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TCPT Conference

David L. Stubbs and Michael Van Dyke | Saturday, April 21, 2:00 PM; 4:45 PM


We are pleased to host Dr. David L. Stubbs from Western Theological Seminary on our campus! Dr. Stubbs has contributed an excellent commentary on the Book of Numbers to the Brazos Theological Commentary Series, joining such giants as Stanley Hauerwas, Jaroslav Pelikan, Peter J. Leithart, and others.

As with our other speakers, Stubbs is an eclectic thinker bringing together such wide-ranging subjects as Karl Barth, Anglo-American postmodernity, and restorative justice. His paper “Changing the Paradigm of Church Discipline: The Contribution of Restorative Justice and Restorative Circles” is an exciting edition to our Saturday roster, which includes several voices attempting to discover what exactly Christians can and do mean when they speak about “justice.”

In an illuminating reflection on the famous ordeal a supposedly adulterous women must go through outlined in Numbers 5, Stubbs says this in his commentary:

“Thus while harsh, the law introduces a ritual that may provide some resolution to a potentially violent situation in a time when women had little power. Given such a charitable contextual reading, it could be said the Jesus upholds and extends the spirit that informs such a law. Jesus moves further away from a punitive patriarchal system in his teachings and practice, while still upholding the standard of marital faithfulness. This law–read literally, carefully, and charitably–could be interpreted as part of a larger movement of God within Israel toward having Israel be an example of mercy and equal justice for women among the nations–while still being a people who treat marital faithfulness with great respect (Calvin 1852: 3.87-90)” (61).

Such a reading opens us up to fascinating new senses of play within the text, and such a view may provide a way into the restorative justice we will hear about on Saturday afternoon.


Dr. Michael Van Dyke, a professor influential at Cornerstone in conversations surrounding philosophy and literature, will be our final plenary speaker. He is responsible for easing many of us along into such exotic thinkers as Slavoj Žižek, Peter Rollins, Kenneth Rexroth, and David Foster Wallace, among many others. A highly interdisciplinary thinker on campus, Dr. Van Dyke serves as a meeting point for many discussions where the lines between the arts, humanities, and philosophy are blurred for the better.

His current research includes a book on anarchist and poet Kenneth Rexroth, the subject of his dissertation, and he has spent the semester teaching classes on everything from contemporary literature to speculative realism. His paper “Anarchy and Christian Law” will be an excellent final plenary address, speaking explicitly to issues of the political.

For information on Dr. Van Dyke and a window into his humble and thoughtful character, watch for the posting of the video of our recent interview with Peter Rollins, facilitated by Jordan Skinner and Dr. Van Dyke.



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