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Scott Starbuck (2006-present), Senior Lecturer in Theology
This year I beta-tested two new classes and taught four tried-and-true courses: TH320 Biblical Theology of Covenant (new); TH420 Biblical Theology of Covenant –Hebrew (new); THG560 Old Testament Theology; TH230 Messiah; TH343 Biblical Hebrew III: Narrative (Judges); and TH357 Old Testament Prophets.
Bibilcal Theology of Covenant provided an extended focus on the legal codes of the Pentateuch (Covenant, Deuteronomic, Holiness, and Priestly) that engaging and illumining for students. I was surprised to learn that the class wanted even more exegesis on these codes than I had planned – which I took as a good sign that students were becoming ever more drawn into and engaged in the biblical text and its theological vision. It was fascinating to learn that most students entered the course believing that Old Testament covenant and law were outdated, essentially replaced by the New Testament and Jesus Christ, and because of this students were in practice estranged from the OT text. As we examined the materials carefully and contextually in view of the Ancient Near East, we came to understand the pedagogical role of legal materials as well as the vital importance of "covenant," not only in reflecting the character and indicating the mission of God, but also in its fulfillment and embodiment in Jesus Christ. I was often reminded of Bonhoeffer's dire prognosis in April 1944: "…we still read the New Testament far too little in the light of the Old." Given the positive response of our students to Old Testament study, I am more and more hopeful that a resurgence of attention to the theological continuity between Old and New Testaments will revitalize and deepen Christian mission and challenge the status quo in our churches
Outside of the classroom, and in addition to preaching some 48 sermons (what a delight!), eight articles I wrote some time ago made it to final publication in the Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception: Vol. 3 Athena – Blasphemy. I also participated in a panel discussion on "Reconciling Science and Religion" with Jewish and Islamic leaders in Spokane and delivered a paper on "Bizarro Referential Transformations in the Reception History of Psalm 45" in the Hebrew Scriptures/New Testament and Hellenistic Religions Session or the Pacific Northwest AAR/SBL Regional Meeting, in Portland, Ore. This summer I have been working on revisions of the Korah psalms for the Timeless Psalter Project, as well as a commentary on the Hebrew text of the book of Judges.
In last year's newsletter I wrote on the occasion of my daughter's birth. Katriel turns one year-old today! My other children are doing well. Teague will matriculating this fall at Whitworth (English and Music double major), Ethan will continue at Ferris High School (sophomore), and Eliana will attend Jefferson Elementary (first grade). My wife, Pamela, continues to serve with energy and enthusiasm as a pastor at Manito Presbyterian Church. Our lives are full and busy, yet filled with missional passion and adventures at every turn!
Selah for now...and all blessings in Christ to you, your families, and our shared ministry in Jesus Christ.
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