Ecclesia and Ethics: An Eco-friendly and Economically-feasible Online Biblical Studies and Theology Conference is an academic and ecclesial conference taking place on Saturday May 18th and Saturday May 25th 2013 in real-time via the high-tech Webinar site http://www.gotomeeting.com. No software will need to be purchased by presenters or attendees, and Webinar access is provided entirely for free due to a generous Capod Innovation Grant through the University of St Andrews in Scotland. Participants and attendees will be able to sign on, present, and listen to or watch presentations from anywhere in the world with reliable internet and a computer. Registration for the conference consists of a $10/£7 (minimum) donation to one of our Recommended Charities. We invite participants to give according to their means above the $10/£7 to one or more of our charities if they feel led and are able.
Main papers will be presented by our Main Speakers: N.T. Wright, Michael Gorman, Dennis Hollinger, Shane Claiborne, Stanley Hauerwas, Brian Rosner, Mariam Kamell, Nijay Gupta, Michael Barber, and Sungmin Min Chun. Additionally, we will have five Multiple Paper sessions throughout the conference, via five Virtual Rooms which will feature papers from a total of 20-25 selected papers. Interested parties are invited to submit an abstract to email@example.com for consideration from January 2013-March 2013.
To whet your appetite, here is a video interview with N.T. Wright regarding his take on “Moral Formation, the relationship between the Church and the Academy, and the relationship between Theology and Exegesis.”
And here is an interview with Nijay Gupta, our newly installed Professor:
This is the text from the Gospel Lesson for tomorrow’s worship gathering at St. Andrew’s Anglican. In my studies for this Sunday I always read the appropriate texts several times over. From there I check things out in books, online articles, different blogs, commentaries, etc. It’s a good thing to know the proper historical context, narrative context (both in Scripture in its entirety and its specific book), any linguistic clues, among other details.
The image above is another tool that can employed. Wordle allows you to copy and paste any text you want in order to create a Word Cloud, like the one above. From there you are able to get a great visual display of the written text. The larger words mean they show up more frequently, indicating what the main idea/person/place might be. Now, this isn’t always the case, and it doesn’t replace good exegetical study, but it can help us imagine what might be going on. Hopefully, it helps a bit.
“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God,and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” – Mark 1:14-15
I grew up in a Christian tradition that faithfully preached the repentance of sins, the personal need for someone/something to save us, and the proper mode of living after one has made a decision. The individual prayer, usually deemed as the “sinner’s prayer” (which I blogged about here) is something most people have experienced, whether or not they prayed it. Most people whom have grown up attending church have been part of a service in which the push and ending culmination of the service is the altar call.
“If you’ve prayed this prayer, please lift a hand or raise your head up so I can recognize you and thank God for your decision.” This is typically the mode of welcoming new believers into the family of God. The call is for life change in response to the need for grace for the entrance into heaven when we die.
Repent, pray, and raise a hand. Easy enough.
Yet, why does Jesus say something about God’s kingdom? What is this all about? I’d be willing to bet (because I know from personal experience) that most Christians don’t know much about the kingdom or its importance. Most churches emphasize a personal repentance into a personal relationship with God through Jesus, but what about the communal effects of salvation? What and how does Jesus’ declaration of the kingdom of God being at hand intertwine with repentance? Obviously, personal salvation is a must, but not to the exclusion of kingdom living and thought. Is there something bigger and more extensive that perhaps overemphasizing personal salvation misses out on?
Anyone out there have any thoughts? I’ll write more as we move along.