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The National Association of Baptist Professors of Religion is a community of teaching scholars. Most members teach at Baptist-affiliated schools, colleges, and seminaries, but members also hail from a wide range of institutions in the United States, Canada, and abroad, including church-related and state-supported schools.
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NABPR Newsletter – Winter, 2003

Welcome to the Wired World

Danny Mynatt (Anderson College)
Executive Secretary-Treasurer

I think that is the slogan for Charter Communications, and I hope they don’t sue me for making use of it here. But it is appropriate for the first edition of the new electronic format of NABPR News. The transition from paper to electronic format has resulted from two factors.

First, the idea was in the works already. As is the case with all electronic or web based publications, it saves money. By publishing the newsletter in this format, we do not have printing costs or postage to pay. That allows more money to stay in the NABPR coffers for other projects.

Second, Rick Wilson had the mechanics of newsletter publication set up in Macon, and he had been getting the newsletter out faithfully for years. As I began to review the duties of Executive Secretary, I did not care for the thought of setting up the mechanics of print production, only to transition the newsletter to electronic publication within a year or so. (Keep in mind that the Anderson College print shop is one person in the basement of a very old building!) Thus, Jimmy Byrd and I decided at the Toronto meeting that the change of venue from Macon to Anderson would provide us with the perfect opportunity to go ahead with electronic publication.

Getting email addresses has always been problematic in our guild. So we took Jimmy’s current database, and my student worker set out on a search for the institutional email addresses of everyone else. If you would prefer the newsletter to be sent to another email address, please send that information to Jimmy.

We sent postcards to many members announcing the change of format. I hope that will catch the attention of folks who otherwise might ignore their email. We will probably send postcards out for the next couple of newsletters. At that point, it will all be electronic.

I hope that everyone enjoys the new format! Please send me any news that you would like to appear in future issues.

Minutes of the 2002 Annual Meeting

Jimmy Byrd (Vanderbilt University)
Assistant Executive Secretary-Treasurer

The twenty-second annual meeting of the National Association of Baptist Professors of Religion was called to order by President Molly T. Marshall. A moment of silence was observed remembering the passing of former member of the NABPR, John Joseph Owens. Also recognized was Findley Edge, who, though not a member of the Association, touched the lives of many who shaped the guild. Richard F. Wilson, Executive Secretary, gave greetings and acknowledged the planning of Molly Marshall for the Meeting.

Gregory Mobley and Claude F. Mariottini presented the 2002 Festschrift in honor of Page Kelley. Professor Kelley’s wife, Vernice Kelly accepted the Festschrift on behalf of her late husband. Bill Leonard introduced President Molly Marshall for the Presidential Address, “Participant in the Life of God: A Trinitarian Pneumatology.” At the conclusion of the paper Marshall opened the floor for questions and comments from the Association, which were moderated by Bill Leonard.

Bill Leonard introduced presenters for a discussion on Charles Kimball’s book, When Religion Becomes Evil. Presenting were Walter Harrelson and Dianne Oliver. Kimball concluded the program with his responses and additional reflections on this timely book.

Following the presentation, Bill Leonard and Molly Marshall made a special presentation to Richard Wilson in honor of his ten years of service to the NABPR as Executive Secretary-Treasurer. (These ten years were preceded by two years of service as Assistant Executive Secretary-Treasurer.) Wilson was presented with both a framed resolution, read by Leonard, and a plaque of appreciation. The Association unanimously endorsed the resolution. Dr. Wilson then made brief comments of appreciation and reflection on the past accomplishments and future promise of the Association. Replacing Wilson as Executive Secretary-Treasurer is Danny Mynatt.

At 11:00, President Molly Marshall convened the annual business session. The 2001 minutes were approved. Executive Secretary Richard Wilson gave the report from the Executive Committee. Marshall then recognized Dianne Oliver, who offered the nominations of Bill Leonard for president and Nancy deClaisse-Walford for vice president of the Association for 2003. There was no opposition, and the nominees were elected by unanimous vote. Marshall then recognized Bill Leonard, chair of the Editorial Board, for the report of the board and to report on the Editorial Board Nominating Committee. Leonard and Scott Nash reported that David May had resigned as editor of PRS. The new editor will be Mikeal Parsons, and the headquarters of the journal will move to Baylor. Returning members of the board are Bill Leonard, Ben Leslie, and Elizabeth Newman. Newly elected members are Sally Smith Holt, Doug Weaver, and Diane Wuddel.

Mark Medley announced that the Region at Large would meet with the College Theology Society again this year, May 29- June 1 at Marquette University in Milwaukee. The theme of the convention is “Spirit, Church, and World.” The meeting was adjourned at 11:30 am.

A Tribute To William L. Hendricks (1929-2002)

Molly Marshall (Central Baptist Theological Seminary)

William Lawrence Hendricks, 73, died on a Sunday, the day the church celebrates resurrection. On December 8, 2002, in the season of Advent, Bill moved into the presence of the One he had described so lovingly in countless lectures and sermons. A theological luminary who shed light on issues of Christian doctrine, hermeneutics, aesthetics, and worship has departed to the place of most enduring beauty. We can imagine that his arrival was duly noted.

Most who read this brief tribute will have a Bill Hendricks story somewhere lodged in his or her memory banks. For one thing, he rivaled the Holy Spirit in being omni-present! He crossed all our paths sooner or later. Not only did he teach at three Southern Baptist seminaries for 38 years, he also lectured and preached in most of the Baptist affiliated colleges and universities in the United States and beyond. For another thing, he was a memorable character! Never given to simple speech when subtle humor, irony, and esoteric vocabulary were so much more insouciantly fun and obfuscating, Bill could speak with the tongues of angels. I can imagine him even now in a lively repartee with none other than John Chrysostom. (Dale Moody is impatiently biding his time, ready to set them both straight!)

We also remember Bill Hendricks with great fondness because he remembered us. Always solicitous of the well-being of students and colleagues, he remembered details about our lives and families that he had stored in his prodigious memory. His love of his vocation as a theologian was evident; his love for the generations of students he taught was palpable. The classroom was his theatre; his mannerisms, lecture style, and joie de vivre were legendary.

During my first year of teaching at Southern Seminary, Bill joined the faculty. He said he wanted to spend his last years of teaching at “the mother seminary.” He came with plans, as you might well imagine. He wanted to create within the Ph.D. program an emphasis in aesthetic theology. It was a brilliant vision that was rigorously interdisciplinary and wove together his own interests in art, literature, hermeneutics, and constructive theology.

A Renaissance man? Perhaps. A scholar? Without question. A Christian gentleman? Always. Future generations of scholars will evaluate the impact of his writing and teaching; his teaching colleagues and friends will give thanks for his impress on our lives.

May light perpetual shine upon him as he enjoys the luminous Beauty of the Triune God. Amen.

NABPR Southwest Annual Meeting
March 14-15
The Harvey Hotel-DFW Airport
Irving, Texas

The NABPR/SW program on Friday evening will feature the President’s Address delivered by Carolyn Ratcliffe (Wayland Baptist University), “Thematic Intertextuality in the Hebrew Bible.” After the break, Roger Olson (Baylor University), Warren McWilliams (Oklahoma Baptist University), and Preben Vang (Ouachita Baptist University) will comprise a panel to discuss “Contemporary Calvinism and Theological Education in the Baptist Setting.” The evening will culminate with a time of fellowship.

Saturday morning’s program will begin at 8:30 a.m. in the Chinaberry Room with a devotional. Following the devotional, Charles Talbert (Baylor) will present a preview one of the 2004 Winter Bible studies–“From What Perspective Should We Read Romans?” After a brief business meeting, we will adjourn prior to the regional AAR/SBL/ASSR/ASOR meetings, which will begin at 10:30 Saturday morning.

NABPR Southeast Regional Meeting
March 14, 2003
Chattanooga, TN
First Baptist Church

Topic: “Our Teaching Role in Baptist Life: Ideal, But Real.”

Program Abstract:

We who teach in Baptist life constantly find ourselves as one party in a teaching triangle. Each of us first joined the professorial ranks because of something from within our own personhood. What is it that defines our personal self-understanding as teacher?

Second, each of us welcomes to our learning processes those persons who seek our knowledge and wisdom for their own growth. How do we view our students?

Third, each of us works within the specific context of a school culture and environment. How do we describe to others the place where we teach? From all across our widely varying institutional contexts, what might we learn from one another today about our particular role as professor where we teach?

The program will feature a Focused Forum: “Our Triangle: Teacher + Students In Context,” in which Loyd Allen (McAfee School of Theology) and Eileen Campbell-Reid (Vanderbilt PhD candidate) will represent the teacher’s perspective and Carolyn Blevins (Carson-Newman College) and Gerald Keown (Gardner-Webb Divinity School) will represent the student’s position in the forum. Afterwards, Penny Marler (Samford University) and Buddy Shurden (Mercer University) will focus on the pedagogical context.

President Nancy DeClaissé-Walford’s address will be “‘Let the One Who Is Wise’: Wisdom Teachers in Ancient
Israel and the Shaping of the Hebrew Psalter.”

FYI: Member News

L. Dean Allen published Rise Up, O Men of God: The “Men and Religion Forward Movement” and the “Promise Keepers” (Mercer University Press, 2002).

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