Welcome to the home page of the Theological Education Institute
(TEI), Rev. John C. Rankin, President (click
here for background), and also
host of the
Hill Forum series. The menu bar on
your left directs you to various features, and/or you can click on some
features detailed below.
The TEI celebrates the
unalienable rights given by God to all people equally, as rooted in the
Bible, the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. On
this basis, religious, political and economic liberty flourish, and the
Gospel of Jesus the Messiah can be most clearly lived and shared,
especially in the face of the most divisive issues in culture today.
If you want to order a DVD or VHS of Mars Hill Forum #80 at Smith
College, Northampton, MA, February 5, 2004, send a check for
$20.00 to: TEI, 750 Main Street, Suite 1300, Hartford, CT 06103, made
payable to TEI, and specify your request. The topic was: Is
Same-Sex Marriage Good for the Nation?, addressed by John Rankin
alongside Amy Hunt, a lead lesbian activist in Massachusetts. With an
audience of some 500 people, a majority of whom were lesbian, this is
a good example of First the Gospel, Then Politics..., where
speaking the truth in love, in the face of hostility, happens.
four DVD set is available for $70.00 (tax and ppd.): Marriage,
Biblical Ethics and Homosexuality (MBEH). Just write the TEI with
a check or money order, and ask for MBEH. The first DVD is the
Mars Hill Forum on same-sex marriage at Smith College. The second
is Mars Hill Forum #81 on March 13, 2004 at the First
Cathedral in Bloomfield, CT, with Professor Rhonda Garelick of
Connecticut College: How Should Men Treat Women? The third is
John Rankin's sermon at Calvary Evangelical Free Church in Trumbull,
CT, May 23, 2004, from Matthew 21:1-17: "Jesus, in the Face of His
Enemies." It outlines the biblical strategy for addressing human
politics with the ethics of the kingdom of God. Also part of this DVD
is an evening seminar on same-sex marriage, with questions and
answers. Fourth is Mars Hill Forum #84 at the Unitarian Church
in Rutland, VT, June 7, 2004: "Is Homosexuality a Gift of God," with
Rev. Steven Kindle of Clergy United for the Equality of Homosexuals.
Thus, these 4 DVDs address an important issue with biblical ethics in
four contexts: 1) hospitality to a skeptic in a church setting; 2)
dialogue concerning how to interpret the Bible with a clergyman
who twists the Scripture; 3)
preaching and teaching in an evangelical church; and 4)
politics on a skeptical college campus.
www.onehundredthousandministers.com builds on the Connecticut
Affirmation on Marriage, a full page advertisement which
appeared in the Hartford Courant on February 24, 2003, signed
on short notice by 200 ministers. It is a bold Affirmation purposed
to speak the truth in love: Yes to Man and Woman in Marriage: No
to Same-Sex Marriage. In Connecticut where elitist support for
homosexuality is overwhelming, a curious thing has happened: Not
one member of the news media, not one legislator, not one clergy
person, not one academic and not one homosexual advocate has
criticized one word of it. Perhaps we have succeeded in our goal.
In view of the legalization of same-sex marriage in Canada, the June
26 U.S. Supreme Court Lawrence et al. v. Texas decision (TEI
Update #87 gives brief commentary), and in view of other
variables, the need has come to make this a national project. We
can secure over 100,000 signatories, publish it in newspapers
nationwide, and file a brief but powerful amicus before the
U.S. Supreme Court when and if that need arises.
are soon starting the process of TEI Burden Sharing, an
alternative to the health insurance industry, based on covenants of
trust, not legal contracts. It promises to cuts costs in half, and
eventually free participating physicians from malpractice insurance.
The Mars Hill Forum
series is where John Rankin interacts with leading skeptics, mostly
in university settings, but also in churches and other venues. The
goal is not to win debates per se (that is easy), but to win honest
relationships in the face of debates that divide people, all in
service to the Gospel. If you or your church are involved in campus
ministry, and would like to host a Mars Hill Forum, just
contact the TEI.
John Rankin writes various papers, one of which is entitled:
The Politics of
Jesus: To Silence the Foe and the Avenger. It is also
available on CD and audiotape. Jesus came to extend mercy to all who
seek it, but in the face of his sworn enemies, he invites them to a
level playing field of public debate, catalyzes the power and moral
innocence of childlikeness in the face of their power of pretense,
and they end up silencing themselves due to their hypocrisies. Thus,
their self-censorship reduces the static that would otherwise
interfere with people who want to hear the Gospel more clearly. In
the debate over same-sex marriage in Connecticut, the foe and the
avenger of the Gospel have thus far silenced themselves.
John Rankin published Volume 1 of his trilogy,
First the Gospel, Then
in 1999: Only Genesis. Volume 2 is now on track to be
published in 2004: Political Ethics. And Volume 3,
Spiritual Territory, will be published simultaneously. Under
TEI Background, if
you scroll down a little, you will see that the Introduction and
Chapter Ten from Volume 1 are published; and the whole series is
gradually being put on CD and audiotape (click
here for CD and audiotape listings).
If your church would like to have John preach, speak or teach, under
Seminars and Classes
you will find material of interest, especially the frequently taught
Love of Hard Questions Seminars.