Tuesday, April 01, 2008

The Lighter Side of ETS

Over the weekend I attended the Midwest meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society in Chicago at Moody Bible College. The society, for those who affirm biblical inerrancy and the Trinity, offers the opportunity to get together and discuss the latest theological ideas and trends in the evangelical world.

I presented a paper that was well received: "The Rhetorical Use of Isaiah 7:14 in Matthew 1:18-25." I also enjoy meeting several new friends.

This year's theme was, "The Church Convergent, Divergent, and Emergent: 21st Century Ecclesiology." Living out in rural America, the emergent church movement hasn't made its way out here, but it was interesting to learn about some of the issues surrounding the movement.

Some of the discussion was a wee bit too philosophical for me and went over my head. So when a few lower shelf comments got made, I took note. Here's a sampling of some things I heard over the weekend:
After lunch, the Bible students said to one another, "Let's make like a Baptist church and split."

"If you find the perfect church, don't join it. You'll ruin it."

Responding to a student's paper, the professor said, "This is both good and original. However, what is good isn't original and what is original isn't good."

"I believe in a theology of loose ends." --John Franke, Biblical Seminary

"Defining the Emergent church is like trying to nail jello to the wall."

"Justice is easier to fight for than to define." --Ron Sider
But the funniest moment I thought was during the award ceremony for the student paper competition. Each year the society awards books to every participant and then gives an extra stack of books to the winning papers. Derek Hostetter of Cedarville College wrote the winning undergraduate paper, entitled, "Essentials of the Emerging Conversation: Understanding the Movement Rather Than the Controversy."

Among the winning stack of books he received?

Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck's, "Why We're Not Emergent (By Two Guys Who Should Be)."

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