Tuesday, November 20, 2007

ETS/SBL 08 Round Up

Rather than do a couple of short posts, I thought I'd give an extended summary of how the conferences went for me.
My shoes lasted the whole trip and (so far) there have been no travel hitches. However, tomorrow is the day before Thanksgiving so it's the biggest travel day of the American year, storms are predicted for the mid-west, and I have a sad feeling that I may never see my luggage again when it gets on the plain. Overall it's been a enjoyable and fun conference. All of my books sold out in their respective stalls. Let me add also, that I did see D.A. Carson, and he did recognize me! So I repent in sackcloth and ashtray.
My paper on Justification/Obedience in Romans 2 went well. I argued that the doers of the law who are justified (Rom. 2.13-16 and 25-29) are Gentile Christians. Doug Moo had a few probing questions, but on the whole, the paper was well received. In the afternoon, Doug Moo gave an excellent paper on Justification and Obedience which was superb (watch JETS for when it comes out). John Piper's evening lecture on the work of Christ was okay. I appreciated what John was doing, but I felt that he unfairly belittled Doug Moo's paper because I think that one can indeed over-emphasize alien righteousness over and against the call to faithfulness and obedience. In fact, Doug Moo did a good job of showing that justification is in a sense "not-yet". Stan Porter's paper on Matthew 28.19-20 and the grammar of obedience was interesting and he gave the best exposition of the relationship between the imperative verb and the participles I have heard (D.A. Carson and Dan Wallace copped some flack from him). I had lunch with some cool guys centred around Chris Bruno and hangeronerers and that was a blast. The Bauckham and Eyewitnesses seminar was alright, but nothing that rocked my world. The ETS banquet included a good summary of the historical of the publication and was appropriately closed off by Andreas Kostenbeger. Once again, many friend were caught up with, esp. those of a Southern Baptist Variety! On Friday, Timothy Gombis gave a sooporb paper on the New Perspective and Romans. It was a rigorous argument for an apocalyptic and pastoral reading of Romans. Expect big things from Tim in the future. Sadly, I had to head off and I missed other NPP papers and the panel review of Scot McKnight's book on Jesus and His Death. The San Diego weather was great and I got to see my usual array of friends too.
Well best of all, I got into membership. John Goldingay's paper on Israel and canonical stuff (I came in half-way) was good, but sadly Chris Seitz's plane was delayed and he could not respond. The IBR worship with N.T. Wright (PBUH) on Ps 98 and Matthew 13 was good as well and Wright (PBUH) was in his usual good form. Not the least of which I learned that Wright (PBUH) missed the SNTS meeting this year because he was at an evangelistic meeting in the UK. I didn't go to Wright's (PBUH) lecture on "God in Public" because it was packed so I couldn't get in. [Note: PBUH = Peace Be Upon Him].
If you missed the "Faith of Jesus" debate then give yourself an upper-cut. It was fantastisch! Although we may now have to rename the book Doug Campell Contra Mundum. There were papers by Stan Porter, Doug Campbell, Barry Matlock, Preston Sprinkle, Ardel Caneday, Francis Watson, and Ben Myers. Ben Myers did well despite being the theologian (or lamb) among the Pauline sholars (or wolves). I could not forget meeting Chris Tilling in person and seeing other bloggers like Jim West, James Crossley, Brandon Wason and many, many others. The panel discussion on Bauckham's book Jesus and the Eyewitnesses, was good, but Adela Yarbro Collins basically ripped into any historiographical perspective that includes faith or belief in the miraculous. James Crossley gave some arguments against miracles figuring in historical studies. As suspected, Bauckham's replies were both adequate and penetrating. Particularly in his call for "humility" and I wonder who he had in mind? The sites of Asia Minor presentation was okay with many piccies of Ephesus and Rome. Part of me wishes I had made the DSS exhibit, but once you've seen one bit of Hebrew scrawled on sandpaper you've seen them all. My birthday included me getting $175 worth of free books from various generous publishers who wanted to celebrate my birthday with me. I did a Viva for Aberdeen Uni and that went well. The student in question adequately defended a sound thesis. The Johannine literature section was probably the place to be this year and Sandra Schneider should be made an honorary Protestant for her paper. Robert Culpeppar gave a good paper on his journey through Johannine studies and he adopts a modified "community" view. D.A. Carson also did the same topic and it was most interesting. The highlight was when Carson recounted how C.K. Barrett said to him at his viva: "What makes you think that John would be slightly interested in your thesis?". The 1 Esdras consultationg was okay, except for the presenter who went over time and said "in conclusion then" four times before the end. The receptions were fantastic, esp. Scottish Universities Reception, Baker and Sheffield/Phoenix. Many friendships were made, many deals were done, and many careers ruined no doubt as well.
The books I picked up (most of which were free for me) include:
Charles Talbert, Ephesians and Colossians
J.S. Russell, The Parousia (free from the preterist society).
Phil Johnston, The IVP Introduction to the Bible
D.A. Carson & Greg Beale, Commentary on the NT use of the OT
Markus Bockmuehl, Philippians (BNTC)
John Piper, The Future of Justification
Michael Holmes, The Apostolic Fathers
Walter Schmithals, The Theology of the First Christians
George Strecker, The Theology of the New Testament
M. Eugene Boring, Mark
Adela Yarbro Collins, Mark
Greetings to all I met and saw there. And that is that!


Judy Redman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

sigh...i wish i could have been there.

and happy birthday

J. Matthew Barnes said...

I really enjoyed your emcee skills on Friday Michael.

It is too bad that we did not get to meet.

K.Fever said...


It was a pleasure to meet you (and even run into you twice in the book exhibit!). I just want to drop a line so you don't forget who I am! We talked about Diaspora Judaism and Paul and I had that odd last name, "Fever." Send me an e-mail so we can stay in conversation: kfever@luc.edu

By the way, I never ran into Tom Tobin again, so I could not mention the Romans commentary to him. I will next time I talk with him.

Kyle Fever
Loyola University Chicago

Unknown said...


It was a pleasure having a chat with you at ETS over a soda. I was about to get your T&T Clark book, but I was to late. I look forward to seeing you again someday soon.


abcaneday said...

It was enjoyable gulping a sandwich with you at Subway on Friday as we rushed to the forum.

I found it curious that the seat left for me at the forum on Pistis Christou was positioned between Doug Campbell and Barry Matlock, both, very nice gentlemen. Perhaps it was a suitable seat, given my presentation. It came off more moderating than I intended. I think.

Doug holds his own, doesn't he?

Andrew said...

For those of us interested in the pistis Christou debate but who weren't there, could you tell us more about it? What did the various speakers have to say? Or better yet - did anyone record it and can post the audio? Am I right in interpreting your brief comment to mean the papers will be published as a book?

jeff miller said...

More of what Andrew said above.