By way of update, I somewhat recently heard (but failed to report here) that the upcoming Wipf & Stock volume Perspectives on Eternal Security: Biblical, Historical, and Philosophical, edited by Dr. Kirk MacGregor (Assistant Professor of Religion at James Madison University) is coming along nicely. My contribution is the chapter “First Clement and Jewish Hellenism: Historiography and ‘Grace’ in Light of Surviving Second Temple Motifs and First Century Christianity” (tentative title).
The trimester began at Winebrenner today with my first faculty meeting there. My time has been spent mostly with getting the office going, fitting in time for course prep, signing papers, learning the ins-and-outs of full time faculty work, such as, remembering to put office hours up. (I could always follow the lead of one of a former advisor who put up TWO “do not disturb” signs.) Tomorrow I begin teaching Hermeneutics (two sections), powerpoint is ready to go (though I still keep thinking of things to add) and catching up on some stray emails that have appeared toward the end of the day. The IT department was kind enough to give me a brand-spanking new system.
As this is an introductory, first-year course, I’ve chosen four texts that cover the spectrum. Jeannine K. Brown’s Scripture as Communication combines several methodologies, and utilizes the incarnational analogy (Peter Enns features in one of the later chapters). William Yarchin’s History of Biblical Interpretation is a reader which I will use to facilitate discussion. Yarchin has an excellent 20-page introduction and each selection opens with a good, but brief introduction to the period and the piece chosen. Chasing the Eastern Star by Mark Powell looks at the biblical text in light of reader response, something—along with reading the Bible from the margins—that I will be emphasizing throughout the semester. The last text, Eat This Book, is Eugene Peterson’s work on the lectio divina. In that text, Peterson discusses the ancient practice of spiritual reading, the idea of praying Scripture, absorbing it, and eating it. Rather than turning Scripture into a tool to batter someone, it becomes a gathering point for communing with God. I’m also teaching Christian Theology this fall, but I’ll have to come back to that later.