One thing that was really cool from the conference experience last summer was the amount of fellowship with like minded Christians. It’s rare to run into folks who have an interest in the topics that I like to discuss, let alone deep Biblical theology, especially concerning eschatology or end times. But what’s cool is that a gathering like this provides an opportunity to discuss such topics in detail, all day long with folks who research this material for a living! It doesn’t get much better than that and today certainly did not fall short of those standards set last summer.
I was taken back by the amount of interest people have in Doug Hamp’s material. As I write this, we just found out that we had to add a lecture for Doug because the room was packed, standing room only, into the hallway! So far it’s been cool to run into Doc Marquis, LA Marzulli, Gary Stearman, Bob Ulrich, Rob Skiba, Cris Putnam, and Russ Dizdar. Russ Dizdar promised us an interview for Canary Cry Radio, as did Rob Skiba so look out for that in the near future.
(Doug Speaking…can’t even get into the room)
Besides all the shoulder rubbing with these great researchers, it’s been a blast talking with folks who have questions about more philosophical or practical questions about God and theology. I had a gentlemen who felt called to do a media driven ministry but was still struggling with many aspects of God, particularly in the topic of evil. He felt that if we we’re created in God’s image, and we have evil in out hearts, then God must have evil too. It’s a great question and there are many who are more qualified than myself to answer this it (although I would suggest there is no perfect answer to this question). But my response was simply to take it back to scripture. I brought up the fall. I also brought up free will. That we are being who were created with the capacity to love genuinely. In such a universe, the potential to conduct evil is necessary. I also brought up the fact that once we are resurrected, given our new eternal bodies, the physics of the new heavens and the new earth will be such that there won’t be decay and death. I can’t say for certain how all of the mechanics work, but it is interesting nonetheless. The gentlemen complimented me and told me they were the best answers he had heard. I was flattered, but it goes to show how far a little bit of study in apologetics will go in such conversations.
I did not get to see a lot of speakers, but I was able to see Tom Horn speak on if 2012 is really nearing the end. For me personally, the information he spoke about was nothing new. He reiterated the points about the Hindu, Catholic, Jewish Zohar, Mayan, and Aztec prophecies all pointing to some kind of major event in the year 2012, most commonly the return of a “god”. If you haven’t heard his material, it is certainly thoughtful and well researched. His latest work on Petrus Romanus along side Cris Putnam has been groundbreaking. I did get to see snippets of Gary Stearman, but I felt it was somewhat dry and not as interesting as I had hoped. That’s not a knock on Gary, he’s written a great book on the time travelers in the Bible, but the presentation just wasn’t doing it for me. I do look forward to seeing LA Marzulli speak, since he claims he has footage that could potentially be of a UFO and “aliens” captured in the 1940′s.
I was also privileged to have dinner with Doug, Derek Gilbert of PID Radio, and Bill Salus. Not surprisingly, the conversations turned over to the middle east, one of my weaker points as far as prophecy knowledge. But it was interesting nonetheless and certainly fun to hear the perspectives of Doug and Bill going back and fourth. Other meals I’ve shared with Doug have been on comparing my view of a pre-wrath view of the rapture debate, and Doug’s view of Pre-Tribulation. Although Doug admits, that the more he studies, the more the Pre-Trib view seems to be weakened.
To wrap up the post for today, I’m excited to continue to meet people and talk God, Jesus, Prophecy, and the Bible. No where else are you going to find the brightest minds on the topic with brothers and sisters in Christ who are after the truth.