Emergent Conference

Tomorrow and the next day I will attend a “critical concern” pre-session of the Emergent Conference here in Nashville. I chose the one led by Stan Grenz, but due to his untimely death, John Franke will lead the discussion.

Grenz’s death was a blow to postevangelicalism and the future of postmodern theology in an Evangelical mode. I have learned from Grenz since the late 1980s when I began to read his material, including his dissertation on the Puritan Isaac Backus. We will miss his insight. While, of course, not in agreement with everything Grenz wrote (who would agree with everything anyone wrote?), his theological leadership over the past ten years has been quite fruitful in my own life and thinking. I will continue to use his work in my theology classes for many years to come.

Nevertheless, John Franke is an equally gifted theologian and I look forward to spending time with him. He writes in the vein of a “postmodern Reformed” which runs parallel with my own training (though not necessarily my own particular theology). Consequently, much of his language, concerns, and interests are mine. It should be an interesting eight hours with him tomorrow and the next day.

I also spent this morning and early afternoon with a good group of ministers in Churches of Christ in the Nashville area. While probably most would see them as “moderate to conservative” (and perhaps see themselves that way), I enjoyed our time together. Their heart for Jesus, their concern for their people and their love for each other was evident. I thank God for these devoted ministers. May God bless their ministries.

Shalom, my friends

3 Responses to “Emergent Conference”

  1.   john alan turner Says:

    You are one of my heroes for a couple of reasons. First, your level of scholarship is rare in our fellowship. Second, the fact that your reach extends equally in both directions — attending a meeting with “moderate to conservative” Church of Christ ministers today — tomorrow with John Franke and the folks at that emergent conference.

    Thanks for helping restore my faith in the restoration movement.

  2.   John Mark Hicks Says:

    Thanks, John, I appreciate your kindness. And I assure you the respect is mutual.

  3.   Ken Haynes Says:

    John Mark- Looking forward to reading your blog for many days to come. It is the next best thing for those of us who do not get to hear you think out loud in your classes. I hope you will post as a theologian your musings on the Emergent Conf sessions that you attend and your impressions as a whole. I would also be curious for you to post/expand on where you see your personal constructive theology going as opposed to Frankes postmodern reformed.

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