This writer was enriched by attending the 75th Annual Bible Lectureship at Freed-Hardeman University in February 2011. The theme was on the Minor Prophets which is an enriching study that is very much needed in our day. I found this year’s lectureship especially good and commented to my father and others that I wish they would repeat the same program next year!
One of the nice things about this lectureship being so large is that several different approaches to the study of the theme are available. For example, I decided to attend a track (or series) that provided an overview of each of the Minor Prophets called “The-Prophets-At-A-Glance”. Unfortunately I missed the lecture on the book of Jonah so I could attend a session at the Bible School Workshop on “Teaching The Minor Prophets to Adults” conducted by Clyde M. Woods.
Other tracks included “The Prophets Proclaim” which included lessons on a few of the many statements made by the prophets that we would do well to meditate upon today. For example, David L. Lipe’s lecture on “Destroyed for Lack of Knowledge” is one I could not attend personally; however, the manuscript in the book is very good. Another theme of study at the lectureship I wished I had been able to attend was archaeology and the time periods of the Minor Prophets. I find it fascinating that archaeologists have found ivory panels on chairs and beds in the Kingdom of Israel which the prophet of Amos had condemned them for—abusing the poor as they pampered themselves (Amos 3:15; 6:4). There were also discussions about difficult texts and hard sayings relating to the Minor Prophets. Another nice feature of the lectureship is the variety of subject matter. For example, I was able to attend a Writer’s Workshop hosted by Gospel Advocate. There were also classes on counseling and other matters. One literally cannot attend every lecture because each hour had as many as seven different lectures available.
This year’s lectureship book is likewise outstanding. I wonder when E. Claude Gardner wrote the Foreword for the 1953 Lectureship Book if he had any idea just how widely known these lectureships would become. I am certain he would not realize that all volumes of these lectures are available in PDF format on a single CD at a price five dollars less than the hardbound book for 2011. I imagine he believed having the lectures on tape would be wonderful, but unfathomable that these are now on CD and available on iTunes. He certainly realized how important it would be to have printed copies that people could read, but could not have even imagined these would be on Kindle and readable on iPhones and iPads. I am sure he is thrilled to know that some of the lectures were streamed live on the Internet so that others could watch these sessions from anywhere in the world. We have so many resources available to us today than ever. How are we utilizing these?
Originally printed in West Virginia Christian, Vol. 18, No. 3, March 2011, p. 8. Reprinted by permission.