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Q&A with Keynote Speaker Rick Marrs


Rick Marrs

This year's Pepperdine Bible Lectures will open with keynote speaker and Pepperdine Provost Rick Marrs sharing his thoughts on the Song of Songs. Provost Marrs has served as the chief academic officer at Pepperdine since 2014, and was previously the dean of Seaver College. A scholar of the Old Testament, and in the study of the Dead Sea Scrolls, Provost Marrs has taught at Pepperdine since 1987.

Provost Marrs shares his thoughts with us on this year's upcoming Bible Lectures:

PBL: You speak of this year's theme, Spiritual Rhythms: Scrolls for Robust Salvation, as celebrating God's presence in our lives. What do you hope this year's Bible Lectures will offer participants in terms of spiritual growth?

Provost Marrs: My hope is that these five shorter (and perhaps less well known) books will provide new insights and resources for spiritual growth. They all deal with challenging moments in life and how the key characters or authors dealt with those faith challenges.

PBL: Your keynote speech will focus on Song of Songs. What relevance does this hold for us in today's world? Is there a verse that is most meaningful to you?

Provost Marrs: The Song of Songs celebrates healthy human love. We live in a world that often traffics in unhealthy manifestations of love and less than truly meaningful relationships. While there are numerous memorable texts, I may highlight the line in the book "love is stronger than death."

PBL: What impact has the Pepperdine Bible Lectures had on your personal life? And what impact has it had on the greater Pepperdine community?

Provost Marrs: Apart from the numerous moments of spiritual growth, I have found the lectures have provided me countless opportunities to make new friends and deepen older friendships. I think the lectures have repeatedly allowed the Pepperdine community to get to know members of our particular faith heritage better, and have given those coming to our lectures opportunities to know the Pepperdine community better.

PBL: What advice would you give to first-time attendees to make the most of their time at the Bible Lectures?

Provost Marrs: Select several key classes or speakers you especially want to hear and focus on those classes. Don't neglect opportunities to engage other visitors in meaningful conversation and dialogue.

PBL: What is your favorite aspect or tradition of the Lectures?

Provost Marrs: I love seeing friends I've known for year and renewing those friendships...especially finding out what has happened in the past year and how God has blessed them.

We hope you're able to join us and experience for yourself the encouragement and fellowship of Pepperdine Bible Lectures!