I recently submitted two paper proposals for the Evangelical Theological Society’s annual meeting in Atlanta in November 2010:
â€œThe Assembled Church in the Apostolic Fathersâ€
The late first and early second century is often considered a mysterious period of church history. The information that exists is sketchy, with only a few extant documents from that time period. The Christians who wrote during this time have been called â€œapostolic fathersâ€ since the sixteenth century and have been recognized as church leaders of their day. Although most Christians admit that these writers probably did not possess a complete New Testament, the apostolic fathers present a plethora of information to help todayâ€™s Christian understand the New Testament. However, often the apostolic fathersâ€™ interpretations and emphases differ from those of modern scholars. As todayâ€™s Christians seek to understand Scripture, they can benefit from examining the writings of the apostolic fathers within their context and with an understanding of their purposes and intentions. This study will investigate passages in the writings of the apostolic fathers that describe the practices of churches when they gather together.
â€œLutherâ€™s â€˜Third Kindâ€™ of Divine Serviceâ€
In 1526, Martin Luther published a pamphlet called â€œGerman Mass and Order of Divine Service.â€ In the preface of this work, Luther described three different â€œkindsâ€ of divine service: two designed for the non-believer to be presented in Latin and German respectively, and one designed for the believer. According to Luther, he could not find the people necessary to meet together in this kind of service. In the sections that follow his preface, Luther focuses on the first two kinds of divine service in Latin and German, without returning to the â€œthird kind.â€ This study will examine Lutherâ€™s â€œthird kindâ€ of divine service, including comparisons and contrasts to the first two kinds along with a discussion of the historical reception and interpretation of the â€œthird kind.â€
My presentation last weekend and my presentation in two weeks are primary theological (although definitely from a biblical theology perspective). I thought it would be interesting to do a couple of historical presentations.
I’ll let you know when you I hear back from them. If you plan to be in Atlanta for ETS (or SBL) please let me know.