9 May 2017

Five Scrolls of Salvation: 2017 Pepperdine Bible Lectures

Author: Bobby Valentine | Filed under: Bobby's World, Church, Gospel of John, Lectures, Song of Songs

The Valentine Report on the 2017 Pepperdine Bible Lectures, Five Scrolls of Salvation (Ruth, Esther, Song of Songs, Lamentations, Song of Songs).

First. I was so stoked when I learned the theme for this year, last year. These are among the most neglected, and often abused/misunderstood, books of the Bible. I have stated before if the Song and Lamentations suddenly disappeared there would be no noticeable impact on the theology of the majority of Christians. Not because these books have none but because we act like they do not exist.

So to design an entire week around the Five Megillot is utterly unprecedented. But these books are so powerful and rich. Thank you Mike Cope just for having the courage to not only make Song of Songs a keynote but to kick off the entire week. The person shouting hallelujah was Valentine. Now I pray these books will NOT simply return to oblivion but some serious wholesome healthy preaching of these books will soon be coming.

Second. The keynotes were typically top notch. But if I had to go away with only three then David Holmes easy mixing the world of the Spirituals in with Qoheleth not only fit but was brilliant. I will never read Ecc 7.12-14 the same. Rick Marrs sermon on the Song of Songs will be remembered if for no other reason as that is the ONE and ONLY sermon I have ever heard anywhere, in any forum, in my entire life on the Song. And Mike Cope’s sermon on Ruth was great. God is in the ordinary. I felt so encouraged because it is difficult to get more mundane and ordinary than Bobby Valentine. Maybe even more ordinary than Ruth. I will take that line to the resurrection, “we need to know the law well enough that we know when to break it.”

Pepperdine and Pacific from the shalom filled Garden of Heroes

Third. I tried to take in classes from people I either did not know or I thought might not have as high attendance. I have found over the years the speakers have great material and I have been so blessed. So I took in Doug Peters Preaching the Song of Songs (everyone knows it is my favorite book in the Bible next to Psalms, Deuteronomy and John). Mallory Wycoff’s Preaching from Esther … she blew me away with her insight. Fate Hagood on 20 Things Black Christians wish White Christians Knew. Fate handles his material with both courage and with grace. Oh how we need his message in our world and in God’s family like never before. Kaitlin Shelter’s provocatively titled “Why the Church Needs Feminism.” This class was not what I expected in the slightest. Not about the role of women rather on how a view of women from the fallen world has insidiously infected Christian thinkers in how they view women themselves. I am telling you, you need to make sure you listen to this on iTunes. She is 1000% correct. I took in one of Tim Sensing’s classes on Preaching from Lamentations. I did do Don McLaughlin’s class. And I attended my own classes … even on Friday night 🙂 I was very pleased with the overflowing crown on Wed, the very full one on Thursday and the far bigger crowd than I dreamed of for Friday night.

Fate Hagood sharing with love and compassion on the sensitive subject of what black Christians wish white Christians understood

Fourth. For me as much as I love the classes, lectures means fellowship and friends. I reconnected with friends from three churches I’ve worked with in Grenada, Milwaukee and Tucson. I always love hanging out with John Mark Hicks. Talk late into the wee hours him and Matt Elliott in the dorm room. Had some great conversation with Eric Greer about the exciting things in New England (and thanks for coming to class even on friday night!!) Had dinner with Steve Puckett, Greg England, and Cecil Walker. Visited with Matt and Missy. Got to talk with Tammy Spake. Had coffee and laughs with Carrie Maxon Thompson (you owe me breakfast! 😉 and Kathleen Munoz Liguori. Caught up with Shelley Jacobs the new archivist at Bethany College. Tim and Kathy Thompson brought me Tortuga Coffee all the way from the Florida Keys. I caught up with Jeremy Marshall. I always love visiting with Johnny Melton and ran into my old classmate Nathan Randolph. Enjoyed visiting David Shaner, Daryl Miller (from Milwaukee) and Bret Testerman. And then I ran into Roslyn May Miller (and I felt really dumb because I have known her whole clan and did not realize she is a “May” … I mean I have known C2, C3, & C4 forever! But Roslyn?). Talked with Carmel Christine by the fountain. And my Tucson team of outlaws, Travis Moore, Jesse Warren and Jessica Hemenway Knapp, kept me up out on the back porch overlooking the Pacific until 2 am. So enjoyed seeing Travis and Ambri Campbell. And lots of laughs with Daltrey Tyree and then Lisa Lauderdale Powell (who I have not seen since living in Grenada). Caught up with Rob Coyle. Visited with Don McLaughlin and then all my friends at ACU Press (glad you guys publish stuff for us). Briefly ran into

Mike Cope’s powerful sermon on Ruth

John Alan Turner and his daughter and Sean Palmer. Sean McClue and the AIMer’s came to my class. And I had a lively discussion with Raymond Carr over James Cone and Karl Barth out on the patio. And I am trying to get David Holmes to write a theological history of black preaching in Churches of Christ (I floated the idea to Raymond too). Gareth Flanary so good to finally meet you. And loved catching up with Claire Davidson Frederick after a session. Thanks for visiting during breakfast Andrew Hill. Loved catching up with David Shaner. And loved talking for a long while with Dr David Baird.And had a nice visit with Al Sturgeon. Robin Gough had breakfast with us a couple times. Had a great chat and big hug from Scott Lambert. And had an enjoyable conversation with Grady King and Carlus Gupton over by the fountain. I want to thank Bill and Judy Opel for the most amazing hospitality and hosting me for several days in their casa. I know my tired brain is overlooking someone and if I remember I will add you.

Heaven & Earth are One: Jesus and Temple in John

My three classes were “Heaven & Earth are One” … and the Pepperdine Bible Lectures are perhaps the “first fruit” of what Heaven and Earth being one looks like. Joy and fellowship in the Lord. They are simply wonderful.


That is the Valentine Report … See you at PBL for Harbor in 2018.

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