Christian Scholars' Conference 2011
Updated June 8
Generative & Peer Reviewed Abstracts
William Abraham, Southern Methodist University, “Brain Battles: Divine Action and Neuroscience” Friday, 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM; Plaza 188
This paper focuses on the impact of neuroscience on theology. First, it identifies where and how neuroscience and theology overlap. Second, it summarizes the most radical version of the appeal to neuroscience that is developed intentionally as a challenge to theology. Third, it draws attention to a very important theological response to that challenge that has surfaced in and around the work of Professor Nancey Murphy. Fourth, it sketches the contours of an alternative research agenda. En route this paper briefly seeks to provide some intellectual motivation for that alternative agenda.
Holly Catterton Allen, John Brown University, “Intergenerational Spiritual Ecology: Learning Theory Support for Multigenerational Formative Benefits” Thursday, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM; Kresge Reading Room
Faith communities in America have increasingly embraced age segregation over the last several decades. The fundamental premise of this presentation, however, is that Christian experiences that intentionally bring the generations together uniquely nurture spiritual growth and development across the entire life span, from young to old. This premise elicits a probing question: Why? That is, what is it about intergenerational faith settings that would uniquely foster spiritual formation? This presentation explores the situative-sociocultural perspective as introduced by Lev Vygotsky and developed and elaborated by contemporary educational psychologists and social scientists to explain key learning principles at work in an intergenerational Christian community.
Frederick Aquino, Abilene Christian University, “Toward an Epistemology of Theology” Friday, 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM; Plaza 188
One fruitful and refreshing feature of recent work in epistemology is the expansion of its desiderata. The targets of appraisal are features of beliefs (for example, is it true, justified, or coherent) and evaluative qualities (does the person exhibit understanding, wisdom, or intellectual honesty, for instance). The diverse and expansive landscape of contemporary epistemology allows for greater focus on individual goals in their own right and on their interrelations. This paper explores how an expansive project of this sort paves the way for fuller theological appropriation and progresses the task of carving out the landscape of an epistemology of theology.
Garry Bailey and Lori Ann Shaw, Abilene Christian University, “Examining the Relationships among Church of Christ Women's Attitudes towards Women’s Roles in Religious Contexts, Attachment to God, Church Attendance and Educational Attainment" Thursday, 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM; AC 290
With over 1200 responses from Church of Christ women, this paper explores the relationships between attitudes towards women’s roles in church, attachment to God, church attendance and educational attainment. As shown in other studies, women with higher educational attainment tend to have more inclusive views of women’s roles. Exclusive to the present study, however, is the finding that women with higher educational attainment are more likely to be avoidant in their attachment to God. Additionally, results revealed that women with higher church attendance are more likely to have non-inclusive views of women’s roles and be less anxious and avoidant in their attachment to God.
Clifford A. Barbarick, Pepperdine University, “Craving the Milk in 1 Peter: The Pattern of Christ as Salvific Nourishment” Saturday, 10:30 AM - Noon; AC 270
In 1 Peter, the metaphor of rebirth describes the work of God in various moments of the Christian life. God gave the community new birth at their conversion through his living and enduring word (1:22-23), and now he nourishes the newly born with his word-milk in order to grow them into eschatological salvation (2:2-3). For Peter, the pattern of Christ functions as the word-milk that nourishes the community in their present trials. Contemporary communities are likewise grown and nourished by attention to the pattern of Christ in its various manifestations (in worship, film, literature, or the lives of others).
Mimi Barnard, Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, “Gender Balance in CCCU Institutional Leadership: What the Numbers Show” Friday, 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM; Kresge Reading Room
How do perceptions of gender impact administrative and faculty roles in Christian higher education? How may gendered theology impact the leadership pipeline in Christian higher education? Considering gender ratios, how do administrative and faculty roles in Christian higher education compare to all of higher education? This presentation will share current data on higher education gender composition and also describe several CCCU leadership development initiatives.
Scott Bartchy, UCLA, “The Foundation of Persuasiveness of New Testament Writers: A Review of Ben Witherington’s New Testament Rhetoric” Thursday, 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM; AC 263
Witherington wrote this book to persuade its readers “to do proper rhetorical analysis of the NT, and to stop disregarding, or belittling such a form of NT studies.” I agree that such work is absolutely essential for avoiding anachronistic and contextless reading and interpretation. The key concept here is context which, however, must be extended to a rich awareness of the dominant cultural values and social codes that profoundly informed all communication in the world of the early Christ-followers. The behavior of the NT writers in their Holy Spirit-formed communities - their characteristic ethos - was the foundation of their persuasiveness, not their right words.
Alden Bass, Saint Louis University, “The Paranoid Style of Christian Apologetics: Apologetics Press and the Role of Science in the Churches of Christ, 1980-2005” Thursday, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM; Great Books Reading Room
In this paper I review the rise of Apologetics Press and then analyze its approach to the relation between science and religion. While creationism is typically associated with a conflict model, I argue that the approach taken by Apologetics Press is more accurately described as integrative. The apparent conflict is better explained by Richard Hofstadter’s concept of “the paranoid style.” Conservative Christians do not see a fundamental conflict between science and religion, rather they suspect that a conspiracy between religious and political “liberals” has hijacked true science. Hofstadter’s model also makes sense of the recent political turn at Apologetics Press.
Darlene Beaman, Lone Star Community College, “The Supernatural vs. the Laboratory: Can God exist in Modern Crime Fiction?” Friday, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM; AC 286
Current writers study the sociopathic criminal mind from different perspectives: from solving crimes scientifically by examining the bones left by killers in Kathy Reichs’ detective series about a forensic anthropologist, to examining the psychology of the serial killer in Dean Koontz novels, to making the serial killer the “good” guy in the television series, Dexter. God’s presence is undeniable in all three of these modern depictions of crime fiction, and with Dean Koontz, often the killer collaborates with demons while detectives find angelic assistance. Once an author introduces supernatural elements, however, can a work still be defined as detective fiction?
Jeffrey Bilbro, Baylor University, “Preserving ‘God’s Wildness’ for Redemptive Baptism: John Muir and the Disciples of Christ” Friday, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM; Plaza 189
While much Muir scholarship has downplayed the influence of his Christian upbringing on his mature environmental ethics, over the last twenty years scholars have begun to appreciate the Christian theology that undergirds Muir’s writing. What remains little understood, however, is the way the distinctive theology of the Disciples of Christ prepared Muir to understand nature as an agent of God’s egalitarian, unifying, and primitive redemption. Arriving in Yosemite with this perspective, Muir read in its glacier origins the redemptive love of its Creator and believed that by immersing himself in these mountains he could receive a divine baptism.
Allen Black, Harding University Graduate School of Religion, “Called to Be Holy: Ecclesiology in 1 Peter” Friday, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM; AC 270
1 Peter addresses Christians in ancient Asia Minor who were suffering for their faith and encourages them to holiness and good deeds. Because Peter sees the concept of community as a key element in his pastoral edification, he makes a major contribution to a biblical theology of the church. Peter's ecclesiological contribution appears fundamentally in the set of images and metaphors that he uses to portray the church. These images may be divided according to whether they emphasize the community's 1) relationship with God, 2) internal relationship with each other, or 3) external relationship to the surrounding culture.
Susan Blassingame, Lubbock Christian University, “The Dynamo and the Virgin and Henry Adams: Symbolism and the Angst of Modernity” Thursday, 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM; AC 286
Winner of the 1919 Pulitzer for autobiography and considered by many to be the best non-fiction book of the 20th century, The Education of Henry Adams explores one man’s search for truth and meaning as he lives during one of the most tumultuous ages in history. Adams stood before the dynamo at the Paris Exposition and considered history, science, technology and industrialization as he “began to feel the forty-foot dynamos as a moral force.” This realization inspires a reflection on religious art and architecture which does not bring Adams peace, but does cause a modicum of hope.
Spencer Bogle, Southern Methodist University, “The Possibility of Missional Theology: Finding Ourselves in a Globalized World” Friday, 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM; AC 263
While the age of colonization has passed, an historical relational framework remains from the age of global conquest perpetuated through neocolonial postures in today’s globalized world. A renewed examination of ourselves in global and particular relationships enables us to participate in mission in a re-imagined manner that extends for the sake of taking in, re-learning ourselves, and envisioning a body that is driven not by progress, but by the person. Missional theology faces the task of imagining this alternative engagement through the lens of both confession and praxis of a salvation narrative embodied in the life of Jesus Christ.
L. Alan Bradshaw, Lipscomb University, “A Dice-Playing God of the Universe: How Quantum Physics Informs Belief” Friday, 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM; Plaza 189
The principles of quantum mechanics, elucidated in the early part of the 20th century, may carry profound consequences for philosophic and religious thought. Does God operate in a realm which follows or reflects these principles? Is there a religious correlate of Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle or of Pauli’s exclusion principle? Does the physical principle of wave/particle duality indicate the possibility of duality in the nature of God or in the spiritual principles in operation in His cosmos? We will explore these questions using a largely conceptual and non-mathematical framework.
Ron Bruner, Westview Boys’ Home, “Diversifying an Ecology of Prayer for Intergenerational Spiritual Formation within a Rational Tradition” Thursday, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM; Kresge Reading Room
The extemporaneous, informal petitions that typify most prayer in Churches of Christ constitute a significant portion of the spiritually formative diet of this movement’s children. Even when those praying intentionally access other genres of prayer, these impromptu prayers often quickly revert to petition. Yet a steady diet of petitionary prayer is inadequate for sustained spiritual growth, and may result in a population less resistant to spiritual disease resulting from exposure to experiences of theodicy. This work develops theology for a practical ministry response that works toward a catechesis for parents empowering them to broaden and diversify the prayer ecology for their children.
John K. Bucher Jr., The Los Angeles Film Studies Center, “Faith in the Flux Capacitor: Redemption through the Narrative Device of Time Travel” Thursday 9:00 AM – 10:30 AM; CAC 214
The 1985 film Back to the Future offers an alternative method to the traditional redemption narratives in other popular culture texts, by utilizing the story device of time travel. Bucking the cinematic trends of victimage, scapegoating or personal sacrifice to achieve redemption, the film instead speaks to the basic human desire to return to our pasts and change the factors that led to our undesirable situations in the present. However, just as Marty McFly experiences in the film, narrative complications arise when the past is altered to redeem the future.
Larry Bumgardner, Pepperdine University, “Ronald Reagan and Franklin D. Roosevelt: A Study in Similarities” Saturday, 8:45 AM - 10:15 AM; Plaza 190
Franklin D. Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan stand out as the most dominant American political figures of the 20th Century. Although many Americans think of FDR and Reagan as diametrical opposites, there were remarkable similarities between the two Presidents – personally and even politically. Both were hopeful, optimistic leaders who restored the nation’s confidence in difficult times. They rallied the country to success in the century’s two greatest conflicts, World War II and the Cold War. They also shared a practice of invoking God and faith in a manner that would seem impolitic to many in today’s political climate.
Jonathan W. Camp, Abilene Christian University: “All Things Are NOT Clean: Purity Codes in the Discourse of the Locavore Movement” Thursday, 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM; RAC 178
The recent growth of farmers markets throughout the US signals a growing concern among Americans about the industrial food system. This paper reports on a series of interviews with West Texas “locavores,” defined as people who eat locally-produced food. We found that locavores made the decision to participate in a local food system based on a desire to eat food in the “way God intended it to be eaten.” Their discourse featured purity language to contrast the emerging alternative local food system with its mainstream, industrial counterpart.
Robert Cargill, UCLA, “Qumran” Thursday, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM; RAC 175
The site of Qumran, traditionally associated with the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, has recently been the focus of intense reexamination by archaeologists. This presentation examines the state of archaeological scholarship at Qumran, and discusses how changes in the understanding of Qumran potentially affect our understanding of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Laura Carroll, Abilene Christian University: “This I Believe: Theologies of Eating Local” Thursday, 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM; RAC 178
Not all local food movements are based on religious convictions, but most center around a central “theology” or core belief that informs the movement. Often movements that look the same in practice have very different core beliefs. This paper rhetorically analyzes two proponents of the locavore movement -- Wendell Berry and Barbara Kingsolver -- and compares their systems of beliefs and rhetoric.
Laura Carroll and Susan Lewis, Abilene Christian University, “Students’ Attitudes toward Gender in Societal and Religious Contexts” Friday, 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM; Kresge Reading Room
Building on previous secular surveys of student attitudes toward gender, this is a continuing longitudinal study that assesses the attitudes and experiences of a sample of students in a faith-based university. Students are surveyed in their first and eighth semesters. A smaller sample is interviewed in the eighth semester. The study is designed to discover the influence that a Christian-university education has on a sample of students. It gauges student attitudes toward gender in the context of society, churches and the university. Finally, the study examines the influence of on-campus rhetoric and student media on the respondent's opinions about gender.
Ronald Cox, Pepperdine University, “Shaking Heaven: Between Eschatology and Ontology in James Thompson’s Hebrews” Friday, 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM; AC 261
James Thompson’s Hebrews attempts to situate that epistle “on the boundary between two intellectual worlds,” Jewish eschatology and Platonic ontology. The former grounds the historical significance of Christ’s sacrifice, while the latter expresses the extent of that significance. My paper investigates Thompson’s presentation of these two worlds and how they illuminate his reading of Hebrews. I situate Thompson in the larger scholarly argument about whether and the degree to which Hebrews represents either or both Jewish eschatology and Platonic ontology and assess how effectively his commentary moves the argument forward.
Ronald Cox, Pepperdine University, “Wisdom Christology? Why Jesus’ Role as Creator Should Give us Pause About a Well-worn Assumption” Saturday, 10:30 AM - Noon; AC 286
Many scholars assume that passages referring to Jesus’ pre-destination are indebted to and even part of a trajectory of Jewish Wisdom. Recently, this view has come under criticism, most notably by Gordon Fee. Although taking into account serious shortcomings in these recent criticisms, this paper considers evidence that suggests that indeed Israelite Wisdom traditions like Proverbs and Sirach are not as influential (at least directly) on these Christological passages. At the least, we must modify what we mean by “Wisdom Christology” to allow for notions of ontology and cosmological mediation that are not found in the Wisdom tradition.
Joel Daniels, Boston University, “The Doctrine of the Soul in a Scientific World” (peer reviewed) Friday, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM; RAC 170
There is a place for the doctrine of the soul in a contemporary theology informed by science. By using emergence theory—the belief that new objects with their own ontological status emerge from lower levels of materiality—I propose a non-dualistic view of the soul as an emergent feature of the multiple levels of human life. “Soul” is what one is, not a part of what one is. This reconsideration of the doctrine of the soul meets reasonable scriptural, theological and scientific criteria, and is important for the Church’s teaching going forward.
Jeremy Elliott, Abilene Christian University: “Ecocriticism and How it Matters to Christian Scholars” Saturday, 8:45 AM - 10:15 AM; RAC 170
This paper is intended to establish the context out of which the two following papers will work. It provides the history and current state of ecocriticism, along with a look to how the field is continuing to develop. Along with that, it defines some of the broad goals of ecocriticism, and takes a closer look at some of the more prominent branches and scholars of ecocritical thought. Finally, the paper is intended to show potential connections between ecocriticism and Christianity—a growing part of the field, and a place that Christian universities could establish leadership.
Kelly Elliott, Abilene Christian University, “’Unconquered Realms of Paganism:’ Depictions of Difference in British Missionary Publications, 1800-1840” Saturday, 10:30 AM - Noon; RAC 170
Across denominations and mission fields, accounts of geographical, cultural, and spiritual difference saturate nineteenth-century missionary publications. Recent scholarship points to missionary literature’s exaggerated descriptions of Afro-Caribbean dance, horror of Hindu worship styles, and general emphasis on the depraved and utterly Other nature of the unchurched as evidence of the missionary project’s oppressive nature. However, missionary publications also contain evidence of missionaries’ sincere belief that the gospel would eradicate difference, and make all humanity of one family. This paper explores the ways in which missionaries and mission churches attempted to negotiate the tension between unity and division.
Melanie Emelio, Pepperdine University and Sharon Radionoff, Sound Singing Institute, Houston, TX, “Response to the Greatest Fear Performing Artists Face: Artists and Scientists Collaborate” Friday, 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM; Raitt Recital Hall
What is the greatest fear performing artists face? The answer: An injury or health issue which prohibits their instrument from functioning normally or prohibits the process to play their instrument. How can we as artists and scientists collaborate to prevent injuries, and create and maintain good healthy choices early in one’s study? In addition, once an injury or health issue has occurred, how can performers and scientists partner to correct the problem and rehabilitate the artist?
Cherisse Y. Flanagan and Olivia Hodges, Abilene Christian University, “She Is Formed: Girls’ Narratives of Identity Formation in Religious Contexts” Thursday, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM; AC 290
According to developmental theory, children first acquire gender-role behaviors through modeling and reinforcement. As they mature, they begin to organize their experiences into masculine and feminine schemas, which guide their behavior. Girls attending gender exclusive congregations receive very mixed messages about the role of girls and women in the world. This study explores the narratives of school-aged girls as they reflect on differences between genders in church, at school, and in their broader culture. Particularly noteworthy in this research is the question of how faith community simultaneously encourages and eclipses the voices of girls as they seek to serve God.
David Frank, University of Oregon, “Jewish Rhetoric in the New Testament: Two Friendly Quarrels with Witherington” Thursday, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM; AC 263
Ben Witherington, in his New Testament Rhetoric, suggests “Greco-Roman or an ancient Jewish rhetoric is appropriate” in the analysis of the NT and argues that the use of modern rhetorical theory is inappropriate “since ancient authors were completely innocent and ignorant of modern rhetorical theory and epistemology.” While Witherington nicely codifies the recent turn to Greco-Roman rhetoric by scholars of the NT, I suggest Witherington underplays Jewish rhetoric in the NT and that modern rhetorical theories, particularly those of Kenneth Burke, Chaïm Perelman and Lucie Olbrechts-Tyteca, can complement Greco-Roman theories of rhetoric in illuminating the meaning of the NT.
Mike Goodman, Brigham Young University, David C. Dollahite, Brigham Young University, Loren D. Marks, Louisiana State University, and Emily Layton, Brigham Young University, “Faith in Marriage and Family” Thursday, 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM; RAC 175
This project is an exploration of how couples’ faith impacts their commitment level and their ability to cope with difficulties and conflict in their relationships. Religious beliefs, traditions and practices are highlighted as well as the perceived costs and benefits of their faith on their family life. Each couple offered their own explanations and stories explicating how God and their faith influences their relationships within their families.
Heather Gorman, Baylor University, “Explaining the Word that is ‘Hard to Explain’: An Evaluation of the Rhetorical Analysis in James W. Thompson’s Hebrews” Friday, 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM; AC 261
One of the characteristic features of the Paideia commentary series is its attention to the literary and rhetorical conventions employed in the New Testament texts. As such, a significant portion of James W. Thompson’s 2008 Hebrews commentary highlights the rhetorical dimensions of this unique book of the New Testament. This essay, then, examines Thompson’s engagement of ancient rhetorical techniques as a means of providing fresh insights into some of the issues in Hebrews that continually generate scholarly discussion. In particular, it will evaluate the ability of Thompson’s rhetorical analyses to illuminate the book’s structure, persuasive strategies, and ultimate purpose.
Jackie Halstead, Lipscomb University, “Attraction and Retention of Women Faculty in Faith-Based Institutions of Higher Learning” Friday, 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM; Kresge Reading Room
The unequal status of women professors, compared to their male counterparts, is common knowledge. The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) claims that although gender discrimination is becoming less blatant, evidence clearly reveals on-going patterns of discrimination. In 2005, a qualitative study was undertaken to examine these patterns of inequity, along with issues of attraction and retention, as they pertain to faith-based institutions of higher learning—namely universities associated with Churches of Christ. Findings from five of these institutions will be articulated and a comparison will be made with current data from these same participants.
Jennifer Harger, University of Texas: “Healing the Breach: Walker Percy, Jacques Maritain, and the ‘Two Cultures’” Saturday, 10:30 AM - Noon; RAC 175
This paper will discuss The Thanatos Syndrome and Signposts in a Strange Land in light of Science and Wisdom by Catholic philosopher Jacques Maritain, and The Two Cultures by Cambridge physicist and novelist C.P. Snow (who, like Percy, was a scientist by training and a writer by vocation). Taken together, these three authors incisively assess the modern problems of division and hyper-particularization, which characterize the modern approach to knowledge—and the dangers of reliance upon science as the arbiter of ultimate truth.
John Harrison, Oklahoma Christian University, “’Neither Married nor Given into Marriage’: A Jesus-Saying on the Resurrected Body” Thursday, 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM; AC 270
Jesus’ saying that resurrected people “neither marry nor are given into marriage, but are like angels” (Mk 12:25, par.) is frequently misunderstood. This paper re-examines (a) the limits of Jesus’ response to the Sadducees, (b) ancient Jewish belief that the resurrected body would be physical, and (c) the angelologies of Second Temple Jews. Jesus did not advocate that resurrected people would have non-physical bodies like the bodies of angels. Instead, he shared a common Jewish belief that resurrected people will have incorruptible bodies like those of angels, but their bodies will be physical and experience sexual relationships, unlike the bodies of angels.
Perry Harrison, Abilene Christian University, “Ecocriticism and the Modernist Tradition” Saturday, 8:45 AM - 10:15 AM; RAC 170
This paper explores the manner in which a great number of Early Twentieth Century American modernist writers and texts reflect the values of Ecocriticism through their use of setting as both a backdrop and character within their writings. The paper also explores the significance of this link and the manner in which this connection buttresses the literary Ecocritical movement as a whole. While the focus of this study will be centered on the relationship between modernism and Ecocriticism on a broad scale, texts from Ernest Hemingway and Zora Neale Hurston will be used in order to establish and buttress claims.
James A. Herrick, Hope College, “The Narrative Foundations of Techno-Religion” Thursday, 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM; AC 286
Transhumanism is an optimistic techno-futurist movement currently influencing research agendas in fields ranging from computer science to medicine. Standing over against traditional religion, the movement is nevertheless now treated by some observers as a new religion. This paper explores how Transhumanism has constructed a spiritual and ideological foundation for its redemptive agenda from three prominent narratives of Western science and science fiction—the narratives of progress, evolution, and the superman. The paper also argues that this ostensibly secular and scientific movement has appropriated rhetorical components of traditional religion in a grab for transcendence.
James A. Herrick, Hope College, “Science Fiction Narratives and the Ethics of Transhumanism” Thursday 9:00 AM – 10:30 AM; CAC 214
As a futurist movement, Transhumanism has borrowed heavily from the narratives of science fiction, particularly in the genre’s themes of progress, evolution, and the superman. This paper argues that gaps in the bioethical framework of Transhumanism are due in part to its wholesale adoption of futurist and evolutionist science fiction narratives from Olaf Stapledon and Arthur C. Clarke, and cinematic portrayals of the posthuman future including The Matrix and Avatar. Narrative optimism has overwhelmed ethical realism at the heart of the Transhumanist movement, and the movement’s heavy reliance on science fiction to inform its agenda is largely to blame.
Ron Highfield, Pepperdine University, “Harmony of Divine Sovereignty, Human Freedom, and Divine Foreknowledge: Beyond Human Rationality” Friday, 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM; RAC 178
I address divine sovereignty, human freedom, and divine foreknowledge. Theology does not aim at complete rational comprehension. From this perspective I defend the thesis that God knows all things by virtue of his sovereign power, that his will must come to pass. I deny that human beings possess a freedom that transcends God’s power to move without destroying. I affirm that only through God’s action can human beings be liberated into the “glorious liberty of the children of God.” I am critical of any theory that claims to reconcile divine sovereignty, human freedom, and divine foreknowledge on a rational level.
Dana Kennamer Hood, Abilene Christian University, “Integrating Meditative Practices into the Spiritual Ecology of a Cognitive Tradition” Thursday, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM; Kresge Reading Room
As many churches are embracing a high-tech entertainment model for their ministries for children, others are seeking to develop a spiritual ecology that invites children into community and contemplation. Drawing on the work of Jerome Berryman, Sonya Stewart, Sofia Cavaletti and Wynn McGregor, the Wednesday night experience of a diverse group of first through fifth graders was transformed into a space for communal prayer, dwelling in the word, and reflective engagement. This paper explores the response of the children to the implementation of these contemplative practices.
David Hunt, Whittier College, “Simple Foreknowledge” Friday, 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM; RAC 178
I defend simple foreknowledge: the position that divine foreknowledge is perfectly compatible with human freedom, and that God can use such knowledge to enhance his providential control. The fundamental reason foreknowledge doesn't threaten freedom is the one identified by Augustine: even if God's infallible foreknowledge means that no one can act otherwise, his foreknowledge doesn't cause, coerce, or compel foreknown actions. If this is correct, there is no need to insist on “solutions” that preserve agents’ power to do otherwise, especially since these tend to be theologically suspect (Open Theism) or logically dubious (Ockhamism).
Christopher R. Hutson, Abilene Christian University, “Church Leadership in the Pastoral Epistles” Friday, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM; AC 270
The Pastoral Epistles (PE) have often been mined for data about church leadership. But interpreters have given less attention to how the specific exhortations about church leaders fit into a specific context. This paper examines the theological assumptions that under gird the exhortations in the PE and the historical contexts to which the letters respond. In light of these considerations, we can move beyond questions of what the PE expect of church leaders to the question of why the PE make their specific demands on church leaders.
Peter Jankowski, Bethel University, “Conceptualizing and measuring spirituality: A differentiation-based relational paradigm” Friday, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM; RAC 178
Differentiation-based spirituality is a relational framework that understands spiritual experience and development in terms of the capacities for (a) self-regulation, and (b) negotiating self-in-relation, which involves the dialectic of spiritual dwelling and seeking. The current study tested a theoretical model of the relationship between spiritual dwelling and psychological well-being, with differentiation of self as a mediator. It was hypothesized that differentiation would significantly mediate the relationship between spiritual dwelling and negative mood. Data were collected on a sample of distressed graduate students at a Protestant-affiliated university. Results supported the hypothesized model.
Roy R. Jeal, Booth University College, “A Full-Bodied Analysis of the New Testament’s Own Rhetorical Discourse: A Review of Ben Witherington’s New Testament Rhetoric” Thursday, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM; AC 263
Ben Witherington succeeds admirably in producing his “brief guide book . . . into understanding the rhetorical analysis of various parts of the NT.” The book is an important and accessible introduction to rhetorical interpretation. But it is too much to say that this book is the “new Kennedy” as David deSilva’s back cover recommendation claims. Witherington describes the rhetorical context of the NT and engages in informative rhetorical criticism, yet this book remains firmly embedded in historical criticism and does not come to a full-bodied analysis of the NT’s own rhetorical “discourse” and what the documents do to people.
Karen H. Jobes, Wheaton College, “’Got Milk?’ 1 Peter 2:1–3 Re-visited” Saturday, 10:30 AM - Noon; AC 270
The apostle Peter writes, “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.” The exegetical crux of this verse is in the interaction between the sensory metaphors of logikon adolon gala (“pure spiritual milk”) and “tasting the Lord” (cf. Ps 33:9 lxx). The spiritual nourishment mentioned in this verse refers to sanctification, that is, the moral transformation of the Christian believer, which, in various ways, still nurtures the church today.
Stephen Johnson, Abilene Christian University, "Telling True Stories: New Media and the Narrative of Experience in Theological Reflection" Thursday, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM; AC 290
The release of the podcast “She Is Called” evoked widespread response to the issue of gender-exclusivity in Churches of Christ. The podcast narrated the experience of four women preparing for ministry in Churches of Christ, thus introducing the narrative of experience to theological reflection and communal spiritual discernment. The podcast represented the use of new media forms of storytelling that extend the art of narration. The work of Luke Timothy Johnson, James Hopewell, and more recently, Mary Clark Moschella offer rich resource for reflection on new media and the role of narrative in congregational identity and transformation.
Stephen Johnson and Lynette Sharp Penya, Abilene Christian University, “Gender Inclusivity in Church of Christ Congregations: A Descriptive Analysis, Part II” Thursday, 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM; AC 290
While gender-role practices in religious contexts are important because they construct and constrain theological assumptions, little is known about gendered practice and belief in gender-inclusive Churches of Christ. Results from an online survey indicated gender inclusivity is an established practice in a small but growing number of Churches of Christ across the United States. Although congregations reported they manifest gender-inclusive practice and belief in various ways, we found common gender-role practices among these congregations. Our research also provided insight into the complexity of gender-role issues and barriers to change and greater inclusivity.
Ira J. Jolivet, Jr, Pepperdine University, “Faith in Hebrews in the Context of the Hellenistic Tradition of Emotional Therapy” Thursday, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM; AC 286
Hebrews’ emphasis on the significance of sensory perception in acquiring knowledge of the heavenly realm and on the necessity of “holding firmly” to these immaterial realities are just two of several philosophical and rhetorical clues that pistis in Hebrews equates to Stoic epistēmē rather than to Platonic knowledge. Insights from this concept suggest that Hebrews conforms to the conventions of the ancient tradition of emotional therapy, the goal of which was to cure the passions that arose from mistaking indifferents such as “food and drink” for virtue, the greatest good, or those such as death for vice, the greatest evil.
Ira J. Jolivet, Jr, Pepperdine University, “The Motif of Fear in Hebrews in the Context of the Hellenistic Tradition of Emotional Therapy” Thursday, 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM; AC 270
Pistis in Hebrews is essentially the same as epistēmē, the type of knowledge that the Stoics regarded as the remedy for the passions. These irrational movements of the soul arise when a person pursues an external indifferent thing as though it were the greatest good, which is virtue, or avoids one as if it were the greatest evil, which is vice. Insights from the tradition of emotional therapy shed light on the author’s use of the motif of “fear” and on his critique of the Torah, which consists of indifferent things such as “food and drink” and therefore cannot perfect the worshiper.
Troy Jollimore, California State University - Chico, “Poetry, Science, and the Speechlessness of Things” Saturday, 8:45 AM - 10:15 AM; Great Books Reading Room
Unfortunately, poetry cannot celebrate [scientists], because their deeds are concerned with things, not persons, and are, therefore, speechless,” wrote W.H. Auden. Was Auden right? Admittedly, poetry and science have different aims, methods, and vocabularies, and are frequently relegated to different sectors of the university campus. But is there no room for a poetry that allows itself to be infected by the vocabulary, perhaps even the aspirations, of science, in search of a voice with which it might celebrate the speechless deeds and things of this world? Authors discussed include Richard Dawkins, Christopher Dewdney, Ruth Padel, and James Richardson.
John M. Jones, Pepperdine University, “Reagan at Westminster: Foreshadowing the End of the Cold War” Saturday, 8:45 AM - 10:15 AM; Plaza 190
This essay argues that at Westminster, Reagan recognized that the Soviet economy was unraveling and adapted a two part rhetorical and military strategy to address that situation. He combined a rejection of diplomatic niceties with an aggressive defense buildup that fulfilled military and rhetorical functions. But Reagan did more than label the Soviet Union as evil and threaten them. He coupled these strategies with a bold message advancing democratic ideas which he hoped would permeate the East, empower those who were struggling for freedom and convince those who opposed it that democracy offered a better future.
David Kempe, Abilene Christian University, “Microwave Chemistry: A Better Way to Make Potential Anti-Cancer Agents” Friday, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM; Great Books Reading Room
Five osmium carbonyl cluster compounds were recently shown to be toxic toward four different cancer cell lines including two types of breast cancer. Traditionally, these five compounds are prepared by many hours of convection heating in copious amounts of solvent. We have explored the syntheses of these compounds in a microwave reactor, and have found that microwave heating can be used to prepare them much faster with considerably less solvent and fewer additional reagents. In addition to optimizing the preparation of known compounds, we have employed this “greener” technology to produce a number of new cluster complexes.
Justin D. Klassen, Austin College, “Monstrous Hospitality: Subverting the Ideological Function of Bacon’s Epistemology” Thursday, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM; AC 261
For Francis Bacon, only when nature is seen to behave in accordance with analytically simple “rules,” in the scientist’s laboratory, is it seen clearly. This epistemological method remains pervasive in contemporary conversations about whether religious faith or scientific language is most attentive to the “real.” Slavoj Žižek has recently argued that both types of language can function as evasions of the traumatic “excess” of life as such. This paper argues that Bacon’s understanding of his effective revolution in science, as the binding of nature conceived as a monstrous and chaotic woman, may clarify the outlandishness of Žižek’s critique of ideology.
Vadim V. Kochetkov, Abilene Christian University, “Evolution and Moral Ontology: an Augustinian Approach to Animal Ethics” (peer reviewed) Friday, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM; RAC 170
An argument for ethical treatment of animals based on Augustine’s theological anthropology in proper relation to evolutionary biology will be presented. Augustine’s view of the self has been criticized for being dualistic in a way that precludes any meaningful relation to the natural world. A comparative analysis of Augustine’s conception of the self with C.M. Korsgaard’s Kantian distinction between human and non-human animals will show that such criticisms are misplaced, and that Augustine’s anthropology affirms and requires the input of theological and scientific investigations. The resultant vision of the moral interconnectedness of all creatures allows for a more ecologically-inclusive theology.
Russ Kuykendall, Ottawa, Ontario, “Christian faith after the wars of religion: A comparison of John Locke’s Letter on Toleration (1689) and Thomas Campbell’s Declaration and Address (1809)” Thursday, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM; Great Books Reading Room
John Locke’s Letter on Toleration (1689) and his proposed solution to the problems of sectarian spirit and Christian division in the aftermath of the 17th-c. political wars of religion may have informed Thomas Campbell’s attempt in Declaration and Address (1809) at a solution to the same problems in the context of the ecclesial wars of religion among his contemporaries, especially Ulster and Scottish Presbyterians. Based on a comparison of these texts of Locke and Campbell, this paper elaborates on the points at which it appears that Locke’s Letter touched and shaped Campbell’s Declaration and Address, including the propositions of the Address.
Ben Langford, Oklahoma Christian University, "The Art of the Weak: Toward a Missional Theology of the Cross" Friday, 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM; AC 263
The terms "mission" and "strategy" have gone hand in hand in western culture. For theological reflection on the mission of God and its embodiment in the world has often been set aside in favor of "strategy" for its pragmatism and efficiency. The term "strategy" assumes a locus of control that centralizes power within oneself and then moves outward. However, our theological reflections must take seriously how what we say about God is embodied in what we do. A theology of the cross stands as a critique of tendencies towards "strategy" and opens possibilities for participation in the mission of God.
Lauren Lemley, Lynette Sharp Penya, and Jordan Ziemer, Abilene Christian University, “Conceptualizing Her Role: An Analysis of Women’s Roles Narratives in Blog Posts” Thursday, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM; AC 290
Few public forums have provided a platform to discuss beliefs about gender roles in religious contexts. However, the Half the Church blog has provided individuals from around the world the opportunity to engage in a detailed conversation on this topic. Using qualitative and rhetorical methods, this study will examine blogger responses to address questions such as: How do individuals conceptualize roles of women in religious contexts? What do they talk about? What stories do they tell? What do they emphasize? What do they leave out?
Steve Lemley, Pepperdine University, “Bringing before the Eyes in Classical Rhetoric A Review of Ben Witherington’s New Testament Rhetoric” Thursday, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM; AC 263
New Testament Rhetoric is rhetorical criticism that matters. It demonstrates that rhetoric is a tool for perceiving the persuasive intent, thought and culture of the NT world in which the documents were written. This paper questions whether the successful use of classical rhetoric to analyze an ancient document is as strong an indication of the ancient writer’s formal rhetorical education as is argued in the book. It will also suggest that the idea in classical rhetoric of “bringing before the eyes” might well receive more attention as a guiding component in faith-based rhetorical practice and analysis.
Kelly D. Liebengood, LeTourneau University, “Augustine con Leche: Reading 1 Peter 2:2 in light of Augustine’s Theology of Spiritual Formation” Saturday, 10:30 AM - Noon; AC 270
This presentation will consider 1 Peter 2:2 in light of the rhetorical strategy that is revealed in the letter. More specifically, the implicit narrative embedded within the discourse of 1 Peter supports the conclusion that the milk metaphor refers to eschatological salvation that comes through allegiance to Jesus Christ. Augustine’s insights regarding spiritual formation help the interpreter outline what it might look like to “long for unadulterated spiritual milk” in a believing community.
Jason Locke, College Church of Christ, Fresno, “Effecting Congregational Change through Listening: How Appreciative Inquiry and Narrative Formation Can Open Doors for Missional Transformation” Saturday, 8:45 AM - 10:15 AM; AC 270
A congregation’s sense of shared identity shapes its missional interaction (or lack thereof) with the world. Reshaping congregational identity can seem a hopeless task according to some standard ministry approaches. Appreciative Inquiry provides a durable mechanism for congregational change when its members reflect on their positive memories and feelings about their shared past. Using the results of Appreciative Inquiry to craft a congregational narrative can help the church to reimagine a new future in keeping with its past and with the inbreaking of God’s coming eschaton.
Mark Love, Rochester College, “We Are Being Saved: Soteriological Practice and Missional Imagination” Friday, 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM; AC 263
Congregations perform in mission related to a shared imagination comprised of beliefs, practices and routines. To a large extent, this social imaginary is determined by understandings of salvation. This paper examines the possibilities for missional imagination related to notions of salvation broader than the status of the individual. Particularly, soteriology is described here as a practice, as distinguished from a topic, and framed in Paul’s notions of “being saved.”
Scott Mackie, Fuller Theological Seminary, “Encouraged by a ‘Word of Exhortation’: An Appraisal of Hebrews’ Hortatory Materials in James W. Thompson’s Hebrews Commentary” Thursday, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM; AC 286
Though some debate Hebrews’ genre, no one can mistake that this enigmatic document is a work of persuasion throughout, evincing many hortatory strategies to encourage an endangered community to persevere in their Christian commitment. In fact, it is commonly recognized that even the author’s theological statements are ultimately offered in the service of the hortatory materials to which they are joined. This paper will examine these strategies as handled in James Thompson’s Hebrews commentary, specifically such matters as the recipients’ situation, the nature and role of suffering, perseverance, the relationship of sight to faith, the warning passages, Christology, and eschatology.
Mark Mannassee, Culver Palms Church of Christ, Los Angeles/Fuller Theological Seminary, “Boundary Crossings: Possibilities and Challenges in a Local Congregation” Saturday, 8:45 AM - 10:15 AM; AC 270
Missional practice imagines a variety of boundary crossings into local neighborhoods. These boundary crossings parallel the movement from an “attractional” model of congregational life to one focusing on God’s mission in the world. This paper looks at the resources and challenges of a local congregation in Los Angeles as it considers engaging this journey. Moreover, it asks, “What are some on the ground realities in a specific context that must be faced to further the larger missional conversation?”
Ty Mansfield, Texas Tech University, “Positing Spirituality as a Measurable Capacity, Exploring the Possibilities” Friday, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM; RAC 178
In an exploration of whether spirituality can be measured, the plausibility of such an endeavor likely rests on the working definition and description of spirituality. This paper will explore a working definition of spirituality that posits spirituality as a quality with some capacity for measurement. It will also explore emotional, cognitive, neurological, and other physiological threads that potentially interweave with a spiritual nature to provide additional means for the exploration and measurement of spirituality as an integral part of the human experience. These explorations will be explored in the context of Christian faith and practice.
Hope A. Martin, Lubbock Christian University, “Common Non-Trauma Related Injuries Among Musicians” Friday, 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM; Raitt Recital Hall
Injuries of the upper extremity are common among competitive musicians due to the level and intensity of their play. The upper extremity and hand are relatively delicate structures that allow very fine skill motions as well as fine but intense skill motions. It is often the interplay of these motions and repetitiveness that produces a breakdown in the soft tissue surrounding the forearm, wrist and hand joints, thereby producing injury or disease. The purpose of this work is to discuss common non-trauma related injuries among musicians: how they occur; how to attempt prevention; and how to prevent reoccurrence.
Troy W. Martin, Saint Xavier University, “Modes, Categories, and Organization in Ben Witherington’s Textbook” Thursday, 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM; AC 263
Books are written in many different modes such as didactic and descriptive or polemical and argumentative or exhortatory and advisory, and Ben Witherington’s book uses all of these modes. Rhetorical critics utilize various types of analytical categories, but his book adopts the emic categories of classical rhetoric rather than modern etic categories. Textbooks assume various organizational schemes, and his book has its own organizational structure. This paper assesses the modes, categories, and organization of Witherington’s book from the perspective of introductory students for whom his book is written.
David Matson, Hope International University, “‘Eating and Drinking Whatever They Provide’: Jew-Gentile Table Relations in Luke-Acts” Friday, 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM; RAC 175
In conjunction with the ministry journal Leaven, the central paper in this session presents neglected evidence about table fellowship in Luke-Acts. In Luke Jesus eats with all, and in Acts the early Christians break bread from house to house. But as the mission brings in Gentiles, how does Luke envision table fellowship? Did Jews and Gentiles share the same food? This paper contends—in light of ancient Jew-Gentile dining customs—that inclusive early-Christian table fellowship practices personified and personalized the breaking down of social barriers. Panelists will respond to the central paper from the perspectives of biblical studies, theology, and ministry.
Travis McGuire, Texas A&M Commerce, “This Was Called an I Pod: Experimentation, electronics, and music in the ‘Whoniverse’” Thursday, 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM; Kresge Reading Room
The BBC program, “Doctor Who,” provides a uniquely broad scope for analysis on many levels due to its exceptionally long, 48-year history, as well as due to its continually evolving nature. “Doctor Who” and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop made important strides in the evolution and popularization of electronic music, especially in the various iterations of the theme music, but the program also displays an important relationship between budget, musical experimentation, and liminal content on an episodic basis.
Marianne McInnes-Miller, Alliant University, “Assessing the Spirituality of ‘Spiritual But Not Religious’ Clients: A Qualitative Perspective” Friday, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM; RAC 178
As society has fragmented and globalized the psychology of spirituality and religion has been redefined. because of technology and accessibility to information a myriad belief systems are available through any mousepad. Numerous individuals identify themselves as spiritual but not religious (SBNR), finding Facebook and Twitter the pathway to fellowship and spirituality. In this paper, I delineate the importance of addressing this discourse in the mental health field, and suggest a qualitative research perspective on the measurement of spirituality contending that such an approach will adequately attend to the nuanced, multifaceted nature of spirituality in the present age.
Phillip McMillion, Harding University Graduate School of Religion: “The Old Testament and the Land: Implications for Modern Land Use?” Thursday, 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM; RAC 178
Old Testament scholars including Walter Brueggemann, Norman Habel, William P. Brown, and Ellen Davis have all written concerning the Old Testament view of the land. Some proponents of the modern agrarian movement appeal to the Bible for support of their views of proper land use and their desire to provide healthy foods. This paper will examine various Old Testament passages and their relationship to contemporary agrarian concerns.
Heidi Morris, Abilene Christian University, “The Use of Bedtime Rituals to Promote Faith Development in Young Children” Thursday, 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM; RAC 175
Through the use of rhetorical analysis, this paper will specifically examine the role of selected spiritual hymns, prayers, and bedtime stories in helping to provide a context in which spiritual language and themes are introduced and nurtured through the repetitive process of such bedtime rituals. While each type of bedtime ritual will be explained and assessed, suggestions for practical use will also be discussed.
Paul K. Moser, Loyola University Chicago, “Expecting God’s Evidence” Friday, 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM; Plaza 188
We should expect a God worthy of worship to be morally severe in ways suited to moral perfection and to any corresponding redemption of humans. In particular, we should expect God to be actively righteous in the redemption of wayward humans, such as us ourselves. This presentation will introduce some neglected questions regarding the potential ways of God toward humans. These questions may be called expectation-evoking, because they are helpful in eliciting sound expectations regarding God’s ways of intervention in human lives. They also point to the kind of evidence we should expect of a God worthy of worship.
Sarah-Jane Murray, Baylor University “Redefining Providence: Fate vs. Free Will in The Adjustment Bureau” Thursday 9:00 AM – 10:30 AM; CAC 214
Based on a short story by Philip K. Dick, The Adjustment Bureau proposes a world in which individual destinies are mapped by a controlling higher power who possesses ‘the plan.' This paper considers how the 2011 film adaptation of The Adjustment Bureau challenges sci-fi debates over bioethics by taking up the questions of Providence and Free Will, in light of Great Texts from Homer, Plato, Aristotle, and Dante, to CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien, showing that for Dick, as for the 2011 film, the basic impulses at the core of human nature make us distinctly different from programmable machines.
Curt Niccum, Abilene Christian University, “Heaven Can’t Wait: The Church in Ephesians” Friday, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM; AC 270
This paper explores the ecclesiological landscape of the letter to the Ephesians by noting how the church is perceived 1) as a political entity; a “new and improved Israel”, 2) as a cosmic community that dispels pagan fears of malevolent spiritual powers, and 3) as a community of believers baptized into a new humanity who assemble in prayer, singing, and the exercise of spiritual gifts for mutual edification. The ecclesiology of Ephesians is one of the richest in the New Testament and points to a greater appreciation of the church as a distinct unity which is possessed by the Spirit and proclaims Jesus the Messiah as Lord.
John Nugent, Great Lakes Christian College, “Natural Theology in Stanley Hauerwas’s With the Grain of the Universe” Thursday, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM; RAC 178
Stanley Hauerwas is not opposed to natural theology, per se. He does oppose accounts of natural theology that are divorced from a full doctrine of God as revealed in Scripture. He further opposes the use of such accounts as necessary prolegomena for evaluating the claims of Scripture or establishing a neutral foundation for theology. Hauerwas is not alone in these convictions. Standing on the shoulders of Barth and Yoder, he argues that to walk in the way of the God who is revealed most definitively in Jesus is to walk “naturally” or "with the grain of the universe."
Daniel Oden, New York University, “Buried Hopes: Huldah’s Oracle and the Deposition of the King’s Body as Narrative/Prophetic Critique in the DTRH” Thursday, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM; AC 270
In some attempts to reconcile the apparent dissonance of the violent death of Josiah and Huldah’s prophecy “you shall go to your grave in peace” in 2 Kings, some have put forward that the prophecy does not focus on the manner of Josiah’s death, but the fact of his burial. However, in contrast to this view, it seems clear that the structural and thematic narrative consistencies in Kings support the view that Huldah’s prophecy refers not primarily to the death of Josiah, but the circumstances of his burial.
Olugbenga Olagunju, Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary, “Reading Jesus’ Healing Miracles (Mark 6:13; 7:31-37; and 8:22-26) in African Context” Thursday, 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM; AC 270
This paper discusses Jesus’ healing miracles from an African world view so as to make them relevant for African Christians. Applying historical critical and exegetical tools in an intercultural hermeneutics, this study demonstrates that the healing miracles of Jesus in Mark expressed his divine mercy on the afflicted and inaugurated the messianic age. Though the techniques used by Jesus were similar to mystical practices in Africa, the paper questions whether mystical practices as they are being advocated among African Christians today are compatible with Christian faith and practice.
Thomas H. Olbricht, Pepperdine University, “The Consciousness of Sin in Hebrews” Thursday, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM; AC 286
Thompson has written an impressive commentary on Hebrews and with most of his comments and decisions I concur. It is my impression that by stressing the Platonistic and Philonic backgrounds as well as OT ritualistic exterior features that Thompson has diminished the inner personal magnitude both of Jesus and the believers. In this paper I center in upon the personal dimensions of sin and forgiveness and how these are critical for appreciating the manner in which Christ’s blood is more efficacious than the blood of bulls and goats through purifying the conscience and the heart within the believer.
Kyle Matthew Oliver, Virginia Theological Seminary: “’No End to the Mystery’: Scientist-as-Prince, Scientist-as-Scientist, and what One has to do with the Other in Lost in the Cosmos” Saturday, 10:30 AM - Noon; RAC 175
This paper will examine Walker Percy's conversation with and within science by exploring in detail his treatment of the two figures of the scientist-as-prince and scientist-as-scientist from his nonfiction work Lost in the Cosmos. For Percy, society obviously does need to better understand exactly what scientists are claiming to know (and what they are not claiming to know). Percy is surprisingly optimistic that scientific inquiry with a well-constructed, triadic semiotic can shed substantial light on language and on the peculiar predicament of the self in modern American life.
Cambry Pardee, Loyola University, Chicago, “Genesis 1-3: the Ecological Efficacy of a Synchronic Reading” Thursday, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM; AC 270
The identification of two creation accounts contained in Genesis 1-3 has led, at times, to separating the authorizations “to have dominion over” and “to subdue” the earth from the depiction of the intimate care of a creator who walks among his creation and provides a caretaker for it. The result has been the misinterpretation of these narratives to justify behaviors that harm the earth. This paper seeks to reunite the creation narratives, identifying the unique contributions of both accounts but interpreting them in light of one another. The result is an ecologically and theologically satisfying creation narrative.
Gwen Parker Ames, Nyack College, “The Beloved Community Mission” Friday, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM; Plaza 191
This presentation describes the development and outcomes of an ongoing faith-based mission project called the Beloved Community Mission Project composed of volunteers from St. Paul Baptist Church and Shomrei Synagogue in Montclair, New Jersey as well as Nyack College and Montclair State University. The Beloved Community mission project is an ethnographic study that has included follow-up surveys and de-briefing sessions allowing all participants, including families, to provide feedback and process their feeling and experiences.
George Parks, FuelScience, LLC, “’What Would Jesus Drive?’: Personal Mobility at the Close of the Petroleum Age, A presentation in honor of Prof. David O. Johnston” Thursday, 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM; Great Books Reading Room
As world petroleum reserves diminish and the developing world seeks a higher standard of living requiring more energy, novel technologies and alternate fuels will play an important role in maintaining personal mobility in developed nations and improving life in the third world. The role of personal choices has not received as much attention. This presentation examines trends in US consumer vehicle choice and their impacts on fuel consumption. Options for reducing transportation energy demand including renewable fuels and novel vehicle technologies are discussed with emphasis on their effects on energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.
Garrett Pendergraft, Pepperdine University, “Ockhamism: Hard and Soft Facts” Friday, 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM; RAC 178
I will defend the Ockhamist response to the argument that God’s foreknowledge is incompatible with human freedom. This response, which traces back to William of Ockham, relies on a distinction between two different kinds of facts about the past: “hard facts” and “soft facts.” In particular, the Ockhamist maintains that some facts about God’s past beliefs are soft facts. What this means for human freedom is that we are indeed able to do otherwise than we actually do--and if we were to do otherwise, then God would have held a different belief than the one he actually held.
Jeffrey Peterson, Austin Graduate School of Theology, “The Pre-Pauline Christological Catena in 1 Cor 15:3–4” Saturday, 10:30 AM - Noon; AC 286
In 1 Cor 15:3–4, Paul appeals to a tradition that he shared with the "apostles" in the first Christian generation, which focused on Christ's death and resurrection as fulfilling scriptural promises. Identifying the specific texts to which Paul refers has been a matter of controversy, but close attention to this passage and others in which Paul characterizes or alludes to his founding proclamation permit us to reconstruct a catena of scriptural passages which apostles prior to and contemporary with Paul employed in relating Jesus' significance to converts. This catena also throws unexpected light on formative developments in Christian theology.
Nathan Pickard, New Market Church of Christ, Ontario, Canada, “Creating An Intellectual Space for the Reading Strategy, Dwelling in the Word” Saturday, 8:45 AM - 10:15 AM; AC 270
The history of Christianity exhibits various reading strategies related to Scripture. These strategies have emerged along side cultural contexts, and are exemplified in the practices of certain historical figures. Understanding that there are various reading strategies creates a contemporary space for developing congregational competency related to a particular practice with roots in Lectio Divina. “Dwelling in the Word” recovers this historical impulse while also taking into account post-Christian and postmodern cultural influences. Adding this reading competency into a broader congregational ecology related to Scripture bears the possibility of the emergence a communal imagination for mission.
Ronna Privett, Lubbock Christian University, "'Entropy’ as Extended Metaphor: Disorganization and Chaos in Thomas Pynchon's Short Story” Thursday, 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM; AC 286
The highly-anthologized short story "Entropy" (1960), explores one of Thomas Pynchon's favorite topics: the concept of entropy as a metaphor for the state of mid-20th-century America. In the story, Pynchon contrasts two rooms in an apartment building, each one metaphorically reflecting strangely parallel, but somewhat contradictory, theories of entropy. Both environments reflect what John A. McClure calls Pynchon’s “distrust of vast systems” and the story attempts to reconcile a scientific understanding of the universe with the reality the novelist sees in a confusing time in America.
Jonathan Reinhardt, University of Chicago: “Child-Snatchers: The Pedophile as Criminal Archvillain and Fictions of Innocence in the Contemporary Narrative of Good and Evil” Friday, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM; AC 286
Few conflicts so clearly define a battle between good and evil as the pedophile rapist and child. The pedophile rapist has thus become a stock arch-villain in popular culture. However, analysis of this literary figure in bestsellers by Alice Sebold, Jodi Picoult, Neil Gaiman, and Audrey Niffenegger reveals that the figure bears a spurious resemblance to the actual criminal. Instead, it functions to protect an ideological fiction of predatory evil, the family as a safe-haven, and childhood innocence. This potent fictional characterization threatens to displace the factual crime from public discourse, influencing public and mental health policy in dangerous ways.
Peter Rice, Baylor University, “The Samuel Childhood Cycle in Luke 1-2” Saturday, 10:30 AM - Noon; AC 286
This paper focuses on echoes of the Samuel Childhood Narrative in Luke 1-2. Here the author often imitates its style and content, while eschewing to repeat the wording of the Greek text, a technique approximating Greco-Roman rhetorical paraphrase. In light of these echoes, readers should hear Luke 1-2 as signaling a return to a time of ideal faithfulness, view the miraculous births as ushering in a new era in salvation history, recognize ominous overtones of the destruction of Shiloh, and interpret John’s life in Luke’s syncrisis as positive rather than negative.
Rachel Saylor, Lipscomb University, “Targeting Metal-Based Cancer Drugs to Tumors” Friday, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM; Great Books Reading Room
DFT (density functional theory) methods are used to calculate ΔG values. Cancer drugs are targeted to tumors by coupling the drugs to peptides with receptors displayed on cancer tumors. Computational analyses are run on these complexes to determine the free energy change involved in binding the drug to the peptide.
Ken Schenck, Indiana Wesleyan University, “The Removal of the Cosmos: Evaluating a Problematic Interpretation” Friday, 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM; AC 261
In his benchmark work, The Beginning of Christian Philosophy, James Thompson took the startling position that Hebrews 12:27 envisages the complete removal of the created realm from existence at the time of the judgment. While this position is justified from the passage’s train of thought and potentially corroborating statements Hebrews makes elsewhere, it is difficult to justify in the light of the thinking and literature of the time, since we have difficulty finding a single parallel prior to the time of Hebrews. This paper re-examines the issue and concludes that Thompson’s position, at least generally, remains the most likely interpretation.
Jeffrey Schultz, Pepperdine University, “Our Daily Disaffirmation: Poetry and the Preservation of Negative Thinking” Saturday, 8:45 AM - 10:15 AM; Great Books Reading Room
If the power of poetry was once to give things their names, it has on this front long since become obsolete in the face of science’s ability to divide, classify, and quantify. This paper will explore the possibility, in a world hardened by science’s impulse to categorize and tame, of poetry as a location for the preservation of negative thinking, thought that does not stop at affirming the world that is, at cataloging its facts and granting that the names it has given things are the right names. Authors discussed will include Theodor Adorno, Frederic Jameson, and Timothy Donnelly.
Gary Selby, Pepperdine University, “Spiritual Formation as Mimesis and Christian Living” Thursday, 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM; AC 263
Ben Witherington’s recent work centers on this claim: “The dominant paradigm when it came to words and the conveying of ideas, meaning, and persuasion in the NT era was rhetoric” (p. 5). For Witherington, that was classical rhetoric, captured in the rhetorical handbooks of the Greco-Roman world. This paper extends that claim by exploring two concepts in early Christianity that might also derive from the classical tradition, spiritual formation as mimesis and Christian living as decorum. It suggests that the classical tradition might have influenced not only the structures and language but also the “thought world” of early Christianity.
Melanie Shaeffer, Abilene Christian University, “John Adam’s opera, Dr. Atomic: Inspired by Science Fiction, Dealing with Science's Realities” Thursday, 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM; Kresge Reading Room
John Adams’ Dr. Atomic (2005) brings new thematic content to the genre of opera: modern science and the construction of the first atomic bomb. This paper will focus on the unique scientific theme in relation to major operas from the last 200 years (Faust) as well as postmodern operas (The Ghosts of Versailles). Explorations will be made into the musical treatment of the scientific material, the difference in how scientific material and the more poetic/lyric parts of the story are treated, Adams’ influence from Science Fiction, and the assessment of scientific (or Faustian) heroes presented in the opera.
Mark Shipp, Austin Graduate School of Theology, and Craig Bowman, Rochester College: “The 10th Century B.C. Fortress at Tamar and the Debate about Solomon” Thursday, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM; RAC 175
The identification of En Hazeva with the Tamar of 1 Kings 9:18 and Ezek 47:19 and 48:28 is more likely than other alternatives (such as Mezad Tamar, or Hazazon Tamar/En Gedi). The biblical data itself is equivocal relative to the exact location of Tamar, as 2 Chron. 8:4 mentions Tadmor in Syria, not Tamar. Recent stratigraphical, architectural, and pottery analysis all suggest the identification of En Hazeva with Solomon's Tamar is accurate. Also, recent excavations at the similar site of Khirbet en Nahas in Jordan suggest a commercial, trade, and technological network attributable to royal initiative, possibly that of Solomon.
Chris Shrock, Baylor University, “C.S. Lewis and the Limits of Human Conscience” Thursday, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM; RAC 178
Lewis expresses confidence in an innate human ability to discern right from wrong apart from Christian teaching. For him, the epistemic faculty of conscience is a powerful and complex network of truth-seeking operations that virtually every human being has and uses. But it is not without limits. Lewis thinks it is important for this faculty to be properly cultivated in youth, or it may become impotent in the quest for moral knowledge. Without Christianity to stimulate the moral imagination and wet the moral appetite, conscience becomes myopic, and humans forget that the ultimate good lies only with God.
Dwayne D. Simmons, UCLA, “God Reflected through Biology and Evolution: A Personal Journey” Friday, 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM; Plaza 189
Science brings new opportunities for a deeper understanding of God in the midst of the world, of his creation, that makes evolution possible, and of the special position of humans as uniquely relating to the Creator. For many what makes a human genuinely special is the identification of the human person with his or her soul. Contemporary neuroscience increasingly suggests that the attributes and capacities traditionally allocated to the human soul are conditioned in every detail by biological processes. How does this new information inform our beliefs about God and the biology and evolution of the human brain?
Blaine Smith & Evan Jones, Abilene Christian University, “Behavioral Epigenetics and Pastoral Care” (peer reviewed) Friday, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM; RAC 170
The science of Behavioral Epigenetics is altering contemporary understanding of neurological development, namely the role that an organism’s early environment plays in its behavioral development. As the science expands, it has implications for altering traditional notions of pastoral care, that is, the counsel expected from a spiritual advisor when a layperson is undergoing spiritual crisis. Rather than teaching resistance toward the sinful act, the pastor must work in recognition of the causal root of the problem and remove the individual from any environment that could potentially perpetuate the “sinful” problem.
Craig R. Smith, California State University at Long Beach, “Isocratean Exploration of the 1960s Transformation of Ronald Reagan: From Actor and Corporate Pitchman to Legitimate Contender as California Governor” Saturday, 8:45 AM - 10:15 AM; Plaza 190
This paper argues that an Isocratean model is useful for exploring the successful transformation of Ronald Reagan in the early 1960s from an actor and corporate pitchman to a legitimate contender for the governorship of California. Reagan’s ability to reinvent his persona relies heavily on Isocrates’ principles regarding ethos, display, and civic virtue, including attention to national concerns and a healing rhetoric. To support this thesis, the paper examines three speeches delivered by Reagan prior to his election to the governorship. “Encroaching Control” (1961), “A Time for Choosing” (1964), and “A Moment of Truth” (1965).
Roger Stanley, Union University: “Tom More: Dystopian in Two Ages of Scientism” Saturday, 10:30 AM - Noon; RAC 175
This paper will track Walker Percy’s protagonist—named of course after the famous Renaissance utopian—through the two novels in which he appears, Love in the Ruins and The Thanatos Syndrome. It will contrast the relatively young “physician of the soul” wielding his ontological lapsometer confidently in Love with Thanatos’s somewhat jaded elder medico—alive and ticking in a late twentieth century America where the fruits and abuses of technology have given pause to idealists of various stripes.
Gregory Straughn, Abilene Christian University, “The Early Nineteenth-Century Zeitgeist of Science Fiction Theme Songs” Thursday, 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM; Kresge Reading Room
The Latin phrase per aspera ad astra (through suffering to the stars) is often used to describe symphonies whose main themes emerge out of a “primordial soup.” Scholars trace this “soup” to the opening of the Beethoven Ninth; taking the idea of ad astra literally, however, allows for an interpretation as it relates to science fiction television and movie themes, whose pointillist openings resemble the Beethoven. This paper explores three strands (Beethoven, the origin of the literary science fiction, and the Naturphilosophie of Friedrich Schelling) illustrating how science fiction theme songs echo the fertile Zeitgeist of the early nineteenth century.
John Struloeff, Pepperdine University, “Poetry in the Modern Age of Science” Saturday, 8:45 AM - 10:15 AM; Great Books Reading Room
Science and technology have shaped not only the means with which we share and locate poetry – online archives, blogs, online literary magazines, message boards, community forums, online databases, email – but the language and message of poetry itself. A range of significant poets have been influenced by the rise and pervasiveness of sciences as varying as cosmology, biology, ecology, psychology, and quantum mechanics. How does a poet approach such topics? The authors discussed will include A. Van Jordan (Quantum Lyrics), A. R. Ammons, Kimiko Hahn (Toxic Flora), Mary Oliver, and Jim Fisher.
Matt Tapie, The Catholic University of America, “Thomas Aquinas on the Limits of Natural Theology and the Necessity of the People of Israel” Thursday, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM; RAC 178
Thomas Aquinas is often viewed as the harbinger of “natural theology” and famous for the “five ways” of demonstrating the existence of God. When read in the context of the Summa Theologiae, Aquinas’s supposed high view of natural theology is called into question. Aquinas views natural theology as a deficient form of knowledge about God that is plagued by idolatry and vice. Using the Summa Theologiae, and relevant texts in his commentaries on Scripture, I intend to show that Aquinas teaches that the Law of Moses and Israel’s virtues provide a divine remedy for the deficiencies of natural reason.
Stephanie Vander-Plas, Lubbock Christian University, “The FDA and NTDS: A Study of the Efficacy of Folic Acid Fortification on Pregnancy” Friday, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM; Great Books Reading Room
In 1998, the FDA began fortifying the food supply with folic acid (FA) to decrease the incidence of neural tube defects in American births. We hypothesized that the demands of a multiparous pregnancy are greater than what is recommended by the FDA using a scaled ratio of the fortification. Female mice were fed two diets: one with and one without supplemental FA. Blood samples were analyzed for RBC diameter and hematocrit. Half of each group was bred and subsequent litters observed for evidence of NTDs. Results will determine if this amount of FA is enough for a multiparous pregnancy.
Mark Wiebe, Southern Methodist University, “Alexander Campbell on Rationality and the Problem of Evil” Thursday, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM; Great Books Reading Room
In 1826, over five issues of The Christian Baptist, Campbell responded to a skeptic, known only as “D.” With one letter, D raised several provocative questions relating to the problem of evil and the rationality of Christian faith. Campbell’s responses showcase his Lockean foundationalist epistemology, and suggest, surprisingly, that the link between Campbell and the Scottish enlightenment needs reexamining. Additionally, his replies reveal a creative mind, foreshadowing several arguments in 20th century philosophy of religion from thinkers like Alvin Plantinga and William Alston. I will explore his interaction with D and consider what he might add to the contemporary conversation.
Heather Weidner, Abilene Christian University, “New Worlds, Old Texts: Disaster and Deliverance Narratives in the British Atlantic World” Saturday, 10:30 AM - Noon; AC 170
This paper discusses how English settlers in seventeenth-century New England used the formulas of both contemporary literature and scripture to explore their environment. Unfamiliar landscape, unknowable ocean, and the extremity of bewildering grief found their expression in narratives that began as private meditations but became public testimonies of faith. This paper suggests that these narratives reveal fundamental aspects of the new world experience: how settlers surrounded themselves with the familiar – even if only familiar language – to mitigate the new and frightening; and how struggles of marginal people were repurposed by the spiritual elite to educate and encourage those at home.
Nate Wiewora, University of Deleware, “’A Religion Run into Madness by Zealots and Hypocrites’: Anti-Mormonism and the Construction of Antebellum Evangelical Identity” Saturday, 10:30 AM - Noon; AC 170
Why was Mormonism so attractive to antebellum Americans? This question consumed the imagination of evangelicals throughout the United States in the early nineteenth-century. Mormonism was obviously a false religion with dangerous social implications, yet it continued to draw adherents, many from evangelical ranks. Evangelicals were baffled by the success of Mormon preaching and offered many explanations that ranged from seduction to compulsion. This paper traces how evangelicals attempted to explain Mormon expansion, but it reveals much more than simple evangelical anti-Mormonism. These explanations suggest evangelical anxieties over Mormon successes, and how the resulting interpretations fostered evangelical consolidation.
C. Michael Williams, Lipscomb University, “Between Demythologizing and Recontextualizing: Finding Room for God at the Intersection of Science and Faith” Friday, 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM; Plaza 189
Bultmann once claimed, “We cannot use electric lights and radios, and in the event of illness, avail ourselves of modern medical and clinical means and at the same time believe in the spirit and wonder world of the New Testament.” One of the most daunting challenges for Science and Religion scholars is reconciling the apparent regularity of the physical laws of the universe with religious claims of God’s repeated interaction with His creation. This paper evaluates current theories regarding God’s interaction with the world and examines attempts to scientifically verify God’s power and presence through studies of prayer.
Paul J. Willis, Westmont College, “’He Hath Builded the Mountains’: John Muir’s God of Glaciers” Friday, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM; Plaza 189
Muir's main contribution to science was his early insistence that glaciers more than anything carved out the features of the Sierra Nevada. Leading geologists of the nineteenth century dismissed his theory, but Muir painstakingly gathered evidence—and after his death he was proven correct. What is theologically interesting about Muir's attraction to glaciers is his insistence on their part in a divinely beneficent plan. Though apparently destructive, glaciers are tools that craft a greater splendor. Though Muir seems to have abandoned the Christology of his upbringing, he retains and promotes a providential understanding of beauty in the natural world.
John Wilson, Pepperdine University, “Paneas/Caesarea Philippi and the World of the Gospels” Thursday, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM; RAC 175
Recent archaeological fieldwork in Galilee and Southern Syria has provided new data and a greater appreciation of this region in the formation of the Christian Movement. Excavations at ancient Caesarea Philippi and surrounding areas have generated new and bold theories about the origins and construction of the Synoptic tradition—particularly the Gospels of Mark and Matthew. One such theory suggests that Mark had its origins in the lakeside communities in Galilee and that Matthew was written within the nascent Christian communities in Southern Syria—possibly in Caesarea Philippi itself.
Julie Zaloudek, Independent Researcher, “Are You My Mother? Evangelical Perceptions and Ambiguities on Maternal God Images” Friday, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM; Plaza 191
This study examines the perceptions and ambiguities of Evangelicals around the image of God as mother. Included are their perceptions of God’s traits that are typically associated with mothers, Evangelicals’ willingness or unwillingness to label God in feminine terms, their experience of relating to God as a maternal figure, and deconstruction of the ambiguities and conflict inherent in the God as mother image. Attention to the sources of their God images (e.g. Sunday School) and experiences as human parents and children were also considered.
Leonard Allen, Abilene Christian University Press, Convener: “The Christian Scholar’s Review: Celebrating Forty Years” Thursday, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM; RAC 170
- Don King, Christian Scholar’s Review, Montreat College, Presentation
- Jerry Pattengale, Christian Scholar’s Review, Indiana Wesleyan University, Presentation
The recent development of Christian scholarship is a wonderful story. One of the best measurements of this movement is the Christian Scholar's Review, and during this session its editor and associate publisher will highlight its journey. The journal’s primary objectives are the integration of Christian faith and learning on both the intra- and inter-disciplinary levels and to provide a forum for discussing theoretical issues of Christian higher education. Marking the fortieth anniversary of CSR, this session will review its history, note its contribution to Christian scholarship, and highlight some of its best essays, collected in the new book, Taking Captive Every Thought (ACU Press).
Leonard Allen, Abilene Christian University Press, Convener: “The Green Scholars Initiative—New Access to Our Ancient Heritage” Saturday, 8:45 AM - 10:15 AM; Kresge Reading Room
- Scott Carroll, Green Collection, Presentation
- Jerry Pattengale, Green Scholars Initiative, Indiana Wesleyan University, Presentation
Have you ever wondered how to gain access to that exclusive group studying the oldest manuscripts related to our Christian Scriptures? Or, how to help your students to gain access? A revolutionary answer to these questions is being unveiled. The Green Scholars Initiative began in the summer of 2010, and is an international project involving dozens of institutions. The newly assembled Green Collection is among the world’s largest collections of ancient texts and items related to the Judeo-Christian story. The Green Collection will provide ten Senior Scholars and their research clusters rare hands-on, original research opportunities. This will revolutionize the undergraduate research experience for generations of students.
Clifford Barbarick, Pepperdine, Convener: “Nature and Nature’s God: An Inquiry into the Christian Faith of John Muir” Friday, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM; Plaza 189
- Paul J. Willis, Westmont College: “’He Hath Builded the Mountains’: John Muir’s God of Glaciers”
- Jeffrey Bilbo, Baylor University, “Preserving ‘God’s Wildness’ for Redemptive Baptism: John Muir and the Disciples of Christ”
- Tom Olbricht, Pepperdine University, Respondent
Presentations in this session will explore Muir’s theology—and its connection to his understanding of the created order—from various perspectives. For example, how does Muir’s insistence that glacial activity shaped the Sierra Nevada (an avant-garde insight that leading geologists initially rejected) relate to his understanding of providence and redemption? How did the distinctive theology of the Disciples of Christ, in which Muir was raised, prepare him to understand the redemptive value of the mountains? Recent scholarship has given greater appreciation to the theological underpinnings of John Muir’s vision of the natural world, and this session will continue such explorations.
Todd Bouldin, Pepperdine University, Convener: “A Review of James Davison Hunter’s To Change the World: The Irony, Tragedy and Possibility of Christianity in the Late Modern World” Saturday, 10:30 AM - Noon; AC 290
- John Seel, nCore Media, Review
- Todd Bouldin, Pepperdine University, Review
- Lee Camp, Lipscomb University, Review
- John York, Lipscomb University, Review
- Rebecca Ver Straten–McSparran, Los Angeles Film Studies Center, Review
James Davison Hunter’s seminal volume, To Change the World, has stirred significant debate because of its critique of the approaches of the Christian Right and Left towards culture as well as the politicization of faith. Hunter calls Christian thinkers and influencers away from individualism and proselytism to a cultural renewal through “faithful presence” for cultural flourishing through engagement with "elites, networks, technology, and new institutions." The panel will explore the implications of the book for Christian witness in the arts and media, politics, and the academy as well as the role of congregations in the task of cultural renewal.
Cathy Box, Lubbock Christian University, Convener: “Assessment in the K-12 science classroom. Two steps forward, three steps back." Saturday, 10:30 AM - Noon; AC 261
- Cathy Box, Lubbock Christian University, “Assessment for Learning: Students, Teachers and Change”
- Jan Chappuis, Pearson Assessment Training Institute, “Characteristics of Effective Feedback and Why They Matter to Learning”
- Steve Chappuis, Pearson Assessment Training Institute, “Balanced Assessment Systems in the School and Classroom”
- Dana Kennamer Hood, Abilene Christian University, Respondent
Formative Assessment is a powerful educational tool that has the potential to enhance student motivation and improve student achievement if used appropriately in the classroom. However, accountability - which has led to high-stakes testing - has emerged as a dominating force in driving administrative and classroom-level instructional and assessment decisions, leaving little time to focus on practices that improve student learning. This session will focus on seven powerful strategies of formative assessment and the importance of providing balanced assessment to enhance learning of all students.
Phillip G. Camp, Lipscomb University, Convener: “How Far Is Too Far? The Limits of Scholarship at a Confessional School” Friday, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM; AC 263
- Todd Bouldin, Pepperdine University (Law), Panelist
- Stephen Contakes, Westmont College (Chemistry), Panelist
- Todd Lake, Belmont University (Administration), Panelist
- Tremper Longman, Westmont College (Old Testament), Panelist
- Linda Peek Schacht, Lipscomb University (Communication), Panelist
- Justin Topp, North Park University (Biology), Panelist
Recent examples of prominent scholars being asked or forced to leave their institutions over scholarship that conflicts with those institutions' confessional positions raise the question of “How far is too far?” when it comes to academic freedom and inquiry in a confessional school. Of course, the situation itself is not new. This panel will explore that question, offering perspectives from different academic disciplines and exploring ways to navigate the sometimes tense relationship between free academic inquiry and the limits of a confessional school.
Robert F. Cochran, Jr., Pepperdine University School of Law, Convener: "The Bible and the Law" Saturday, 8:45 AM - 10:15 AM; Plaza 191
- David VanDrunen, Westminster Seminary California, “Creation, Fall, and the Patriarchs”
- Tremper Longman, Westmont College, “The Mosaic Law”
- Leslie Alford, Pepperdine University, “The Wisdom Literature and the Law”
- Dallas Willard, University of Southern California, “Jesus and the Civil Law”
The panel is based on a book project which examines what the scriptures teach about the positive/civil law--the law that is adopted and enforced by governments. Each chapter of the book focuses on a different section of scripture and is co-authored by a law professor and a theologian. This panel features co-authors of four of the sections.
Beth Conway, Lipscomb, University, Steve Davis, Pepperdine University, and Jay Brewster, Pepperdine University, Conveners: “Building Undergraduate Research Programs at Liberal Arts Universities” Thursday, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM; Plaza 191
- Tim Van Wagoner, Oklahoma Christian University, Panelist
- Lee Kats, Pepperdine University, Panelist
- Michele LeBlanc, California Lutheran University, Panelist
- Michael Feltner, Pepperdine University, Panelist
- Greg Powell, Abilene Christian University, Panelist
- Beth Conway, Lipscomb University, Panelist
Providing undergraduate students with opportunities to engage in primary research is a highly effective pedagogical tool and is a prime example of active learning and effective faculty mentoring within an academic discipline. In addition, faculty researchers are likely to be better engaged in their academic discipline, improving their instructional effectiveness and their ability to mentor young scholars. At small liberal arts schools, the infrastructure and funding required to enable active research programs is often lacking. In this session, panelist and audience members will discuss examples of undergraduate research programs, strategies for organizing these programs, and opportunities for funding these efforts.
Mike Cope, Abilene, TX, Convener: “Introducing the Science for Ministry Institute” Friday, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM; AC 290
- Kenneth Reynhout, Princeton Theological Seminary
- Jennifer Thweatt-Bates, Independent Scholar
The Science for Ministry Institute at Princeton Theological Seminary is an innovative continuing-education program for ministers and church members, aimed at furthering conversations within congregations on religion and science topics. Initiatives like this program are an important and effective way to honor the vocations of scientists in our congregations, and educate our congregations as a whole beyond default “conflict” assumptions. This interactive session will describe the intent, goals, and structure of the program, provide a short demonstrative lesson taken from the “core course,” describe examples of congregational initiatives set up by SFM participants, and provide information for how your congregation can be a part of the Science for Ministry Institute.
Kindalee Pfremmer DeLong, Pepperdine University, Convener: “Leaven Presents the Gospel of Luke: A Table for All People” Friday, 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM; RAC 175
- David Matson, Hope International University, “‘Eating and Drinking Whatever They Provide’: Jew-Gentile Table Relations in Luke-Acts”
- S. Scott Bartchy, UCLA, Respondent
- Julia Lambert Fogg, California Lutheran University, Respondent
- Heather E. Holland, Emmanuel School of Religion, Respondent
In conjunction with the ministry journal Leaven, the central paper in this session presents neglected evidence about table fellowship in Luke-Acts. In Luke Jesus eats with all, and in Acts the early Christians break bread from house to house. But as the mission brings in Gentiles, how does Luke envision table fellowship? Did Jews and Gentiles share the same food? This paper contends—in light of ancient Jew-Gentile dining customs—that inclusive early-Christian table fellowship practices personified and personalized the breaking down of social barriers. Panelists will respond to the central paper from the perspectives of biblical studies, theology, and ministry.
Craig Detweiler, Pepperdine University, Convener: "Cool It: Screening and Discussion with the Filmmaker" Screening: Saturday, 8:45 AM - 10:15 AM; Lindhurst Theatre / Discussion: Saturday, 10:30 AM - Noon; Lindhurst Theatre
- Terry Botwick, Cool It Producer
Climate catastrophe? Normal solar activity? The end of civilization as we know it? Cool It follows the work of Bjorn Lomborg, the controversial author of The Skeptical Environmentalist. This feature documentary premiered at the prestigious 2010 Toronto Film Festival and was named amongst the Top 10 overlooked films of the year by the Los Angeles Times. Amidst the strong and polarized opinions within the global warming debate, Cool It tracks Lomborg on his mission to bring the smartest solutions to our energy needs, carbon emissions and other major problems in the world.
Christopher D. Doran, Pepperdine University, Convener: "The Bible, Science, and the Ecology of Wonder: Review, Conversation between William P. Brown and John Polkinghorne, and audience participation" Saturday, 8:45 AM - 10:15 AM; Plaza 189
- John Polkinghorne, Reviewer and Conversation Partner
- William P. Brown (author), Respondent
This session will facilitate a conversation between John Polkinghorne and William P. Brown with reference to Brown’s book The Seven Pillars of Creation: The Bible, Science, and the Ecology of Wonder (Oxford University Press, 2010). The conversation will commence with Polkinghorne’s review of Brown’s book and conclude with a question/answer session with the audience.
Christopher D. Doran, Pepperdine University, Convener: “Major Book Review: Reconciling the Bible and Science: A Primer on the Two Books of God by Lynn Mitchell and Kirk Blackard” Friday, 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM; RAC 170
- Donna Nofziger Plank, Pepperdine University, Reviewer
- James Foster, Princeton Theology Seminary, Reviewer
- David Mahfood, Abilene Christian University, Reviewer
- Lynn Mitchell, University of Houston (author), Response
Reconciling the Bible and Science: A Primer on the Two Books of God by Lynn Mitchell and Kirk Blackard is the first book of its kind in the Restoration tradition. It seeks in particular to resolve the so-called conflict between the Bible and science, as it seeks to treat both special revelation and general revelation seriously. This session will include reviews from those within the science and religion dialogue. Lynn Mitchell will then respond to their critiques.
Christopher D. Doran, Pepperdine University, Convener: “People, Planet, Profit: Reflections on Teaching Sustainability” Friday, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM; Plaza 190
- Simran Sethi, University of Kansas, Panelist
- Christopher D. Doran, Pepperdine University, Panelist
Addressing sustainability within an academic setting is often daunting because of the need to address multiple topics (e.g., environmental, ethical, and economic) at the same time. Additional challenges arise because sustainability is not always recognized as an explicit part of the curriculum outcomes of a given department. CSC plenary speaker and Associate Professor of Journalism, Simran Sethi, and Assistant Professor of Religion, Christopher D. Doran, will reflect on ways to integrate disciplines and evolve the sustainability conversation within the classroom.
Christopher J. Dowdy, Southern Methodist University, Convener: “After Apology: A Conversation with Royce Money on Apology, Race, and Christian Higher Education” Thursday, 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM; Plaza 191
- Royce Money, Abilene Christian University, Panelist
- Norma Burgess, Lipscomb University, Panelist
- Candace Jones, UCLA, Panelist
- Vic McCracken, Abilene Christian University, Panelist
- Jerry Taylor, Abilene Christian University, Panelist
- William L. Turner, Vanderbilt University, Panelist
Christianity ostensively prizes repentance and forgiveness as fitting personal responses to sin. Can the same tools be used to confront the difficult legacies of institutions? Should they be? This multi-disciplinary panel seeks to develop a deeper understanding of the issues at stake for institutions in overcoming historical wrongs. Among such institutions, Christian colleges and universities present especially intriguing challenges. The panelists will engage with reflections from Abilene Christian University Chancellor Royce Money on the buildup to and consequences of his 1999 apology for segregation at ACU.
Ken Dunham, Faulkner University, Convener: “Church Conflict, Mediation & Resolution” Friday, 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM; AC 290
- Matt Vega, Faulkner University: “Mandating Christian Mediation”
- Randy Lowry, Lipscomb University, Respondent
- Charles Siburt, Abilene Christian University, Respondent
- Carlos Gupton, Harding Graduate School of Religion, Respondent
- Tim Pownall, Pepperdine University, Respondent
Panelists will respond to Professor Vega’s paper which explores mandatory mediation from the perspective of church members who have an ongoing relationship and need a process for resolving disputes. It seeks to answer the primary questions of when is it appropriate, what “law” should govern, and how is it enforced. Panelists will discuss the areas or ways in which Christian mediation can be mandated, the role religious argument (as opposed to purely secular argument) should play in resolving disputes between Christians and how to enforce the duty to mediate and/or the outcome of a successful mediation.
Richard Goode, Professor of History, Lipscomb University, Convener: “Academically Adrift: An Indictment of Irresponsibility” Saturday, 10:30 AM - Noon; RAC 178
- Joshua Perry, (Business Law and Ethics), Indiana University
- Darlene Rivas, ( History and Latin American Studies), Pepperdine University
- Christin Shatzer, (Service Learning), Lipscomb University
- Richard Goode, ( History), Lipscomb University
After four years and perhaps more than $100,000 what has a college student learned? Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses (Univ. of Chicago, 2011), argues “not much.” A surprising percentage of students show little, if any, growth in analytic reasoning, critical thinking, and written communication during their collegiate experience. The Chronicle of Higher Education has called the report “the most significant book on higher education in years.” Panelists will explore the report’s findings, and then invite all in attendance into a conversation about such questions as: “What might explain these findings?” “Where might responsibility fall?” “How might faculty and administrations respond to such an indictment?”
Richard Goode, Lipscomb Univeristy, Convener: “Prison Higher Education: Rethinking Justice” Thursday, 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM; RAC 170
- Jody Lewen, Executive Director of the Prison University Project, Patten University at San Quentin
- Christin Shatzer, Director of Serving and Learning Together (SALT), Lipscomb University
- Richard Goode, Coordinator of the Lipscomb Initiative for Education (LIFE) Programs, Lipscomb University
In the realm of crime and punishment, “justice” implies retribution for past offenses. Today over two million incarcerated offenders receive “what they deserve.” Might people of faith and members of the academy question these assumptions and reconceptualize such definitions of justice? Representatives from the Prison University Project at San Quentin, and Lipscomb University’s Initiative for Education at the Tennessee Prison for Women, will frame a conversation on prison higher education. Beyond charitable outreach, can higher education itself be an act of justice? How do emphases from our faith traditions and our intellectual work inform pedagogical practices and pursuits of social justice? Can education be what offenders deserve?
Bradley W. Griffin and Carolyn Hunter, Pepperdine University, Conveners: “A Death Performed, a Life Observed: A Performance and Discussion of Scenes from Margaret Edson's Pulitzer Prize-Winning Play, Wit” Friday, 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM; Lindhurst Theatre
- Darryl Tippens, Pepperdine University, Moderator
- Caroline Cicero, Pepperdine University, Panelist
- Martha Highfield, California State University Northridge, Panelist
- James R. Nichols, Abilene Christian University, Panelist
- David E. Smith, Harding University, Panelist
Theatre effectively forces us to confront sensitive topics. For example, the interplay of the characters in Margaret Edson’s Wit creates a rich exploration of ethical problems that patients, health care professionals and researchers must resolve. What measures are appropriate to prolong life? What limits of human suffering should be aloowed to increase scientific knowledge? Who is qualified to make end-of-life decisions? Into this controversial mix of questions Edson stirs the religious poetic work of John Donne. Following a performance of scenes from Wit, the conversation will enlarge to include representatives from the fields of medical ethics, gerontology, and human research.
Jackie L. Halstead, Lipscomb University, Convener: “Measurement of Spirituality” Friday, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM; RAC 178
- Marianne McInnes-Miller, Alliant University, “Assessing the Spirituality of ‘Spiritual But Not Religious’ Clients: A Qualitative Perspective”
- Peter Jankowski, Bethel University, “Conceptualizing and measuring spirituality: A differentiation-based relational paradigm”
- Ty Mansfield, Texas Tech University, “Positing Spirituality as a Measurable Capacity, Exploring the Possibilities”
- Clarence Hibbs, Pepperdine University, Respondent
- Kent Rhodes, Pepperdine University, Respondent
- Chris Gonzalez, Lipscomb University, Respondent
This Generative session will explore the topic of the measurement of spirituality. There is much debate on the legitimacy of this measurement—how does one operationalize the mystery of God? How can one’s spiritual growth/formation be measured when each journey is unique and complex? These questions address both the definition of spirituality and the outcome of the spiritual journey. This session will explore these topics as well as offer examples of measurements of spirituality.
Matt Hearn, Lipscomb University, Convener: “Fame—Twain—2011” Thursday, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM; Plaza 190
- Laura Trombley, Pitzer College, “'Fame is a Vapor; Popularity an Accident; the only Earthly Certainty is Oblivion': Mark Twain in 2011"
- Ann Ryan, Le Moyne College, The Mark Twain Annual (editor)
- William Steele, Oklahoma Christian University, “And Ever the Twain Shall Tweet: Teaching Twain in the 21st Century”
- Hal Holbrook, Actor, “My Career as Mark Twain” and Respondent
Few autobiographies appearing so long after their authors’ deaths have been met with so much anticipation from the reading public as that of Mark Twain, whose life and work continue to fascinate new generations of readers, scholars, and performers. This panel will address several aspects of Twain’s legacy as one of America’s most well-known literary figures; speakers include Dr. Ann Ryan, editor of The Mark Twain Annual, and Dr. Laura Trombley, president of Pitzer College and author of the recent Mark Twain’s Other Woman: The Hidden Story of His Final Years. Actor Hal Holbrook has been invited to respond.
Carl Holladay, Emory University, Convener: “Galen’s On the Avoidance of Distress: Discovery, Text, and Moral Therapy” Saturday, 8:45 AM - 10:15 AM; Plaza 188
- Trevor Thompson, Abilene Christian University, and Clare Rothschild, Lewis University, “Galen’s On the Avoidance of Distress: Discovery and Text”
- John Fitzgerald, University of Miami, "On the Avoidance of Distress and Greco-Roman Moral Philosophy"
- Richard Wright, Oklahoma Christian University, "On the Avoidance of Distress and the New Testament"
The long-lost treatise On the Avoidance of Distress by Galen, a second century Roman physician, was discovered at Vlatadon Monastery Thessaloniki in 2005. The letter-treatise describes how Galen responded to the fire in Rome that destroyed much of his library and medicines in 192 C.E. Labeled as “one of the most spectacular finds ever of ancient literature,” the text provides important information concerning the consolation genre and the use of the codex, an early form of book and favored technology of early Christians, during the Imperial period. More broadly, the treatise is important for ancient moral philosophy and therapy.
Robert E. Hooper, Lipscomb University, Emeritus, Convener: “Inspired by Great Teachers: Students’ Contributions to Scientific Understanding” Thursday, 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM; Great Books Reading Room
- George Parks, FuelScience, LLC (student of David Johnston), “’What Would Jesus Drive?’: Personal Mobility at the Close of the Petroleum Age, A presentation in honor of Prof. David O. Johnston”
- David E. Smith, Heart Clinic Arkansas, Little Rock, Arkansas (student of Don England), “’When Does Life Begin?’ Christian Scientists and Bioethicists Must Respond”
- Don England, Professor of Chemistry, Harding University, Emeritus, Response
Great teachers inspire successful students. The expansive field of philosophy was inspired by teachers in Athens—Socrates taught Plato, Plato taught Aristotle, and Aristotle taught Alexander the Great. But among teachers, none was more successful than Jesus Christ. He taught twelve ordinary men a message that changed the world. The message continues to impact men and women through dedicated Christian teachers in the classroom. Today we come to honor two teachers of chemistry: David Johnston, Lipscomb University (deceased) and Don England, Harding University, Emeritus.
Paul Howard, Oklahoma Christian University, Convener: “Teacher Beliefs about the Teaching and Learning of Mathematics: A Christian Perspective” Saturday, 8:45 AM - 10:15 AM; AC 261
- Robyn Miller, Oklahoma Christian University
- Saeed Sarani, Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education
Teacher beliefs about the teaching and learning of mathematics is an active area of research in mathematics education. We will discuss a study that examines the relationships between teacher beliefs and teacher quality/effectiveness. Implications include designing teacher education programs that give students opportunities to examine their belief systems about mathematics as well as designing and implementing effective program assessments. These issues are important for those interesting in training mathematics teachers for the future.
JoAnn D. Long, Lubbock Christian University, Convener: “Using Technology for Dietary Measurement and Health Promotion” Saturday, 8:45 AM - 10:15 AM; AC 280
- Toby Rogers, Lubbock Christian University
- Laurel Littlefield, Baylor University
- Carol Boswell, Texas Tech University Health Science Center, Odessa
- Gina Kuenzi, Lubbock Christian University
- Paul Watson, Cole Mill Road Church of Christ, Consumer Panel Respondent
- Karl Mahan, Technology Panel Respondent
- Mark Boswell, Technology/Consumer Panel Respondent
Focus groups suggested the usability and acceptable of cell-phone technology for recording diet in a college-aged population. Statistical findings suggest cell phone pictures for memory prompt are more effective than MyPyramid Tracker alone and contribute to increased accuracy of recording fruit/vegetable consumption. A smart phone App was developed as an outcome of this project and further mobile phone applications are discussed. Faculty and student engagement in the research project as a whole is discussed. Roger’s theory of Diffusion of Innovation is suggested as a theoretical model for testing technology-based methods of fruit/vegetable consumption.
Toby Rogers, Lubbock Christian University, Laurel Littlefield, Baylor University, Carol Boswell, Texas Tech University Health Science Center, Odessa, Gina Kuenzi, Lubbock Christian University, and JoAnn D. Long, Lubbock Christian University, “Evidence for Technology-based Methods of Dietary Assessment”
- Paul Watson, Cole Mill Road Church of Christ, Consumer Panel Respondent
- Karl Mahan, Technology Panel Respondent
- Mark Boswell, Technology/Consumer Panel Respondent
Insufficient fruit/vegetable intake is linked to the leading causes of global mortality and alarming rise in obesity worldwide. Evidence suggests behavioral interventions are effective in increasing self-efficacy for fruit/vegetable consumption; however, accurately measuring dietary intake is problematic. Traditional dietary assessment methods have limited sensitivity in detecting changes in fruit/vegetable consumption. Advances in mobile technologies may reduce reporting burden while enhancing effectiveness of fruit/vegetable recording. This paper discusses the background and evidence for testing the effectiveness of a technology-based method of dietary assessment for fruit/vegetables using cell phones with digital picture capability, for memory prompt in conjunction with MyPyramidtracker.gov website.
Mark Love, Rochester College, Convener: “Review Session: The Missional Church in Perspective: Mapping Trends and Shaping the Conversation (2011)” Friday, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM; RAC 175
- Mark Lau Branson, Fuller Theological Seminary, Reviewer
- Chris Flanders, Abilene Christian University, Reviewer
- Matti-Velli Karkkainen, Fuller Theological Seminary, Reviewer
- Dwight Zscheile, Luther Seminary (author), Respondent
This session reviews The Missional Church in Perspective: Mapping Trends and Shaping the Conversation, by Craig Van Gelder and Dwight Zscheile (Baker Academic, 2011), which assesses the state of the missional church movement and its prospects for the future. Van Gelder and Zscheile review the genesis of the missional church, map the diverse paths this discussion has taken, identify branches and sub-branches of the conversation and place published titles and websites into this framework. The authors then apply biblical and theological perspectives to extend the conversation about missional theology, the church’s interaction with cultures, and organization and leadership in relation to the formation of disciples.
Nancy Magnusson Durham, Lipscomb University, Convener: “Christian university presidents reveal their strategies for leading influential institutions of higher learning into the next decade” Friday, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM; Plaza 188
- Tracey Hebert, Lipscomb University, “The Higher Education Mission and Maintenance of a Contract with Religious Constituency”
- Andrew Benton, President, Pepperdine University, Respondent
- Randy Lowry, President, Lipscomb University, Respondent
- Richard Mouw, President, Fuller Theological Seminary, Respondent
- Mike O’Neal, President, Oklahoma Christian University, Respondent
Tracey Hebert’s paper concludes that the history of conflict within Churches of Christ and the shrinking pool of students from which to recruit have had a significant impact upon affiliated colleges and universities. The future of these institutions depends largely upon how competitive they are within the higher education marketplace, the quality and depth of the educational experience they can provide, and how effectively they can communicate their story to their constituencies. The panel will present strategies for enhancing faculty scholarship, alumni involvement, church/university relationships, and competitiveness in the current higher education landscape.
Rick R. Marrs, Pepperdine University, Convener: “Isaiah 1-39: A Commentary on First Isaiah (Hermeneia) – A Panel Discussion of the forthcoming commentary by J.J.M. Roberts” Saturday, 10:30 AM - Noon; Plaza 188
- Timothy Willis, Pepperdine University, Reviewer
- Christopher Hays, Fuller Theological Seminary, Reviewer
- Kindalee DeLong, Pepperdine University, Reviewer
- J. J. M. Roberts, Princeton Theological Seminary, Emeritus (author), Response
The panelists for this discussion have been provided samples of Emeritus Professor Roberts’ forthcoming commentary on First Isaiah. They will discuss the commentary from a variety of perspectives, noting its intended audience and value for the various constituencies that may utilize the commentary. Discussion may include the value of the commentary for close exegetical work, for teaching and preaching, for study of the use of Isaiah in the New Testament, and as a possible seminary classroom text. At the conclusion Professor Roberts will respond to the presentations; full audience participation will follow.
Danny Matthews, Harding University, Convener: “Old Testament Panel Review of The Seven Pillars of Creation: The Bible, Science, and the Ecology of Wonder” Thursday, 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM; Plaza 190
- Chris Heard, Pepperdine University, Review: “The Cosmic Temple: Cosmogony according to Genesis 1:1-2:3” and “The Ground of Being: The Drama of Dirt in Genesis 2:4b-3:24)"
- Dave Bland, Harding University Graduate School of Religion, Review: “Behemoth and the Beagle: Creation according to Job 38-41”; “Wisdom’s World: Cosmos as Playhouse in Proverbs 8:22-31”; and “The Dying Cosmos: Qoheleth’s Misanthropic Principle”
- Robert Foster, Southern Methodist University, Review: “The Passion of the Creator: The Manifold Nature of Nature in Psalm 104” and “The Fabric of the Cosmos: The Emergence of New Creation in ‘Second Isaiah’"
- William P. Brown, Columbia Theological Seminary (author), Response
- Open Discussion
This is the first of two sessions devoted to a review of the recent work of Dr. William P. Brown, The Seven Pillars of Creation: The Bible, Science, and the Ecology of Wonder (Oxford University Press, 2010). This session will be led by an invited panel of three Old Testament specialists who will review selections from the book and discuss the theological implications of the primary Old Testament texts regarding creation and God as a creator. The session will include a response by William P. Brown and conclude with a period of open discussion.
Jeff McCormack, Lipscomb University, Convener. “Beyond Boyer: Discovery at the Christian University” Thursday, 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM; Plaza 188
- Jon Lowrance, Lipscomb University
- Darryl Tippens, Pepperdine University
- Charles Mattis, Abilene Christian University
- Skip Trudeau, Taylor University
Ernest Boyer’s scholarship model includes a broadened understanding that includes the four distinct dimensions of discovery, integration, application, and teaching. While all four dimensions play an important role in the pursuit of scholarly activity, discovery is the impetus for all scholarship and in many ways provides a pivotal component to the overall process. Discussions on discovery at a faith-based institution must include the spiritual aspect and the basis for how discovery provides a glimpse of the nature of God and His infinite glory while also contributing to the greater knowledge of the discipline being explored.
Vic McCracken, Abilene Christian University: Convener: “Science, Faith, and the New Atheism: A Dialogue” Saturday, 10:30 AM - Noon; Plaza 189
- Frederick Aquino, Abilene Christian University (Summary paper)
- John Polkinghorne, Respondent
- David Bentley Hart, Respondent
Over the last decade an influential cadre of public intellectuals—Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, and Christopher Hitchens—have argued that religious devotion in general, and Christian faith in particular, are irrational and immoral. But are the criticisms of the “New Atheists” all that new? What response might Christian scientists, philosophers, theologians, and ethicists offer? In this session the Reverend Dr. John Polkinghorne and Christian philosopher David Bentley Hart will converse about their own work, especially as it pertains to larger questions of the rationality and moral standing of Christian faith in the modern world.
James E. Miller, Harding University, Convener: “Connected to Faith: A Generative Session that Explores Social Media Use and Spiritual Wellness Among Christian College Students” Saturday, 8:45 AM - 10:15 AM; RAC 178
- James E. Miller, Harding University and Keith Cronk, Harding University, Presenters
- Carlus Gupton, Johnson Bible College, Respondent
- Rich Little, University Church of Christ, Malibu, CA, Respondent
Social media have transformed the communication practices of a generation. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube have been in existence for less than a decade, but the impact that these and other social networking sites have made on the world in a few years is unprecedented. The pervasiveness of these new forms of communication has prompted researchers to investigate the effects of social media on culture, including physical, intellectual and emotional effects. However, few researchers have studied the effects that social media have on spirituality. This session will explore ideas for research projects that address the effects of social media on Christian college students’ spiritual wellness.
Marcus Miller, The University of Alabama, Baritone, Convener: “Sacred Echoes: An Overview of Selected Western Sacred Vocal Music Genres” Friday, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM; Raitt Recital Hall
- Jean Miller, Lipscomb University, Soprano: Respondent
- J. Bradley Baker, The University of Alabama, Piano: Respondent
- Sally Reid, Lipscomb University, Oboe: Respondent
- Alan Suska, Lipscomb University, Trumpet: Respondent
- Alan Cope, Asbury Theological Seminary: Respondent
This session will serve to identify, display, and define the primary genres of sacred solo vocal music from the Western world by means of a lecture recital. These genres include Cantata, Oratorio, Song, Lieder, Opera, and Musical Theatre. In addition to the performance of and discourse on the selected representative pieces, this session will also include an interdisciplinary component to elucidate particular literary elements found in the music. Specifically, there will be discussion on The Niles-Merton Songs, Op. 171 and 172, from which three songs will be performed in the recital.
Sacred Echoes ProgramMein Freund ist mein - Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
from BWV 140 Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme
Sally Reid, oboe, bassoon
Let the Bright Seraphim from Samson - George Frederic Handel (1685-1759)
Alan Suska, trumpet
Act III Scene 1 from Nabucco - Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901)
Donna, chi sei?
Oh di qual’ onta
Ah qual son!
Vier Ernste Gesaenge, Opus 121 - Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Ecclesiasticus (Sirach) 41:1-2
I Corinthians 13:1-3, 12-13
The Niles-Merton Songs, Opus 171 and 172 - John Jacob Niles (1892-1980)
O Sweet Irrational Worship, No. 1, Opus 172
Cana, No. 7, Opus 172
Jesus Weeps into the Fire, No. 11, Opus 172
Medley from Godspell - Stephen Schwartz (b. 1948)
Prepare Ye (the Way of the Lord)
Day by Day
O Bless the Lord, My Soul
Ted Parks, Lipscomb University, Convener. Connected: An Autobiography about Love, Death, and Technology. A screening of the 2011 documentary in anticipation of a later panel discussion including filmmaker Tiffany Shlain. Presented by Lipscomb University's HumanDocs Film Series, hosted by Lipscomb's College of Arts and Sciences, in partnership with the Nashville Film Festival. Friday, 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM; CAC 316
Ted Parks, Lipscomb University, Convener: “The Documentarist as Harbinger: Aesthetics and Science in Tiffany Shlain’s Connected: An Autobiography about Love, Death, and Technology” Friday, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM; CAC 316
- Tiffany Shlain, director of Connected, founder of The Webby Awards, co-founder of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, Panelist
- Dale Alden, Lipscomb University, Panelist
- John Bucher, Los Angeles Film Studies Center, Panelist
- Jim Arnett, Lipscomb University, Panelist
- Craig Detweiler, Pepperdine University, Panelist
In her 2011 Connected, director Tiffany Shlain mixes traditional documentary modes -- such as compilation and personal essay -- to suggest that technological advances not only signal an evolution in the way human beings think but harbinger a more peaceful world. In this session, four panelists representing various disciplines respond to the film from their diverse perspectives.
Ted Parks, Lipscomb University, Convener: “Documentary as Prophetic Practice: A Manifesto for Film Studies in a Faith-Based Context” Thursday, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM; CAC 316
- Daniel Birman, University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, Respondent
- John Bucher, Los Angeles Film Studies Center, Respondent
- Craig Detweiler, Pepperdine University, Respondent
- Tiffany Shlain, filmmaker, founder of The Webby Awards, Respondent
- Jeanine Varner, Abilene Christian University, Respondent
Given the emphasis on social justice in the biblical tradition, a film studies program focused on social-advocacy documentary is a fitting expression of the Christian identity and mission of a faith-based university. Beginning with the presentation of a rationale and design for documentary film studies in a faith-based context, this session will continue with reactions to the rationale by both filmmakers and academic leaders
Garrett Pendergraft, Pepperdine University, Convener: “Christian Epistemology: A Review of Dallas Willard’s Knowing Christ Today” Saturday, 10:30 AM - Noon; Plaza 191
- Darryl Tippens, Pepperdine University, Reviewer
- Mary Poplin, Claremont Graduate University, Reviewer
- Dallas Willard, University of Southern California, Response
This session will consist of a critical engagement with Dallas Willard’s latest book, Knowing Christ Today: Why We Can Trust Spiritual Knowledge. Participants will respond to Willard’s defense of religious knowledge by considering questions such as the following: Are there important differences between different forms of knowledge (e.g., spiritual knowledge and scientific knowledge)? If so, what are the implications for religious belief and practice? To what extent is the church responsible for the relegation of religious belief to the realm of emotion and opinion? What role should Christian teachers, leaders, and universities play in the attempt to rehabilitate religious knowledge?
Donna Nofziger Plank, Pepperdine University, Convener: “Enhancing Science Education Through the Incorporation of Ethics” Saturday, 8:45 AM - 10:15 AM; AC 286
- Jim Nichols, Abilene Christian University, Panelist
- Victor McCracken, Abilene Christian University, Panelist
- Donna Nofziger Plank, Pepperdine University, Panelist
Science education should not only involve the acquisition of knowledge but should alsoinclude the ability to apply that knowledge to solve problems and gain answers. While breakthroughs in medicine and technology bring great benefit to society they often also raise questions regarding the ethical use of that technology. Providing students with opportunities to develop an ethical framework is necessary in preparing students for future leadership on these difficult issues. In this session we will explore the benefits and difficulties in exploring the theological, ethical, and social implications of scientific progress and examine how that relates to our teaching objectives.
Kathy J. Pulley, Missouri State University, Convener: “Including Women in Worship, Teaching, and Leadership Roles: Changing Times Among Some Churches of Christ” Friday, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM; Kresge Reading Room
- John T. Willis, Abilene Christian University & Fifth and Highland Church of Christ, Abilene, TX, Panelist
- Stuart L. Love, Pepperdine University & University Church of Christ, Malibu, CA, Panelist
- Robert M. Randolph, MIT, & Brookline Church of Christ, Brookline, MA, Panelist
- M. Patrick Graham, Emory University & Northlake Church of Christ, Atlanta, GA, Panelist
- Ken Cukrowski, Abilene Christian University & Minter Lane Church of Christ, Abilene, TX, Respondent
In this session four scholars who are also church elders will report on how their respective churches have moved toward the greater inclusion of women in the public life of the church and in leadership roles. Each story is unique; however, each will address similar issues: how their churches began to effect change, the factors that led to change, the challenges and successes encountered along the way, and where each church stands today. The respondent will offer his perspective on the models presented as well as reflections on the future.
Kathy J. Pulley, Missouri State University, Convener: “Major Book Review Session: From Bible Belt to Sun Belt: Plain Folk Religion, Grassroots Politics, and the Rise of Evangelical Conservatism, by Darren Dochuk (Norton, 2010)” Friday, 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM; Plaza 191
- W. David Baird, Pepperdine University, Emeritus, Reviewer
- Joshua Fleer, Florida State University, Reviewer
- Richard Flory, University of Southern California, Reviewer
- Caleb J.D. Maskell, Princeton University, Reviewer
- Darren Dochuk, Purdue University (author), Respondent
From Bible Belt to Sun Belt tells the dramatic and largely unknown story of “plain-folk” religious migrants: hardworking men and women from Oklahoma, Texas, and Arkansas who fled the Depression and came to California for military jobs during World War II. The stories of religious leaders, including Billy Graham, as well as many colorful, lesser-known figures explain how evangelicals organized a powerful political machine. This machine made its mark with Barry Goldwater, Richard Nixon, and Ronald Reagan. The book offers a unique perspective on the rise of the New Right and modern conservatism. This session provides four critical reviews followed by the author’s response.
Jack Reese, Abilene Christian University, and Todd Bouldin, Pepperdine University, Conveners: “Sexual and Domestic Abuse in the Churches of Christ: Theological and Clinical Perspectives” Saturday, 8:45 AM - 10:15 AM; AC 290
- Pat Keifert, Luther Seminary
- Paul Watson, Cole Mill Road Church of Christ
- Janice Massey, Duke University
- Robbie Hutchens, Signet House, Smyrna, TN
- Kathy Pulley, Missouri State University
Missional Church scholar and author Pat Keifert has conducted extensive research on traits of the congregations of the Churches of Christ. One of his startling findings is that the Churches of Christ experience a higher rate of domestic and sexual abuse than any other tradition that he has studied. Keifert will present the details of his findings, and a panel comprised of theologians, clinicians and therapists will respond.
Brad Reid, Lipscomb University, Convener: “Panel Discussion of Corporate Social Responsibility, the Role of Christian Behavior, and Environmental Change” Saturday, 8:45 AM - 10:15 AM; RAC 175
- Monty Lynn, Abilene Christian University, Panelist
- Ben Hutchinson, Lipscomb University, Panelist
- Dodd Galbreath, Lipscomb University, Panelist
- Michael Sadler, Abilene Christian University, Panelist
- Brad Reid, Lipscomb University, Panelist
This panel will conduct a scholarly discussion of the effect of climate change on the environment, economies, and society, including the role of Christians in these areas. Topics to be considered will include: What are the implications for the world’s poor? What are the roles of business and government? What are biblical and Christian attitudes toward religious, social/political, and economic issues? What are socially responsible responses of business to various stakeholders? What do science findings predict for the future of our planet and life as we know it? After the panelists’ engagement, the audience will asked to make scholarly responses.
Robert Stephen Reid, University of Dubuque, Convener: “The Built to Change Missional Challenge for Built to Last Congregations” Thursday, 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM; AC 261
- Juanie Walker, Pepperdine University, Panelist
- Rich Little, University Church of Christ, Malibu, CA, Panelist
- Rhonda Lowry, Lipscomb University, Panelist
The contemporary challenge for Christian congregations is not just to identify ways to implement change, but to create congregations that are continuously adaptive. The question: how do we secure the proclamation of an unchanging gospel while learning to create congregations where what were once core capabilities do not end up becoming core rigidities, making a congregation increasingly irrelevant to an ever-changing, globally aware, digitally connected, and ethnically diverse culture? This panel examines Lawler and Worley’s Built to Change: How to Achieve Sustained Organizational Effectiveness (Jossey-Bass, 2006) to identify change principles that keep an organization continuously effective in achieving missional purposes.
Thomas Robinson, Manhattan Church of Christ, Convener: “Major Book Review: The Fire That Consumes: A Biblical and Historical Study of the Doctrine of Final Punishment” Friday, 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM; AC 286
- Thomas Robinson, Manhattan Church of Christ, Reviewer
- Gordon L. Isaac, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Reviewer
- Stanley Helton, Tammany Oaks Church of Christ, LA, Reviewer
- Edward W. Fudge, (author) Respondent
The evangelical world is currently re-examining the doctrine of hell, with input from John Stott, Richard Bauckham, N.T. Wright and others. A major catalyst for the debate was Edward W. Fudge’s The Fire That Consumes which provided careful exegetical analysis of biblical teachings and made a powerful argument for the annihilationist viewpoint, thus sparking the debate. A new, enlarged third edition is due for release by June 2011 from Wipfand Stock. This 90-minute CSC session will focus on discussions of the book and the debate by a panel of scholars followed by a response from Fudge.
Gary S. Selby, Pepperdine University, Convener: “Darwin and The Sublime: A Point of Dialogue And Civic Action For Science, Engaged Citizens and Communities of Faith” Saturday, 10:30 AM - Noon; AC 263
- John Angus Campbell, University of Washington, Emeritus, Presenter: “Darwin and The Sublime: A Point of Dialogue And Civic Action For Science, Engaged Citizens and Communities of Faith”
- Rodney Honeycutt, Pepperdine University (Biology), Respondent
- Jeff Cary, Lubbock Christian University (Theology), Respondent
The final line of Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species declares, “There is grandeur in this view of life.” This affirmation pervades Darwin’s corpus, from his Beagle diary down to the celebration of earthworms in his final book, published just before his death. Darwin’s aesthetic/affective vision is a crucial dimension of his many-sided and still evolving legacy. This panel brings a renowned scholar in the rhetoric of science together with an evolutionary biologist and a Christian theologian to explore Darwin’s celebration of nature as a starting point for dialog among scientists, people of faith, and citizens in general.
Session Sponsor: Pepperdine University Center for Faith and Learning
Nancy W. Shankle, Abilene Christian University, Convener: “The Uncertainty Principle: A Panel Discussion on Teaching Michael Frayn’s Copenhagen” Saturday, 10:30 AM - Noon; AC 280
- Nancy W. Shankle, Abilene Christian University, Moderator
- Lisa Siefker Bailey, Indiana University-Purdue University Columbus, Panelist
- Matthew G. Hearn, Lipscomb University, Panelist
- Heidi Gabrielle Nobles, Abilene Christian University, Panelist
- Kimberly Reed, Lipscomb University, Panelist
- Dawne Swearingen, Abilene Christian University, Panelist
Copenhagen, stage production (2000) and television adaptation (2002), is a fictional account of a controversial conversation between physicists Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg regarding their work in developing atomic energy in WWII. In Spring 2011, several professors at Abilene Christian University, Lipscomb University, and Indiana University-Purdue University Columbus taught either the play or the film version in their college courses. At some institutions, professors collaborated with English, Physics, and Theatre professors. They will report on their experiences teaching Copenhagen and integrating science in humanities classes.
Douglas Swartzendruber, Pepperdine University, Convener: “BioLogos – From Beginning to Present” (First Session) Thursday, 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM; Plaza 189
- Darrel Falk, Point Loma Nazarene University, Panelist
- Dennis Venema, Trinity Western University and BioLogos, Panelist
- Kathryn Applegate, BioLogos, Panelist
The BioLogos Foundation seeks to explore, promote and celebrate the integration of science and the Christian faith. The senior leadership of BioLogos will summarize the activities of the Foundation from its inaugural launch in 2008 to the present. The team will discuss the successes as well as the controversies, including the growing impact of the Foundation’s website, The BioLogos Forum, conferences for evangelical leaders, workshops for high school teachers and university professors, and engagement with leaders in the scientific and religious communities.
Douglas Swartzendruber, Pepperdine University, Convener: “BioLogos – Looking Ahead” (Luncheon Session) Thursday, Lunch; Thornton
- Darrel Falk, Point Loma Nazarene University, BioLogos President, Panelist
- Dennis Venema, Trinity Western University and BioLogos, Panelist
- Kathryn Applegate, BioLogos Program Director, Panelist
The BioLogos Foundation seeks to explore, promote and celebrate the integration of science and the Christian faith. The senior leadership of BioLogos will briefly summarize current activities of the Foundation and will present hopes and aspirations for future activities as well as some of the challenges that the Foundation faces. There will be a time for participant feedback and suggestions.
Matt Tapie, The Catholic University of America and Alden Bass, St. Louis University, Conveners: “David Bentley Hart on the Intersections of Scripture and Theology.” An Address to the Third Annual Meeting of the Church of Christ Theology Students.
Sponsored by Pepperdine University’s Religion Division, Lipscomb University’s Hazelip School of Theology, Abilene Christian University’s Graduate School of Theology, Lubbock Christian University’s Department of Bible, and Abilene Christian University Press. Open to all conference attendees. Friday, 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM; Plaza 190
- David Bentley Hart, Providence College, “The Second Naivete: Allegorical and Critical Readings of Scripture”
- Leonard Allen, Abilene Christian University Press, Respondent
- Jeffrey Peterson, Austin Graduate School of Theology, Respondent
- Jeff Cary, Lubbock Christian University, Respondent
At the 2010 meeting of the Church of Christ Theology Students’, Dr. Gregory Sterling, Dean of the Graduate School of Notre Dame, challenged the next generation of Church of Christ theologians and religion scholars to engage the precise nature of the relationship between scripture and theology, a task he claimed the Church of Christ tradition had yet to accomplish. This year, the acclaimed systematic theologian David Bentley Hart will clarify and broaden the ecclesiological dimensions surrounding this crucial question through an address to the Church of Christ Theology Student Group on The Intersections of Scripture and Theology.
J. Richard Thompson, Lipscomb University, Convener: “Lethal Injection for Capital Punishment: Pharmacological, Legal, and Ethical Perspectives” Saturday, 10:30 AM - Noon; Plaza 190
- J. Richard Thompson, Lipscomb University, “Discovery and Development of Sodium Thiopental: An Agent of Deliverance or Death?”
- The Honorable James O. Browning, United States District Judge, Albuquerque, New Mexico, “Legal Perspectives on Capital Punishment: What is Cruel and Unusual?”
- John Nugent, Great Lakes Christian College, "The End of Sacrifice: A Christian Ethicist's Perspective on Capital Punishment”
The recent unavailability of sodium thiopental has created an enormous controversy concerning the proper methods for exacting capital punishment. In order to be legally permissible, the method must not be considered to be “cruel or unusual punishment.” The substitution of other drugs for sodium thiopental, which were never developed for anesthesia, has raised questions as to the legitimacy of this approach. There are ethical concerns with capital punishment as well, based upon exegesis of relevant Old Testament passages. This session will explore each of these perspectives and offer insight into this dilemma.
Jennifer Thweatt-Bates, Independent Scholar, Convener: "Theology, Science, and the Hermeneutics of Interdisciplinary Reason" Thursday, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM; Plaza 189
- Kenneth Reynhout, Princeton Theological Seminary: “Theology, Science, and the Hermeneutics of Interdisciplinary Reason”
- David Mahfood, Abilene Christian University, Respondent
- Fred Aquino, Abilene Christian University, Respondent
The methodological question of how to fruitfully relate the disciplines of theology and science is, at heart, an epistemological and hermeneutical one, highly dependent on the way in which we conceive the nature of human reason. In this session, close attention will be paid to the nuances of navigating interdisciplinary spaces, by examining the notion of hermeneutics and how interpretation functions within and across disciplinary contexts.
C. Michael Williams, Lipscomb University, Convener: “Living at the Intersection of Science and Faith: A Dialogue About Constructive Interaction” Saturday, 8:45 AM - 10:15 AM; AC 263
- Frederick D. Aquino, Abilene Christian University (Theology)
- Edward J. Larson, Pepperdine University (History of Science and Law)
- J. Dominic Smith, Lipscomb University (Chemistry and Law)
- C. Michael Williams, Lipscomb University (New Testament)
Although many of those in the academy, whether scientist or theologian, have adopted Gould’s “Non-Overlapping Magisteria” approach, the most fruitful and intriguing discussions are occurring among those seeking to integrate science and religion. This session discusses: How do the discoveries of science impact our understanding of God and our reading of texts? How does acceptance of an evolutionary perspective impact the Christian’s understanding of sin and justification? What are the greatest challenges that our science-based understanding of the world pose for traditional Christianity? In a Universe that faithfully follows well-defined physical laws, how should we understand God's continuing interaction with Creation?
Tim Willis, Pepperdine University, Convener: “Proclaiming Creator and Creation: Four Church Leaders Respond to William P. Brown’s, The Seven Pillars of Creation” Friday, 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM; AC 270
- Michael Mudgett, Malibu Presbyterian Church, Malibu, CA, “Proclaiming Creator and Creation from the OT: Before and After the Bible”
- Jason Locke, College Church of Christ, Fresno, CA, “Proclaiming Creator and Creation from Genesis”
- Tom Eggebeen, Westchester, CA, “Proclaiming Creator and Creation from the Wisdom Tradition”
- Daniel Jolliff, Simi Valley Church of Christ, Simi Valley, CA, “Proclaiming Creator and Creation from Isaiah”
- William P. Brown, Columbia Theological Seminary (author), Response
In his recent book, The Seven Pillars of Creation, William P. Brown leads Bible readers through the “backdoor” (the ancient Near Eastern context) into the thought-world of the Old Testament regarding Creation, so that they can become more familiar with what is in the house before bringing the Bible out through the “front door” of modern questions and into contemporary churches. In this session, four contemporary “proclaimers of the Word” evaluate how helpful Brown’s approach is in bringing present-day readers to a deeper comprehension of what the OT teaches us about God as Creator and the Creation.