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Old Testament

Adaptable for Life: The Message of the OT for Contemporary Readers, Session I

When: June 7, 2023, 1:00 pm - Wednesday

Where: Baylor Seminar Room

Session 1

Session Abstract

This session offers a preview of select chapters from the forthcoming volume Adaptable for Life: The Message of the OT for Contemporary Readers. The volume is intended to be an up to date, accurate, accessible and user-friendly textbook designed to introduce sophomore level undergraduate students to the books of the Old Testament. As the title suggests, emphasis falls on the enduring significance of these texts to contemporary communities of faith as well as contemporary culture as a whole. Those of us who teach introductory-level courses on the OT often struggle to find a textbook suitable for such a class. This textbook will attempt to fill that niche. This is an opportunity for teachers of such courses to get a feel for the book and to offer feedback before the book goes to press.


Paper Abstracts

Kevin Youngblood, Harding University, “Introduction to the Prophets”

Picking up where the Torah or Pentateuch left off, the Prophets function rather like the second volume of Israel’s national epic, but with an addition, a twist, if you will, that is unique among national epics. The writings of the prophets with which The Prophets section concludes offer fascinating commentary on and even some critique of Israel’s national epic, placing it among the most fascinating and endearing stories of divine human struggle.


Brandon Fredenburg, Lubbock Christian University, “Ezekiel”

The Ezekiel scroll is the most organized and the most pervasively graphic among the major prophets. Its recurring enacted parables, metaphors, and themes help bring the prophet’s audience to share his own anger, bewilderment, desperation, and shock at Judah’s demise, as well as his visionary hopes for the renewed people of God’s eventual restoration to the promised land. The phrase “son of man” (“Mortal,” NR SV) offers a surprising entry point for audiences to grasp Ezekiel’s message. By it, the Lord identifies Ezekiel as an Israelite sympathizer and, canonically, situates Ezekiel as a type of the “Son of Man” to come.


Kipp Swinney, Baylor University, “Jonah: An Unwilling Prophet of Grace”

Jonah presents a familiar narrative, yet challenges readers. The book employs humor, satire, upended stereotypes, and hyperbole to elicit profound theological reflection. The prophet rebels against the LORD’s command to preach to Nineveh because he knew that the LORD was a gracious and compassionate God. The LORD compels Jonah with a storm and a great fish to deliver a message to the city, resulting in the city’s repentance and the prophet’s consternation. The story dissatisfies readers, ending with the LORD’s unanswered question: “Should I not be concerned about Nineveh, its people, and its animals?”


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

  • Kevin Youngblood, Harding University, “Introduction to the Prophets”
  • Brandon Fredenburg, Lubbock Christian University, "Ezekiel"
  • Kipp Swinney, Baylor University, “Jonah: An Unwilling Prophet of Grace”

Join us in 2024!

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James Cone with conferee at the CSC in 2017

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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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