Byberg 2013 – Terrence Fretheim and Rick Jaech

Cannon Beach, Oregon

January 14-16, 2013

Preaching and the God of the Old Testament

Terence Fretheim

The God of the Old Testament has created some problems for the church through the years, not least in its preaching and teaching.  For example, what will preachers do with all of that violent language for God?  What will preachers do with all that law?   At the same time, the Old Testament is filled with images of God that are highly relational.  Can those images of God help us in working with the legal and violent images?  What does it mean for God to enter into a relationship with us that is “real”?  What effect do our words (such as prayers) and actions have on God’s way of working in the world?  How might such understandings affect the way in which we think about God’s power, God’s will, and the shape of the future?  We will explore several Old Testament texts that help us draw out some responses to these issues.

Terence Fretheim is Elva B. Lovell Professor of Old Testament at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN, where he has taught seminarians for more than 40 years.  He has been rostered in the SWWashington Synod since the beginning of the ELCA.  He is the author of 23 books and over 100 articles.  His most recent books are Abraham: Trials of Family and Faith (Univ. of South Carolina Press, 2009) and Creation Untamed: The Bible, God, and Natural Disasters (Baker, 2010).  He has also taught at theological schools in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Cairo, Philadelphia, Chicago, and San Francisco.  Terry is married and has two children and three grandchildren.


1.  On Preaching the Relational God of the Old Testament.

2.  Issues of Divine Self-Limitation

3.  The Violence of God in the Old Testament.

4.  God, Job, and the Problem of Suffering.


Preaching in a Context of Conflict

Richard Jaech

Richard Jaech is the pastor of Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church, Vancouver, WA, and a consultant to congregations and pastors.   He is the author of Transforming Church Conflict: A Guide for Pastors and Leaders and also offers a blog site addressing congregation dynamics,   In addition to his M.Div. degree from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, he holds a Master of Arts in Conflict Facilitation and Organizational Change from the Process Work Institute in Portland, OR.