Last Friday morning I flew out to Philadelphia to speak at Biblical Seminary. John Franke was installed as the Lester and Kay Clemens Professor of Missional Theology. It may have been the most satisfying and stimulating theological conference I’ve ever attended.
John Franke is at the cutting edge of moving “missional” from the practical theology disciplines to the heart of systematic theology (see Franke books), so it was an honor for me to be invited to be one of the speakers. In fact, the four plenary speakers reflects something about John: his ecumenical vision and his missional theology. Tim Keel, pastor at Jacob’s Well, spoke about the crisis of imagination. Darrell Guder, famous as one of the main architects of “missional theology,” spoke on the promise and perils of “missional.” And then Brian McLaren spoke on the epistemology, and he reflected on 1 Cor 8 and the use of knowledge for destruction. I’m sure all the talks are on CD, but I don’t have the link — so if someone does have the link, send it along.
Dave Dunbar, President at Biblical and a friend of mine since the early 80s, and John Franke selected from three segments of John’s work: evangelical, mainline, and emergent. It was a hearty brew and mix. I think everyone would agree.
It was fun for me to see so many friends: JR Briggs, Todd Hiestand, Sherry Kull and some academic friends (I’ll not name them all). I got to chat with Kent Berghuis who wrote the best book on fasting I’ve read, and I even saw some of the students in my class I taught there on Galatians. When we were done — and they scheduled this event with enough breaks to keep us from fatigue — some of us went to Applebee’s for brews and appertizers and chat.
Thanks John and Dave.