Released to be KNOWN, Set Free to See

81st annual Torrey Memorial Bible Conference

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At the moment sin entered our world, so did shame. Adam and Eve’s epiphany was not just the fact that they were naked, but their fear of failure visible. Shame sees you and points: “broken, bad, defective, worthless.” Certainly, it says, “You are not enough,” and its voice is powerful. It can ignite violence (often against ourselves), but more often makes us hide (even from ourselves). It tempts us—as persons or groups--to separate, disconnect, and withdraw, lest we be seen or known. “It is the emotional weapon evil uses to corrupt our relationship with God and each other,” writes Dr. Curt Thompson in his book, The Soul of Shame. And it is, therefore, profoundly unbiblical. The Bible’s vision of the good life, rather, is one in which we are seen, known and loved, not only by God but by one another, in all of our failure, sin and vulnerability. It is Peter, cock-crowed and humbled on the beach, still known, still loved and suddenly sent by Jesus to shepherd others. It is the “chief of sinners,” Paul, eagerly longing to know the love of God fully, “even as I have been fully known.” It is “that woman,” her shame carried off by grace, wiping the feet of Jesus with tears of gratitude. It is the gospel, which is not just how we came to Christ, but how we also grow in Christ, as we come to experience it ever more personally and communally. “As it turns out,” writes Thompson, “the process of being known in the context of our vulnerability within the church becomes one of the most powerful means of evangelism and healing.” At this year’s 81st annual Torrey Memorial Bible Conference, interpersonal neurobiologist Dr. Curt Thompson leads a slate of teachers to help us discover how being seen, known and loved can set us free to see and love others. Topics will include not only biblical and psychological explorations of shame and its healing, but also the relationship of these to race, sexuality, and family.

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Biola University
13800 Biola Ave. La Mirada, CA 90639
1-562-903-6000