Wednesday, January 02, 2008

More thoughts on ETS

I enjoyed reading Mike's musings about Evangelicalism and specifically ETS. I have a few thoughts I'd like to share about ETS in response to Mike's post.

First, personally I have no desire to expend energy toward pursuing any whole scale change of ETS. What's more do not I think it in any way advantageous nor good stewardship of time to put forth effort toward such a goal. ETS was born in North America as an "alternative" academic society and is not going to be turned into something with the atmosphere of say British evangelicalism; it is not in the organizations DNA. Too many influential constiutents continue to think in terms of "liberal versus conservative" and come from very narrow frames of reference and they will not go quietly. I remember when I met with someone before going to Cambrigde and they cautioned me to be careful about . . . well you know . . . the boogy man!

So one has to take ETS for what it is or chose not to, as Ken Schenk (see comment on Mike's recent post) has. Both Mike and I choose, at least for now, to continue to be members of ETS and it is fair to say that there are many members that would be considered "progressive evangelicals", but still find it useful to continue to participate. Mostly I'm sure for the continued relationships that the small venue provides. But I can't fault anyone for not being a member even if they have evangelical leanings. All three of my colleagues at North Park are strongly evangelical, but I am the only one who continues to be affiliated with ETS.

In addition, and on a more practical level, I realize more than ever that making time to attend the annual meetings of both ETS and SBL is very difficult with a family and course load. To participate in both takes a week of life --in a very busy time of the year I might add--and this is very difficult to give. Moreover, since it is important to me to be active in the larger guild of New Testament studies I will always choose to if need be to miss ETS.

1 comment:

Ken Schenck said...

Despite my choice not to participate, I will admit to being jealous of the descriptions of sessions at ETS that you and MB have posted. Thanks for summarizing it for us Diaspora evangelicals...