Returning, Rested & Renewed

I returned yesterday from a week in St. Andrews, Scotland, where I attended the conference on Galatians and Christian Theology.  Mark Elliott and his team of organizers were perfect hosts, providing a wonderful venue for intense exegetical and theological engagement and conversation.

I’ll have more to say about some of that down the road, but the last week was memorable for me in some other ways.

The Auld Toon from atop St. Rule’s Tower

I arrived a few days early into St. Andrews and took a few days to unplug, disengage from social media, and slow down the pace of my mind and spirit.  We’ve experienced quite a bit since we returned to the States in 2004, and it was good to walk the town, reflect, pray, recall good memories, and give thanks especially for the past year our family has enjoyed in Grand Rapids.  After a very good week, I feel refreshed and renewed.

I also caught up with old friends and made some new ones.

I enjoyed an afternoon chat with Chris & Rachel Brewer at the Northpoint Café.  They’re going to love their time in the Auld Toon as Chris begins his Ph.D. studies in theology.

It was great to hang out with Joel Willitts and Justin Hardin, too.  In addition to sampling a few Indian restaurants and an amazing Thai place together, we played the Himalayas, the miniature golf course next to the Old Course.

The Himalayas, the putting course situated next to the 2nd hole of the Old Course on the St. Andrews Links

I won’t say who won (nor will I mention the margin of victory), but I’ll just note that Cambridge grads can put up some impressively big numbers.

It was a delight to re-connect with Chris Miller, with whom I taught for seven years, and who gave me my first crack at teaching.

With Chris Miller at the Cathedral Ruins

It was serious fun to show him around town, along with Jason and Lisa Myers and Jason Zastrow.

It was also great to see several other friends and colleagues, and to meet a handful of the brilliant St. Andrews post-grads.  It was an incredibly rich week and I’m eager to dig back into Galatians for at least the next six months.

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