I just now managed to pull out my notes and agenda from the Festival of Homiletics and begin reviewing some of what I wrote. And I had lots of things to say, but it's old news. Ah well. I will just note a few things for those of you who may wonder whether you should attend at some future time--especially Rev Gals. I agree with the glowing review of many fellow bloggers.
And a few thoughts will follow in another post or two just because I want to--even though they have no great social or spiritual value.
Every single lecture, and all but two sermons, were outstanding in my view. I won't bother you with why I did not care for two. For the most part, I felt like I was at a banquet of spiritual food. Tom Long, Anna Carter Florence, Walter Bruggemann and Jim Wallis were especially notable. Jim Wallis of Sojourners is considered "liberal" by many of my relatively conservative peers, but I was profoundly moved by his lecture, "Good News and Bad News" and continue to ponder his remarks, particularly his thoughts about how people of faith are always involved in great movements of social change. "Politics" he says, "is broken." No great surprise there, but he added that it is in times such as these that genuine revival may happen. Renewal is not revival, he told us, until something changes in society. Genuine repentance will always bring upheavals. Revival ignites spiritual movements, and spiritual movements move mountains. Well, I won't try to tell you his lecture, but I recommend you purchase the tape if you are so inclined. You might not agreee with all he says, but he certainly will make you think.
Authors Barbara Brown Taylor and Nora Gallager presented workshops for writers. Nora Gallager's was worth the cost of attending for me. She set me free from some false ideas, in a sense, and I'm excited to begin trying some of her tips out as I begin doing more writing. As for Barbara Brown Taylor, for reasons I won't elaborate on, I was prepared to be unimpressed. She totally disarmed me, and I now know why she is a favorite of so many Rev Gals and Pals. I'm going to buy a book soon.
I've quoted William Willimon on this blog before, but have never heard him speak. Here's a quote from his lecture that I can't forget, "Preachers don't make the gospel all useful and understandable. We follow Christ. We do not understand him." He then quoted John Wesley, who said, "We are to offer Jesus in all his prickly mystery!" It never will all make sense, will it? There is freedom in that, preachers!