Following our new flipped conference format, we’re proud to release the next two talks for Karam Forum 2018. Check out these talks on money in Proverbs and the Great Commission as a mission for all of life; consider using them in future classes; then register to join us to discuss them with the speakers at Karam Forum in LA this Jan. 4-5. (Check out the first two talks as well!)
In this highly focused exploration of biblical text and context, Deborah Gill of Assemblies of God Theological Seminary explores the Great Commission – Matthew 28:19-20. Covering grammatical analysis, historical/cultural background and contemporary application, Gill shows that the Great Commission is a calling for all Christians in all of life.
Gill shares that as she grew up, she got the impression that the Great Commission was for missionaries. The emphasis seemed to be strongly on the “go” in “go and make disciples.” The high calling of the commission was to the hard work of learning new languages and cultures, and leaving behind one’s own world to travel to a new one.
When she became a New Testament scholar, she gained a new perspective on the passage. As she explains, the grammar of the Greek places “make disciples” at the center. The high calling is to become, and help others to become, disciples of Jesus wherever we are and whatever we do!
The appeal of this talk is not only in applications like spiritual transformation through our daily vocation, and compelling stories like the tale of the Harvard Ph.D. student in ethics who was stealing from the university. It’s a great illustration to show students in biblical studies classes how careful grammatical and contextual analysis can upend our assumptions about a text.
Everyone remembers playing Monopoly – but few remember it fondly. Most people’s childhood memories of Monopoly are surprisingly unpleasant given that it’s supposed to be a game.
Eric Tully of Trinity International University suggests that the book of Proverbs points to the reason. The idea of Monopoly is to forget your ethics for a while and just let yourself go, seizing other people’s money shamelessly until they have nothing and you have it all. It’s all in good fun, right? But it turns out it’s not so fun to act like there’s no God.
Using this entry point, Tully unpacks the major lessons of the book of Proverbs on the essential subject of money. How we use money affects nearly every area of our lives, and it simultaneously reflects and reinforces our worldview. The overarching idea of Proverbs, Tully explains, is that people who follow God act one way, while people who don’t follow God act the opposite way – and it makes all the difference.
Tully walks through a number of specific proverbs, drawing out lessons for how we gain and use money. These issues connect directly to our relationship with God and our neighbors: those who fear the Lord value righteousness over wealth, and practice justice and generosity. Tully connects with current events and with complex issues like effective ways to help the poor, as well as commenting on textual issues like the book’s structural features.
A key goal for Karam Forum 2018 has been to supply our growing library of talks with more biblical studies material. But these talks have profound theological, ethical and missional application as well, so faculty from across the disciplines will find much to draw upon.