Post-Register and Watch Re-runs of Ecclesia and Ethics Videos!

Last weekend, on Saturday afternoon, I sat down at my desk in my house and participated in the unique online academic conference on “Ecclesia and Ethics.” It was a very interesting and rewarding experience, as I got a chance to interact with people from all over the world (especially during the engaging Q & A session). If you missed the event (the last two Saturdays), the good news is that the conveners decided to allow post-event registration to give anyone access to the video recordings of the presentations (for those who gave permission, which was most of us). I have already watched a couple of them that I missed, and it is well worth the $10!

My paper was on the fact that the church tends to use the word “discipleship” as a catch-all for ecclesial ethics. However, the word “disciple” is not used even once outside of the four Gospels and Acts. I focused on Paul and basically engaged with the question – if Paul didn’t use the language of discipleship to form a vision of ethics, how might we be faithful to his moral vision? I have my own take on what could come out of this question, but I encourage you to post-register and hear/watch for yourself!

I missed almost all the papers of the first Saturday because I was very sick. I could have still watched them in bed, but I knew the video recordings were coming, so I like the option of watching them at my leisure – especially watching them while I make dinner!

For those of you “in attendance” of this conference, what were your thoughts? Did you enjoy it? What could have been done better?

 

Ernest Best on Discipleship

When I was a PhD student in Durham (UK), I remember having a conversation with one of my advisors (Stephen Barton) and I had brought up an article by Ernest Best. I spent a few minutes referring to this “Ernest Best” and Stephen kept giving me a quizzical look. Finally he said, “Do you mean Paddy?” Apparently “Paddy” is a nickname for an noble irishman, which Best was indeed (Oh the things we learn along the way about insider lingo when we join the guild!). As I was researching for an essay today, I came across this gem of a quote from “Paddy” (deceased, 1917-2004)

What does it then mean to follow Jesus? It means to drop in behind him, to be ready to go to the cross as he did, to write oneself off in terms of any kind of importance, privilege or right, and to spend one’s time only in the service of the needs of others. — E. Best

The Unrelenting God – Forthcoming FS for Gaventa

Beverly Gaventa (soon to be at Baylor) is one of the leading NT scholars in the world. She has written and edited loads of works and she is currently writing a commentary on Romans for WJK. I have benefited greatly from her work, so I was pleased to know that a FS is coming in October to celebrate her leadership and service to the guild. Here are the details:

David J. Downs and Matthew Skinner (eds.), The Unrelenting God: Essays on God’s Action in Scripture In Honor of Beverly Roberts Gaventa (Eerdmans, 2013).

Details on the volume are limited at this point, so I contacted my buddy David Downs (at Fuller) and he was kind enough to allow me to share the provisional table of contents (which appears to include a very distinguished list of contributors including a word from Gaventa’s hero Lou Martyn!)

Body Piercings Revisited: Piercings and Profanations of “Bodies,” and the Character of God in Ezekiel

Jacqueline E. Lapsley

Conversion in Luke-Acts: God’s Prevenience, Human Embodiment

Joel B. Green

“Not Knowing What Will Happen to Me There”: Experiences of the Holy Spirit in Luke-Acts

John B. F. Miller

The Word of God and the Church: On the Theological Implications of Three Summary Statements in the Acts of the Apostles

Matthew L. Skinner

Lost in Translation: A Reflection on Romans in the Common English Bible

Richard B. Hays

Is Paul a Covenantal Theologian?

Francis Watson

Sin’s Corruption of the Knowledge of God and the Law in Romans 1–8

Shane Berg

Time in Romans 5–8: From Life to Life

L. Ann Jervis

“Who Hopes for What Is Seen?”: Political Theology through Romans

Douglas Harink

Creation, Gender, and Identity in (New) Cosmic Perspective: 1 Corinthians 11:2-16

Alexandra R. Brown

Ashes on the Frontal Lobe: Cognitive Dissonance and Cruciform Cognition in 2 Corinthians

Susan Grove Eastman

Cross and Cosmos in Galatians

Martinus C. de Boer

Unity in the Community: Rereading Galatians 2:15-21

William Sanger Campbell

The God Who Gives Life That Is Truly Life: Meritorious Almsgiving and the Divine Economy in 1 Timothy 6

David J. Downs

Jesus Christ, the End of the Law

Katherine Sonderegger

Role Model—God’s Image—Life-Giving Spirit: Who Is Jesus Christ for Us Today?

Michael Welker

The God Who Calls and Sends (Brueggemann)

“God’s call disrupts the lives of settled people, both in biblical times and now. God sends, then and now, to transform the present world, subject to alien powers, into the world God intends. Discipleship and evangelism are, therefore, not primarily about church membership and recruitment but about an alternative way of being in the world for the sake of the world” — W. Brueggemann (“The God Who Calls, the God Who Sends”)

Paul and the Miraculous

I just found out about this book on FB. Very excited to see its release in September!

Graham Twelftree, Paul and the Miraculous: A Historical Reconstruction (Baker, Sept 2013)

How can we explain the difference between the “miraculous” Christianity expressed in the Gospels and the nearly miracle-free Christianity of Paul? In this historically informed study, senior New Testament scholar Graham Twelftree challenges the view that Paul was primarily a thinker and reimagines him as an apostle of Jesus for whom the miraculous was of profound importance. Highlighting often-overlooked material in Paul’s letters, Twelftree offers a fresh consideration of what the life and work of Paul might teach us about miracles in early Christianity and sheds light on how early Christians lived out their faith.