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.

Panel

Panel

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.

Breakfast

Breakfast

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.

DSC_0015

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)

Christian and Heathen (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)

Here is the poem by Bonhoeffer that I promised earlier. It is a good meditation for Holy Week and Good Friday.

People go to God in their need,
plead for help, ask for happiness and bread,
for deliverance from sickness, guilt, and death.
So do we all, all of us, Christian and heathen.

People go to God in his need,
find him poor, abused, homeless, without bread,
see him entangled in sin, weakness, and death.
Christians stand by God in his suffering.

God goes to all people in their need,
satisfies them body and soul with his bread,
dies for Christian and heathen on the cross of death,
and forgives them both.