You are hereTruthVoice 2008 Smashup
TruthVoice 2008 Smashup
TruthVoice 2008 is now behind us, and I finally got around to writing a quick paragraph about it hoping to thank everyone participating...all the attendees, speakers, volunteers and even children participating and helping with whatever small detail they were part of.The 2008 conference was a surreal event for me personally. The "strange" settled in when Don Preston called me to tell me that he needed a ride from the Dayton airport to the venue; I was in the hospital with my wife Jamie, trying to cope with the loss of our 12 week unborn baby.
Someone even suggested that we should cancel the conference because of what happened, but the timing did not allow for such a thing. Too many people made plans, were in flight and already here in Dayton and canceling would not have been appropriate. It was hard, it was strange and again…surreal.
With all this in the background however, this was likely one of our best conferences. We had a total of over one hundred attendees showing up throughout the two days of the conference. Some people attended sessions around their busy schedules. It was good to see some people from the emergent cohort coming; it was humbling to see Tony Pomales and his wife coming all the way from Detroit, but even more humbling was to see Edward Goodie and his wife there. Ted is a really nice guy (he is from Canada) and looking back at his words brings tears to my eyes when recalling his excitement but also sadness about his experiences with local churches and friends over his eschatological journey. Ted, please know your family is in my prayers. If you ever decide to move to Ohio, you have friends here in Dayton.
It was good to see my good friend Jeff Carter again. There is nothing better than talking contemporary theology with a Salvation Army Captain over the sweet aroma of curry and Indian food. Lunch with the Tates and the Spears is an adventure too; our conversations about universalism, covenants and relationships were very enjoyable; I wish more women like Linda would step up to challenge the status quo established by us men. Seeing everyone else (and I can’t remember you all) was fantastic! The generosity of all the speakers blew me away, and especially Ed Stevens helped me see the world in a new light. I gave Ed a ride to the hotel after the farewell dinner, and I was impressed with his advice and comments he made to me. I gained new appreciation for a brother in Christ that too many take for granted too often.
Our lengthy conversations about what the future holds were the most encouraging. Discussing the Kingdom, God’s will and intention for His people, and our roles and responsibilities in this Kingdom got everyone attending excited. Almost everyone had something to say; and most agreed that the status-quo needs to be challenged and upset. Difficult questions were asked and put on the table; rarely did we agree, but grace and generosity was always there. Jack Scott’s call for generosity and openness was one of the best sessions I heard in the many years we’ve done the conferences, and Tim Martin’s look at the Garden was so refreshing and powerful that I had to go back and listen to it again. Sam Frost’s presentation on the bettering of our world was fantastic as well. Jeremy Lile’s presentation on Hades was quite relevant to Ed Stevens’ presentations on afterlife, and as usual, Don Preston’s stuff was dynamite. David Curtis’ research on the gospel of John (or of Lazarus) was enough to humble any Biblical scholar, and Mick Denen’s presentation brought to light new things for me as well. Every single speaker brought to the table amazing material; they all did it for free, without charging, with generosity and with humble hearts before God.
I was especially pleasantly surprised at the fact that all the speakers also decided to sign our Declaration (see a high-rez version here). The overwhelming desire for unity and respect for each other manifested itself in an outward manner that surprised even me. The Declaration original will be framed and will be “auctioned” in order to cover expenses for next year. And speaking of expenses, those in attendance donated over a whopping $5,000 to help with the expenses for next year. Surreal? Yes, indeed!
All the encounters, exchanges, sessions and discussions among all of us served as a welcome “reset button” for me. What is even more important is that those encounters and exchanges I had were multiplied 100 fold; new relationships were forged, new friends were made and amazing new insights into God’s word were gained by many people. That alone makes all the long hours and the surreal week worth it.
May God bless everyone participating in TruthVoice 2008.