I'm sorry that this blog was inactive this week. I've been away at the Institute of Applied Biblical Studies Conference at the Franciscan University of Steubenville. This has got to be my favorite conference of the year, because it's the one time each year when most of the associates for the Saint Paul Center get together in one place. (This year, however, Brant was unable to make it--he's teaching a summer course at a Notre Dame).
The conference boasts about 400 participants--some of the most well-read lay Catholics you're likely to meet anywhere. It was a pleasure them--especially those training to present the Saint Paul Center's parish bible study program.
The week was crammed with some many exciting conversations--it would be impossible to mention all the highlights. I think I got about 3 hours of sleep each night. I'm too exhausted to recount it all here. I had a number of great, mind-blowing conversations with old friends, I hardly-ever get to spend time with--Scott Hahn, Chris Cuddy, Ted Sri, Curtis Mitch, and David Currie. I didn't get much time with Jeff Cavins or John Bergsma (=my biggest regret!), but it was great spending the little time I had with them.
I also met three people I've been eager to meet for a long time now. The first is Jeff Morrow, who recently received his Ph.D. from Dayton, writing his dissertation on the Biblical methodology of Scott Hahn. He did not disappoint. His grasp of dogmatic theology, philosophy and hermeneutics is incredible. I look forward to having many, many more conversations with him in the future.
In addition, I had the great pleasure of meeting academic wunderkind blogger, Josh McManaway, whose stock in the blogosphere has been rising for a while now. We had a number of great conversations. What impresses about Josh is not only his knowledge of biblical studies, but also his appreciation for the philosophical and hermeneutical issues. Ask him, for example, about the relationship of things like democracy and theology and you'll see what I mean.
Finally, I met Danny Garland, who runs the blog Irish-Catholic and Dangerous. Danny, a convert, is a M. A. student at Franciscan and he lives and breathes theology. I've read so much of his blog and heard about him through mutual friends, I felt like I already knew him. He also did not disappoint. Do check out his site. (For some reason I forgot to add him to my blog roll--that's fixed now.)
This weekend I am at the National Catholic Family Conference in Anaheim. An estimated 4,000 people will be there this year. I'm presenting three times there, speaking on the role of families in the Genesis narrative, the relationship of the Kingdom and the Church and how Pope Benedict's book represents a beacon of scholarship amongst the latest "sensationalist" theories about Jesus.
Monday or Tuesday I will be unveiling a post I've been working on for over a month. It is a response to Brant's exciting post on the "Footsteps of the Messiah".