ETS ended today and SBL/IBR began this evening. I just had a fifteen hour day, plenty of conversations, great sessions, and heavy yawns here in my room at the moment.
My new favorite word of the day is "monolithic". My passion for the NT Story is because I want to challenge the standard christian view of the NT, which I find monolithic. If everything happens at no particular time then we're working from a hodge-podge or from one giant blob. A sense of time passing lends perspective and depth, besides which it can also show development, which is more true to the way God actually works in our lives as his people, just like it's how He worked in their lives at that time.
My new favorite scholar of the day is Kevin Vanhoozer. In the panel on Moving beyond the Bible to Theology, Kevin critiqued himself in the third person (both effectively and hysterically) and what impressed me most was the overwhelmingly natural (my word) approach of what he calls the "Drama of Redemption" model. My synopsis of Kevin's view, compared with the others: Our Life Together relies at least as much on improvisation as it does on principle, procedures or plans. In the end, I saw a lot of overlap in the panelists' four approaches. I believe it was the traditional Calvinist on the panel who said, "What's important is that the improvisation is faithful to scripture." Amen, amen!
My PSA of the day comes especially for Nick Norelli, in case he's unaware (as I was) about this little factoid. At the SBL workshop on academic publishing, we were told that end notes are cheaper to print than footnotes, and that we should expect more and more academic publications to trend in that direction. So there you go, Nick. So sorry. But don't hate the playa, baby. Hate the game. ;-)
My first lonely moment of the entire trip came at the IBR reception. Everyone I knew was connecting with old friends and I didn't want to be (not feel like, but actually be) a fifth wheel anywhere, for their sakes. I continued making new friends for a little while, but I left early anyway. But that's okay. My brief loneliness was completely natural. My experience at these annual meetings is only beginning, so I shouldn't take a monolithic view. Developing valuable relationships takes TIME.
Speaking of time, I put in a fifteen hour day. YAAAAWN. Scholarpalooza Day 4 starts bright and early.