Saturday, November 21, 2009

If you want to change Bible teaching at IWU...

... all you need is a well placed bomb during dinner here in New Orleans. All but Wilbur Williams are here: Brian and Elaine Bernius (OT), Steve Lennox (OT), Dave Smith (NT), Bart Bruehler (NT), and me (???).

A browse through the book hall brings the usual feelings:

1) fun to see many faces of old friends--a new phenomenon is meeting old friends you've never met before from the blogosphere,

2) fun to ride the elevator with Gordan Fee or sit at a table next to Kevin Vanhoozer (who in my case you don't announce yourself because of various things you've said on a blog),

3) fun to meet budding scholars and students, some of whom think you know something because you've written a book (you, of course, all the while know better),

4) you feel sad for these budding scholars, knowing that even the best are going to have trouble finding a job and that the guild of biblical studies itself is probably on the decline (cf. Sheffield, Gloustershire, etc...),

5) you look at the book hall and see that Witherington or Tom Wright has published 4 new books this year beyond the ones you already knew about... you figure you'd better get writing,

6) you see a bunch of books that make you think Christian academic publishing is mostly much ado about nothing--I disparage of writing anything else, others think, I could write better than this, why am I not publishing...

7) you feel privileged to get to come to places like this every year, see old friends, grab the most stimulating ideas on many topics before they get published, every once and a while your children get a great experience of some great place... and you're glad your son is in his own world like you are and doesn't even notice the smut all over the place on Bourbon Street (your daughter, on the other hand, who is observant like her mother notices it instantly).

This is Ken Schenck, reporting on the ground in New Orleans...

3 comments:

JohnLDrury said...

Hearing your report makes me all the more sad re: the AAR/SBL divorce. Since one of the best elements of these conferences is the personal relationships, it is a real downer to have those cut in half!

Ken Schenck said...

We'll be back together in two years, yes? At least in the same place and time...

Waved at Amy and Lance across a Starbucks today...

Jared said...

It was good to run into you today. Hope that the De Agricultura section was a hoot.