I was at Winebrenner Theological Seminary in Findlay OH the last two days, so my access to the blog was limited to just a few minutes each day … got home Wednesday evening to see that there has been a lively discussion on kingdom of God. Anyway, my lectures — 3 on Tuesday and 4 on Wednesday — were on conversion. Winebrenner was amazingly hospitable and converted the event from lectures into worship and the Eucharist. Wonderful experience at a wonderful school.
Here are some facts: I was e-mailed by six or seven different folks who each had different responsibilities for the two sets of lectures (Summit and Ritz lectures); those e-mails were very helpful. WTS put on a healthy spread for each session — grapes and fruit and water bottles and coffee — and catered a dinner that kept all us together. I really appreciated that. It seemed every time I turned around someone asked me if I needed something … water or some down time … I could go on but it sure is nice to experience hospitality like this. I met so many good folks I feel like I know the whole school. Readers of this blog were there: Someone asked me if I was wearing my crocs! And Steve Sherman told me not to give my credit card to the hotel clerk … and I took his advice.
All the Faculty and students were there on Tuesday and we dealt with conversion theory, why people apostasize (as a form of conversion away from the faith), and why evangelicals become Roman Catholic. Then on Wednesday we addressed local pastors about conversion theory, this time more from student stories and from the story of Peter in the Gospels, and apostasy, evangelicals becoming Catholic and why Jews become Messianic.
I met so many wonderful people, from Steve Sherman (see his book Revitalizing Theological Epistemology) to Jeannine Grimm to Jim Davison (who directs the local mission) to John Nissley … and I could go on … but have to mention Carrie Horwedel who sometimes weighs in here … they were wonderful people. Most lectures are lectures. This was a Seminary event because the seminary’s topic for the year is conversion … so it is not just information but formation … which is why there was plenty of worship and we finished our time with a wonderful eucharist celebration led by Dr. Nissley and Jeannine Grimm.
Wednesday was plenty of chat and public questions and there was a special highlight for me. My friend and former student, well known to readers of this blog, Bob Robinson was there. We got to spend a good hour late Tuesday night at the hotel chatting about his work called “Immanuel Apologetic.” I believe Bob’s topic here is potentially powerful for the church and I’m so glad to hear what he is thinking. Scott Long looked after me Wednesday … and with Jim from the day before, everything was taken care of. Thanks so much WTS!