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Old Testament Studies

Adaptable for Life: The Message of the OT for Contemporary Readers Session 2: Prophets

When: June 10, 2022, 9:00 am - Friday

Where: Swang 244

Session 6

Session Abstract

This session offers a preview of select chapters from the Prophets in the forthcoming volume Adaptable for Life: The Message of the OT for Contemporary Readers. The volume intends to be an up to date and user-friendly textbook designed to introduce sophomore level undergraduate students to the books of the Old Testament. The emphasis falls on the enduring significance of these texts to contemporary communities of faith as well as contemporary culture as a whole. This is an opportunity for teachers and students to get feel for the volume’s content and offer feedback before the book goes to press.

Paper Abstracts

Kevin Youngblood, Harding University, “Jeremiah: Prophet of Contested Calling, Ancient Curse, and New Covenant”

Jeremiah is unique among the prophetic books for the extent to which it reveals the prophet’s personal life and feelings about his prophetic ministry. These emphases, however, are not due to mere biographical interests. Rather, they serve as windows into both YHWH’s and Judah’s experience of broken covenant and contested calling as these estranged parties come to terms regarding their quite different understandings and expectations regarding Judah’s role in YHWH’s unfolding plan for all creation.

 

Grant Testut, Oklahoma Christian University, “Amos: A Prophet Redefined”

Amos has inspired a long line of individuals over the centuries who would hold their religiously-minded audiences responsible for matching their ritual piety with equal devotion to compassionate justice. He could quite possibly be the earliest of the writing prophets of the biblical canon. As one of the Minor Prophets, he spoke on behalf of God, who is disinterested in ritual observances in the eighth century N. Israel and criticized the Israelites for abusing power and wealth to the hurt of the poor and needy. This message of Amos in caring for God through caring for people is everlasting.

 

Lance Hawley, Harding School of Theology, “The Book of Job: Suffering with Integrity”

The book of Job remains pertinent for navigating life with God in the face of innocent suffering. This chapter begins by situating the book of Job within its canonical, ancient Near Eastern, and interpretive contexts. Following this, each major literary unit gets special attention with their unique interpretive issues. Job, his friends, and God all share their evaluations of Job’s suffering, leaving it to the reader to contemplate the strengths and weaknesses of each. The chapter concludes with a few key points about the expectation for divine justice, uncoerced piety, protesting with integrity, and God’s concern for the marginalized.

 

Mark Sneed, Lubbock Christian University, “Ecclesiastes: Learning to Align Your Life to Divine Sovereignty”

The book of Ecclesiastes is best viewed as advising the abandonment of futile ways to attain happiness, like wealth, superficial pleasures, piety, and wisdom. Instead, Qohelet (the persona that instructs in first person) advises what I would call divine hedonism: learning to align (or resign to) one’s life with God’s divine determinism, which means learning to enjoy the simple pleasures (carpe diem ethic) and avoiding unnecessary pain, such as eliciting the wrath of the deity through foolish or non-God-fearing behavior. By focusing on Qohelet’s main goal of providing a workable ethic, one avoids many of the pitfalls of interpreting this difficult book.

 

Jordan Guy, Harding University, “Self-Driving Classes: How the Use of Learning Centers in the Classroom Re-trained My Students to Take Charge of Their Own Educational Experience”

Do you feel like you’re preparing and presenting unforgettable lectures…that are quickly forgotten? Are you going to class prepared to teach, but feel like your students aren’t always coming to learn? By altering the physical environment of your classroom and adjusting the delivery vehicle(s) of your content, you can begin to shift the in-class workload from teacher to student. In this CSC session, I will detail the remarkable results from using learning centers over the past three years in my general population Old Testament survey courses.

Speakers

Kevin Youngblood and Kilnam Cha, Harding University; Abilene Christian University, Conveners

  • Kevin Youngblood, Harding University, “Jeremiah: Prophet of Contested Calling, Ancient Curse, and New Covenant”
  • Grant Testut, Oklahoma Christian University, “Amos: A Prophet Redefined”
  • Lance Hawley, Harding Graduate School of Religion, “The Book of Job: Suffering with Integrity”
  • Mark Sneed, Lubbock Christian University, "Ecclesiastes: Learning to Align Your Life to Divine Sovereignty"
  • Jordan Guy, Harding University, "Self-Driving Classes: How the Use of Learning Centers in the Classroom Re-trained My Students to Take Charge of Their Own Educational Experience"

2023 CSC Info Coming Soon

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James Cone with conferee at the CSC in 2017

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Pulitzer Prize winner Marilynne Robinson delivering the CSC plenary address

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Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), delivering the CSC plenary address.

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US Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith delivering the CSC plenary address

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David Brooks engaging conferees during breakfast at the CSC

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