Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Conference review

We know that we all possess knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. The wo/man who thinks s/he knows something does not yet know as s/he ought to know. But the wo/man who loves God is known by God. (Paul, in 1 Cor. 8:1-3 - gender inclusion mine)

As long as we assume we're smart and have all the answers, we remain dummies. We write off what there is to learn (unteachable) and avoid those who disagree with us (unreachable).

Tyndale House (UK) breakfast
An academic conference is an interesting experience. Beyond that, a religious academic gathering assembles a unique group of scholars. W and I spent almost a week in Baltimore at the annual co-meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) and American Association of Religions (AAR).

Attendee garb ranged from conservative suits, ties, and polished shoes to Baha'i and African Catholic robes to Rastafarian deadlocks. How many attended? We scattered among hotels and the convention center. Usually, 6-8000 scholars come to read papers and listen to the latest research and religious scholarship.

Inside the Torsk submarine
at Baltimore's Inner Harbor
One pleasure was attending sessions of the Women's Caucus. Women scholars think deeply about their place in the world. I'm facilitating their newsletter, so I hope to learn a lot from these theologians, writers, students, and professors.

This year's publishing trend seemed to be syncretism, summed up as "whatever-path-you-take-is-acceptable." There was a lot of emphasis on creating a One-God for Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. (Hmmm, why would God sacrifice his Son if that were true? Seems cruel to kill someone to provide "another option" of relationship with God, doesn't it?)

We're home with fewer books than usual. Each year we gather information on our current topics of interest. We're looking forward to reading the new ideas and new slants on old ideas. How blessed we are to explore God's Word and work.

What are you learning this week?

Read more:
*The Lord will reign forever and ever. Exodus 15:18 ESV

*Jesus said, "All things have been handed over to me by my Father." Luke10:22 ESV

*Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Colossians 3:16 NEV

Moravian Prayer: Eternal King, your dazzling peace and love spread across the heavens and the earth. We long for the day you will come again to reign over all; until that day, help us prepare your way by devoting our lives to you. Amen.

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