The annoying, plastic event wristband cuts at my sensitive skin whenever I type, but it also means that the guys and I have arrived safely to the IHOP Onething conference in Kansas City. I had heard a lot about Onething, and, out to make sure that my international friends don’t get to see more of my country than I do, we all came together.
Last night, I weaved in and out of aisles of books, taken by authors more than the titles themselves. While I hadn’t read much of what was on sale, I was able to piece together what I knew of different writers to pick out the books’ common themes. I think it is funny what some people deem most important, and also made note of the differences between the book table here and what I know to be on display at Urbana.
I feel a bit more a observer than a student of the conference. Maybe it’s the product of having planned enough events like this (obviously much smaller, but similar nonetheless), an initial distrust from having been well-intentionally played too many times, or simply the product of an increasingly inquisitive mind that asks more questions than finds answers these days.
I’m really hoping it is the later.
It wasn’t so much a critique as it was an analysis, but during the evening teaching last night, I kept thinking about the expository method. It certainly wasn’t anything different, content or style wise, than what I have heard a thousand times, but my mind dissected every word, transition, and development. The lens of thesis research isn’t exactly detachable, so even though this trip was suppose to be just because I wanted to come, I found myself applying all the reading I’ve been doing on contextualization and teaching how-tos.
It’s like this. A couple of weeks ago, I spent the better part of 15 hours working through what I thought was a complex, multi-part paradox. I wasn’t even trying to solve it. I was just trying to organize bits of incompatible knowledge and identify the area of disconnect. At the end of that very long day and 15 pages or so of scratch writing, I had before me about 200 words. The next morning, I cut those 200 words down to a single, simple sentence.
So when I read a good book, or in this case, listen to sermon, analysis swirls. Out of an interest in the content, I think about the words, cutting and summarizing and seeking to understand the core of the message communicated. Seems like that’s all I’ve done today.