I accepted an invitation from Two Friars and a Fool to engage in a dialogue with Dr. Daniel Kirk, Professor of New Testament at Fuller Theological Seminary. Daniel also hosts an excellent blog--Storied Theology.
Two Friars and a Fool asked Daniel and I to engage in a bit of narrative theology. Specifically, we were tasked with answering the question "What is the best ending to the Christian story?" The prompt is trying to address a lot of the conversation surrounding the publication of Rob Bell's Love Wins. In this discussion I'm articulating an universalist reading of the "best ending" and Daniel is articulating a more traditional (non-universalist) ending.
The discussion will unfold over the coming days. To start, both Daniel and I have written a short essay articulating our visions of the "best ending." My essay starts us off and is up now at Two Friars and a Fool. Daniel's essay will follow. We then have responses to each other's essays. The schedule for the dialogue:
Tuesday, July 12: Beck Essay "Universal Reconciliation & the Christological Hymns"At the end of each essay and response Two Friars and a Fool will be posting their video reactions, adding their own insights and perspectives. With all five of us in play it should be a really interesting conversation. I'm mainly going to be following the conversation at Two Friars and a Fool. So if you post a comment/response here, please post it over there as well.
Friday, July 15: Kirk Essay "A Non-Universal Story"
Tuesday, July 19: Kirk Response "Beautiful Endings"
Friday, July 22: Beck Response "Radical Continuity"
Finally, on a personal note, this whole experience scared the crap out of me. I kept asking myself, "Richard, how did you end up in a dialogue about eschatology with a professor in New Testament? Doesn't seem like a good idea..."
But I shouldn't have worried. Daniel was/is a gracious and insightful conversation partner. So my thanks to him and to Two Friars and Fool for hosting the conversation and inviting me to participate.