Monday, September 28, 2015

2015 Lund Lectures at North Park Theological Seminary

Professor Nils W. Lund
Dean and Biblical Scholar at North Park (1922-54)
For many such as myself, the Nils W. Lund Memorial Lectureship held annually at North Park Theological Seminary here in Chicago is a real treat. It provides an opportunity for faculty, students, and friends of the seminary to hear first-class scholars speak on the salient cultural issues of our day and offer a theological response from, and for, the Christian church. This year, following the theme of the Symposium for the Theological Interpretation of Scripture on Race and Racism, North Park Theological Seminary has invited Associate Professor of Old Testament Bo Lim from Seattle Pacific University, and Professor of Biblical Studies Emerson Powry to be our plenary speakers. 
   CovTV, the media division of the Evangelical Covenant Church, kindly live-streamed and recorded the lectures, which are posted below. The first lecture (Wed Nov 3) by Dr. Lim is entitled: "A Tale of Romance or Spousal Abuse?: Love and Violence in the Book of Hosea" where he works through the violent sexual metaphors used by prophets to describe God's judgment on Israel and the nations.
There is a problem with the audio, so scroll for ward to 1:37

The 2nd Lecture is entitled: "Prophetic Ministry Among Exiles: The Contribution of Asian and Latino/a American Biblical Interpretation."  Concerning the latter, Bo does an excellent job surveying the history of interpretation on the problem of exile, frames exilic discourse in the Old Testament with sociological models that help us recognize different types of emmigration/exile patterns (some forced by conquest; others voluntary), and then carefully argues how modern immigration movements by Asian and Latino/a Americans parallel ancient exile patterns, when the analogues fall apart, and why exilic texts speak powerfully to immigrant communities. 

    The following day (Thu Nov 4), Dr. Powry gave his first lecture covering the New Testament canon on the topic: "The Pastor's Counsel to Enslaved Christians." Emerson focuses not only on the interpretation of biblical texts concerning ancient slavery at the advent of early Christianity but provides insights on the history of the texts' reception, especially among African American congregations, and the latter's own painful history of slavery in the United States. 
The 1st lecture begins at 14:57

Both the 1st and 2nd lectures are in the same video clip, but jump to 14:57 for the 1st lecture without the introduction, and for the 2nd lecture, scroll to 1:52:11.

This is the same video but the 2nd lecture begins at 1:52:11

Concerning the 2nd lecture entitled "'Slaves of God': Another Look at Paul's (Ironic) Identity Marker," Emerson investigates Paul's use of the self-designation "slave of [Jesus] Christ" (δοῦλος Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ; Rom 1:1; also Gal 1:10; Phil 1:1) and challenges the idea that Paul somehow tries to redeem the metaphorical use of the term δοῦλος by adding a measure of dignity to it since the worth of the slave is attached to the (high/glorious) stature of the Master himself (contra the classic thesis of Dale Martin's Slavery as Salvation - 1990). Provocatively, Dr. Powry argues that Paul did not remove the shame component intrinsic to ancient forms of slavery. Theologically, Paul was challenging his congregation that the cost of following Christ and declaring Christ as Lord meant, in fact, that the Christian will experience shame, suffering, and indignation. The faithful Christian is not spared from the shame associated with being a slave (of Christ) or the cross-bearing life. That was a stunning challenge!
    I hope the links above make these four lectures readily accessible to you. Enjoy and be blessed! MJL

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