Thursday, October 09, 2008

What Happened @ Innovation 4?

I spent SUN to TUE this week in Columbus for the 4th Annual Conference on Innovation [click pic for more] where I met people from all over the place including Australia and Scotland. It included a jam packed line up of speakers. Here are my highlights:

Robert Wuthnow, PhD, is the Chair of the Department of Sociology and Director of the Center for the Study of Religion at Princeton. I found him encouraging because he highlighted two things all 20 and 30 year olds are looking for in a church that any church can provide: 1) Opportunities to serve and 2) Realistic heroes.

James Tucker, PhD, is the Chair for Excellence in Learning, and Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Tennessee. I resonated with the defiant optimism of his talk entitled "Organizations Don't Change: People Change." That often it only takes 15% of sardines to move the entire school of fish. While I didn't get to learn from him while he was teaching at Andrews, my kids are loving his nature nugget devotional books.

Kelly Monroe Kullberg, Harvard Chaplain and author of Finding God at Harvard reminded me that Befriending Not Defending is really is the best way to share Jesus today. Her Columbus, Ohio neighbors are Adventist.

Leonard Sweet, PhD, voted "One of the 50 most influential Christians in America" in 2006 and 2007 was captivating as usual discussing how metaphors and abductive teaching is how Jesus best conveyed truth in the 1st century and challenged us to do so in the 21st. His 16 year old son attends an Adventist high school in Eastsound, Washington.

Julius Nam, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Religion at Loma Linda Unversity who specializes in church history. His fascinating recap of Adventist history highlighting how our founders grew in their understanding of what the Bible says about Trinitarianism, Atonement, Sabbath, Second Coming, and Judgment reminded me that we're still growing in ours. And that is a good thing.

For only $49, you can get a set of CD's that includes the teaching portion of all the sessions. Call 740.397.4665 ext. 165 for more info.

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