I am in the great town of Milwaukee tonight, home of century old breweries and Polish steeples and site of this year’s Evangelical Theological Society Meetings. I am here to present a paper, as well as listen to a number of scintillating, brilliant, and fascinating papers by colleagues in fields from philosophy to theology to bibliology. As with every year I have attended, I am again prepared to give my prestigious “Most Irrelevant Awards”. Again, there are so many to choose from—so here the top seven (in no particular order):
1-The Relational Ontology of Third Article Theology
2-Kierkegaardian Forgiveness and the Condonation Objection
3-The Problem with the Proposal of a Peripatetic Provenance for the Lexical Conceptual Source of Paul’s Ethical Catalogues in Col 3:5, 8, 12-14 and a Proposal of Two Ways Forward
4-Wagering an Interest Relative Invariantism
5-Consciousness, Maximality, and Mereologically Simple Selves
6-On the Road to Vaticanus: Another Look at P4
7-The Evolution of Atonement; Hebrew Sirach 3:30 and a Semantic-Historical Argument Against the Sense ‘Propitiation’ for Hilaskesthai in Hebrews 2:17
I fantasize the thought of having all of the above presenters over for dinner one night and see where the conversation goes. It could be really wild and adventuresome. I might even invite some of my parishioners, those dealing with hard issues in life like an unfulfilled marriage, dealing with rebellious teenagers, living with the election results, or struggling with an unfulfilling career. I would guess it could all be very helpful.
It would be unfair, however, to stop here. For there were also some relevant papers (and the conference had a very relevant theme—“Caring for Creation”. It was great to hear some very good evangelical thinkers address the environment). Now for those more relevant papers:
Tree Hugging the Tree of Life
The Global Warming Hoax Makes You Pay for Everything and Threatens Your Freedom: A Biblical Response to Global Warming Claims
I Would Crawl Over Broken Glass to Hear Him: John Stott’s Popularity in North America
Boredom is a Heresy: Creation Mandates, the Ontology of Boredom, and Creation Care
Eternity is a Temporal Category
It’s All Going to Burn Anyway: Rethinking Dispensational Creation Care
Be Anxious for Nothing: Biblical and Cognitive-Behavioral Approaches for Treating Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Sleep, Sloth, and Sanctification
Okay, maybe you are still wondering why I am here. I come each year to get answers. And there were a number of papers seeking to answer life’s more significant questions:
Can Autonomous Military Robots Be Programmed to Behave Ethically?
Can’t We All Get Along? Friendly Atheism and the Epistemology of Religious Disagreement
Is There Really Such a Thing as Male and Female? The Challenge of Intersex to a Complementarian Understanding of Gender
Is Thoughtless Prayer Really Christian? A Biblical/Evangelical Response to Evagrius of Ponticus
Who’s Afraid of Univocity?
What’s So Bad About Making People Better?
Yahweh the Sadist? An Examination of God’s Delight in Destroying Israel in Deuteronomy 28:63
So many papers—and so little time!
Tomorrow I leave for Beirut, entering a part of the world where—finally—everything will make sense.