Coming to ETS or SBL 2019 in San Diego?

Coming to ETS or SBL 2019 in San Diego? November 19, 2019

It’s theology conference season! This week begins the annual conference of the Evangelical Theological Society – ETS as well as the Society of Biblical Literature – SBL. I will present three papers. I welcome your prayers.

If you’d like to attend any of my presentations, here is the information you’ll need to know.

Wednesday, November 20th – ETS

An “East Asian” Response to Shame-full (Mis)Interpretations of Romans 7″

This paper adapts some of my work in Reading Romans with Eastern Eyes. Here is the abstract:

Romans 7 has an unmistakable influence on Christian theology and psychology. Many Christians generally agree that humans are born evil and so have a “sin nature.” Traditional Western interpretations of Romans 7 prioritize the individual and guilt. Unfortunately, such readings tend to foster shame and a sense of humiliation rather than humility.

What if we read Paul with greater sensitivity to collective identity, honor, and shame, i.e., values that characterize both the ancient world and a traditional “East Asian” worldview? By so doing, we find that Romans 7 offers a more hopeful anthropology than some might expect. Paul’s perspective helps to bridge the apparent gap between Western and Eastern views of human nature.

Furthermore, this reading preserves a focus on collective identity that is consistent with Paul’s broader argument in the surrounding chapters. Accordingly, this paper illustrates interconnections between culture, biblical exegesis, theology, and psychology.

Christianity and Culture Section
Third Floor – Torrey Hills AB

Sunday, November 24th – SBL

What Is an “East Asian” Interpretation of the Bible?


A person does not have an “Eastern” perspective simply because of their nationality or ethnic background. This paper demonstrates why anyone can read the Bible with “Eastern” eyes. Two thorny questions naturally arise. First, what is an “Eastern” perspective? Second, do categories like “Eastern” and “Western” merely play on worn stereotypes? After answering these concerns, I will even suggest we should more frequently use an Eastern lens to interpret the Bible. By understanding honor and shame within Eastern cultures, we can better approximate the perspective of biblical writers.

SBL Asian and Asian-American Hermeneutics Seminar
Theme: Asian and American Readings of the Bible
Convention Center – 27A (Upper Level East)


Monday, November 25th – SBL

God is Not Justified in Wrath: Vindicating Paul’s Use of Psalm 51 in Romans 3:4


This paper considers why Paul uses Ps 51 in Rom 3:4 to say that God is righteous. It agrees with the minority of scholars that Paul refers to God’s saving righteousness in Rom 3:4; yet, it uses a basic but surprisingly unused approach. It clarifies Paul’s meaning in Rom 3 by reinterpreting Ps 51:4 in its context. An exegesis of Ps 51:4 shows that David also speaks of God’s saving righteousness. Contrary to common opinion, these two passages are not in tension. In fact, they are mutually explanatory. According to David and Paul, God is justified because he saves sinners.

SBL Intertextuality in the New Testament Section
Theme: Intertextuality in the Epistles
Convention Center – 30C (Upper Level East)
9:35– 10:10am

Alright…. that should be it. Let me know if you’d like to connect. One of my favorite parts of the week is the book area… So you’ll likely see me there. I hope to see you this week!

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