Our Week at Regent College

Regent College sits noticeably on the campus of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver (UBC edge of campus in the image). We were there seven days with six full days of sun — a glorious week of weather. I was there to teach a course on the Kingdom of God in the teachings of Jesus in Regent’s robust and impressive summer school offerings — I shared this week with folks like Soong-Chan Rah (Prof Rah), my former colleague at North Park (he is at the seminary though I was in the undergraduate program).

To begin with, a huge thanks to the organization skills of Molly Fogelman and Ali Cumming, as well to my TA Benj with a very special Dutch family name, Petroelje. (I did my best to convert the man toward anabaptism during the week.) They somehow conspired to find me some coffee during our class breaks so I could chat with students.

Kris and I stayed at the Gage dormitory though I must confess we were in the West Coast Suites, which gave us a little bonus room. We were just a 7 minute walk from Regent, so daily I had breakfast at the student union and then meandered over to the College — 8 am to 11am was the class time. It was a wonderful week where I got to propose to these gifted students what (I think) kingdom means for Jesus and the New Testament vision. I set this kingdom vision into the world of both Jewish politics and posed it toward Christian political theologies. Some pushback was expected but there was lots of encouragement, especially from pastors (more of that some day on the blog). These lectures are rooted in a project I am writing for Brazos called Kingdom Mission and World (hence some day on the blog).

Kris spent her mornings wandering around UBC and then we had lunch — we found a favorite place on the first day called The Pita Pit. After which we explored something in Vancouver. Our first two days were spent in Stanley Park and downtown Vancouver: Stanley Park, we were told, is the largest urban park in the world and we walked the seawall about a quarter way around (almost to the Lion’s Gate Bridge) and took in a bit of a cricket match. Then we had dinner at Stepho’s, a place that came with high recommendations and we enjoyed the Greek food. The next day we wandered the beaches … with an added humorous twist. We asked the front desk at the dorm where we could get to the beach, and they gave us a map and showed us Trail 3, which led us down almost 400 stairs to “Wreck Beach,” which we soon discovered was clothing optional. All a bit weird, of course, made even more so by the fact that it seemed (sparsley populated) by 60+ year old former hippies (males). We took the approach of keeping our eyes on the sand, which wasn’t sand after all but rocks. By the time we escaped the goofiness of Wreck Beach our legs were worn out. Anyway, we made it all the way to Jericho Beach, and then had a tough climb (foot by foot, if that long of a step) up to 4th Street to catch the UBC bus back to our room.

The rest of the week had one very special highlight: Ken and Joan Braun took us up Grouse Mountain, and we are indeed glad we didn’t do the Grouse Grind. At the top we took in the Grizzly Bear exhibit (humongous creatures, eh?) and then the Raptor exhibit, including getting up close to a falcon. Whew, the things can fly. Then Joan had prepared an incredible salad and fresh salmon, potato salad and homemade shortbread  picnic — which picnic we celebrated in a park overlooking the water.

One evening we were invited to Don Lewis’ home to have dinner with the Waltkes, the Houstons, the Lewises and the Greemans. A very special evening for us. And one evening Kris and I met Jonathan Wilson for a brew at the local Irish pub to chat … Jonathan is one of my favorite theologians and he teaches up the street at Carey Theological College.

Other than that, we wandered from Kits Beach and then around Granville Island, had a splendid early evening dinner at Go Fish on the island, and learned how to use the Vancouver bus system.

Did I mention the weather? Incredible beauty.

Kris had some Tim Horton’s in the mornings but I have to confess, Not I. Is it right and meet to go to Canada and not have a Tim Horton’s?

About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author of more than forty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.

  • Bob Wilson

    It was a great pleasure to take Scot’s Kingdom of God class. He is wonderfully clear and forthright about his interpretations, and welcomes interaction. Thus, just like this blog, it made for a wonderfully stimulating time, even at points where one finds a rationale for his conclusions unconvincing.

  • http://www.wadehodges.com/ Wade Hodges

    We lived in Bellingham, Washington, just south of Vancouver, for six years. I loved crossing the border and spending a day there. One of the most beautiful cities in the world (during the summer).

  • darrenking

    Key qualifier being “during the summer”. I grew up there (Vancouver). But much prefer my current sunny surroundings in the Sacramento area.The Pacific Northwest grey can become oppressive.

  • Tim OK

    great to have you, Scot. I drove up from Seattle just to catch the last two days of the class. I also drove up for the last time you were at Regent.

    I’m glad you’re liking our neck of the woods- hope to see you up here again!

  • gingoro

    You were indeed very fortunate since I have been to Vancouver a number of times and have never experienced a sunny day there. Clouds if not rain. But I have heard a prior rumour that the sun does come out sometimes.
    DaveW

  • John Stackhouse

    It was great to have you here, Scot, and we hope to have you back. The sunny weather is increasing in the summers, and then we bring in the rain to help us all concentrate from the fall to the spring! Next time, forget Tim Horton’s and get doughnuts at Lee’s on Granville Island–or pastries at Mix, not far from campus. And I’ll introduce you to Thomas Haas, chocolatier extraordinaire. And Salmon House on the Hill. And…well, come back, won’t you?

  • scotmcknight

    John, I had some Blenz and JJ’s .. both good coffees. Wish I had seen you but summer is for summering, eh?

  • Pastor Don

    It was indeed great having you, Scot. I trust we’ll see you at next year’s rally to save the seals.

  • scotmcknight

    Already in line!

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Tim Horton’s? Canada’s shame…. Disgusting stuff.

    Other than that – Vancouver is a great place to visit, though I have only been able to do so in a business capacity.

  • Patrick Mitchel

    Scot, I have a very similiar pic of that grizzly from a few years ago. It was grey and drizzly as I remember. You & Kris seem to take the sunshine with you – you got the best week of sun in Ireland that whole summer. Look forward to the book.

  • Benj Petroelje

    Scot, you’ll be happy to know that your efforts weren’t in vain. My wife and I are having our infant daughter baptized at our Anglican church this Sunday evening … Oh, wait…

  • Joel Mayward

    Thanks for the week of challenging and invigorating thoughts on the kingdom and the church, from one of the “skinny jeans theology” guys who agrees with you! (Well…mostly agrees). And when you come back to Vancouver, skip the Tim Hortons and try JJ Bean and 49th Parallel coffee, which is espresso we’ll be sipping in the kingdom.

  • Jonathan Wilson

    Hey Scot, it was wonderful for me to be a student in class again. (I’m always a student but mostly in books and conversations.) I’m eager to read your Brazos book–and your commentary on the Sermon on the Mount. You represent the kind of convergence that we need today–biblical scholarship, theological reflection, pastoral guidance–all woven together.


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