I – along with a few dear friends – am traveling to Grand Rapids tomorrow evening until Thursday evening for a conference that is entitled A Missional Reading of Scripture. I am particularly excited for this conference and hoping for encouragement, refreshment, and a greater and deeper engagement in regard to how I understand and interpret Scripture in light of the Missio Dei (perhaps I should lower my expectations a bit?… nah :)).
One of the speakers is a Pastor/Theologian named N.T. Wright. Wright is one of three or four writers who has remained a consistent conversation partner for me in matters of Scripture, Theology, and simply learning how to follow Jesus. Wright has helped me along in the tumultuous task of engaging in Scripture in ways that I could have never attempted alone. He has helped me to honor the book that Christians deem to be “the Word of God” and I am deeply grateful to him. I will look forward to hearing him speak (and hopefully meeting him) especially now that I have heavily engaged with six or seven of his books in the past three or four years. There are three other main speakers that are brilliant in their own right, but I have not engaged with any of their writings at the level I have with Wright’s works. But still, I look forward to hearing helpful and challenging perspectives from Darrell Guder, Christopher J.H. Wright, and Michael Goheen. In between these four (actually five because Wright will be having another lecture the night before his main lecture at a church about 15 minutes from the conference space) lectures there will also be workshop tracks to engage in after each lecture. This is the structure of the events that will unfold during the conference and if you can’t tell, I am very excited to hear from these scholars!
Alright, that is the conference, and I will look forward to writing about it when I return, but here is where you can participate: If you have ever been to Grand Rapids, what are places that you would recommend (to eat, to drink coffee, to visit etc…)? Our group has a couple of places that we wanted to check out (granted we don’t have a ton of free-time to explore), but I wanted to here if anyone out there had any worthwhile suggestions for us to consider! Comment on my blog to let me know your ideas so that we might pack our stay in Michigan with some local-to-Grand Rapids experiences. Thanks in advance for your input!