I took this picture of the inside of the Duke Chapel with my cell phone. I can’t believe I forgot a camera! The chapel is unbelievable.
I am delivering a paper tomorrow morning at the Society for Pentecostal Studies (SPS) meeting here at Duke university. Not in the Chapel, but in some tiny classroom.
My paper is entitled, “Rediscovering the Holy in the Spirit: Spiritual Transformation and Leadership Growth.”
The SPS is made up of a group of Pentecostal/charismatic scholars (and scholar wannabes like me!). According to their website: The purpose of the society is to stimulate, encourage, recognize, and publicize the work of Pentecostal and charismatic scholars; to study the implications of Pentecostal theology in relation to other academic disciplines, seeking a Pentecostal world-and-life view…
I know that sounds like an oxymoron – “Pentecostal scholars” – but it is true. These are the good guys. These are the guys (and gals) who want to live an integrate life of the Scripture and the Spirit. See my blog post below. I am such a theological lightweight compared to the core group of scholars here, but they certainly challenge me.
I got here yesterday. Here is a brief rundown on the last 24 hours.
I spoke to a friend in Vancouver, BC last night over Skype, which allowed us to talk with video and audio over the Internet. Yeah, we were over 3,000 miles apart when we spoke.
This morning, I got a call from Richard Roberts (not the former president of ORU, but our missionary in Taiwan). He called my cell and we talked about the ministry in Taiwan.
You have to love technology.
I got four books from Baker Academic Books, which had all their books 50% off at the SPS conference. Oh my! I was like Jenni in a shoe store where all brown sandals had gone on sale.
Here is what I picked up:
John Caputo, What Would Jesus Deconstruct?
I just had an email conversation about this book and then I go to the conference and there it was on the book table. Of course I had to buy it. You can’t argue with providence like that!
James Wilhoit, Spiritual Formation as if the Church Mattered
This is hot off the press – February 2008. I am going to preach a series after Easter called “Inner Change.” It will discuss my Trinitarian vision of spiritual transformation and I hope the sermons will be seeds for chapter in a book that I am writing on spiritual transformation. One of the messages (chapters) is one the role of Christian community in reflection of Trinitarian community in the process of transformation. This book will be helpful, I have already scanned through it.
Craig Keener, Gift and Giver
This book has been celebrated as a good discussion of charismatic theology. I have always had it on my list to add to my library. I got it for like 10 bucks today. Couldn’t pass it up.
Graham Twelftree, In the Name of Jesus: Exorcism among Early Christians
I listened to a presentation by Twelftree today on this book. He teaches in the Ph.D. program at Regent University. He is a Vineyard guy from England. Interesting presentation today on the book. He researched exorcism (also known as deliverance or casting out demons.) His research revealed that there wasn’t much talk of casting out demons in the early church. He also pointed out the gospel of John doesn’t record Jesus casting out demons.
He ended his talk by saying that in the church we cannot make too much of “the power encounter” approach of dealing with demon spirits. The few records of exorcism in the early church was that they were very brief encounters, not long drawn out, and dramatic as portrayed in American pop culture (i.e. The Exorcist; The Exorcism of Emily Rose).
He ended his presentation with these words about the role of casting out demons (exorcism) in the local church: Although I do not wish to dispense with exorcism as part of the repertoire for contemporary ministry, I can no longer hold the view that, unless involved in exorcism, the church will fail to address all expressions of evil. The church is able to confront the demonic with an exorcist or with the Truth.
Tonight the keynote address is from Jugen Moltmann, a theological heavyweight. I have my moleskine ready…