Concluding reflections (Acton 7)
To be honest, I’m not entirely certain what to think about my time at Acton. That’s partly because I made a couple of mistakes with the seminars that I chose and ended up in seminars that were not as fruitful for me as I’d hoped. But, it’s also partly because I’m left with so many unanswered questions, as well as a lingering discontent with important pieces of the overall framework. But, I won’t rehash those here. You can follow the links below to see some of the questions I raised as I went along. At the same time, though, I don’t want to leave you with the impression that I didn’t get anything from my time at Acton. That simply wouldn’t be true. So, let me list a few:
- I’m not sure that I’ve ever engaged biblical/theological issues in such a diverse context. That was particularly true with respect to disciplinary diversity. Unlike other diverse conferences I’ve attended, the diversity here extended to scholars, thinkers, and leaders, from a wide-range of vocations. Although that was frustrating at times (too many seminars covering material I already knew), it also made for fascinating discussions over meals (I had dinner last night with a guy who works with the supreme court in the Philippines) and between sessions.
- I definitely understand the concept of “free market economics” much better and the incredible power that free markets have for producing wealth in the world. Though I have lingering concerns about potential abuses associated with free markets, my non-existent understanding of economics was definitely expanded. (Can you expand something that doesn’t exist? Would be analogous to the Big Bang?)
- I had a number of very good conversations with other seminary professors, discussing how what we’ve been hearing and learning might impact what we’re doing in the classroom. If nothing else, I’ve walked away with a better understanding of how significant work, economics, government, and creation are for developing and teaching an adequate anthropology.
- And, probably most importantly, I have a much better understanding of what I don’t know in so many different areas. As I’ve been trying to detail through my various posts, I now have a clearer set of questions that I need to answer and issues that I need to understand better. I would much rather have that than someone’s pre-packaged set of ideas and solutions.