IVP - Behind the Books - Baptism by Book

April 24, 2008

Baptism by Book

I have vague tinges of jealousy about this time every April, as my colleagues at the press pack up their booth supplies and business cards and truck off to Calvin College. Each spring the school hosts a festival, alternating annually between music and writing. Last year Sufjan Stevens and Emmylou Harris, true musical geniuses each, performed and discussed their approach to their craft and their faith. This year the festival brought together writers, among them Yann Martel, author of the brilliant Life of Pi. Still a little jealous.

The best conferences spark in their attenders a sort of creative renaissance. Particularly good at this is Andy Crouch, author of our forthcoming book Culture Making. His seminars always generate lots of conversations about the place and function of culture and our participation in it, including the very thoughtful and entertaining riff off his talk at the Transforming Culture symposium by Heather Goodman at L'Chaim. I particularly enjoyed the blogger's introduction of a term I've not encountered before but eagerly embrace nonetheless: luftmensch. Hi. My name is Dave, and I'm a luftmensch.

So I'd be interested in hearing about your most energizing conference experience: what did you talk about, and what did you do with what you took away from it? I promise to pray through my bouts of envy as you comment on your experience here.

Posted by Dave Zimmerman at April 24, 2008 10:45 AM Bookmark and Share


One of my favorite things: hearing Krista Tippett. (I also enjoyed the walk over to hear her, with a gentle soul from IVP's marketing department).

Other than that, I think I'll always be grateful for meeting Ann Kroeker of http://annkroeker.wordpress.com/

I haven't decided yet whether you should be jealous of that. :)

Comment by: L.L. Barkat at April 25, 2008 9:47 AM

Dave, I feel your pain! I read Al Hsu's blog and am constantly jealous of the conferences IVP people go to. Not fair...

My most energizing conference experience (besides Urbana 06-- the book store alone was such a high ;o) was probably an IV area retreat (Blue Ridge- Eastern Carolinas) as a sophomore in college. Staff used the Quaerens interactive media experience to begin conversation about brokenness, and I was mesmerized. I loved the postmodern feel of the weekend, and it came at a time in my life when I was just beginning to peace together theologies of brokenness, shalom, the kingdom, etc. What they were saying wasn't brand new for me, but it reaffirmed a lot I'd been learning in the past six months. Quite powerful, even though a few years later it sounds rather elementary. It was also my first non-chapter retreat/conference, so it was the first time I was dazzled by the wonder that is the larger world of IVCF. :-P I was like, wow, how did I find these cool people that are thinking about all these things I'm thinking about and being so intentional about encouraging students to explore them? Totally impressed.

I hear N.T. Wright is going to be at GFM's Following Christ 08, and I'm pretty darn excited about that... but I'm generally looking forward to going to more "grown-up" conferences (not that college hasn't been fun) as a seminary student next year.

Comment by: Ashleigh at April 26, 2008 9:34 PM

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