Civil Rights in Biblical Times: What Was It Like Then and Does Anything from That Era Apply Today?

Posted: September 20, 2023 at 6:58 pm

Many of us look to the Bible to justify our views on the rights of women, minorities, immigrants, persons with disabilities, etc., as well as finding models for good and bad management of cities, towns, and countries, plus tax policy, land management, and many more issues. This talk spans two millennia of biblical themes from […]

Steve Ruth

Familiar Apocalyptic Themes: Modern Speculations about Famous Biblical Threats and Curses

Posted: September 20, 2023 at 6:56 pm

The Bible is filled with apocalyptic material. The writings of the major and minor prophets feature curses, threats, and fierce complaints against Israel’s enemies, as well as stern commentaries aimed at the people of Israel themselves. The Torah has examples of horrific threats against those who do not obey God’s commands. Similarly, the New Testament […]

Steve Ruth

Prayer in America— an important part of our history, or a distraction?

Posted: September 20, 2023 at 6:55 pm

James P. Moore’s book, “One Nation Under God,” is an amazing source of insight and understanding into the role of prayer starting at the very beginning of the American experience. A summary of Moore’s book states that it “brings together the country’s hymns, patriotic anthems, arts, and literature as a framework for telling the story […]

Steve Ruth

Seeing Bible Stories Through a Theatrical Lens

Posted: September 20, 2023 at 6:54 pm

Some may remember the famous movie portrayals of Samson by Victor Mature and Moses by Charlton Heston; thrilling stories from the Bible transferred to the silver screen. This course will cover dozens of stories that didn’t quite make it for full Hollywood treatment yet are so thrilling and poignant that they deserve box office status. […]

Steve Ruth

Powerful Bible Women — Models for Today?

Posted: September 20, 2023 at 6:52 pm

Today, when women’s rights are at the forefront of public policy debates, it may be surprising to learn that some very powerful role models from thousands of years ago can be found in the Bible. The daughters of Zelophehad talked back to Moses about inheritance rights (and won). Achsah successfully demanded that her husband and […]

Steve Ruth

Religion and Conflict in the USA

Posted: October 29, 2021 at 2:48 pm

Religious conflict in the United States is partially the result of the perceived loss of the “culture wars” by the religious right. Rooted in the fundamentalist/modernist split, this conflict is especially catalyzed by the perceived necessity of the religious right to preserve their identity. What has transpired is a new blend of religion and politics […]

A/V requirements: None

Charles E. Davidson, Ph.D.

The Restoration of Character: A Primer for Leaders

Posted: November 30, 2020 at 8:44 pm, Last Updated: July 1, 2021 at 2:57 pm

Politicians, police, and clergypersons are but a few of the professions wrought with scandal and corruption today. Everywhere we look, institutions and leaders are plunging into the abyss. Why? What we’re witnessing is the residue of moral and ethical decay and cowardice. It’s easy to think that things are too far gone to right the […]

A/V requirements: Internet Access, Laptop, LCD Projector, Screen, White Board, and Markers

John Villanueva

Speaking Truth to Power: The Thunderous Messages of the Hebrew Prophets and What They Mean Today

Posted: October 31, 2019 at 6:14 pm, Last Updated: September 13, 2021 at 5:58 pm

In all of literature there are few parallels to the soaring rhetoric and poetry of the Hebrew prophets. They speak to us clearly today after almost three millennia: Amos in 800 BC crying seeking help for the poor and the disenfranchised (“let justice flow like a river”); Hosea comparing his country to a prostitute; Isaiah […]

A/V requirements: LCD Projector, Screen, Laptop

Steve Ruth

Is That Really in the Bible?

Posted: June 3, 2019 at 6:45 pm, Last Updated: June 22, 2021 at 3:46 pm

Nearly everybody has a favorite event or story from the Bible. Ruth has collected dozens of them for the class, each with a very different spin than may be customary. The lecture will address love stories in Genesis, and great curses in Deuteronomy, the stories of Deborah and Hannah—two great heroines—will be covered. Several stories […]

A/V requirements: LCD Projector, Screen, Laptop

Steve Ruth

Biblical Villains and Villainesses

Posted: April 13, 2017 at 6:51 pm, Last Updated: June 22, 2021 at 3:56 pm

Biblical villains and villainesses:  This talk reviews some of the notable bad characters in the Old and New Testaments, including Cain, Jezebel, Athalea, Nebuchadnezzar, King Herod, and many others.

A/V requirements: None

Steve Ruth

Government Policies in Biblical Times

Posted: April 13, 2017 at 6:49 pm, Last Updated: March 29, 2021 at 7:35 pm

Government policies in biblical times.  Human rights, gender equity, inheritance rights, etc.  This talk examines governmental issues in Bible times with respect to topics that are in today’s news, like civil rights, gender equity, limits of governmental authority, and many others.

A/V requirements: None

Steve Ruth

Themes in Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Sermons

Posted: September 29, 2014 at 7:46 pm, Last Updated: September 13, 2021 at 5:45 pm

Most of our knowledge about MLK, Jr. is through his political speeches. This presentation focus on spiritual themes found in 8 of his sermons. While one can see many links to his political life, Dr. King was an ordained minister who started his career as a person who gave sermons.

A/V requirements: None

Don Boileau

Religious Conflicts and Their Resolution

Posted: September 29, 2014 at 2:43 pm, Last Updated: June 29, 2021 at 5:06 pm

Why do religious conflicts sometimes become lethal? What is causing the current spread of violent religious conflicts worldwide? What can be done to resolve these conflicts?

A/V requirements: None

Richard Rubenstein

Origins of Philosophy in Ancient Greece

Posted: September 26, 2014 at 9:35 pm, Last Updated: November 6, 2023 at 7:01 pm

In seventh century B.C.E. Greece, an investigation arose that was so unusual that a new word, philosophic, was invented. This talk focuses on how philosophia differed from other ways of thinking, how it was similar, and the importance of its influence. The influences of neighboring civilizations such as Egypt, Persia, and Babylon are explored.

A/V requirements: : LCD, Screen ns of Philosophy in Ancient Greece (or equivalent other ways of projecting PowerPoint slides and other images) for in-person meetings; Zoom or equivalent platform for virtual meetings.

Rose Cherubin

How Do You Listen to Sermons?

Posted: September 26, 2014 at 7:20 pm, Last Updated: July 8, 2021 at 2:47 pm

Provides different approaches to help people focus on the message in a sermon by being aware of good listening skills and how to adapt one’s interest in the topic to the sermon process.

A/V requirements: PowerPoint

Don Boileau


Posted: September 10, 2014 at 12:13 pm, Last Updated: March 18, 2015 at 5:34 pm

Why do so many people embrace creationism and reject evolution? What are their arguments and how does creationism promote community, address concerns about education and the rearing of good children, and the perceived dangerous consequences of evolutionary thinking?

A/V requirements: Laptop, LCD, Screen

Mary McCutcheon

Communicating Evolution

Posted: September 10, 2014 at 12:07 pm, Last Updated: September 24, 2014 at 7:11 pm

It does no good to argue with people who don’t believe evolution. But since it is the foundation of modern biology and represents constructive critical thought in science, it is useful to know how to teach evolution without confrontation. This is not so much a lecture as a discussion.

A/V requirements: LCD, Screen

Mary McCutcheon

Apocalyptic Beliefs

Posted: September 9, 2014 at 8:09 pm, Last Updated: September 24, 2014 at 6:19 pm

Studying other cultures helps to understand the social forces that lead to apocalyptic and related messianic, prophetic, and millenarian religious beliefs. Are these forces present in our society today?

A/V requirements: Laptop, LCD, Screen

Mary McCutcheon