Back to All Events

The Forgotten Creed with Stephen. J. Patterson

The Forgotten Creed

Theologian Stephen Patterson Explores Christianity’s Original Struggle Against Bigotry, Slavery & Sexism

Thursday, September 26, 7:00pm at First-Plymouth Church
Keynote lecture followed by Q&A, and book signing

Theologian and author Stephen J. Patterson will present, "The Forgotten Creed: Christianity's Original Struggle Against Bigotry, Slavery & Sexism," on Thursday, September 26 at 7:00pm in the Sanctuary at First-Plymouth Church. Patterson will explore how human beings can overcome divisions from one from another and find solidarity beyond race, class and gender.

Long before the followers of Jesus declared him to be the Son of God, Jesus taught his followers that they too were the children of God. This ancient creed, now all but forgotten, is recorded still within the folds of a letter of Paul the Apostle. Paul's letter said nothing about God or Christ or salvation. Its claims were about the whole human race--that there is no race, there is no class, there is no gender.

Christian theologians would one day argue about the nature of Christ, the being of God, and the mechanics of salvation. But before this, in the days when Jesus was still fresh in the memory of those who knew him, the argument was a different one, centering on unity among human beings by looking beyond traditional points of division including race, class, and gender.

Copies of Patterson's books will be available for purchase during a book signing following the evening session.

The lecture is free and open to the public. Free-will donations will be accepted at the doors.

stephen patterson high res.jpg

Stephen J. Patterson A scholar, teacher, and writer, Patterson is the George H. Atkinson endowed chair in Religious and Ethical Studies at Willamette University, where he teaches courses on the history of religion. He writes and lectures widely on the hidden histories of earliest Christianity, especially the lost gospels, Q and the Gospel of Thomas.  

Patterson holds graduate degrees from Harvard and Claremont, and he was a Fulbright Fellow in Germany. In nine books and more than seventy-five articles, essays and reviews, he has explored the origins of Christianity, especially through texts often overlooked because they are not in the Bible.  

For more than 20 years Patterson was professor of New Testament at Eden Seminary in St. Louis.  He was also a leading figure in the Jesus Seminar and has appeared on many documentaries in connection with his work on the Gospel of Thomas, Q, and the quest for the historical Jesus.

"First-Plymouth has long been known for celebrating diversity and deep inclusion - and we will never slow down on that, but we also need to be creating a greater sense of unity. The human soul longs for connections and shared purpose, for a sense of oneness. Patterson's talk directly addresses that human potential." -- Dr. Jim Keck, Senior Minister

For more information, contact or call 402-476-7550.

Earlier Event: September 25
Feel Good Yoga