Monday, February 18, 2013

Jubilee Recap

Every Winter thousands of college students converge upon the Pittsburgh Convention Center for an event called Jubilee. (This year it shared the Convention Center with the Pittsburgh Auto Show). Jubilee is run by CCO (formerly the Coalition for Christian Outreach), an organization committed to helping undergraduates grow in their faith and think Christianly about their world.

This was my second visit to Jubilee.  The organizers asked me to offer a seminar on how Christians should approach the study of history.  I think they know that I will go anywhere to discuss the ideas found in Confessing History: Explorations in Christian Faith and the Historian's Vocation and my forthcoming Why Study History: Reflecting on the Importance of the Past

On Friday night I attended the opening plenary session.  Someone from CCO convinced "Kid President" to send a video greeting to the conference-goers.  It was great.  Byron Borger of Hearts & Minds Books was honored for his faithful service to the CCO and Jubilee.  And Anthony Bradley of The Kings College gave a phenomenal talk on what it means to be created in the image of God.

After the session I wandered through Byron's book exhibit.  I chatted a bit with my old friend Bob Robinson about his new non-profit organization, (Re)Integrate (check it out).  I also bought a couple of books--Marilynne Robinson's When I Was a Child I Read Books and Christian Smith's The Bible Made Impossible: Why Biblicism is Not a Truly Evangelical Reading of Scripture.

Much to my surprise, my history session on Saturday was packed with history majors, history buffs, and students who were just trying to make sense of how to get more out of their required history classes.  I discussed some of the theological resources available to history students of faith and how the study of the past can teach us virtues necessary for sustaining a more vibrant democratic society.

After my session, I went to see my friend, former groomsman, and Wheaton College theology professor Vince Bacote conduct a seminar on Christianity and politics.  Vince warned against letting a disgust over the culture wars deter participation in political life, especially at the local level.  It was a great session.

Due to responsibilities at home, I did not get a chance to attend the Saturday evening and Sunday morning sessions, but I am sure they were good.  The CCO puts on a real show each year in Pittsburgh.  Jubilee is a wonderful venue for college students to connect their faith to everyday life.  I hope I get to return one day.