Last Week’s Conference

Last week we hosted the Western Fellowship of Professors and Scholars in Manhattan, Kansas.  We had a great time of fellowship and stimulating presentations and conversation.



One of the highlights was a breakfast-conversation on suggestions for research in biblical studies, religious history, and history in general.  Alan Bearman and Robert Linder, professors of history at Washburn University and Kansas Statue University suggested that there is an important place for amateur and local historians.



Professor Linder urged:

Write the history of your local church!

He also compared the work of a historian to that of a detective and a prosecuting attorney.  Linder and Bearman also agreed that historians need to write readable prose.

Hmm . . .

Hmm . . .

Witherington said NT studies is a multi-disciplinary field.  He recommended learning methods of sociology and social science research, along with history, ancient rhetoric, linguistics, and ancient languages–Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic, and Syriac for starters.

Witherington also gave a powerful address on worship at the plenary session Friday night.

There were several great presentations (list here).  Some of the papers have already been posted on the conference web page–others will follow.

I was especially delighted that my former teacher, Dr. Lynn Gardner, was able to attend.


He spoke on Postmodernism, the roots of which he traces back to Kant.

To any of you who are troubled–either emotionally or intellectually–by the problem of suffering, I would recommend Dr. Gardner’s book on the subject.  It’s hard to praise a book on such a difficult subject without sounding flippant–but What the Bible Says about Suffering is a very thoughtful and helpful book.

Circle Oct 8-9 2010 on your calendar for next year’s conference; and Oct 7-8 for 2011.

(Another participants review here)

My Bonnie Jayhawks

Jayhawk FanJayhawk Sasha Kahn

and one of his biggest fans

I took a nap Saturday afternoon so I would be fresh for church in the morning. Then I set my alarm for about 1:30 am and got up to watch the big game online. Round one of the Final Four. I saw the last two minutes of the Memphis-UCLA game. Since we lived in Memphis for 10 years, I was glad to see them trounce the Trojans. But the game I was interested in was up next: The Jayhawks of Kansas vs. the Tar Heels of North Carolina.

The announcers, at the close of the game, said there had been three periods instead of the normal two. For the first 14 minutes or so the Jayhawks fairly demolished the Tar Heels, establishing a lead of 40 to 12, completely shutting down the opposition’s offense. Then before the buzzer sounded Roy Williams regrouped his troops and they regained much of the lost ground. They continued their comeback for several minutes after the halftime break pulling to within 4 points. Then finally the Jayhawks remembered why they had come and finished with a solid victory.

I’ve been educating the local folks here in Buckie on who and what the Jayhawks are, including the pre-civil war history.

I’m not one to gloat over my enemies destruction. Five years ago most Kansans turned against their beloved coach Roy Williams, who had pledged to finish out his career in Kansas, when he took an offer to return to his native North Carolina. But we have now grown to love Bill Self. I’m not one to gloat–still the victory was especially sweet. (If I were writing that epic poem, I’d find room for William HimSel and Roy O the Williams Clan; and lament how what Missouri Fire could not accomplish, Carolina gold hath wrought–and how treacherous Roy got his just deserts.)

My kids are glad Memphis made it this far; in a sense they can claim the champion either way. But there preference is for the Jayhawks. I’ll have to take another nap this afternoon.