If I Were Going To #ETS2014

November 19, 2014 — Leave a comment

Sad to say, once again I’ll be missing ETS this year. If you’re not familiar, ETS is the Evangelical Theological Society, and their yearly meeting is every November, the week before Thanksgiving. I became a member of the society my final year at Dallas and was actually able to present part of my thesis at the Southwest Regional meeting that year. Earlier this year, I presented another paper at the Southeast Regional meeting in Birmingham.

Much like two years ago, I was actually planning on going. In 2012, I had submitted a paper and was approved to present at the meeting in Milwaukee, but then couldn’t afford to go. Last year, I hadn’t really planned on it, but this year I was planning to go until I found out my paper wasn’t approved and then I had to re-think my plans. Ultimately, it is hard to justify the expense when you are not a salaried employee and making the trip requires a week off work, plus airfare, plus hotel, plus rental car. And I didn’t even mention getting books!

Hopefully I’ll be able to make it next year when it is once again in Atlanta (Maybe I should start saving now).

Even though I’m not going to be there, I did receive my program earlier this month. Just for fun, I plotted out the sessions I would probably attend if I were going to be there.

For the Wednesday morning sessions, I’d probably head over to the Theological Aesthetics: The Arts, Aesthetics, and Ecclesiology section:

  • Fred Sanders – What the Icons Say and Do for the Gospel: The Place of the Ancient Christian Iconographic Tradition in Evangelical Churches
  • Tim Basselin – Unlimited Beauty: Disability and Vulnerability for the Church
  • Robert Covolo – The Church and Visual Art: Did Calvin Overreact?
  • Mark Coppenger – Spiritual Skepticism Over Art in the Local Church

For the afternoon session, I’d probably drift back and forth between God and God Incarnate: God and The Future:

  • Gerald Bray – The Mind of God and the Destiny of Man
  • Douglas Blount – God, the Future, and Inerrancy
  • Jonathan Yates – Augustine’s Vision of the Future
  • R. Albert Mohler – Contemporary Challenges and the Doctrine of the Future
  • Paige Patterson – God, Salvation, and the Future in John’s Revelation
  • Panel Discussion

And the review panel for Michael Bird’s Evangelical Theology: A Biblical and Systematic Introduction.

On Wednesday morning, I’d head over to the Models of God: The Jealousy of God section:

  • Paul Maxwell – In What Sense is the God of Christians a Jealous God?
  • Matthew Barrett – He Hardens Whomever He Wills: The Exodus, God’s Fame, and the Manifestation of God’s Jealousy through Divine Sovereignty
  • Dennis Jowers – Divine Jealousy and The Problem of Evil
  • K. Erik Thoennes – Divine Jealousy and the Christian Life

In the afternoon, I’d probably head toTheology For Counseling and Pastoral Care: Theodramatic Anthropology:

  • Kevin Vanhoozer – Role-playing: Personal Identity, and “Putting On” Christ: The Drama of Discipleship
  • Robert L. Saucy – The Biblical Heart and the Way of it’s Transformation: Growing Into Christ
  • Stephen P. Greggo – Theodramatic Anthropology & the “Significant” Self: Implications for Therapeutic Relating
  • Robert Kellemen – Theo-Drama and Gospel-Centered Counseling: God’s Redemptive Drama and Our Ultimate Life Questions

Or, I’d be at Biblical Theology: Defining Biblical Theology:

  • James Hamilton Jr. – Reflections on What is Biblical Theology? A Guide to the Bible’s Story, Symbolism, and Patterns
  • Greg Beale – Response to James Hamilton Jr.’s What is Biblical Theology? A Guide to the Bible’s Story, Symbolism, and Patterns
  • Edward Klink III and Darian Lockett – Reflections on Understanding Biblical Theology: A Comparison of Theory and Practice
  • Paul House – Response to  Edward Klink III and Darian Lockett’s Understanding Biblical Theology: A Comparison of Theory and Practice
  • Panel Discussion

Tempting at this same time would be the Hermeneutics: Hermeneutics and the Historicity of Adam set of papers, but I’d have to play it by ear after starting at the above two sections.

On Friday afternoon, I’m not sure if this is possible, but I’d try to catch three papers in three different sections:

  • D. A. Carson – Why the Local Church Is More Important than TGC, White Horse Inn, 9Marks, and Maybe Even ETS (from 1:00-1:40)
  • Keith Plummer – John Owen, the Self-Attestation of Biblical Authority, and its Significance for Christian Apologetics (1:50-2:30)
  • Wayne Grudem – Salvation without Repentance from Sin? A Critique of the “Free Grace” Gospel

There are maybe a few other outlying papers I’d try to catch, but this is the gist of the schedule I’d follow. Perhaps more importantly, I was really looking forward to meeting some authors/scholars for the first time, as well as connecting with others that I’ve already met either in person or online. I haven’t even mentioned how nice San Diego would be, but at the same time, I live in Florida which nice as well (though you could probably argue San Diego is nicer, but at least my rent is cheaper). All in all, I’m sure I would have had a great week there, and I’m bummed I couldn’t be there. I’m also bummed I couldn’t take Michael Bird up on any of his offers, especially the one to help him out during the Bart Ehrman review session. Maybe next year will hold similar challenges. Until then, I guess I better start saving!


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I’m an avid reader, musician, and high school Bible teacher living in central Florida. I have many paperback books and our house smells of rich glade air freshners. If you want to know more, then let’s connect!

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