The NABPR paper presentation went well. Last night, at 11:15p.m., I sat down on the couch and wrote the last five sentences of my NABPR paper. That was a struggle. How does one conclude an assessment on three books, on the same topic, from three very different perspectives? My original plan was in the hopes of having at least two pages to sketch out my own constructive theology of sexuality involving the last half of John 2, 1st Corinthians 3:16-17, and 2nd Corinthians 7, three passages that unite the Resurrection of Jesus the Messiah with the story of the Jerusalem temple. So, instead, I only made a short allusion to it in this manner:
It is not possible for any one Christian thinker to come up with a resolution to the sexual and racial issues that currently divide the Body of Christ. Although one may not agree with their methodology and/or conclusions, the works of Grenz, Douglas, and De La Torre can serve as conversation starters to at least get congregations thinking theologically about race and sex. Jesus of Nazareth, whose human body the Evangelist of the Gospel of John refers to as the Holy of Holies of God, is the central revelation for the Christian understanding of the divine and human. Therefore, it should be the mission of the Church to develop an ethic of racial and gender justice where every human body is treated as the temple of the most High God.”
Fuller Seminary’s Glenn Stassen, a personal friend of the late Stanley Grenz, had high remarks for my presentation. One of Grenz’s students who was part of the audience even told me that I had a good grasp of Grenz’s views. Overall today was a good day. I got my inspiration from Acts 4 and Judges 6, two stories of great courage. During the sessions I was not presenting, I came out firing on all cylinders, asking the hard questions. I was merciful though; better a friend and member of a society asking the hard questions to prepare presenters than an enemy, right? To be honest, last night’s Opening program made me sad in the inside. I heard Bob Darden’s story of the Black Gospel Restoration Project. I felt like cursing the Hip Hop culture after that. It is a story of lost LPs, records, and Black recording artists getting scammed and facing racism as well. In recognition of this cause, I have added a link to this blog.
Later tonight, I did not calm down from this morning. I listened to a presentation on John Howard Yoder's call to Christian peacemaking. The author I completely disagree with because the author of the paper implied that Yoder was just some pacifist who just saw all religions united by nonviolence. This is simply untrue. Yeah, at Warsaw, in front of a Roman Catholic audience, Yoder would appeal more than to just Jesus and the scripture and Christian tradition, but for anyone who has read Yoder's The Politics of Jesus knows that the crucifixion is the key theological doctrine for his ethic of nonviolence; Yoder is promoting a particularly cruciform, and therefore, a Christian ethic of non-violence. There is a difference. Glen Stassen was in that audience and he agreed with me as did one other professor. I have already blogged about the difference between being an advocate of Christian nonviolence and being a Christian with the political position of pacifism; see here: A conversion to Christian nonviolence
Below is a copy of my NABPR paper presentation:
The Temple He Had Spoken Of Was His Body: Christian Sexual Ethics, Race, Sexuality, and the Biblical Narrative from Womanist, Liberationist, and Evangelical Perspectives