Pete at Pastorum

Over at Internet Monk, Chaplain Mike has several posts (June 7 back to June 4) reviewing a conference I just got back from in Chicago called Pastorum.

The conference was organized by Logos Bible Software. Twenty-one biblical scholars were asked to come and boil some things down for pastors and others who attended. We each had a 30 minute slot (though, true to form for academics, we treated the time limit as a vague suggestion).

So that you don’t lose sleep about it or get irritable, I will tell you that I spoke on the cosmic battle motif in Exodus (Yahweh beats up the gods of Egypt) and how that motif plays out elsewhere in the Old Testament (especially the Psalms) and then how Jesus in the Gospels is engaged in a similar cosmic battle. (Hint: Jesus calming the storm reflects the defeat of the watery chaos by Yahweh in the Old Testament, which works off a broader ancient Mesopotamian motif.)

I was given the coveted time slot of 5:30 pm, the second to last slot of the conference, when everyone was thinking of dinner or catching their flight, but it went well–by which I mean I was able to speak loud enough to drown out the snoring. On the brighter side, I was the only speaker there who had had LASIK surgery the week before.

Anyhow, Chaplain Mike has a great summary of the conference if you are interested, including the complete list of speakers. Logos did a GREAT job pulling this off, as did Park Community Church in hosting it. If I can offer two observations by way of helpful criticism: (1) every speaker, save one, was a white male; (2) don’t assume the pastors work with–or even know–Greek or Hebrew.

Among other attendees were Scot McKnight, Mike Goheen, John Walton, and Craig Keener.

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  • David B Johnson


    Your presentation was a highlight for me and my fellow attendee (both white males)!! Thanks again for your work and your desire to minister to those of us for whom the evangelical answers are often dissatisfying! Shalom.

    • peteenns

      Thanks, David. I appreciate it.

  • Judy S-N

    This sounds like a great conference! (And your talk sounds excellent, not surprisingly.) I know pastors in many parts of the country (like Minnesota!) would like to participate in something of this high quality. But yes, it would be good to diversify the presenters.

  • Jon G

    will there be any video available?

    • peteenns

      I don’t know, Jon. Perhaps, but just for the people who atended? I would check on their website.

  • Jordan Ickes

    Hey Pete, I really enjoyed your presentation. Yours and Scott McKnight’s were both highlights for me. I enjoyed your connections. I made a strange noise when you connected to Revelation and the defeat of the sea. I get the battle with the Egyptian gods. I love the battle between YHWH and the sea. Incredible stuff. I was hoping you might articulate for me the connection of baptism for a Christian. I’ve often connected the Christian baptism with the crossing of the Red Sea (Sea of Reeds) for the Israelites. It’s a matter of deliverance into a new life. You made a subtle suggestion towards it in your presentation at Pastorum as a sign of God’s power over Egyptian gods.
    In my Christian head I think I’ve associated a lot of significance on the water itself in baptism. So, is the water involved in baptism a connecting point in your motif? The apparent difficulty for me is, if water represents a battle between YHWH and inferior gods, why choose to use water to communicate allegiance to God and deliverance into new life?

    • It is interesting isn’t it, that God tames the water so that the Israelites can cross through and then allows it to swallow up the Egyptians. Peter depicts the water of the flood as saving Noah and his family even as it destroyed the world, and then likens it to baptism. This seems to be a theme all through the Bible, that what was meant for destruction, God uses for salvation.
      Will be interested to hear what Peter has to say.