Tuesday 8 May 2012

Princeton Romans conference: audio and video

Last week's Princeton conference on Romans 5-8 was terrific. The whole conference had an ethos of serious exegetical, theological, and pastoral reflection on Romans, and there was a remarkable degree of resonance between the various papers, thanks to the careful and ingenious (though self-effacing) orchestrations of Beverly Gaventa, whose Christian warmth and love for St Paul were the real animating pneuma of the whole event.

Happily, all the plenary papers are available in audio and video. Though the whole conference was excellent, if I was to pick one highlight it would have to be John Barclay's paper on Paul's theology of 'the Christ-gift'. (My own paper was on the Christ-Adam typology in Augustine's Confessions – when I revise it for publication, I'm thinking of calling it "A Tale of Two Gardens: Augustine's Confessions as a Narrative Commentary on Romans".)

If you don't do anything else, you really ought to watch the opening sermon by Luke Powery – the guy can really preach! When you hear good preaching like that, the gospel dawns on you as though for the first time. Listening to Luke Powery, I was stunned by the realisation that God loves me – as though I'd never heard of such a thing before!

Speaking of preachers, another highlight for me personally was getting to know the American preacher Fleming Rutledge – a grand and good human being. She has a new collection of sermons on the Old Testament, which I'm eager to read: And God Spoke to Abraham: Preaching from the Old Testament (Eerdmans 2011). She also has a lot of sermons online.

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