Reclaiming Paul Conference – Panel Discussion – Post 5 #evpaul08

Disclaimer:  I’m editing this at O’hare Terminal.   While I should be doing my work for my seminary class tomorrow, I realized that I packed the book (The Historical Books, Nelson) I needed in my suitcase which is checked in.  So, I’m trying to edit some of the notes I took.  If you attended the conference and your memory/notes differ to mine, please feel free to comment/email/whatever. 


If you are a critical soul and are looking for ammunition to use against “whatever it is that you are against”, here are a couple things I’d like to mention:

1. Welcome.  I invite you to travel along with me.  I always enjoy sojourning with those who love Christ and love others.  However, since I mentioned the critical soul part, let us imitate our Savior in His humility and love.  I think you know what I mean.

2. Please remember that these are just notes that I took while talking to my friends, checking out the book table, and setting up my fantasy football team (my spiritual gift is multi-tasking.  It’s true, I took the spiritual gift inventory test and on the 78 page read out, it said that was one of my top three.  Right next to sarcasm and irreverence.)  Where was I?  Oh yes.  These are just notes; they are not meant to be a historical account of what took place because this is a blog and I edited this in 15 minutes sitting at an airport terminal.


Following Steve Fowler’s presentation, a panel discussion and talk-back followed.

Kathy GriebAgreed that Paul can be easily misunderstood if you

          don’t understand where he is coming from

– Follow me as I follow Christ

Tim Keel – This is something we hesitate to urge our congregations  because we are afraid of the problems of us stumbling through. 

– Paul says he is the chief sinner but asks do you see anything wrong with how Paul says follow me as I stumble through


Ross Wagner – agrees and points out the pressing on part.

                he will boast bc of God’s strength  – must be active! 


Steve – Paul has an enormous confidence in the gospel.

 said that Paul said that this work is God’s providence.

 – This enables Paul’s boldness. 

Mike Gorman – the difference between this age and the first century. 

Discussion of similarities and differences of first century and our own time.  Great discussion.  Find the audio if you are really interested. 

Tony Jones – suspect of all the talk of this as well.

– Perhaps Paul may not have recognized his own teaching at work with the some traditional mentalities.

– Some are not really living with a focused telos

Tony appreciated what Steve said regarding the apprenticeship versus student.  Another big discussion here.  Probably the part that interested me the most.

Narratives are shaped by practices that form it. 

practice as opposed to identity.

we categorize people more by content …

Steve – said that he asks his students who taught them how to read (parents, teachers) then asks who taught you to watch tv?  (no one)

– discussion that led to Christianity requires discipline. 

– later during the talk-back, a young man mentioned that in a sense, we do teach our children how to watch tv.  He may have been taking the illustration further then Steve intended but nevertheless, it was worth considering.

Kathy – reflected on the current economic status

where people thought they had retirements and savings, and wealth built up but now have discovered they don’t.

Paul says this on a spiritual aspect.  Thinking he had what was saved up and realized he didn’t.

Tony – recalls a student Daniel that went to fight in Afghanistan.  (this is in New Christians).

       wrote a long letter about his struggle with his faith.

       Tony felt that he and his parents didn’t adequately teach him how to grow in his faith.

       Perhaps he was being too hard on himself but it brought into question how we as a church, student ministries, etc, train our children.

– It’s not just about piety but communal spiritual disciplines.

– so we don’t come together to pray but to learn how to pray.

– Forming a communal narrative




– We do teach our kids how to watch tv in a way. Like how, etc. 

Don Heatley – explains that his church is largely un-churched.  Where do they find masters for apprentices?

If we are truly creating new disciples (and not just recycling people from other churches), what wisdom do we have in creating these models of masters and apprenticeships?

Tony  – there is a ubiquitous availability of great Christian writing. 

used the example of Trucker Frank  (TF – self-trained).

primarily bc of the availability of so much resources

perhaps some kind of  local church – monastic theological   training.


Question didn’t really get answered (which is ok at our gatherings but gave us something to think about and talk about throughout our time during breaks, dinners, etc.).

Daniel Kirk – (not sure if Daniel said this but I like this line and liked Daniel so …)

– If there were no resurrection – this story would not interest me.

I would not have believed this.  Neither would have Paul

he would have felt that it was a scandal at present scholars, 

   who refute the historicity of the resurrection.



  1. […] Reclaiming Paul Conference – Panel Discussion – Post 5 #evpaul08 It’s true, I took the spiritual gift inventory test and on the 78 page read out, it said that was one of my top three. Right next to sarcasm and irreverence.) Where was I? Oh yes. These are just notes; they are not meant to be a … […]

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