Recently I was invited to Abilene Christian University by Brady Bryce, chaplain at the university and a young scholar of spiritual formation (and Dallas Willard), to lecture at their annual Bible conference. I want to thank Brady (and Anna Perrey, his assistant), and the good folks of the Stone Campbell (or Restoration) Movement for the fellowship and the opportunity once again to be amongst them. I had a wonderful time on their splendid campus. (Their sports teams are now DI so I kept my eye on their football game against Illinois State, where ACU gave a good showing.)
Three major lectures: one on the biblical understanding of love, one on the biblical teaching of church and state, and then a final plenary address on the New Perspective and the Gospel. In addition, I got to speak at a dinner with some preachers who asked me some questions, and then another dinner conversation where I explored Paul’s vision for the church and a faculty luncheon when I spoke about the ethic of Jesus in the context of ethical theories.
Moment of embarrassment and apology: I forgot to mention a highlight of this event — being with Randy Harris so much. I respect Randy immensely, both for his focus on the ecclesial focus of his university teaching but also the integrity of his Christian life, and I’m sorry I forgot to mention him the first time.
In addition, I got to see some of my good friends, including Jim Martin (about to be VP at Harding Graduate School so we chatted about seminary education), Mike Cope (whose preaching I admire and whose friendship has meant much to me), and Jonathan Storment (a young preacher, and we shared BBQ at Sharon’s and had some good chats about “kingdom work”).
I love the Churches of Christ because they love the Bible, and that means I get to stand next to them on equal footing: we look at the Bible together, and I learn from them and I hope they learn from me. I could mention other names but I got to see Everett Ferguson and his wife again, and I bless that man for all the work he’s done to explain the early church.