Southborough L'Abri

Lecture Schedule


Southborough L'Abri Lecture Schedule

All lectures begin at 8:00pm 
and are held at L'Abri
49 Lynbrook Road
Southborough, MA 01772

Join us for tea and treats at 7:45

For access to the most current lectures from the Southborough branch, simply click the lecture's title to be directed to an audio file of the lecture or subscribe to the L'Abri Southborough podcast on iTunes.
These and many other lectures from L'Abri branches around the world are available at the L'Abri Ideas Library.

If you would like to make a contribution for the lectures, please see our PayPal link.
- Winter Term 2018 -


Jan 19    Ben Keyes- Gratitude Part I. What is Thankfulness for the Christian?
This lecture examines what the bible teaches about giving thanks; both as an inward attitude of the heart and an outward act of worship. It is an essential aspect of living truthfully and relating rightly to God. And yet, for such a basic aspect of our spiritual lives, it is hard to put into practice. This lecture is the first in a three part series.


Jan 26    Sarah Chestnut- Creative Work is Work: De-mythologizing Artistic Inspiration and the Creative Process
There are many reasons getting started on--or finishing--creative endeavors is hard. With help from Arnold Lobel's Frog and Toad, as well as from Hans Rookmaaker and Mako Fujimura and other contemporary thinkers and artists, we will wade through and correct assumptions about the creative process that keep us from getting artistic work done, and in some cases are even destructive to our humanity.

Feb 2    Beth Pocock- A Listening Heart
In his book, A Spirituality of Listening, Keith Anderson defines Christian spirituality as basically “a life lived in conversation with Another.” Listening to God is not about method. It’s about an entirely new lifestyle. This talk will discuss what it means to cultivate an ongoing conversation with God and how we can we live in response to what we hear.


Feb 9    Dave Friedrich- "I'm Bored
What do we do when all the wonder has leaked out? A little boredom here and there is normal, but when it becomes an ever-present burden it should cause us to pause and ask a few questions. We are in all likelihood the most entertained culture in the history of the world and also the most bored. How can this be the case? This lecture will consider the meaning of our boredom and the way back to childlike wonder.

Feb 16    Joshua Chestnut- Skills for Being Human in Pornified Culture
Few aspects of our technologized culture entrench shame, deepen isolation and ultimately dehumanize like internet porn. And if the statistics on the matter are even partially true, the number of men and women struggling with porn addiction is at epidemic levels. In this lecture I will consider the often over-looked virtues of patience and imagination as key skills in both regaining and maintaining one's humanity in a pornified culture like our own.

Feb 23    Anna Friedrich- Creative Devotion
A generation ago, many Christian adults felt duty-bound to have a Daily Quiet Time. This time often included prayer and Bible reading, and in evangelical circles was commonly referred to as “Having/Doing Devotions.” Though these disciplines have faded and come under attack, in the recent upswell of interest in liturgies and the historic practices of the Christian church, people are returning to spiritual disciplines as opportunities for intimacy with God. Can faithful rhythms bear fruit? Can faithful rhythms even be creative?


March 2   Linny Dey- Humanity's Rush toward Self-destruction as Described in C.S. Lewis's The Abolition of Man
This lecture will explain the case made by C.S. Lewis in The Abolition of Man against subjectivism, the belief that ideas about good and evil are merely subjective opinions or feelings. Lewis shows how subjectivism followed to its logical conclusion leads to the destruction of society and the end of man as anything more than a bit of mere nature to be manipulated by whoever has the most power. The lecture will show how Lewis illustrated these premises in his novel That Hideous Strength.

Wednesday- March 7th-  An evening with Eduardo Echeveria, Ph.d., S.T.L  -
"Evangelicals and Catholics Together: Brethren in Christ or Co-belligerents?" THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED DUE TO THE STORM

March 9-10    Weekend Seminar: To Live in Peace in a World with Conflict

The apostle Paul wrote, “If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all” (Romans 12:18). Conflict between people is important to God. Some of that conflict is either avoidable or resolvable. Some of that, in turn, depends on us to be the ones to make peace. We will be working on the great challenge of how to do this in our relationships with each other.

Friday night 8:00 pm March 9th: Dick Keyes-
How Important is Interpersonal Conflict? – A God’s Eye View

Saturday morning 9:30 am March 10th: Dick Keyes-
Can Conflict be Outmaneuvered Before it starts? – Early Peacemaking

Saturday afternoon 1:30 pm March 10th: Dick Keyes-
The Challenge of Conflict Resolution – Confession, Forgiveness and Reproof


*If you would like to join us for the day on Saturday, please email us your reservation NO LATER THAN Thursday, March 5th. to The seminar is free, although there is a suggested donation of $5.00 to offset the cost of lunch on Saturday.

*The Saturday portion of this seminar is being given in conjunction with our lecture on Friday evening, March 9th. Attendance both days is not required.

*Limited overnight accommodations may be available at L'Abri on the evening of Friday, March 9th. Please email if you would like to add your name to the waiting list for overnight accommodations, and you will be notified if/when space becomes available.

March 16    Dave Friedrich- Is God a Social Construct?
Ludwig Feuerbach (1804-1872) postulated that God is merely a human projection. Karl Marx and Sigmund Freud stated the same thing in their respective fields of politics, psychology and psychoanalysis. Author Yuval Noah Harari has given us a contemporary version of this take on religious belief in his books, Sapiens and Homo Deus. The goal of this lecture will be to first listen and learn from these thinkers and then to offer a word back.

March 23     Ben Keyes- Gratitude Part II. The Tug-of-War between Entitlement and Thankfulness
Despite the growing appeal of gratitude in our culture, we are ironically plagued by attitudes of entitlement that prevent us from recognizing gifts as gifts. This lecture explores some of the ways in which entitlement is an enemy of gratitude and some of the ways we can resist it.


- Autumn 2017- 


Sept 8       Ben Keyes- Five Themes of L’Abri Revisited
Over the years at L’Abri we have found these five areas of Christian belief to be particularly relevant: The Truth of the Christian Faith, the reality of the supernatural, the humanness of spirituality, the reality of the fall, and the Lordship of Christ over all of life. While these topics are by no means comprehensive or original, they continue to be areas of confusion inside and outside of the church. This lecture is a good introduction to some of the ideas that we discuss regularly at L’Abri.
Sept 15     Dick Keyes- What is Stewardship?
We usually associate stewardship with financial contributions to church or charity. In fact, it applies to the way we manage or do not manage the whole range of God’s gifts to us.
Sept 22     Abasiano Udofa- The Future of Work, Part II
Many are predicting a major shift in work due to the advances in technology. Will robots take all the jobs? Will technology create new jobs? Is a world without work really a possibility?  This lecture will review the trends that are causing these questions and anxiety, explore the increasing inequality being created by changes in work, review gains in artificial intelligence and reflect on jobs and calling.  


Weekend Seminar September 29th & 30th*
500 Years Later: The Reformation and its Lasting Impact

This year marks the 500th year since Martin Luther nailed his ninety-five theses to the church door in Wittenberg. While the theological, ecclesial and political consequences of this event- and the events that followed- have been discussed ever since, the Protestant Reformation has also had a profound social impact on the world today. This seminar will provide some historical context for the events that sparked the Reformation and explore some of its diverse outcomes. 
Friday Sept 29             
8:00 PM      Mike Milway- Martin Luther Between Worlds

Martin Luther’s uncomfortable position between worlds, and the unrelenting pressures on him from opposite directions, shaped his theology, guided his life and birthed the Protestant Reformation.  As a young monk in Erfurt and a rising professor in Wittenberg, he found himself caught awkwardly and uncomfortably between the monastery and the university, as a theologian between the via antiqua (old way) and the via moderna (new way), and as a Christian between God and the Devil.  That is where he found the gospel that changed his life.  For taking the gospel to both town and gown (city and university), the bishops in Rome excommunicated him from the church as a heretic while the princes in Worms banned him from the empire for the same reason.  He hid himself away in the Wartburg castle, long enough, though in record time, to translate the New Testament into the vernacular, helping to bridge learned Latin culture and common German people.  Luther’s most important legacy to the “continuing reformation” – the one he did not expect but the one that separates him from us – belongs in large part to his middle position theologically between Catholics and Calvinists.  Luther was a man caught between worlds.
Saturday Sept 30   
9:30 AM     Joshua Chestnut- "Exiles and Pilgrims: What John Calvin might offer an Age of Social Displacement"
Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel has described the twentieth century as "the age of the refugee, the stateless and the wanderer" and though he belongs to a vastly different time than our own the protestant reformer John Calvin, himself a religious refugee, has some unexpected insights for us and our day.  In this lecture we will consider Calvin's teaching and practice of showing hospitality to the refugee as well as the inherently practical nature of Christian spirituality.    
1:30 PM     Mardi Keyes - How Martin Luther Transformed Marriage and Family Life
You may be surprised to learn that qualities we most prize in marriage today - mutual love and companionship, and children as joyous gifts - can be traced back to an Augustinian monk who married a runaway ex-nun!

*If you would like to join us for the day on Saturday, please email us your reservation to The seminar is free, although there is a suggested donation of $5.00 to offset the cost of lunch on Saturday.
The Saturday portion of this seminar is being given in conjunction with our lecture on Friday evening. Attendance both days is not required.


Oct 6         Ben Keyes- Some Pitfalls of the Reformed Tradition
While the Reformed tradition has given us much to be thankful for, in practice it has sometimes minimized important aspects of Christian theology. Did John Calvin care more about election and predestination than anything else? Is there more to the Christian faith than TULIP?

Saturday, October 14th- L'Abri workday- from 9:00-4:00

-There will be all manner of tasks including: painting, yard work, outdoor work, gardening and carpentry work.
If you have any particular skills in these areas, please come and bring your work belts!  
Please RSVP to let us know how many to count on for lunch

- Summer 2017- 

May 19 Knowing God and the Ordering of our Fears Part II: Biblical Heroes who Failed to Fear
Ben Keyes

May 26 From the Gospel to the Gospels - Part 2: What about the Gospels that Didn't Make it into the Bible?
Joshua Chestnut

June 2 Francis Schaeffer’s Two-Story Critique of Worldviews – with Examples from Some of Boston’s Intellectual Celebrities
Dick Keyes

June 9 Two Great Human Longings Lost and Found
Ben Keyes

June 16 “Engine against th' Almighty”: Reflecting on Prayer with the Help of Poets
Sarah Chestnut

June 23 The Future of Work, Part I.
Aba Udofa

June 30 Talking to Ourselves: Solitude, Community and Technology
Liz Snell

July 7 A Sacred Story of Meals
Kendall Vanderslice (Head Baker, Simple Church, Grafton, MA

July 14 Time to Play: A Developmental and Theological Model
Mary Frances Giles