Friday, 22 September 2006
Saturday, 16 September 2006
Well the age to come has evidently broken into this present age with greater force than is customary, because 3 days ago I took delivery of one of these. Mine is a lovely refurb from Apple themselves (at £500 off RRP) and it is a thing of beauty, power and much, much cleverness. I had everything moved from old PowerMac to new MacBook Pro in 45 minutes via an ethernet cable - is it that easy on PCs? I doubt it.
This ran on the Monday and Tuesday following BNTC. Again good to see old friends, and lots of interesting conversations (ὁ ἀναγινώσκων νοείτω). The theme was "community" which produced some interesting reflection and discussions but, frankly, I think a fair amount of conceptual confusion. The problem comes when community is used as a static noun, with a definite or indefinite article in front of it "a community/the community" - this suggests that we all know what one of these entities looks like. Of course the relevant NT word κοινωνία is not used in this way - it refers instead to the nature of relationships within given social and ecclesial structures and institutions. Thus to ask, is a Baptist College a community? is, in my view, an unhelpful question; better to ask, what kind of relationships are reflections of genuine κοινονία?
And from this conference straight into an NBC staff meeting (2 days) and this last week student induction followed by a Newly Accredited Ministers' Conference. Life will settle into a more established pattern next week when teaching starts
Others have posted at length about this year's BNTC at Sheffield - for a gathering of contributions see Mark's post here. My own conference experience was marked by the usual combination of papers that got my exegetical juices flowing and others that ... well simply didn't. In the former category was the excellent presentation by Peter Williams on the Saturday evening on John's Prologue (not so much farewell as "gosh you seem to have lost some weight") in the latter category the stuff on Philo and Paul in the Paul seminar - all important, I know, but occasionally hard work. The other bonuses were the usual meeting of new people (Michael Bird's 1st time gretting was "Gee you're a big fella") and buying books. Nothing major this time, just filling a few commentary gaps. I am waiting and saving for SBL in November (Jewett on Romans here I come). Oh, and I was also defeated in a ballot to elect a representative from the theological Colleges to the Conference committee, which given that I was arm twisted 3 hours before the meeting because there were no nominations comes as something of a relief.
Monday, 04 September 2006
The first two weeks of September are largely taken up with conferences and various forms of staff meeting. The first of these was the Consultation "Baptists Doiong Theology in Context" held here last week from Tuesday-Friday. I won't repeat the excellent summary provided by Andy Goodliff here and by Stuart Blythe here and here Suffice it to say that my paper (details here) went well and with a bit more work will be heading to go into the volume Baptist Sacramentalism 2, to be published by Paternoster in the SBHT series. Paul Fiddes chaired my session, so I was slightly nervous in so far as Paul had largely authored the chapter in the Baptist - Church of England conversations report that formed the starting point for my paper. But all went well, I am glad to say.
Overall the consultation was a success, another is due to be held at Regent's Park College in Oxford in August 2008. If you are a Baptist minister and are interested in theology, then look out for details nearer the time.