The PCA has a Seminary – Covenant Seminary in St. Louis – and Covenant College on Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga. A former hotel, Covenant College’s campus is extraordinary. I gave the annual Kuyper Lectures, addressing the topic of Jesus and Prayer - listen here and here. It was wonderful to get time with faculty and engage with students. After that I flew across the country to California for a dialogue with the major Old Testament scholar Dr.
Dan Block, hosted by California Baptist University, which has over 11 000 students. In the morning – for students – and in the afternoon – for the Far West Regional Meeting of ETS, Dan and I each presented a paper on reading the Old Testament followed by a Q & A. Dr Jeff Mooney was my host and it was wonderful to meet students, delegates, and colleagues. As I argued in my recent Ethics in Conversation, institutions like CBU and Covenant College are a jewel in the crown of the USA, and there is much we can learn from them in the UK and Europe.
Finally I spent a day in San Diego with my friends Bob and Paige Vanovsky. Paige and
I are working on a popular book tentatively entitled The 30-Minute Bible. In the previous Sibylline Leaves I recommended Edith Egar’s The Choice, and I was delighted to hear that Paige and her friends had recently hosted an event with Edith.
I cannot begin to describe the many encounters over these two weeks and the inspiring stories I heard of the myriad ways in which Christ plays in our days. There are many signs of the vitality of the church in the USA and our hope is that KLICE can connect with our brothers and sisters in the US, and be of service to them while learning from them.
Authors I met:
I met many scholars and authors
during my trip. Some gave me copies of their books. Here are a few:
Dr Kelly Kapic is one of our major Evangelical theologians and author of A Little Book for New Theologians: Why and How to Study Theology (IVP Academic, 2012); with Justin Borger, The God Who Gives: How the Trinity Shapes the Christian Story (Zondervan, 2010, 2018); Embodied Hope: A Theological Meditation on Pain and Suffering (IVP Academic, 2017). Kelly is a major authority on the theology of John Owen.
I have known of Dr Brian Fikkert for many years and so it was great to get to know him at Covenant College. Brian teaches economics and is also President of the Chalmers Center. With Kelly Kapic Brian has recently published Becoming Whole: Why the Opposite of Poverty isn’t the American Dream (Moody, 2019).
Don Petcher teaches physics at Covenant
College. He co-authored Science and Grace: God’s Reign in the Natural Sciences (Crossway, 2006).