One of my favorite NT theologians, Steve Walton (London School of Theology), will be installed as Professor of New Testament (a senior and distinguished ranking in the UK) on March 6. This is great news! Also, he will be giving what looks to be a very interesting inaugural lecture entitled “What is Progress in New Testament Studies?” Steve – inquiring minds want to know! Do tell! To whet your apetite for this lecture, here is the description:
New Testament Studies is in something of a crisis today. People in the churches find much of what goes on in university departments of Theology to be irrelevant to their concerns and needs. People who study the New Testament in universities and theological colleges find that scholars are asking a baffling array of different questions, and there seems no agreement about what is important, or which approaches to studying the New Testament are right or wrong, good or bad. On the other hand, those who teach and study the New Testament professionally sometimes find statements by church leaders and members about the New Testament’s view of something to be superficial or midsleading, if not wrong. How does the discipline move forward today?
In his inaugural lecture, Professor Steve Walton will seek to address the state of New Testament Studies by focusing on what progress is in this area of study. This will involve asking:
- why studying the New Testament is important, especially in an academic setting;
- what ‘progress’ is in general and to what extent it is desirable;
- the relationship of believers’ and academic reading of the New Testament;
- what is most important in studying the New Testament;
- where New Testament Studies might go in the future.
This will be a significant attempt by a Christian practitioner of New Testament Studies to reflect on and answer a vital question.
Indeed! Oh Steve – I wish I could be there to cheer you on and hear your message. I am sure it will be published in due time (Tyndale Bulletin perhaps?). If you want to learn more about the lecture, see here. Do wish Professor Walton a hearty congrats via FB or by email, if you can!