Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Stetson part 2

Well, another day in paradise, but somebody has to do it.

This is day two of the Stetson Winter Pastor’s School. We have about a 45 minute drive from where we stay (on the beach in Daytona), to Stetson University. This morning we began at 9:00 so we had to get up and get going early.

The first lecture this morning was by Thomas Long. I mentioned him yesterday, he is a professor of homiletics (preaching) at Chandler School of Theology (Emory University), in Atlanta. It was an interesting lecture. He is one of the most engaging speakers that I have heard in a long time. He truly knows his art.

The only problem is, he decided to leave behind the "art" of preaching and go off into theological issues. He began by ripping into Rick Warren author of the Purpose Driven Life and it’s church campaign 40 Days of Purpose. He had three comments on it. 1) It is bad theology. (Absolutely) 2) It is bad use of the Biblical text — Rick Warren has a theory and then finds a passage and a translation of the Bible to justify his theory (he uses 20+ translations in the book). 3) Long called it a religious etiquette book.

Long then went in to rip progressive theologians calling them "neo-gnostic." Unfortunately, he did not give very good reasons whey he dislikes them so much. He made some statements that just were not true. "All of these people had bad religious experiences as children." I am pretty sure that Marcus Borg would take issue with that statement.

It is nice to know what I am theologically. Neo-gnostic he defined as people who believe in salvation by knowledge. Not sure I would totally agree with that, but it is an interesting place to start.

The sad part is, Long never articulated his theology.

I am know listening to Sam Balentine, he is a little better today. He has based his lecture around Susan Sontag’s book: Regarding the Pain of Others. It is a book that I need to pick up and read. I have added it to my Amazon wish list.

Don’t forget — it you order stuff on the web, be sure to go through the Ridge Church web site so that we can get a commission on the sale. There is no change to your price.

Tonight is the BIG GAME DUKE at NORTH CAROLINA. Should be intense as usual. Hope I can brag tomorrow!

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