Wednesday, May 03, 2006

SWD Pastor's Conference - More Notes and Nuggets

This was a truly worthwhile conference as far as the speakers were concerned. I wanted to share some more notes from the lectures:

Dean Nadasdy:
"Creative Proclamation"

Postmodern Trends:
1. Relative truth
2. Virtual reality
3. Horizontal authority (are you authentic?)
4. Individualism
5. Voyeurism
6. Entitlement
7. Immediacy
8. Cynicism

Contexts of Preaching (expanded from Craddock):
1. Personal context - "what are YOU going through?" (young pastors who constantly use children as sermon illustrations)
2. Pastoral context - "what is your congregation going through?"
3. Theological/Confessional context
4. Liturgical
5. Linguistic
6. Historical "who preceded you in the pulpit?"
7. Cultural context - "your people are part of the culture"

(paraphrase): "Ever wonder why it feels good to be creative? When you do, you are fulfilling part of the image of God in you. Because God creates. Or when you sacrifice? Because God sacrifices. Etc..."

James W. Voelz:
"Proclaiming the Gospel Contextually Within the Culture in the 1st and 21st Centuries AD"

"The Greeks invented poetry. The Romans invented concrete."

(from E.P. Sanders) (paraphrase) "Paul uses 2 models to speak of what Christ does for us, the JURIDICIAL and the INCORPORATION. When speaking sanctification/ethics, Paul NEVER uses the Juridicial, usually the Incorporation model."

Modernism vs. Postmodernism
1. Privileged place of reason
2. Objective assessment of data
3. Comprehensive explanations
4. Progress

1. Rejection of the hegemony of reason. Now intuition, feeling, new age stuff.
*2. NO Objectivity. Now, "perspectives" only. Interesting discursus on how this "bubbles up" into common worldview from beginnings in the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle of Quantam Physics (over the course of a century).
3. No comprehensive explanations, only "models"
4. No progress, instead cynicism: i.e., global warming, avian flu, gas price manipulation conspiracy.

Caveat: No one is entirely Modern or POMO. "Even your new age fortune teller goes to get an EKG. When your car breaks down, you don't go to a witch-doctor".

Preach in the zone of language that is "acceptable" and "accessible". Not too low or high, not too literary or too improprer in grammar.

Finally he gave a wonderful synopsis of the Gospel of Judas, showing clearly its roots in Gnosticism (which he calls "Platonism on steroids"). A "talking-head Jesus" with a drastically different "enabling narrative" about the "realm of Barbello". You can also read the text of the Gospel of Judas on the National Geographic website.

Voelz also convincingly made the case that the 4 Gospels stand apart from the 26 or so "other" gospels, which were written much later and circulated individually, as opposed to the true Gospels which we now know were circulated as a unit. Perhaps this is the reason that the Christians invented the codex in the first place, he suggested - to bind these documents together as one.

1 comment:

Tony Myles said...

Preaching is giving when the face of our souls grows a mustache.