholomew’s Church, Stranmillis Road, Belfast. The lecture takes place at 1.10pm on Tuesday November 3.

The speaker is the rector of St Bartholomew’s, the Rev Dr Ron Elsdon, who completed a PhD. thesis on this topic in 2000, supervised by Rev Wilfred Harrington of the Milltown Institute in Dublin.

The lecture seeks to address two current areas of debate. One centres around some scholarly scepticism as to whether Paul really had a real ‘conversion’ experience on the Damascus Road (as recorded in Acts 9, 22 and 26). The other is to do with widely differing understandings of what a religious conversion actually consists of.

The lecture will seek to demonstrate that Paul’s conversion was a real ‘conversion’ experience, and to show how the abiding result of this experience was a deep revolution in his thinking, which brought Jesus Christ to the very centre of his life and ministry. The implications of this for modern-day evangelism will be briefly explored.

Everyone is welcome at this lecture, which will include a time for questions. Light refreshments will also be available.

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