I missed last years ETS, IBR, and SBL due to the fact that my doctors told me to take a year off international travel. I came close to a nervous breakdown after ETS/SBL 2011 in San Francisco due to a nasty sleeping disorder (FYI, don’t try to get over jet lag with wine or sleeping pills, working late, and getting assaulted at night by toddlers, bad mojo follows). So I’m exciting to be returning to the big tents this year in Baltimore.
The more I think about visiting Baltimore, the more I keep thinking of this clip from the muscial “Hair Spray.”
Makes me want to sing: “Good morning, SBL, most of these scholars are going to hell …”
But this year if you got to ETS and SBL, then …
Go to the Tuesday morning panel discussion at ETS on inerrancy and (1) throw vegetables at Peter Enns and cry out ” avert your eyes, he may change form” and (2) Yell out “amen” every time Mike Bird pauses in my talk.
If you see Tom Wright, ask him if he could write an “Idiots Guide to Paul and the Faithfulness of God” that won’t take four life times to read.
If you see Mike Bird, buy him a book for his birthday, this year I’m wanting:
Stanley E. Porter, How We Got the New Testament: Text, Transmission, and Translation.
Jens Schröter, From Jesus to the New Testament: Early Christian Theology and the Origin of the New Testament Canon .
Myk Habets and Bobby Grow (eds.), Evangelical Calvinism: Essays Resourcing the Continuing Reformation of the Church.
J. Ross Wagner, Reading the Sealed Book: Old Greek Isaiah and the Problem of the Septuagint.
Douglas Moo, Galatians.
Walter Moberly, Old Testament Theology.
Go to the SBL Beer reception at the Lutheran church with a six pack of Fosters and watch all of the Aussies curse you.
Walk around the ETS book exhibit wearing a placard that says, “Reinstate Bob Gundry Now” or “Mariam Kamell for First Female ETS President in 2018”. If you do, I will buy you a beer.
Ask Mark Goodacre if he heard Mike Bird’s SBL paper on the Holtzmann-Gundry Theory and if he’d like to repent of his Q skepticism in sackcloth and ashtray.
If you see James McGrath, tell him that the Doctor Who special has been cancelled and replaced with an infomerical by Answers in Genesis.
Buy numerous copies of Evangelical Theology and Five Views of Biblical Inerrancy.
Walk into the Crossway booth wearing a T-shirt that says, “Jacob Arminius is my home boy” and ask the attendants if they have any books by Roger Olson in stock or know of any good books to refute Calvinism. If you do, I’ll buy you a coke!
If you see Mike Bird and Joel Wilitts holding hands, don’t worry, we’re just trying to sneak into the Yale University reception.
If you go to the Wipf & Stock dinner and observe twenty Princeton Ph.D students sitting around an Aussie guy in absolute awe of his command of Barthian theology, don’t worry, its just Ben Myers holding court.
If you go to New York and see Tim Teabow, tell him that there’s a red head Aussie who thinks he got a raw deal from Denver. Also, ask him if he’d be prepared to man-up and consider a switch to rugby, the game of real men!
Attend the Scottish Universities reception wearing a kilt and no underwear, you’ll make lots of friends from Harard Divinity School I’m sure.
If you see Mike Bird, buy him a bottle of wine and some buffalo wings, it’s his birthday.
Go to the IBR session on Jesus is Lord, Caesar is Not and hold up a big sign with a picture of Donald Trump saying, “Caesar Demands Your Worship.”
Stand outside the ETS exhibit hall handing out flyers that say, “Jesus believed in Obamacare,” and I’ll buy you lunch!
If you see my Ph.D student, Ben Sutton, tell him that social memory is just a passing fad like theological interpretation of scripture, pokemon, and disco.
If you see Mike Bird running down a corridor at ETS, it means his paper on inerrancy didn’t go well, so run a screen for him, while he takes sanctuary at the local cathedral.
If you see Mike Bird hiding under one of the exhibitor tables, don’t draw attention to him, he’s hiding from a short Russian lady.
If you see some guy singing, “Good Morning Baltimore,” don’t worry, it’s just Mike Bird getting into the atmosphere.
If you see Denny Burk, tell him that his book on sex not only inspired a generation but it even helped create one!
If you see Mike Bird, give him a Mohr/Siebeck gift certificate, its his birthday after all.
If you see Con Campbell, ask him how life is at Trinity School of Dramatic Arts and Jazz Music.
Go to Josh Jipp’s Achtemeier Award Ceremony and cry out, “We’ve all been jipped.”
If you see Mike Bird, wish him a happy birthday, and tell him you’ve read his novel “Iskandar.”