I have been out of pocket for the last week or so as I was attending the 58th annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) in Washington, D.C. I just returned Sunday night and am getting back in the saddle on this blog.
I have already posted a brief response to all of you who have commented on the paper that I presented at the conference. In this post, I thought I would like to share just a few overall reflections concerning my trip to D.C.
I am pleased that the society decided to amend the bylaws so that the “Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy” will become the norm for defining inerrancy in the ETS. Now that this motion has passed, the ETS has an official guideline for evaluating whether theological views (like Open Theism) are compatible with a belief in inerrancy. I was pleasantly surprised to see that Clark Pinnock spoke in favor of the bylaw change.
The members of ETS elected Bruce Ware as the next President of ETS. Dr. Ware is a fine scholar and an articulate theologian. The ETS selected one of its finest in elevating Dr. Ware to this position.
I enjoyed spending some time with my friend Gabe Gatlin and the other men from The Bethlehem Institute (TBI) in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Gabe and all of his TBI homies were kind to allow visitors to their after-hours-chewing-of-the-theological-fat sessions. As I have stated on this blog before, Pastor John Piper has been a mentor in absentia to me, so it was a real privilege to visit briefly with him at the TBI discussion group.
As always, ETS is a great occasion to reconnect with old friends and mentors who are now spread across the four corners of the earth: Barry Joslin, Jim Hamilton, Brian Vickers, Joel Willitts, Jim Samra, Jason Oakes, Joel Lawrence, Tom Schreiner, and Bob Stein (just to name a few).
I finally got a chance to visit Capitol Hill Baptist Church. I had wanted to visit this church for many years but had been let hitherto this past Sunday. Pastor Mark Dever gave an outstanding exposition of 2 Peter 2:1-9, and I can see why Capitol Hill Baptist has such a thriving gospel ministry in our nation’s capitol.
Barry Joslin, Mark Overstreet, and I visited the Capitol building on Thursday, and Mark somehow managed to arrange a meeting with one of our Congressmen from Texas, Representative Joe Barton. We also visited the House and Senate galleries, watched the U.S. Senate while it was in session, and passed Teddy Kennedy in the hallway.
The highlight of the trip was spending time with my dad (Dennis Burk, Sr.), who flew up from Louisiana to hear me read my paper and to do some sight-seeing with me. What a great blessing it was to spend time with him, and what an even greater blessing to have him as a dad.