ETS 2016 Reflections

Next week (Nov 15-17) the Evangelical Theological Society will convene in Providence, RI for their annual conference. The theme,“The Heritage of the Reformation,” celebrates the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation with the following plenary speakers:

  • Gwenfair Adams, Associate Professor of Church History, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary; editor of the Romans 1-8 volume in the Reformation Commentary on Scripture series.
  • Timothy George, Founding Dean at Beeson Divinity School and General Editor of the Reformation Commentary series (also author of Theology of the Reformers)
  • Scott Manetsch, Professor of Church History, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and Associate General Editor of the Reformation Commentary series (also author of the Oxford publication on Calvin’s Company of Pastors)

This will be my third consecutive meeting to attend and I am eagerly anticipating what will be a rewarding week of scholarship and discussion between friends I have not seen since last year in San Antonio.

As I wrote last year about my time in Atlanta for 2015, I wanted to do the same for 2016. Below are a few observations from the 2016 meeting that was held in San Antonio. Last year the theme was on the doctrine of the Trinity which, seemingly, “appeared” to correspond with a slew of blog posts and articles. I tried to follow the conversation as thoroughly as possible, but found it difficult since my Trinitarian language is weak. See the helpful article by Brandon Smith as he reflects from the discussion and links to several posts.

  1. Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary held a Trinity discussion one night with a panel that consisted of several “heavy-hitters” in the Trinity debate. This was an interesting discussion, but I was more interested in seeing how these gentlemen interacted with one another through their disagreement. Suffice to say, I was pleased with the Gentlemen Theologians interaction with one another on this panel that was lacking throughout the internet debate.
  2. I was disappointed to see no Trinity knot amongst the crowd.

This year I will be presenting a paper entitled, “At the End of All Things: Verbal Connections of the New Testament in the Apocalypse.” The session is New Testament General Studies 1 in 552B, and my time is 9:50 – 10:30 A.M. Interestingly my friend Matt Emerson, whose outstanding book gave me the idea for this paper and my dissertation, is presenting right after me in the same session.

I am also pleased to see several MBTS professors and PhD students presenting this year as well.

  • Dr. Jason K. Allen (president): “Reformation Homiletics: Assessing Calvin’s Method of Preaching Christ from the Old Testament”
  • Stephen Andrews (professor of Hebrew and Old Testament): “Unsung Heroes of the Reformation: Christian Hebraists and Sola Scriptura”
  • Matthew Barrett (associate professor of Christian theology): “Is our Doctrine of Inerrancy Christological Enough? The Future of Inerrancy and the Necessity of Dogmatics;” “Balancing Sola Scriptura and Catholic Trinitarianism: John Calvin and Nicene Complexity;” moderating “Does Sola Scriptura Have a Future? The Reformation and Biblical Authority”
  • J. Alan Branch (professor of Christian ethics): “Gender Reassignment Surgery and Christian Ethics: A Brief Summary and Critique”
  • Todd R. Chipman (assistant professor of biblical studies): “Weapons, Wealth and the End of the World: Investigating Hag 2:6 in 1QM and Hebrews 12”
  • Jenny-Lyn de Klerk (Ph.D. student): “The Spirit’s Work in Prayer: Comparing Calvin and Owen in Light of Calvin vs. the Calvinists”
  • David Dickenson (Ph.D. student), with John Lee: “Following the Signposts through Mark’s New Exodus”
  • Jason G. Duesing (provost and associate professor of historical theology): “The Thorough Reformers: Baptists and their Contributions to the Christian Tradition”
  • Joseph D. Garner III (Ph.D. student): “The Instruments of Our Salvation: Thomas Cranmer, The Bible, and the English Reformation”
  • Christian T. George (assistant professor of historical theology and curator of the Spurgeon Library): “The Reformation According to Timothy George”
  • N. Blake Hearson (associate professor of Hebrew and Old Testament): “When is an Adverb not an Adverb? Deuteronomy 6:5 Reconsidered”
  • Jason P. Kees (Ph.D. student): “At the End of All Things: Verbal Connections of the New Testament in the Apocalypse”
  • Matt Kimbrough (Ph.D. student): “You Ought to Be Teachers’: Community Obligation in Hebrews 5:12”
  • John Lee (assistant professor of New Testament), with David Dickenson: “Following the Signposts through Mark’s New Exodus”
  • Thorvald B. Madsen (dean of graduate studies; Ph.D. program director; professor of New Testament, ethics, and philosophy): “He Was Despised: Isaiah 53 and the Apologetic Purpose of Matthew 8”
  • Michael D. McMullen (professor of church history; editor of the Midwestern Journal of Theology): “The Spirituality of William Wilberforce: Evidence from his Unpublished Journals”
  • Matthew C. Millsap (assistant professor of Christian studies; assistant director of library services): “Infinite Dominion: No Man’s Sky and the Cultural Mandate”
  • Owen Strachan (associate professor of Christian theology; director of the Center for Public Theology): “Retrieving Theopneustos: The Reformation’s Legacy and the Theologian’s Errand;” moderating “Does Sola Scriptura Have a Future? The Reformation and Biblical Authority”
  • Tom Wadsworth (Ph.D. student): “Divine Christology: Where It Stands, Where It Should Go”
  • John Mark Yeats (interim dean of students; dean of Midwestern College; associate professor of church history): “Pursuing the Win: How the Gentrification of American Religion Undermines Biblical Values”

This should be a good conference.