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Conferences This Fall: ETS, SBL, NAPCE, Catalyst, Drive, and YS

There are a number of conferences this fall that you might be interested in hearing about. 

Below I discuss the:

  1. Evangelical Theological Society Annual Meeting
  2. Institute for Biblical Research Annual Meeting
  3. Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting
    • How to Survive and Thrive at ETS and SBL
  4. The North American Professors of Christian Education Annual Conference
  5. Catalyst Conference
  6. The Drive Conference at North Point Community Church
  7. The Youth Specialities 2006 National Youth Worker's Convention

The Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) Annual Meeting is November 15-17, 2006 in Washington, DC.  They have just posted their full program today at the link above.   I attended this meeting last year and enjoyed a number of excellent presentations (in the areas of New Testament, Old Testament, philosophy, church history, practical theology) from a conservative evangelical perspective.  The condition for membership into the ETS is subscribing to the following statement:

"The Bible alone, and the Bible in its entirety, is the Word of God written and is therefore inerrant in the autographs. God is a Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, each an uncreated person, one in essence, equal in power and glory."

  • Some well-known people I would enjoy listening to at ETS include: Ron Sider, Scott Hafemann, Robert Yarbrough, William Lane Craig, Jean Bethke Elshtain, J. Budziszewski, Gordon T. Smith, Craig Blomberg, William J. Webb, Tremper Longman, Greg Boyd, Jim Wallis, Shane Claiborne, Kenneth Barker, Larry Hurtado, Scot McKnight, Clark Pinnock, and I. Howard Marshall.  This gives you a flavor of some of the quality of people involved. 
  • From Taylor University's Biblical Studies, Christian Educational Ministries and Philosophy department, we have eight (Win Corduan, Michael Harbin, Bill Heth, Sheri Klouda, Bob Lay, Ed Meadors, Jim Spiegel and me) presenting!
  • See Justin Taylor's quick preview of ETS here.   

In between ETS and SBL, is the Institute for Biblical Research Annual Meeting (Nov 17 evening and Nov 18 morning).  You can find it in the SBL Program Book under Additional Meetings.  "The Institute for Biblical Research, Incorporated (IBRI) is an organization of evangelical Christian scholars with specialties in Old and New Testament and in ancillary disciplines. Its vision is to foster excellence in the pursuit of Biblical Studies within a faith environment."  Craig Blomberg and Craig Evans, among others, are presenting this year.  Its out of date website was pulled down two weeks ago but you can still see it via google cached. 

The Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) Annual Meeting is November 18-21 in Washington DC.  "The Annual Meeting is the largest gathering of biblical scholars in the world. At this combined meeting with the American Academy of Religion, scholars benefit from sessions on religion, philosophy, ethics, and diverse religious traditions."  I also attended this event last fall. 

  • Some well-known names (at least to me) at SBL include: Larry Hurtado, Judith Gundry-Volf, Robert Walter Moberly (friend Joel Lohr doing dissertation under him), Michael Bird, Phyllis Trible, Thomas Long, Christopher Stanley (Regent College grad), Joel Green, Marcus Bockmuehl, Peter Machinist, James Dunn, Walter Brueggemann, Bart Ehrman, Douglas Campbell, Sheri Klouda (Taylor University colleague), Mark Goodacre, Rikk Watts (Regent College prof), Edith Humphrey, Donald Hagner, Philip Jenkins, John M. G. Barclay, Richard A. Horsley, Craig A. Evans, Richard Bauckham, Ben Witherington, Joel Willitts, Michael Theophilos (Regent College grad with me), Ellen Charry, Jacob Neusner, Luke Timothy Johnson, John G. Stackhouse, Jr. (Regent College prof), William Willimon, N. Thomas Wright, Richard B. Hays, Clark Pinnock, Francis Watson, Beverly Gaventa, John Sanders, Scott Hafemann, Robert Derrenbacker (Regent college prof), Susan Eastman, Robert Wall, Marianne Thompson, and Miroslav Volf.  (I have put hyperlinks to those I know have blogs).

How to Survive and Thrive at ETS and SBL:

ETS is followed by SBL so that you can attend both if you are interested.   

(1) The paper writers present their own papers.  They basically read the academic paper aloud.  You hear regular laments in the hallway about bad pedagogy.  "We present with PowerPoint and illustrations in our classrooms back home but read papers when we are together.  Oh academia . . ." But it is still pretty fun if you are interested in seeing the scholars or are interested in the topic.  Need I mention that caffeine helps? 

(2) If two papers are scheduled at 8:30 am, you have to choose one to attend.  But if the paper is over at 9:10, you can run to another one.  In other words, you don't have to attend all three papers of one session.  There is lots of movement in between papers.  So make your schedule ahead of time and run around and go to the papers you want to. 

(3) If nothing looks good, go to the book room.  Every publisher in the world has all of their books at 50% off.  Very cool.   

(4) Don't bother going to see a moderator because they really don't do a thing except make sure that the person doesn't go over time.  If it says that the moderator is participating in a discussion, then it could be interesting. 

(5) Schedule lunch and dinner with your friends or acquaintances. You'll be running around all day but you don't want to get stuck eating alone (unless you found a good book in the book room).  And it easy to lose your friends in the chaos around mealtimes.  So schedule your meals and meeting places ahead of time. 

(6) The General sessions are also optional.  I would recommend the one at ETS with the dinner though.  I sat next to Gordon Wenham last year.  Again, I recommend booking people ahead of time to sit with.   

(7) The theme really means nothing except for influencing the general sessions.   

(8) Book a place to stay now as things get filled up and you'll get stuck with the real expensive hotels. 

The North American Professors of Christian Education (NAPCE) Annual Conference is October 19-21, 2006 in Denver, CO.  The keynote speaker is Richard Osmer, professor of Christian Education at Princeton Theological Seminary and author of the new book The Teaching Ministry of Congregations. 

The Catalyst Conference is October 5-6 in Atlanta, GA. "Catalyst was conceived as a Next Generation Leaders Conference in 1999 by a small group of influential young leaders.  Catalyst was created to meet the felt need existing within the church for a leadership event that was focused on a new generation of church leaders.  Catalyst was able to meet the demand for fresh leadership insights for young leaders by creating a conference experience specifically focused on leaders under the age of 40 . . . and this October, over 10,000 young leaders will gather again to experience Catayst up close."   Speakers this year include Andy Stanley,  Donald Miller, John Maxwell, Gary Haugen, Louie Giglio, John Stott, Marcus Buckingham, and George Barna.  Some of their "Catalyst Lab" speakers include some of my favorite people: Eugene Peterson, Mark Buchanan, Andy Crouch, Lauren Winner, and Shane Claiborne.  Catalyst has a blog here

The Drive Conference at North Point Community Church is November 6-8, 2006 in Alpharetta, GA.  North Point, pastored by Andy Stanley, is the "third most influential church in the nation" according to TheChurchReport.com here. "DRIVE '06 is an opportunity for our staff to download what we've learned over the past ten years about creating and maintaining irresistible ministry environments."  Here are my posts that have touched on Andy Stanley.    

The Youth Specialities 2006 National Youth Worker's Convention is:

  • Austin: Oct 5-9
  • Anaheim: Nov 2-6
  • Cincinnati: Nov 16-20
  • Charlotte: Nov 30-Dec 4

Speakers and musicians vary by location but some locations will include some of my favorites: David Crowder Band, Mike Pilavachi, Shane and Shane, Donald Miller, Kenda Creasy Dean, and Shane Claiborne. 

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