Okay, time for my annual list of things to do and remember at ETS and SBL.
If you see me eating buffalo wings and drinking a glass of shiraz, it means that I just arrived, say “Hi”.
Go to the local San Fran marriage registry office and ask, “Is your policy really, ‘If you can carry it, you can marry it?’”
Attend the Liberty University breakfast at ETS wearing a rainbow flag as a cape.
Go through the car park at the Marriott Marquis during ETS and put an “Obama in 2012″ sticker on every car with texan license plates.
Stand outside the book exhibit at ETS with a sign saying, “Rob Bell is the Anti-Christ” then get ready for all the publishers who will offer you a book contract.
Tell anyone going to the ETS Dispensational Theology Study Group that the meeting has been moved off site to the Metropolitan Community Church San Francisco (look up their website, lots of rainbows).
Watch out for a guy on a skateboard whizzing around the Lobby yelling out, “Cowabunga dude … baptists rule the world,” because it’s probably my friend Denny Burk. Also, if you see Denny in the SBL Queer/LGBT sessions, don’t worry, he’s just casing out leftie views on sexuality.
If you see my fun friend Peter Enns at ETS ask him, “Are you sure that you’re in the right place?”
If you see any women at ETS ask them, “So where does your husband teach?” They really love it when you do that!
Go up to my dear friend Jim Hamilton, shake his hand and say, “Wow, how do you get your hands so soft, what is your secret?”
Find a homeless person on the street and offer him $50 if he’ll walk into the Crossway booth at the ETS book exhibit wearing a T-shirt that says, “Jacob Arminius is my homeboy”.
Don’t forget to sign the petition to change the name of San Francisco to “New Sodom”.
If you see Mike Bird on Friday 18 Nov, buy him a book from Mohr-Siebeck, it’s his birthday, also he likes Buffalo Wings!
Go up to Lynn Cohick (Wheaton College) and ask her what she knows about Eric Liddell and Kangaroos! You’ll be surprised.
Go up to the Preterist booth at ETS and ask if they’d be interested in buying some second hand Harold Camping books that you have.
Attend Mike Bird’s ETS paper on “Raging against the Roman Empire in Romans” on Thursday.
Walk up to Tom Schreiner and ask him point blank: “How could you side with Horton over Bird?”
Make sure you go to the Episcopal Scholars Meeting on the Thursday because they have a wonderful line-up:
- A seance to talk to Marcion, the theological adviser to the Disciplinary Board for Bishops committee in TEC.
- The canonization of Pelagius as the patron saint of “the other”.
- The anathematization of Jesus for preaching apocalyptic eschatology.
- Sermon on “Why Orthodoxy is like, totally, like Stupid” by Bishop Lara Valee-Goil.
- Book signing by Jack Spong on his latest book: Using Astrology to Prove that Jesus was Gay.
- Drunken orgy in the vestry of the Cathedral with underage Ukrainian prostitutes.
Go to Bart Ehrman’s two SBL papers: (1) The Gospels are textually corrupted and historically unreliable; (2) My radical portrait of the historical Jesus from a new reading of the Gospels (come for the contradictory premises, stay for the self-congratulatory rhetoric).
Remember, if you see a guy who looks like Mike Bird drinking coffee at SBL, then it ain’t Mike Bird.
Attend one of N.T. Wright’s Papers and yell out half way through it: “Avert your eyes children, he may change form,” and when folks stare at you in shock and disgust say, “Trust me, I’m Presbyterian, I know about this stuff.”
If you see Joel Willitts and Mike Bird holding hands, don’t worry, we’re just trying to sneak into the Episcopal Divinity School alumni luncheon.
If my good friendJames Crossley asks you to join him for a bit of sausage in the Castro distinct, don’t go … unless you’re Episcopalian.
If you see Mike Bird on Friday 18 Nov, give him a brown paper bag with a bottle of red wine in it, it’s his birthday (no Rose wine, it tastes like sugar and raspberry food coloring).
If you see Mike Bird having coffee with two gorgeous sheilas, don’t worry, it means I’m hanging out with Adrianna and Liz from IVP.
Ask Scot McKnight, “C’mon, is Jesus really the main thing in the gospel?”
If you see Mike Bird being chased by a short Russian lady, it means he was late on his publishing deadline with Zondervan, please try to hide him somewhere safe (anything higher than 5 ft, 3 inch will probably do).
Attend Mike Bird’s papers at SBL on “Tipping Points” on Sunday (S20-347) and at the “Theological Hermeneutics Section” on Monday (S21-148a) . Note, same jokes will be used!
Congratulate Joel Willitts on being warm and cudley (we are room mates at SBL).
If you see Mike Bird on Friday 18th of November, buy him a book from Brill and some Californian wine, it’s his birthday.
Have a good ETS, IBR, and SBL!