December 16, 2017

Reflections on Pastorum

With Peter Enns

I arrived home about 11:15pm after two full days of lectures on Biblical studies at the Pastorum Live Conference, sponsored by Logos Bible Software. Let me share a few reflections on this event.

  • This was a return to seminary culture for me. The presenters were academics who mostly emphasized academic principles of properly handling the Biblical text. This, of course, fit with the sponsor’s goal of selling software designed to help people study the Bible with good tools. Honestly, after having been a pastor and chaplain for as long as I have, while I appreciate a concern for skill, precision, and accuracy in interpretation, I was reminded again of how easy it is to miss the forest for the trees. I went to the conference hoping it would live up to its advertised approach: “At Pastorum Live, you’ll approach the Bible as an organic whole. You’ll learn from 21 of the world’s leading Bible scholars as they examine the Scriptures in the context of God’s grand narrative. At Pastorum, you’ll explore how the story of the Bible enhances the study of the Bible.” In reality, only a few took that approach, while the rest focused on a specific area of Bible interpretation or application. It was not so much about Story as it was about the discipline of Bible study.
  • With Scot McKnight

    Scot McKnight and Peter Enns were the two presenters that I felt best gave a picture of the Bible’s Story and how to therefore read parts of the Bible in the context of that Story. McKnight introduced his talk on the Sermon on the Mount by summarizing the argument of his book, The King Jesus Gospel, which contends that the Story of Jesus is the fulfillment of Israel’s story and that the good news it represents is fuller and richer than the “soterian” gospel of individual salvation of today’s evangelical church. He then interpreted the Sermon on the Mount in that context. Enns showed how Ancient Near Eastern themes of cosmic conflict inform key narratives and texts throughout the Bible, including the creation story, the Exodus, and various passages in the Psalms and Prophets. Then he showed how these themes reach their climax in the story of Jesus and finally, how the book of Revelation records the end of the conflict. Both men represented a storied approach that, in my view, reflects the actual nature of the text itself and models ways that pastors and teachers can keep both the Big Picture and individual texts in view while maintaining a proper focus on Jesus and the Gospel.

  • Richard S., Tim B., and Tim H.

    I had a good chance to sit with some young guys who are in pastoral ministry, to learn about their backgrounds, churches, families, and goals. Tim Hallman, Tim Bordeaux, and Richard Strick are all serving in Indiana, and living the life of pastoral service in different evangelical churches, one in a small college town — at St. Peter’s First Community Church in Huntington, one doing youth ministry in a rural area — at North Manchester First Brethren Church, and one in the city of Ft. Wayne — at Anchor Community Church — where there is more of an urban feel. Interacting with them brought back many good memories of life “on the front lines” as a minister with a vocation in the church. When you see their faces here and read their names, please shoot up a prayer for them and ask that God’s will be done through them as it is in heaven.

     

    All in all, I’m not a big “conference” guy. Most of the time, I find the hype irritating and it’s rare that a conference lives up to expectations. However, this one was pretty low key and laid back (except for the insane schedule of 21 speakers in two days) with plenty of time to interact with others. All in all, a good experience and worth it.

Comments

  1. Chaplain Mike –

    Have you engaged much with J.R. Daniel Kirk’s blog and newest book, Jesus Have I Loved, But Paul?? He actually just did a guest post on Pete Enn’s blog, which was excellent on ‘storied theology’.

  2. I am not a conference guy either. The plus to this one though is that you didn’t have the thug from Seattle and his sidekick from Minneapolis in the speaking line up.

    But I went to several conferences duirng my evangelical days and many evangelicals are “conference junkies” which allows them to worship their idols.

    When I was in college I did attend the Republican National Convention and seeing those pictures reminds me of the pictures I had of myself taken with George W Bush, Orrin Hatch, Phil Gramm, etc…

    Now let’s see if this will post…..

    • YEAH!! It did… 😀

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      So you’re also having trouble posting (posts getting lost, minute-long waits returning a 404 or 500 error or just “cannot connect” which means your post got eaten)?

      • JoanieD says:

        HUG, I am having those posting problems too. And sometimes I click to go to the page to finish reading Jeff’s or Mike’s posts and the page won’t come up. It may come up after six or so times of trying. I see the box is back to check that I am human. That was gone for some days.

  3. Are recordings of the sessions available?

    • Richard says:

      They told us at the conference that the sessions would be available soon. Sounded like it might be audio and video files.

  4. Headless Unicorn Guy says:

    In reality, only a few took that approach, while the rest focused on a specific area of Bible interpretation or application. It was not so much about Story as it was about the discipline of Bible study.

    During my time in-country in the Seventies, I noticed that Bible Study was often treated as an end in itself. Sometimes to the point that Heaven was preached as a Never-ending Compulsory Bible Study, though more often the ability to recite Scripture(TM) from memory (more than the other guy) was evidence of Holiness and One-Upmanship. (Again reminiscent of X-Treme Islam, where Koran Memorization and Recitation is given great importance.)

  5. It sounds like it was very interesting. As Rob mentioned, I too would like to know if there are recordings that can be accessed, purchased, etc.

    I have tried to read the NT and especially Pauline lit from the “New Perspective” and in my mind, though it helps somewhat in harmonizing Jesus, Paul, and James, some of it just doesn’t fit Paul’s overall points. I still think Paul is quite soterian in his writings. But I’m always interested in hearing and considering more.

  6. David Cornwell says:

    The thing is, I think I know HOW to study the Bible, it’s just the doing of it without it becoming too complex and/or an end in and of itself. For busy pastors this can easily present a tension within a full life. I’ve memorized scripture also, but I’ve never liked the memorization programs. The Christian life is about more than that. The Bible leads us to Christ, not to a worship of the text.

  7. Of the 21 speakers, how many were not middle aged, white men?

    • I was disappointed that there were no women presenters, though there were women who attended. There were also a number of African-Americans and folks from other ethnic backgrounds who attended. We had some teachers from various countries — New Zealand, England, China — but overall it was a pretty “white bread” conference, which reflects the make-up of the evangelical seminary world.

  8. The Controversy around Louis Vuitton Handbags

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    A Shady Past

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    Nadia Plesner

    In more modern times, however, the company provides nonetheless failed to clean up its act. In an attempt to be able to pitch in her own 2 pence to make the entire world a much better place, Danish designer Nadia Plesner made a style to be represented on the T-shirt for that charitable organisation basis Divest regarding Darfur noisy . 2008.

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    Britney Spears

    Not also celebs are immune from your all powerful device that is Louis Vuitton. In November associated with 2007, the style home in fact prosecuted pop celebrity Britney Spears.

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    LV Today

    Louis Vuitton seems to have troubles selecting the right battles. During the conflict they sided with all the Vichy government and actually designed a tidy income from a routine that routed away it’s Jewish human population to pass away inside German concentration camps.

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