Our second Pepperdine lectureship experience last week was even better than the first (didn’t think it was possible)! For one, Michael and I didn’t have to speak like last year, so it gave us more time to relax and not have anything hanging over our heads. For two, my parents and the kids came with us — and a HUGE shout-out to Making Waves children’s program and volunteers for keeping my kiddos and teaching them well! I was so nervous about taking my crazy 2-year-old, but it was amazing how well they took care of him.
But a big reason why this year was so amazing is that Dr. Greg Boyd was there. He’s kind of a big deal to me and my mom, who introduced his stuff to me several years ago. WOW. What a blessing it was to be able to hear him in person three days in a row. He’s had such a big influence on our walk with Jesus and has shaped our theology for the better, whether it’s his teachings on pacifism, annihilation over eternal torment, gender equality, theodicy, or the open view of the future (open theism).
Another highlight was getting to hear Ruby Bridges speak. I was SO glad that I stayed up for her late session, and a lot of other people were, too. She was just amazing. There wasn’t a dry eye in the auditorium. A prominent historical figure, Ms. Bridges, the subject of a famous Norman Rockwell painting, prayed for the mobs who verbally attacked her as she became the first African-American student (at the tender age of 6) to attend a Caucasian school in New Orleans. It’s a shame that her talk was not allowed to be recorded.
Landon Saunders was breathtakingly good, as always. His compassion and love for other human beings, as he affectionately calls everyone, is an inspiration. It was really neat seeing him and my dad reunite. Landon, a fellow native of Arkansas, was a good friend of my grandpa’s back in the day. Landon spoke on Christians gracefully and lovingly handling the intersection where we and unbelievers meet. He will be the keynote Friday night speaker at next year’s lectures.
Of course, NT Wright was great, as well, although I only got to catch his Tuesday night keynote. His afternoon sessions were so full, and the lines started so early, we figured we could just hear the recordings later.
The theme was “Cruciformed” based on Leonard Allen’s book, so there was a strong emphasis on new creation, God’s will done on earth as in heaven, and pacifism, among other things. Right up our alley! We can’t wait to return next year, although there was no announcement as to who will be there or what the topic will be.