On July 11th, I spoke at the Catholic Family Conference in Los Angeles. I spoke on the biblical theology of the art in the Sistine Chapel and about my doctoral work on the Historical Jesus and Jewish hopes for a renewal of worship in the eschatological age. It was great to connect with all sorts of people up there I haven't seen in a while.
Then it was off to Texas for the Fullness of Truth Conference (July 16-18). What a blast! Scott Hahn, John Bergsma, Brant Pitre and I went through the Apocalypse with about 2,000 fired-up participants. It was such a big event that the local news even covered it.
Special thanks to Ken, Joe and the rest of the Fullness of Truth Conference staff for putting on such a great event! You guys rock!
The following weekend (July 23-25) I was in New Orleans for the Word of God Conference. The conference focused on the Biblical Roots of the Prayers of the Mass. I spoke on the thank offering in the Old Testament and on the liturgical themes in the Apocalypse. It was great to be in Brant's neck of the woods. It was especially great to get to spend some time with his family! In fact, Brant's wife and kids sat in the front row for his talks--it was really neat to see them all there. I really want to congratulate Brian Rohm and Michael Madere for all their hard work. You guys did an awesome job!
Shortly after that conference, I headed out to Franciscan University for the Applied Biblical Studies Conference. This conference, like the one in Corpus Christi, focused on the Apocalypse. However, while the conference in Texas featured only four speakers, this conference had a star-studded line-up. In addition to Scott Hahn, Brant Pitre, and John Bergsma, speakers included Archbishop Jose Gomez, Curtis Mitch (co-editor of the incredible new Catholic Study Bible published by Ignatius Press), Jeff Morrow (Seton Hall), Fr. Pablo Gadenz (Seton Hall), Ted Sri (Augustine Institute), Kimberly Hahn, Jeff Cavins, David Currie (author, Born Fundamentalist, Born Again Catholic [Ignatius Press, 1996]). It was also great to connect with Rob Corzine and Matt Leonard from the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, who also presented at the conference. As always, it was non-stop fun to sit around and talk shop with these guys and to just get caught up in general with dear friends.
I must add that it was a bit of a homecoming for me to be back in Steubenville. I lived with the Hahn family for a few years while I was a student at Franciscan University. I especially enjoyed reconnecting with the Hahn kids, Jeremiah, Joe and David. They're such incredible guys!
From Steubenville I flew back home to San Diego. . . only then to have to drive immediately up to Los Angeles for the Catholic Biblical Association. Again, the highlight was getting caught up with friends. Fr. Pablo--who I had just been with at Franciscan University--presented an excellent paper on Covenant-Making by Blood in Hebrews 9. I also had a stimulating lunch conversation with Peter Williamson, who is working on a new commentary on the Apocalypse. Fr. Pablo, Peter Williamson, Fr. Rick Vanderwater, Mark Giszczak . . . once again, catching up with friends is the best part of these conferences.
I must also extend a word of thanks to one other friend I connected with at CBA: blogger-extraordinaire, Jim West. It was great to see him at the conference. . . it was even more cool that he bought me some books as gifts for completing my Ph.D.! : ) That was very nice indeed! I'm enjoying them both! (For those interested they were Werner H. Kelber and Samuel Byrskog, eds., Jesus in Memory: Traditions in Oral and Scribal Traditions [Baylor, 2009] and Peter Leithart, Deep Exegesis: The Mystery of Reading Scripture [Baylor, 2010]).
So much more could be said, but I'll leave at that for now. Thanks once again to all who put on all those conferences. I apologize to anyone who I may have forgotten to thank or acknowledge--I'm still a little fried!