Wednesday, November 13, 2013

History at the Evangelical Theological Society

I have never been to the annual meeting of The Evangelical Theological Society (ETS).  This year it is being held in Baltimore from November 19-21.  The theme is biblical authority.  Traditionally the ETS meets a few days before the annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion(AAR).  I just learned this today.

Since I may need to go to Baltimore for the AAR (Baker Academic wants to shoot some promotional video for Why Study History?), I thought I would check out the ETS program to see if any papers caught my eye.  A few did.  And here they are:

John Wilsey, "American Pietas: Considering the Theological Problem of American Exceptionalism"

Gary Steward, "The Development of American Evangelicalism and the American Revolution: Insights from Reformed Political Thought"

Peter Enns, "Abandoning Inerrancy is Necessary for Evangelical Integrity"

Kevin Vanhoozer, "Augustinian Inerrancy: A Well-Versed Account"

John Woodbridge "The Biblical Inerrancy Historiography: A House of Cards Ready to Tumble"

Todd Mangum, "The Co-Development of Inerrancy and Dispensational Premillennialism in Early Fundamentalism"

Miles Mullin II, "When Inerrancy Failed: Twentieth-Century Evangelicals and Race in America"

Nathan Finn, "John R. Rice, Bob Jones Jr, and the 'Mechanical Dictation' Controversy: Finalizing the Fracturing of Independent Fundamentalism"

Gregory A. Wills, "Southern Baptists, Southern Seminary, and the Battle over Inerrancy"

Richard Pierard, "Problems Besetting the Evangelical Left: Why the 'Moral Minority' Could Not Become a Majority: Observations of a Participant Observer."

Chris Gehrz, "The Global Reflex: An International Historian Appraises David Swartz's Moral Minority."

Douglas Sweeney, "Jonathan Edwards on the Character of Scritpture (and Its Readers).

A couple of observations after reading this program:

1.  I did not realize that the whole debate over biblical inerrancy that raged within evangelicalism in the 1970s and 1980s has not disappeared, although it looks like a lot of evangelical church historians have chosen to examine this debate as a historical phenomenon rather than as a theological issue.

2.  I was really struck by just how white and male the ETS is.