In all seriousness, I had a great first day. To kick it off this morning I listened to an all-star panel on Theology in the New Testament that focused more on how to write books about the topic than they focused on how to investigate the topic itself. Actually, that was apparently the point (launching a new book series) but I still enjoyed listening in. (Joel Willitts asked a question in that meeting. Maybe he'll offer some more informed impressions some time. If he does, maybe I'll become smrater. Ya think?) Later on, I got to meet fellow bibliobloggers James Spinti at the Eisenbraun's booth and Charles Savelle of Bible X fame, who emphasized the centrality of GOD in the ethical urgings of James' Epistle. I also made a handful of new friends from Texas, Oregon, Wisconsin and right here in New Orleans.
My favorite paper of the day was on Theology and Chronology in John's Gospel - an excellent survey of the issue with some helpful observations by Roland McMillan of NOBTS. Roland's opinions weren't entirely conclusive, but his paper was well attended and his review of the "Tennis Match" that turns our heads back and forth when viewing John's Chronological data (Is it Theologically motivated? Is it Historically motivated?) deserves to be turned into a full length article in the near future. It is my fondest wish tonight that Roland gets his chance to start more conversations in social sciences among faith-based academics... and that he continues to be intrigued by Chronology in the Gospels.
By the way, we had Shrimp Po-Boys for lunch and for dinner I the best seafood gumbo I can remember in a long time. Unless you're allergic or kosher (like Jim West, apparently), when you're here, try the seafood. Avoiding seafood in New Orleans is like avoiding the Eiffel Tower in Paris. If anybody wants to eat well without blowing a wad, come find me this week. Mother's Restaurant is just down the street from the Sheraton. Ooooh-eeeee!
One last point - I've never spent more than an hour in my life studying Revelation but I'm naturally intrigued by a pre-70 viewpoint on its provenance. On that impetus alone, I spent ten minutes in the Preterists' booth today. Apparently, even they feel theology is more important than history. Something about proving that heaven is now.
Oy vei. And I'm not even Jewish!