ETS 2002 : 2002-12-02Introduction
On November 19, 2002, I flew to Toronto, Ontario for the Evangelical Theological Society
's 54th annual meeting (my second). The theme was Evangelical Christianity & Other Religions
--with open theism again a major topic, some attendees felt that it belonged under the umbrella of evangelical Christianity, while others quite firmly stated that openness belonged in the "other religions" category. More on that later. What follows is a very brief overview of my impressions--since hundreds of papers were given, I was able to sample only a fraction of them.
No ETS report can neglect the books--oh, the books! Most publishers offer 50% off, and cleverly time the release of new books to coincide with the meeting. This is dangerous for an admitted bibliophile like me, especially when a car is available. Since I had to fly this year, I only brought home a dozen or so tomes, but wild thoughts of having more shipped home separately did cross my fevered brain. I self-medicated with copious quantities of cranberry cocktail and orange juice, thereby resisting the temptation. (Did you know that cranberry cocktail is mostly pear juice? All is not what it seems in this world.) Let us forge ahead and look back on ETS 2002...
Tuesday, November 19, 2002
My daughter Heather and I left our house at 5:30 a.m. She graciously drove me to the airport so that my wife could sleep a little longer. I had no problems getting through security, and arrived at my gate by 6:03, roughly 2 hours early. So much for the "airport rush." The flight was extremely smooth, and after a good in-flight breakfast, I commenced transcribing my October 26 interview with Glenn & Wendi Kaiser
Tip for travelers: When you grab a full carton of orange juice, make sure that the straw is pointed away from your body.
We arrived in Toronto only 2.5 hours after departing Denver. The Customs checkpoint was deep within a labyrinth of tunnels (think Mines of Moria sans skeletons), but eventually I made it through, collected my baggage, and wandered aimlessly until I found a shuttle bus that went directly to my hotel, the Regal Constellation. I was settled in my room before 2:00 p.m., so I decided to scout out the conference rooms. Ironically, the conference rooms mostly were named after signs of the zodiac or Roman gods, so The Gospel Mandate in a Pluralistic World
was read in the Aquarius room, for example. I determined that I could get to the most distant room within 90 seconds, provided that the elevators cooperated. Last year at ETS my sleeping quarters were about 25 minutes away, so this was a welcome improvement. While wandering the lobby and halls I ran across philosopher/authors Frank Beckwith
(currently at Princeton) and William Lane Craig
(Biola), verifying that I had indeed arrived at the correct hotel. Both happily contributed to a little greeting tape I was making for my friend Rick George.
After contacting Dr. Terrance Tiessen
to confirm our 4:00 interview appointment, I suddenly realized that I wasn't ready for the interview. I spent the rest of the time reviewing his Providence & Prayer
and writing questions. At 4 p.m. I met Dr. Tiessen for a most enjoyable 90-minute visit, most of which I tape recorded. Hopefully I'll find time to transcribe it all eventually. Our topics included his book, inclusivism, the Evangelical Mennonite Conference and much more.
I returned to my room to enjoy some Toronto Maple Leafs hockey on TV until my brother Rick arrived from Ottawa about 9 p.m. We had a great time visiting, and then retired for the night, trembling with anticipation at what the dawn would bring (okay, we weren't exactly trembling, but there was a degree of joyful anticipation).
Wednesday, November 20, 2002
First thing Wednesday morning, Rick and I grabbed some breakfast and hurried to hear Paul Copan
of Ravi Zacharias Int'l Ministries give his paper on original sin and apologetics. Unlike many of the academics who simply read their papers, I knew from last year that Copan would interact with the audience and actually be interesting. To oversimplify, Copan's main point seemed to be that we do not inherit guilt from Adam, but simply a tendency to sin. This view is consistent with his non-Calvinist viewpoint; I'd like to explore the implications of this for one's view of imputed righteousness.
I wanted to hear Gary Habermas
on recent trends in resurrection scholarship, but after a few minutes of his lecture I decided that since I had enjoyed hearing Dr. Habermas before, I would get his paper online and would instead go hear John Mark Reynolds
. My wife had been impressed by Reynolds' presentation at the ACSI conference only a few weeks earlier, and I wanted to meet him.
Dr. Reynolds was giving a paper called Creationism, Spiritism, and Intelligent Design
, showing some fascinating similarities between the spiritism movement featuring Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and the modern creationism movement. As a creationist, Dr. Reynolds had concerns about stagnation, and encouraged creationists to pursue vigorous research agendas. He made the point that popular expression must not be divorced from the scholarly, or spreading the word would be left to cranks. I enjoyed visiting with him for 10 or 15 minutes after his session, and hope to have my son Michael get involved in the Torrey Academy
online program. Torrey emphasizes a classical education, so students read many great works of the past.
Rick and I met for lunch and then decided to catch the end of the business meeting. As expected, Dr. Roger Nicole
was playing a major role. Dr. Nicole, Professor of Theology at Reformed Theological Seminary, was a founding member of ETS in 1949 and served as president in 1956. His paper earlier Wednesday morning carried the unequivocal title Open Theism is Incompatible with Inerrancy
. The ETS doctrinal basis must be subscribed to by all members annually:
"The Bible alone, and the Bible in its entirety, is the Word of God written and is therefore inerrant in the autographs. God is a Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, each an uncreated person, one in essence, equal in power and glory."
Since the statement stresses inerrancy and the Trinity, Nicole's paper asserted that open theism was outside the boundaries of evangelicalism. Therefore, it was no surprise that he introduced a motion to have Clark Pinnock, John Sanders and Greg Boyd considered for expulsion from ETS. The statement regarding Clark Pinnock is reproduced in its entirety below (including typographical oddities):
I, Roger Nicole, a founder and charter member of the Evangelical Theological Society, and continuously so since 1949, charge that Dr. Clark H. Pinnock has violated the inerrance clause of our doctrinal statement in his book Most Moved Mover (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker 2001) inter alia as follows:
Page 43. "...it appears that God is willing to change course, especially where judgment is concerned..."
[Page 44 concedes "Mercy may have been implicit in the original call and Jonah knew it." Yet Dr. Pinnock deals with the case of Ninevah as if God had the intention to destroy it and then changed his mind!]
Page 43, line 12. "God would...alter his plan"
Page 48. "Unless the future was somewhat open, could God be said to change his mind? Many considerations point in the same direction. The future is not entirely settled."
"God had announced that the king would soon die but...the Lord added fifteen years to his life."
[Dr. Pinnock has here an interesting parenthesis "(Evidently the initial prediction had been conditional without being stated)." If this parenthesis is taken seriously, it destroys Dr. Pinnock's argument from this incident, but he does proceed to state that God changed his mind anyway and that the future was still flexible when the original prediction was made.
Page 51, note 66 has a list of seven scriptural prophecies that went "unfulfilled'!
The process involved a membership vote to have the matter sent to the executive committee, who would then review the charges, interview the accuser and defendants, and make a recommendation at the 2003 meeting. Boyd circumvented the anticipated process by not paying his 2002 dues, although he still gave a paper in Toronto. That left Pinnock and Sanders to be voted upon. With the first plenary session scheduled to start in a few minutes, the decision was made to schedule another business meeting for 9:15 Thursday night.
For the first plenary, Harold Netland
from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School spoke on Religious Pluralism and the Question of Truth
. Surprisingly, he concluded that truth was important.
One of my favorite authors and speakers, philosopher J.P. Moreland
, got the afternoon off to a good start with A Christian Perspective on the Impact of Modern Science on Philosophy of Mind
. As an Evangelical Philosophical Society paper, it was not meant for the non-philosophers in the crowd, as my brother was quick to point out.
I knew Rick would have no interest in the following session by Brad Seeman, called What if the Elephant Speaks? The Kantian Problem of Ubergang in the Third Critique and the Problem of Religious Others for John Hick's Philosophy of Religious Pluralism
, probably the only ETS paper with more than two dozen words in the title. I grabbed a copy of the paper and set out for the opposite end of the hotel.
William Chandler of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary was delivering the second of four papers on Karl Barth. I'm not a fan of Barth's, although I certainly recognize his tremendous influence on theological scholarship of the past decades. At least two of the papers will be available
, so I hope to study them later. From what I heard, Chandler and I were in basic agreement.
My next session was Wayne Grudem
's Is Evangelical Feminism a New Liberalism? Some Disturbing Indications
. Dr. Grudem documented problematic issues such as David Thompson of Asbury Theological Seminary claiming that Paul misinterprets the Old Testament, Gordon Fee of Regent College insisting that 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 is not Scripture and therefore not binding for Christians (even though every manuscript copy includes the passage), and evangelical egalitarians approving books such as those by Paul Smith encouraging people to worship God the Mother and pray to her.
followed with God's Work of Grace in the Context of Religions: A Reformed Proposal
. His fundamental premise is that, while salvation is found only through the work of Christ, God may use general revelation and common grace to call men to Himself who do not know Christ by name. Tiessen calls himself a non-restrictive exclusivist, not an inclusivist (feel free to click "Discuss" at the end of this report if that interests you).
The banquet followed, offering a fine meal and an enjoyable visiting experience. Rick and I ate with a couple who taught at Tyndale Seminary in Toronto, a medical center chaplain and his wife from Tennessee, and a professor on furlough from his work in Ukraine. Following the meal, ETS president Millard Erickson of Baylor spoke on Evangelical Scholarship in the Twenty-First Century
(for some insights into his views, read a review of Erickson's The Evangelical Left: Encountering Postconservative Evangelical Theology
. Dr. Erickson is certainly one of my favorite scholars, a brilliant man who has accomplished a great deal, yet remains humble and approachable.
My long-time friend Matt Reimer, a second-year student at John Piper's Bethlehem Institute
, invited me to join the group in their rooms for some late night discussion. Bruce Ware
dropped by, but the main discussion time involved Scott Hafemann
of Wheaton explaining his controversial view of justification. As I understood him, he sees justification as eschatological, something that we have been promised--and benefit from--but have not yet fully received. It is "now, but not yet," in that God treats us as justified in Christ based on that which is yet to come. Since I actually enjoyed hearing the various viewpoints on the topic, I guess I qualify as an amateur theologian, with the emphasis on the adjective. The discussion group included Hafemann's Wheaton colleague Sam Storms
, TBI dean Tom Steller, and more than a dozen students. As I recall, we wrapped up around midnight. I fell asleep quickly, knowing I needed rest for another busy day Thursday.
Thursday, November 21, 2002
I learned how different my brother and I are on Thursday morning. He was to shower first, then wake me. However, he saw how soundly I was sleeping and decided to let me get my apparently needed rest. Eventually he opened the blinds. The light cascading into the room brought me to consciousness at 8:27, leaving me three minutes to shower, dress, and get to the first session. I would never see sleep as a priority at any conference, but Rick is more practical, not wanting to see anyone fall ill from exhaustion. Despite the massive misunderstanding, we remained friends as well as brothers. I showered and dressed in record time, raced to the conference room, and found it apparently full, with dozens standing in the back. Desperately, I raced down the aisle to the front until I spotted a seat only seven rows back. I clambered over a few legs, slid into the seat, finished dressing, and sighed with relief as the session began a few minutes late. Rick showed his compassion by wandering down to check on me, leaving contentedly when he spotted me within 10 rows of the front.
The four-session extended panel discussion was called Gender Language and Related Issues in Bible Translation
, dealing specifically with the TNIV
(Today's New International Version). Panelists included Mark Strauss and Doug Moo (favoring the TNIV), and Wayne Grudem and John Piper (opposed), along with Hall Harris, Project Director for the NET Bible
. While both sides made some good points, I felt that Piper and Grudem raised some significant issues. Dr. Piper, my favorite preacher
, emphasized the fact that the TNIV artificially removes ambiguity from some passages by deciding what they mean, diminishing the role of the preacher in expositing the Word. (Read a statement opposed to the TNIV
During the lunch break, I wandered through the book displays, drooling over the new titles. I stopped by the Evangelical Press booth to pass on greetings to Mike Renehan from James White of Alpha & Omega Ministries
. While at the booth, one of the presenters at the conference wandered up and this conversation ensued:
Dr. X: Find anything good?
Me: Well, I bought John Frame's The Doctrine of God here.
Dr. X: Oh, I'm not interested in theology.
Me, thinking to myself: Hmmm, and yet you read a paper at this Evangelical Theological Society meeting? Very strange...
Still somewhat befuddled at the surrealism of it all, I hurried to the main ballroom to secure quality seats for the double plenary session. I found seats in the second row, directly behind the speakers. All of the seats provided a complimentary copy of a Canadian newspaper called Christian Week
. A large color picture of Clark Pinnock graced the cover of the Clark Pinnock Special Edition, offering nearly a dozen pages of praise for the theologian who faced a vote later that day related to possible expulsion from ETS. Coincidence? I think not. The paper did include a brief article opposing Pinnock's views. A review of Pinnock's Flame of Love
was also somewhat critical, calling Pinnock's work "maverick theology," but the rest of the paper seemed to be as much cheerleading as reporting (for a sample article, see A conversation with Clark Pinnock
I set down the Pinnock public relations piece, eager to hear Daniel Block
speak on Biblical Faith and Other Religions in Old Testament Theology
. Dr. Block had been my sister Karen's favorite prof back in the early 80s, and once I heard him speak, I could see why. He was dynamic, convincing, and passionate. He spoke of Israel's syncretistic past and Yahwist parallels to pagan ideas, stressing that "the Old Testament knows nothing of faith in the abstract."
A second plenary session followed immediately. Greg Beale
of Wheaton spoke on Biblical Faith and Other Religions in New Testament Theology
and did a fine job as well, focusing on Paul's address to the Council of the Areopagus in Acts 17.
, formerly of Bethel College, was my choice from the 19 available sessions after the plenaries. I had missed seeing him last year, so he was a priority this time. The famed openness proponent seemed quite cheerful, perhaps still chuckling over his 'I didn't pay my dues so you can't kick me out' tactic. A personable speaker, Boyd is easily the most dangerous open theist because his combination of intelligence
, charisma and good looks renders him appealing outside the halls of academia. The man could succeed in politics, especially considering that his home state of Minnesota has proven a willingness to elect a professional wrestler as governor; it's easy to see why he was a popular professor.
Boyd's paper, Does God Learn? An Analysis of Possibility and Actuality in the Experience of God
reiterated the usual openness arguments that their version of God is dynamic, personable, interactive and ever-learning, unlike the supposedly cold, impassible God of classical theism. I disagreed with most of what he said, but found him engaging nonetheless.
I dropped by Stephen Wellum's session called Clark Pinnock's Inclusivism
, but I was familiar enough with Pinnock's thought that I decided to saunter around instead, making sure that I got a good seat for the next session.
delivered a plenary address at ETS 2001, but the next session was my opportunity to see him in a classroom-like setting. His paper was called Open Theism and Scripture: Reducing God to Human Proportions?
; as you might expect, he responded in the negative. While he was handing out his outline, I was tempted to ask him how his debates
with James White
had gone a couple of weeks earlier, but I bravely resisted, and quietly sat back to hear him present his case. He concluded that the evangelicals (such as Bruce Ware
) who accuse open theists of reducing God are themselves reducing God according to genuine classical theists. Therein lies a debate, naturally enough.
Dinner was next (supper in Canada). I just grabbed some beef jerky from the room, bought a drink, and did a little visiting before heading to the main ballroom for another double plenary session, to be followed by the ad hoc business meeting on Roger Nicole's effort to confront openness head-on.
Richard Plantinga of Calvin College presented Biblical Faith and Other Religions in Church History.
It was an excellent overview, but his early jokes about the length of his paper fell flat when he kept going well into the next time slot. After taking 15 minutes of Tite Tiénou's hour, he seemed puzzled when Tiénou announced that he would shorten his talk so the meeting could start on time. Either Plantinga's watch stopped, or he hadn't paid attention to the schedule. There were, unfortunately, no bells to signal the end of a lecture time at ETS.
was selected to speak on Biblical Faith and Other Religions Today: Traditional Folk Expression
. If the organizers assumed that his African heritage made him uniquely qualified, he put that to rest (and caused much laughter) when he announced that, contrary to expectations, he knew folk religions only as a scholar, having grown up in a Christian home in Africa. He pointed out that anyone wishing to study folk religions would do well to come to America and study neo-paganism. I enjoyed his comment that Christians should focus on the God of Jabez, not the prayer of Jabez (see my ranting on Jabez
). Repetitive prayer and chanting in Africa is associated with non-Christian religions. I would enjoy hearing Dr. Tiénou again.
The business meeting was planned to allow discussion prior to the vote on the Nicole proposal to consider expulsion of Clark Pinnock and John Sanders. To that end, two microphones were set up, one for those in favor, and one for those opposed. After a good hour or so of discussion, there was a twist on the Boyd ploy. Someone went up to the mike and was challenged on the grounds of not being an ETS member. He insisted that he was indeed a member. When asked when he had paid his dues, he responded, "This afternoon," causing more than a few chuckles. He was then allowed to speak. Finally, the matter came to a vote. I didn't record the exact counts, but of the 300 or so members who voted, both votes were roughly 55% in favor of referring the matter to the executive commitee, to 45% opposed. Had it been the actual dismissal vote, neither Pinnock nor Sanders would have been expelled. Even if the executive committee decides to recommend their dismissal (which many doubt will happen), the voting members are unlikely to ratify such a proposal. It's likely that either course of action will lead to a split. In a few years, there will likely be a parallel conference to ETS: either OTS (the Openness Theological Society), or if Sanders and Pinnock remain in ETS, RETS (the Real Evangelical Theological Society). Time will tell.
Following the meeting, I once again joined the Bethlehem Institute gang up in their rooms. Although it was 10:30 p.m., it was anticipated that the offer of ice cream would be enough to lure Wayne Grudem to the room. John Piper had already committed. Sure enough, by 11 o'clock, both of them were seated on the couch with the acolytes covering the rest of the furniture. I had staked my position within a few feet of the couch, correctly guessing that the guests of honor would be ushered to that area. I'd like to recount what was discussed in the next three hours, but I "heard inexpressible words, which a man is not permitted to speak." (2 Cor 12:4b) Well, it was that, or perhaps I was too tired by 2 a.m. to remember much. We discussed the TNIV, the future of ETS and theology. My brother and Dr. Grudem both left by 1 a.m., but I wasn't about to leave a minute before Dr. Piper departed. Once he left at 2 a.m., everything wrapped up quickly. After all, the next session was starting in less than six hours and it was time to be cradled in the arms of Morpheus (or the evangelical equivalent thereof).
Friday, November 22, 2002
Friday began with a business session primarily dealing with the election of officers for the next year. As a non-voting associate member, sleep was my preferred alternative. I did arrive near the end of the meeting in order to garner a quality seat for the final plenary. An announcement was made that the "James Ossuary"--which mentions "James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus"--was in Toronto at the Royal Ontario Museum
and available for viewing Friday evening. However, I didn't want to take the time to find my way downtown and spend $10 to wait in line for an opportunity to look at an ossuary which may or may not be significant. (See the Biblical Archaeology Review article
(Nov-Dec 2002 issue) for more.) Beside that, Rick and I had plans to visit the Hockey Hall of Fame, where we could ogle authentic Wayne Gretzky memorabilia rather than gaze at an artifact of possible significance.
The final plenary featured J. Dudley Woodberry
(his real name). Dr. Woodberry has a Ph.D. from Harvard and is probably the leading evangelical scholar on Islam, having lived in Lebanon and Afghanistan for years. He teaches a course called Qur'anic Arabic and Exegesis
at Fuller Theological Seminary, so he's not your typical TV preacher ranting and raving about bin Laden and Muhammed.
Woodberry had just returned from Kabul (Afghanistan) a few days before ETS, after making his first trip back since being forced to leave by the Taliban. He showed us a Bible that had been rather severely damaged by a large caliber bullet or piece of shrapnel, pointing out that it left the books of Moses almost untouched while tearing the heart out of the gospels, analagous to Islam's approach to the Bible. He had used that very Bible to preach from during his prior time in Kabul.
Dr. Woodberry explained how various branches of Islam differed, and told us that visions play a major role in a high percentage of the conversions from Islam to Christianity. He explained that Allah was the same God as Christianity, but was not worshipped or understood correctly by Muslims--same subject, different predicate. He also explained that vowel points were critical in Arabic, and that there was scholarly disagreement about some passages in the Qur'an; since the word for "virgins" is very similar to another meaning "white raisins," martyrs might be subject to bitter disappointment even if Islam turns out to be true! While 72 white raisins (yogurt covered, I presume) would make a nice snack, male suicide bombers would undoubtedly be tougher to recruit if that interpretation becomes accepted.
He closed by informing us that some Muslim scholars in Turkey have requested a conference with Christians. Several papers have been written and are being translated into Arabic. One of them explores the fact that most traditional Muslim commentaries allow for Christ's crucifixion and resurrection, as opposed to the typical Muslim view that Christ never really died on the cross. After the Turkish scholars have studied the papers, a joint conference will be held in 2003.
Read this article
by Dr. Woodberry for some of his insights.
Only a couple of hours remained for ETS 2002. I was interested in several speakers, including Ed Yamauchi, but decided that Thomas Oden
was the highest priority because of his age, his work in Communist Russia, and because I had an interest in the patristics, partly inspired by my friend Russ Kyncl's intererst in the early church fathers. I arrrived early to an empty room. Soon I heard someone fumbling with the side door. A theologian entered, then asked me if Dr. Oden was present. I stated that I had not seen him, and pointed out the correct entrance. The gentleman then stated that the room was locked, and asked how I had made it in. Just then a vigorous struggle erupted behind me as more potential attendees struggled with the door. I quickly opened the door, whereupon a pair of erudite theologians gratefully entered, mentioning that the door was locked. I tried the door from the outside, easily opening it. Due to a lethal combination of sleep deprivation and my sinful nature, I couldn't resist replying:
"It's called a door knob. You rotate it clockwise and it unlatches the door."
"Clockwise?" one of them somewhat sullenly responded.
"Yes," I replied cheerfully as two more men of learning arrived, apparently having been stumped by the "locked" door earlier.
Ushering them in, I expounded the mysteries of the door knob to them as well, then closed the door and left, realizing that Dr. Oden was not present and most likely would not be speaking. I shuddered as I thought of the handful of academics now trapped in a room with no speaker to enlighten them, no doorman to enable their escape, and nothing but ice water to sustain them through the long hours until the cleanup crew arrived to prepare the room for the next conference. I fear they may be there yet. Tales of absent-minded professors carry a whole new reality for me now.
I dropped in on Dr. Yamauchi's lecture, and noted that while it appeared to be quite interesting, I was simply too far into sensory overload to care. I soon came across my brother, and after brief chats with the competing Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood
and the Council for Biblical Equality
, returned to our room to pack. We checked out around noon, but not before standing in line long enough to meet a friendly associate pastor from Texas who ran the education department for a little church of 4,000 members.
I knew I wouldn't want to lug around my luggage, since I had grabbed numerous brochures and papers, and purchased several books, including John Frame's 800-page The Doctrine of God
and three books in the four views series: God & Time, Science & Christianity
and Divine Foreknowledge
. I also acquired two D. A. Carson books, The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God
, and Love in Hard Places
. Dr. Carson is one of my favorite teachers that I have yet to hear in person.
Two essay collections, Whatever Happened to the Reformation?
and Evangelicalism & The Stone-Campbell Movement
, were added to my library. Other additions include Given for You: Reclaiming Calvin's Doctrine of the Lord's Supper
by Kieth A. Mathison, The Right Questions: Truth, Meaning & Public Debate
by Phillip E. Johnson, and Where in the World is the Church?
by Michael Horton.
The only book at the conference which pictured Britney Spears on the cover was ETS president Millard Erickson's The Postmodern World
. When I commented to Dr. Erickson that I had not anticipated running across the infamous Miss Spears at ETS, he confessed that when the publisher had sent him the cover, his wife noticed Britney, causing him to respond, "Who is Britney Spears?" So much for the awareness of cultural particulars, even among those who study the underlying philosophical factors. (Click for my Britney article
The first new book that I'm reading is John Piper's Counted Righteous in Christ: Should We Abandon the Imputation of Christ's Righteousness?
As anyone familiar with Dr. Piper
might guess, he answers with a resounding "No!"
Our shuttle bus took us to Union station, where we met a college-aged couple from Mexico as we both struggled to find luggage lockers. Once I introduced the young man to the Canadian "tooney" (two dollar coin) and its ability to extract tokens from vending machines, we all got our luggage safely stored, and Rick and I were off to catch the subway to the Hockey Hall of Fame (click here for a detailed account
After the Hall, we took a six-hour bus ride to Ottawa, getting to know each other better than ever before in our lives (I left home when Rick was 9). I spent a great weekend with Rick, his wife Lucie, and her wonderful family. By Monday noon I was back in Denver, with another ETS trip behind me. Will I attend ETS 2003 in Atlanta? Only God knows, at least according to classical theism. The open theists insist that God and I will create that future together. We shall see...