Remembering Dr. Billy Abraham - Promoted to Glory
October 21, 2021
Two weeks ago, Dr. Billy Abraham was promoted to glory. He was a giant figure in the evangelical Wesleyan movement. Billy was on my doctoral dissertation committee, he endorsed my first book, and he was one of the first to push me toward the academy. On today’s podcast, I have a conversation with Drs. Jason Vickers, David Watson, Justus Hunter, and Jerry Walls about Billy’s influence as a teacher, scholar, friend, and champion of the church.
YouTube - https://youtu.be/ZfHPO32aE7M
Billy hit on major themes in his work when he endorsed my book Holistic Hospitality. Here’s a little of what he said, “Without these [theological and spiritual] foundations, [which Andy presents] we simply lose heart and energy; with them, we are pulled into a world of divine action that can sustain a lifetime of grinding missionary action.”
If today’s podcast generates interest in Dr. Abraham’s work, I recommend my audience read his book Waking from Doctrinal Amnesia. Here are some other links that you might find helpful:
A host of tributes and recommendations on reading his work - https://firebrandmag.com/articles/in-remembrance?fbclid=IwAR03-OwySLUBKcL9x9pxnLHjdfYmtnsTNZ0Q0t8vgDYecTNQURrjNZTrnGY
Dr. David Watson’s thoughtful tribute - A Giant Has Fallen: On the Passing of William J. Abraham - https://firebrandmag.com/articles/-giant-has-fallen-on-the-passing-of-william-j-abraham
Today’s episode is brought to you by two sponsors:
Bill Roberts is a financial advisor, who has been serving the retirement planning and investment needs of individuals, families, non-profits, and churches for 25 years. He is a Certified Financial Planner and accredited investment fiduciary. Bill specializes in working with Salvation Army employees and officers by helping them realize their financial goals.
You can find out more about Bill’s business at www.WilliamHRoberts.com
Wesley Biblical Seminary - Interested in getting going deeper in your faith, check out our certificate programs, B.A., M.A.s, M.Div., and D.Min degrees. You will study with world-class faculty and the most racially diverse student body in the country. www.wbs.edu
Transcript from Remembering Billy Abraham Podcast. This transcript has not been edited and is taken directly from Zoom. Please contact me with any questions about its accuracy.
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Andy Miller III: Welcome to the more to the story podcast today is a special episode it's distinct than one that I didn't have planned, but in light of a mentor and friend being promoted to glory and that's language I use from the Salvation Army.
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Andy Miller III: I felt like it'd be helpful for my audience to get a sense of the life and ministry and scholarship of Dr billy Abraham who just less than two weeks ago.
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Andy Miller III: went to be with Jesus and we're thankful for his life, and so I brought on some friends and friends are new to me, but people who were connected.
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Andy Miller III: intimately to billy's life they were his students there his peers and people who, maybe even under certainly understand his life and influence better than me so i'm going to just go around and i'll introduce each of them, they are Dr Jason victor's Dr David Watson Dr justice hunter.
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Andy Miller III: Doctors Watson and hundred volt DC united theological seminary and Jason teaches at asbury theological seminary they were all students at southern Methodist university and did PhDs there and.
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Andy Miller III: Not all of them were directly under the advisor advisory have one what's the right word there they weren't under the exact tutelage and their dissertations have.
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Andy Miller III: bill Abraham but some of them were so i'm interested to hear more about this, so I want to go around, and if you guys are just tell us the way that you interacted.
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Andy Miller III: with Dr Abraham and what his influence was on your life and then we'll get into some specifics of his work so Jason will you start us off.
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JASON VICKERS: yeah sure um so I was on my way to I thought I was on my way to do doctoral work at princeton.
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JASON VICKERS: And Bruce mccormack was actually the person that sent me down to Dallas to talk to billy I didn't know who billy was and had never read anything by him.
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JASON VICKERS: And he just thought that my my interest lined up better with billy's than his own, and so I.
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JASON VICKERS: Left New Jersey and went to Dallas and met and billy was incredibly gracious you know, welcome to me in his office we talked for a couple hours, but the time I was done.
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JASON VICKERS: I realized Bruce was right that that there was a lot of align that in our interests and billy just published Canada criterion in Christianity.
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JASON VICKERS: And so I went back and read that and was more convinced than ever and then went to SMU and did my work under him in systematic theology.
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JASON VICKERS: served as his assistant assistant to our Chair for a couple of years, while I was there, which meant co teaching some stuff with him, mainly in Houston a little bit in Dallas.
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JASON VICKERS: At the Perkins Houston extension, I could go on in terms of just personal relationship after the dissertation we we became pretty close friends.
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JASON VICKERS: And he officiated at both my wedding and my son's baptism so and then we just have we did several book projects and things together over the years and so he's he's a dear friend.
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Andy Miller III: yeah awesome justice how about you.
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Justus Hunter: So Similarly, I was, I met billy through SMU as a doctoral student I actually actually what doesn't you to write with Bruce Marshall who's a.
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Justus Hunter: eminent Catholic theologian, who worked in medieval Scholasticism, which is what I was really interested in.
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Justus Hunter: But the thing that was really attractive to me about SMU was that you had Bruce there and that tradition and then, then you had who was, in my opinion, and remains, in my opinion, the preeminent Methodist theologian.
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Justus Hunter: And billy and so those two you know they just sort of put me through my paces over over four years there and and and.
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Justus Hunter: You know i've continued that anytime you see billy see see billy after going through that type of training it's just sort of you just jump right back into you know fighting tooth and nail for your position and enjoying.
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Justus Hunter: All along so um we've done we've just kind of continue that friendship and mentorship.
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Justus Hunter: Along from that point yeah, this is probably 2011 is when I started in the doctoral programs so, but so about 10 years I got to enjoy.
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Andy Miller III: relationship with.
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Andy Miller III: So with you and Jason both to get note interesting about your stories.
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Andy Miller III: I may be wrong, but neither of you came from united Methodist background like.
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Andy Miller III: growing up at least right maybe you were I think Jason where you nazarene and justice your free Methodist, then you became united Methodist justice you're a Catholic, I mean sounds like an interesting like little movement here but.
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Andy Miller III: What did he was he, in part, what drew you when you i'm not sure Jason you are these days it toward methodism I like united methodism that sense.
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JASON VICKERS: Yes, good question i'm not sure where i'm at either.
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Andy Miller III: haha neither.
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JASON VICKERS: So yeah I was sort of in between the holiness movement and methodism growing up.
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JASON VICKERS: And kind of the deep background on my mom's side was was Methodist and the background on my father side was actually Wesley and holiness westlands domination yeah and and then I kind of followed a girl to a nazarene college.
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JASON VICKERS: Okay, so it was very noble hi.
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JASON VICKERS: My stuff.
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JASON VICKERS: that's how I fell in for a season, with the NASA marines I was following their women around and.
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JASON VICKERS: But it's just a joke, of course, no and and then by the time I got to Dallas I had figured out that.
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JASON VICKERS: There were some aspects of Nazran culture for lack of a better term that that I didn't think we're going to work for me long term and then billy I think sort of was he's always been eager to recruit people to methodism and.
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JASON VICKERS: So he made that pretty easy for me, but I do want to add one quick footnote, and just say that that one of the things I will we get into this later i'm sure most about him was.
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JASON VICKERS: That just you know he sort of embodied ecumenism.
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Andy Miller III: yeah.
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JASON VICKERS: yeah yes we've really.
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JASON VICKERS: never met a person, regardless of the branch of the Christian family of the Christian religion, out of that he didn't he wasn't able to sit down and talk with in, we can say more about that, but I.
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JASON VICKERS: By really just instill the love and everybody that knew him for things like Eastern orthodoxy Catholicism but he just so generous and then.
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Andy Miller III: I, so in my own tradition, like so I brought that up because I felt like kind of like holiness movement nominations like i'm part of Salvation Army, most of my audience will know that but.
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Andy Miller III: In that that was what I found was I found billy helping me see the greater ecumenical attrition or like Eastern orthodoxy, but at the same time he loved the Salvation Army.
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Andy Miller III: And you see him interacting in the logic of evangelism eight, and you know some of it, he would press me right here, sometimes act like I wasn't a Christian, because it wasn't baptized but beyond that you know.
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Andy Miller III: And maybe you guys feel that way too I don't know, but so we would we would have these great great Cup, but he loved the kind of like brass band type of getting greedy sort of stuff he called me, Mr Salvation Army, you know so.
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Andy Miller III: I would come in and uniform so okay just I don't mean to take us down that track to me is that fair what I was saying, like kind of like this ecumenical you want to add anything and i'll get to your second year, David sorry.
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Justus Hunter: I think I think when I came when I met billy I was kind of I was he was friendly to where I was at on those types of questions if that makes.
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Justus Hunter: sense.
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Justus Hunter: He was he was interested in.
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Justus Hunter: I became actually I became united Methodist thanks to David Watson.
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Andy Miller III: Oh, there you go.
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Justus Hunter: Part i'd grown up well thanks to two things I moved to the University of Dayton and there are no free Methodist churches in Dayton Ohio and.
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Justus Hunter: And so, then you know I thought, well, maybe i'll go back upstream my grandparents were were or united Methodist for methodism was just a one one generation experiment in the.
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Justus Hunter: 100 like hundred and Hamilton legacy that my parents are from they're both united Methodist when they met.
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Justus Hunter: So anyway, I went so I learned it back in the United methodism at david's church, because I was a doctoral student here or not a master student at the University of Dayton and.
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Justus Hunter: And I connected with David and Jason I don't know how I connected with you guys somehow because Jason was it, you know at the time yeah, what do you see that you know to be impacted by David Watson and Jason vickers is to be impacted by ability.
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Abraham you know.
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Justus Hunter: Secondary secondary causes as.
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JASON VICKERS: Well, just for the record, if i'm not if i'm not mistaken.
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JASON VICKERS: If i'm not mistaken, justice, I think we met.
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JASON VICKERS: at Dayton university Dayton I think when Griffiths Paul Griffiths and Marshall were doing something there that levering put together.
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JASON VICKERS: I think that's when I met you the.
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Justus Hunter: First Matthew leverages the source yep the connection yep.
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Justus Hunter: So anyway, but I met billy he was very sympathetic i've been a student at asbury theological seminary.
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Justus Hunter: And I was interested in I went in interested in and Karl barth.
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Justus Hunter: my judgment, improved and I got less interested in Bart and more.
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Andy Miller III: Accurate enough.
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Justus Hunter: Like Christianity and.
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Justus Hunter: But by the time I finished there I didn't know how to go about studying early Christianity, so I just applied to a bunch of Catholic schools and that's what led me to the University of Dayton so already I had this you know interest in kind of.
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Justus Hunter: and growing sense of the need to ground that kind of heaven helical Christian tradition is grown in which was dark.
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Justus Hunter: entity in deeper wells, and that was that's what I was looking for and billy was really helpful in helping helping me think through what that would look like and how to how to conceive that.
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Andy Miller III: yeah beautiful all right, David sorry to keep you keep the weight and here the.
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David Watson: My third guest here.
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Andy Miller III: On the problems in any a New Testament scholar, so you wouldn't necessarily think Okay, that would mean you'd work with billy Abraham at SMU but obviously you did you did some unique work together.
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David Watson: You know it's interesting.
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David Watson: You know.
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David Watson: billy got me interested in epistemology.
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David Watson: So kind of the study of how you know what you know.
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David Watson: And and i'll never be an expert in epistemology I know enough to be dangerous or anything like that, but I was, I was speaking to.
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David Watson: A very I won't say who, but a really well known renowned biblical scholar, at one time and and he said, what are you doing I said well right now i'm taking a course in epistemology and he looked at me he said well you'll probably be a terrible biblical scholar.
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David Watson: And, and I think what he meant was once you start digging underneath the presuppositions of your Guild it kind of messes you up and that sort of did happen for me.
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David Watson: that a lot of sort of the presuppositions in biblical studies.
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David Watson: Especially at that time period kind of late 90s early 2000s, you know just they didn't seem right to me, and so I was always questioning these things I probably drove everyone crazy actually I was studying with very fine biblical scholar joy bass, or I got a great education from her.
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David Watson: But, but actually I I met billy way before then.
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David Watson: I probably was 23 years old, I was in as evangelism course and.
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David Watson: I just I just come straight out of my undergraduate degree, and so you know I taken some courses, like in in Bible, I went to Texas tech university, but if you take Bible courses at a at a state school, you know they they really can be.
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David Watson: Again, these epistemological questions and metaphysical questions that you're not sophisticated enough to think through at least I wasn't sophisticated enough to think through.
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David Watson: When I was 2122 years old, you know they can actually be very damaging to your faith if they're not framed in the right way.
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David Watson: Right, and so I was kind of I came into seminary kind of under the impression that sort of historical Christianity was outdated outmoded and not intellectually responsible and billy disabuse me of that notion.
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Like forced me.
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David Watson: And then you know, over a number of years, just in conversations with them really taught me to love the faith of the Church.
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David Watson: He was very patient.
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David Watson: And he would.
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David Watson: billy all here's the thing about billy he was one of the most optimistic people i've ever met in my life, and he believed that there was no one, no one that he could not win over to his position given enough time and with me he certainly did do that in a number of ways.
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Andy Miller III: yeah it's beautiful, you know, he would do this by I think like the VID I picked up from him his second he could argue somebody else's position.
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Andy Miller III: better than they could, and he was so here, so, in part, like watching him on the campus at Perkins it was a delight to see the way his colleagues who didn't share.
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Andy Miller III: The same theology is him, would it would just loved him and how he could you try to win them it's like he was put just in the perfect environment I would love to hear about some of our your stories about.
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Andy Miller III: Being being in debate with them i'm sure there's like it David like what do you have some a funny story about that.
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David Watson: I mean, I thought you know, like when you're young you try on a lot of different.
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David Watson: theological positions and see how they fit you're trying on ideas and that and I remember going to dinner with him one time and I told him I was going to become an open theist and then it was on it was like.
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David Watson: It was like the the battle of the bulge but, but the battle was entirely one sided and and he just completely.
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David Watson: i'll just say he was quite convincing and compelling in his position that I should not adopt open theism as a position and.
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David Watson: And i'm glad that he did that, for me, I mean billy you know I as I wrote elsewhere believe in his critique he he could be devastating.
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David Watson: And sometimes brutal but but, but I want to qualify the way that I say that I mean when he was when he was debating with someone like me who clearly was not his intellectual equal he would be very forceful in his presentation, but at the same time, he was never mean.
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David Watson: In his presentation, you know, he was not condescending he didn't speak down to you, but he did present his argument in ways that were undeniably forceful and I appreciated that about him.
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Andy Miller III: that's a great way to say it yeah Jason.
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JASON VICKERS: yeah just two quick footnotes to things David has said and I almost and i'm a little bit curious maybe to get justice his reaction to the second one, especially the first one, David mentioned, you know billy billy is optimism and I think that's really something worth.
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JASON VICKERS: say even more about.
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JASON VICKERS: That it wasn't just about his optimism really individual persons being David or someone else but but optimism about the church about the future and he sort of had this irrepressible.
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JASON VICKERS: kind of confidence or faith in the Providence of God that you never know if he'd always say things like he just never know what will happen, you know, in time, and so you he refused to give up, not just on people, but on.
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JASON VICKERS: The Church or say methodism even though you know it's so tempting to me to to give up on it, he just refused to give up on the church or methodism or other things, the second footnote for me to david's comments would just be about the open theism bit.
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JASON VICKERS: Here, and this is where i'm curious to get justice his thoughts on this.
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JASON VICKERS: You know, one of the things I always appreciated about billy is that he you know you would you would think because he had this reputation for being the great champion of orthodoxy, or whatever.
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JASON VICKERS: But there was another sense, in which he was always.
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JASON VICKERS: Careful to say that he considered himself a classical small l liberal.
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Andy Miller III: Right right.
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JASON VICKERS: And that what this meant was that he was interested in all good arguments and justice has just written about this actually it's why i'm wanting to punt it over to him here.
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JASON VICKERS: And, and so I think even for something like Boston personal ISM way back in the early 20th century and history methods theology.
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JASON VICKERS: He loved board and Parker bound, I mean he actually read bound loved bound wrote about bound in some early work in the western theological journal.
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JASON VICKERS: He he was, and I think even something like open theism if you were expecting him just to show up now in the conversation with David was was fair something you know very specific but.
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JASON VICKERS: If you asked him to come and debate you know, a committed open theist.
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JASON VICKERS: You know, he was he was going to be, he is first going to try to find a way to be appreciative or to discover, you know, is there some aspect or part of truth here that they've gotten their hands around that that we need to hear and be amenable to justice, what do you think.
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Justus Hunter: yeah and as you're talking I think that's right, I remember on the past couple of years, a couple of times billion and I.
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Justus Hunter: him him sort of I think baiting me with his praise praise of board and Parker brown because he knows I don't didn't care for him much at all.
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Justus Hunter: And, and you know I in fact I remember him sort of at one point saying he's just sort of going out and saying you know, William Burt Pope is interesting, but who's a really, really innovative think it would be that port and Parker bound, you know.
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Justus Hunter: Just just to kind of get into my skin and see what I how I react.
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Justus Hunter: I think, with billy you know these types of reflections make me ask you know what's what's what's the real what was the real core of this man, you know, I think.
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Justus Hunter: He he has.
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Justus Hunter: He had this incredible intellectual gift, it was incredible instrument, but he deployed it in a way that was always in service to his commitment to the Gospel and so you know if David is someone who he's taken under US to religion is becoming you know.
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Justus Hunter: attracted to open theism, as we all probably were at some point in seminary I know I know I would you know its flavor of the week, you know.
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Justus Hunter: And as a seminary whatever I pull off the shelf, but you know in that situation billy's gonna he's gonna.
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Justus Hunter: he's he was a wise spiritual guide he's going to club that out of you, if you need it clubbed out of you, you know, but if, but if he's engaging and you know someone who spent a long.
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Justus Hunter: time of reflection on this question and then and it's made this room decided committed into it well he's going to engage you differently.
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Justus Hunter: And you can't speak that way to you, but he's still going to draw you in to the fullness of.
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Justus Hunter: The Christian vision of reality which I think at the end of the day, billy did not think open theism.
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Justus Hunter: was able to manage nor do you think board and Parker bound, could I don't think actually because usually what he argued was that he had captured the spirit of Wesley and piety.
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Justus Hunter: that drove his seriously flawed philosophical ideas off of so that's that's really that's really unique you don't encounter the mind that that works like that you guys think that's right.
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David Watson: I do think it's I think it's right justice, and I also I also, though, want to highlight how fierce he could be in defense of the faith once and for all entrusted to the saints.
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David Watson: yeah.
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David Watson: I i've seen a couple of different times when scholars came in either for talks or colloquy who were really actually.
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David Watson: Hostile openly hostile to attempting to subvert orthodox Christianity and.
00:20:52.470 --> 00:20:57.330
David Watson: He would he would come after them, using all of his intellectual powers.
00:21:00.240 --> 00:21:03.780
David Watson: You know I saw him and Bruce Marshall one time.
00:21:05.040 --> 00:21:13.050
David Watson: Go after a philosopher who am I won't name, but it was it was brutal to behold.
00:21:13.260 --> 00:21:13.470
Justus Hunter: I mean.
00:21:15.780 --> 00:21:20.970
JASON VICKERS: By the way, Andy, this is what this is what happens when you become a Dean, because you can't name names anymore.
00:21:22.620 --> 00:21:24.300
JASON VICKERS: and I are playing will just name.
00:21:25.080 --> 00:21:26.820
Andy Miller III: You know yeah that's right.
00:21:28.020 --> 00:21:39.150
Justus Hunter: I want abilities favorite phrases i've heard him say it, you know 100 times, he would he would always say you could talk about the situation, say, well, if you want to battle to the death i'll give it to them, but it's not going to be my death.
00:21:40.920 --> 00:21:43.530
Andy Miller III: I think one of the things I felt like when when he passed away.
00:21:43.860 --> 00:21:48.390
Andy Miller III: um I always say this sense, particularly as it relates, and I have an interest in what's going on.
00:21:48.570 --> 00:21:56.040
Andy Miller III: Even though i'm not a member of the United Methodist church with me I methods renewal and that the wc and the global Methodist church and kind of pan Wesley and movement.
00:21:56.310 --> 00:22:15.540
Andy Miller III: And it his voice in the confessing movement and what he's done for WCs all of those things are really powerful but I it maybe this is just like an emotional concern that I have but I always felt like if we had billy Abraham in the room, we we had we had like Michael Jordan.
00:22:16.710 --> 00:22:19.440
Andy Miller III: Like we we have the best player now rather not.
00:22:20.580 --> 00:22:27.930
Andy Miller III: Rather, not that means, like all the publications stack up against somebody else's I felt like rhetorically, we would win.
00:22:28.650 --> 00:22:40.140
Andy Miller III: Like there would be somebody who would who would defend it like in in the day it's a bit of a security blanket but I I had this confidence in him, in part because I experienced it myself in his office and I.
00:22:40.680 --> 00:22:44.910
Andy Miller III: In honestly, there was a few times, where I thought I had read.
00:22:45.690 --> 00:22:54.660
Andy Miller III: Larry would introduce I don't have justice is your case Larry would introduce me to canon criteria and I worked my way through that so by time I got into buildings office, and you know, like.
00:22:55.380 --> 00:23:04.260
Andy Miller III: 30 years old, trying to he starts debating with me, I thought it was Am I wrong because he's so committed and so passionate and then I saw he was just tested me like.
00:23:04.620 --> 00:23:13.740
Andy Miller III: The very first time I got an argument slamming his hands on a table staring me down and like what I like and nobody else is around what am I supposed to do, like.
00:23:14.760 --> 00:23:15.960
Andy Miller III: The wrong place i've already.
00:23:16.050 --> 00:23:27.750
Andy Miller III: given money here, you know yeah and then and then he just like lean back he pulled his arms back I wish I could do the Irish accent, but he just said, you know it's grand to know you can defend yourself, you know, like.
00:23:27.840 --> 00:23:30.150
Andy Miller III: He did he want to know that I can make it, you know.
00:23:30.450 --> 00:23:39.570
Andy Miller III: So I think there's something here what you're saying about his ability to can bring context to the educational process.
00:23:39.930 --> 00:23:56.220
Andy Miller III: Like were you I like how he engaged you now as scholars, as people in the display how we engage with somebody who is way down the line is different, David you want to talk about that somebody like me you're you're working with dollars on a regular basis.
00:23:56.220 --> 00:23:58.230
Andy Miller III: Like trying to help them their teachers.
00:23:59.880 --> 00:24:01.590
David Watson: I know what you mean about.
00:24:02.760 --> 00:24:05.250
David Watson: Of sense of security when he was in the room.
00:24:07.530 --> 00:24:11.610
David Watson: Whatever room, he was and he was he was normally the smartest guy in the room.
00:24:12.660 --> 00:24:16.920
David Watson: And he thought was such incredible precision about things.
00:24:18.210 --> 00:24:32.430
David Watson: And so, for me, billy was a guy who I mean I didn't agree with billy on everything right, but at the same time he kept my theological compass calibrated to true north.
00:24:32.940 --> 00:24:40.530
David Watson: um and I could call him and talk to him about theological questions are things I was having you know and.
00:24:41.970 --> 00:24:51.780
David Watson: And you know they always like I believe that if you're an elder in the church or ever really every person in the church needs to be under the spiritual authority of someone else in the Church.
00:24:53.220 --> 00:24:55.350
David Watson: And for me that was him.
00:24:55.590 --> 00:24:55.950
00:24:57.090 --> 00:24:58.020
David Watson: and
00:24:59.220 --> 00:25:07.680
David Watson: So I can't call him now and I can't you know I just remember it was just a couple of years ago that he really changed my mind.
00:25:08.400 --> 00:25:21.120
David Watson: about it, we were having a discussion about the difference about the essentially the status of the Church is created tradition is this divine revelation or is this what he would call the sanctified reason of the Church.
00:25:22.260 --> 00:25:28.380
David Watson: And that conversation really affected the way I thought, and you know, and I and i'm not.
00:25:29.460 --> 00:25:31.710
David Watson: A neophyte at this work, I mean i'm.
00:25:32.910 --> 00:25:38.730
David Watson: i'm getting all and I have been thinking about these things for a long time, but.
00:25:39.870 --> 00:25:42.000
David Watson: I appreciated having him.
00:25:43.020 --> 00:25:43.860
David Watson: there.
00:25:45.480 --> 00:25:48.420
David Watson: To help me see when I was missing things.
00:25:50.100 --> 00:26:03.750
David Watson: And not having that for me personally, is going to be a loss yeah yeah but at the same time it's a loss for the church it's a loss for the church I think methodism has lost its best thinker yeah.
00:26:04.290 --> 00:26:17.280
Andy Miller III: I mean, it was a title of your article Jason i'll come to just a second and i'll give a link in the show notes david's article, and I think all of us also reflected on a firebrand piece, too, but was it tight and has fallen what was a.
00:26:17.970 --> 00:26:19.950
David Watson: giant has fallen yeah.
00:26:21.210 --> 00:26:22.080
Andy Miller III: yeah I think that's a.
00:26:22.140 --> 00:26:23.490
Andy Miller III: Great way to describe it Jason.
00:26:24.000 --> 00:26:28.980
JASON VICKERS: Well, just and this is again just kind of full footnote on what David was saying there, I mean.
00:26:30.600 --> 00:26:33.480
JASON VICKERS: You were asking about it billy as a teacher.
00:26:33.480 --> 00:26:33.870
00:26:35.460 --> 00:26:41.730
JASON VICKERS: You know, I think that he had a way of approaching people.
00:26:42.750 --> 00:26:47.310
JASON VICKERS: Whether they were students or you know some kind of official way or anybody really.
00:26:48.720 --> 00:26:56.370
JASON VICKERS: And a man think is going away was always to help people be the best version of themselves.
00:26:56.610 --> 00:27:16.740
JASON VICKERS: Right, so if you take say justice, you know as a Roman Catholic you know you know he's gonna he's gonna work to try to help you be the best Catholic you can be or in that that kind of thing he sort of you didn't have to agree with billy on everything.
00:27:18.060 --> 00:27:19.110
JASON VICKERS: It.
00:27:20.250 --> 00:27:27.810
JASON VICKERS: Then the other thing that just quickly comes to mind for me is that you know he always called himself a bog Irishman and.
00:27:28.860 --> 00:27:39.870
JASON VICKERS: I think that to be from the boggs you know for him was this, it was a cultural thing was but it it made him kind of constitutionally.
00:27:40.770 --> 00:27:55.620
JASON VICKERS: drawn to people in the in the church world, if you will, and you know that that we're from similar places, you know that weren't from what he might call it high up the candle places but we're.
00:27:55.920 --> 00:28:06.030
JASON VICKERS: Low church or evansville Nichols fundamentalists people that were you know ridiculed criticized, and he had a gift for pentecostals.
00:28:06.210 --> 00:28:06.780
JASON VICKERS: I mean, I was.
00:28:06.960 --> 00:28:16.920
JASON VICKERS: He was deep for a hidden deep personal friendship with Donald Dayton and and I think it kind of revolved around this a little bit Dayton sort of being this.
00:28:17.790 --> 00:28:38.910
JASON VICKERS: person who who really loved in and worked within the holiness and Pentecostal world you know what he called the riffraff right and and billy you know I think they connected around that a little bit and so all that to say I think he had a special gift for.
00:28:40.470 --> 00:28:53.040
JASON VICKERS: helping those kind of people, you know, in some cases to find their voice to have courage, despite the fact that they might get you know ridiculed or whatever.
00:28:53.430 --> 00:29:06.660
JASON VICKERS: And that was just something I noticed about him over the years, is he was really good about about that sort of thing, and I think it has something to do with his cold his own cultural background from a rural town in the north of Ireland.
00:29:07.020 --> 00:29:07.980
Andy Miller III: yeah for sure.
00:29:08.820 --> 00:29:09.060
Justus Hunter: He was.
00:29:11.100 --> 00:29:17.250
Justus Hunter: In the classroom he was he was just absolutely brilliant just absolutely building the classroom yeah.
00:29:18.330 --> 00:29:23.370
Justus Hunter: I can't think I mean I can't think of anyone quite alive him he I remember my.
00:29:24.810 --> 00:29:31.020
Justus Hunter: Is my my second year, the doctoral program with the doctoral seminar on philosophy of religion, and this was the.
00:29:31.650 --> 00:29:39.090
Justus Hunter: The every graduate student in the graduate program in religious studies was in this course and an article rather which made there are people you know who are doing.
00:29:39.330 --> 00:29:47.130
Justus Hunter: You know they're interested in eastern religions, there you know just sort of pure critical scholars think all this theological stuff is a bunch of riffraff you know.
00:29:47.760 --> 00:29:58.110
Justus Hunter: And at the time, you know he's an analytic philosopher so he's trained at Oxford in this English tradition, which is about as unfashionable philosophically for these.
00:29:58.980 --> 00:30:13.050
Justus Hunter: This circle, possibly they're all want to read these you know fringe thinkers in mind and billy billy has no interest in that whatsoever, you know personally but I watched him in that class he.
00:30:14.250 --> 00:30:29.460
Justus Hunter: He engaged, one of my classmates who is like the most avid lover of all things, French and critical that i've ever met in a way that brought him on board to the sort of discipline of thought.
00:30:30.510 --> 00:30:33.930
Justus Hunter: It didn't let them get off with any sort of you know, the very intelligent guy.
00:30:34.230 --> 00:30:39.090
Justus Hunter: That didn't let him get by with any sort of trick trickiness that some of these suddenly super critical critical scholar.
00:30:39.240 --> 00:30:50.160
Justus Hunter: can get by with the labeling of in a holding to the fire on that he's going to engage them in a way to guide them into understanding what this other discipline was that he had no respect for before we met billy but game to have a deep much people respect for.
00:30:50.400 --> 00:30:58.050
Justus Hunter: The same class so he would he invested time in that relationship miss a class the same class my classmate.
00:30:59.520 --> 00:31:04.560
Justus Hunter: Who was probably our brightest student and was working with billy at the time but.
00:31:06.330 --> 00:31:20.910
Justus Hunter: David my food is his name, he he would he would always want to engage the class because he was the several steps down the road with billy on the topics, you know, because this was his wheelhouse or whatever, and believe in that class we're just constantly constantly with David, just like.
00:31:21.900 --> 00:31:22.140
00:31:23.790 --> 00:31:26.700
Justus Hunter: um you know, he was in control of the classroom I mean he was.
00:31:26.700 --> 00:31:28.320
Justus Hunter: Not freewill classroom.
00:31:28.440 --> 00:31:37.200
Justus Hunter: He knew what he was doing high and he was on board in it as a result and enrich the conversation and much greater way better than any other, I.
00:31:37.740 --> 00:31:47.280
Justus Hunter: I took four of those courses seminars and he was the only one who was anywhere near successful in that, and he was wildly successful in doing that, I would say, I mean really a remarkable teacher.
00:31:47.850 --> 00:32:02.310
Andy Miller III: it's like he had a plot in mind like like it wasn't just like a core schedule, it was like he was taking somebody on a journey and move in inductive journey of discovery Okay, I want to make sure to get a few other things and.
00:32:03.510 --> 00:32:04.950
Andy Miller III: Maybe we could just hit these kind of like.
00:32:06.420 --> 00:32:07.410
Andy Miller III: It doesn't deserve.
00:32:08.580 --> 00:32:16.230
Andy Miller III: i'm not giving enough credit if I have time for this, but i'd love to just hit a few of his areas with each of you and it's.
00:32:16.560 --> 00:32:25.800
Andy Miller III: In your in some of you have different special specializations in this area, but first let's talk about Wesley studies so that's what's unique about billy is here you have an analytic philosopher.
00:32:26.220 --> 00:32:28.560
Andy Miller III: Right and you same time he's.
00:32:29.010 --> 00:32:41.820
Andy Miller III: Talking about epistemology he has this eclectic tradition, he comes in, with the respect for all kinds of levels of the church and can can function like I could invite him into a Salvation Army to preach a revival and he would do great and people would love him.
00:32:42.180 --> 00:32:42.660
Andy Miller III: and
00:32:42.720 --> 00:32:52.830
Andy Miller III: The same time you have like his kind of I don't know if you trademark, so to speak, with canonical theism and then, so we have these various areas.
00:32:54.360 --> 00:32:58.830
Andy Miller III: And then there's like the practical side, but I like to just talk about Wesley studies for a second.
00:32:59.070 --> 00:33:01.380
Andy Miller III: What is it that this analytical philosophy which is.
00:33:01.590 --> 00:33:08.820
Andy Miller III: A contribution to Wesley studies Jason i'm going to hit you up first with this, I know, like i'm not just talking about the fact that he would be somebody who would like.
00:33:09.000 --> 00:33:17.520
Andy Miller III: You know, maybe disagree with others about what the standard sermons are that kind of thing, but I mean what did this philosopher have to bring to Wesley studies.
00:33:18.810 --> 00:33:19.620
JASON VICKERS: I mean, I think.
00:33:20.790 --> 00:33:21.690
JASON VICKERS: Before.
00:33:23.280 --> 00:33:39.540
JASON VICKERS: You know approaching it from his work and philosophy, I think, for billy that was always a personal commitment to Wesley that just stemmed from the role Wesley played in some of his own early spiritual formation, the sermons especially so there was always a deep commitment there.
00:33:40.710 --> 00:33:50.160
JASON VICKERS: You know, heard billy say a lot over the years that reading Wesley sermons at a particular time in his life as a student.
00:33:50.790 --> 00:34:13.860
JASON VICKERS: was just very formative for him spiritually and so I actually think he kind of regarded Wesley as a bit of a spiritual father in and and so, and I think over time that's how he would eventually talk about him, and you know, he would he would urge.
00:34:15.240 --> 00:34:27.660
JASON VICKERS: Methodist to to approach him more along those lines, then, as some kind of major theological figure and, of course, he made a bunch of waves around that with his end of wesleyan theology paper.
00:34:28.140 --> 00:34:36.840
JASON VICKERS: Famous where he sort of wants to read Wesley as a saint and put them in the canon of saints, rather than the canon of.
00:34:37.590 --> 00:34:46.830
JASON VICKERS: theologians and that of course is a remapping of Wesley or drawing Wesley into billy's bigger.
00:34:47.220 --> 00:34:56.340
JASON VICKERS: project of canonical theism or Canada and criteria and all of that work, those are, though, the categories are coming from that work and he.
00:34:56.640 --> 00:35:05.040
JASON VICKERS: And he's locating Wesley or he's beginning to view him that way in the late 90s early aughts and then by the MID aughts by the time he gives that presentation.
00:35:05.430 --> 00:35:07.740
Andy Miller III: i've never watched us like that, but I love it.
00:35:09.300 --> 00:35:11.220
Andy Miller III: i've only heard arts referred to.
00:35:11.430 --> 00:35:12.870
Andy Miller III: The 20th century saw.
00:35:13.350 --> 00:35:14.730
Andy Miller III: If Jason vickers does it.
00:35:15.960 --> 00:35:16.740
JASON VICKERS: So I think that.
00:35:16.920 --> 00:35:30.660
JASON VICKERS: that's i'm probably the big piece, there was was the move to to reconceptualize Wesley is the same, what I can add here is that being people can decide whether they want to believe me or not, you know.
00:35:32.010 --> 00:35:38.430
JASON VICKERS: When it comes to the future any any future Methodist church number two things number one.
00:35:38.820 --> 00:35:51.600
JASON VICKERS: He absolutely thought that dig heights and Roger had the better historical argument in the debate with Odin over the doctrinal standards in the present Methodist church, namely that they do not include Wesley sermons in notes.
00:35:52.230 --> 00:36:03.000
JASON VICKERS: billy really thought that that heights and Roger actually had the the better historical argument now whether there are other arguments that might bring sermons in notes back in his doctoral standards that's another matter.
00:36:03.570 --> 00:36:17.580
JASON VICKERS: But with respect to any future Methodist church he and I talked about this quite a bit and he was very drawn to the idea of there being kind of a list of you, like you, like list right cannons you want flotsam cannons.
00:36:18.330 --> 00:36:29.850
JASON VICKERS: And he wants a canon of works that that are normative for spiritual direction information and he thought that the sermons belong there, rather than on a list of.
00:36:30.330 --> 00:36:36.480
JASON VICKERS: Standard doctrines or doctrinal materials, where he wanted ahead of that list and I seen creed.
00:36:36.780 --> 00:36:43.830
JASON VICKERS: And then we can then I think he was open to some options on say the articles of religion, the confession of faith and what you do with that kind of material.
00:36:44.340 --> 00:36:50.340
JASON VICKERS: But he certainly thought that the sermons I mean he would be very emphatic about this that.
00:36:50.970 --> 00:37:01.830
JASON VICKERS: He did not think that Wesley sermon should be seen as standards of doctrine, I mean because, especially if one of the functions of doctrinal standards is, you know as a kind of.
00:37:02.370 --> 00:37:11.460
JASON VICKERS: a test of orthodoxy, on which say clergy could be brought up on charges, so I which sermons and you know and they just thought that was.
00:37:11.520 --> 00:37:13.110
Andy Miller III: Great because they have internally.
00:37:13.560 --> 00:37:18.990
JASON VICKERS: Yes, and then, and then to put it on the same level with the CRATE he just thought, these are just not the same.
00:37:19.320 --> 00:37:32.520
JASON VICKERS: This is not the same kind of material, I think he was basically right about that now whether or not people in any future generation of the Methodist church, you know will actually take those arguments seriously remains to be seen yeah.
00:37:32.670 --> 00:37:35.790
Andy Miller III: that's good anybody why anything on the Wesley study front.
00:37:37.440 --> 00:37:43.020
Justus Hunter: I mean everybody he made a major contribution to the debate over the quadrilateral.
00:37:44.910 --> 00:37:45.510
Justus Hunter: Major.
00:37:46.590 --> 00:37:57.030
Justus Hunter: piece he contributed there that was significant and I think Jason is right there that's really what Leslie as a set of ascetic theologian I think that's a term you like, to use an ascetic theologian sort of a spiritual master.
00:37:58.890 --> 00:38:05.280
Andy Miller III: And while i'm on that it was just as those of you who you haven't even heard of billy Abraham until this podcast and hopefully you hung in there with us as far.
00:38:05.490 --> 00:38:16.650
Andy Miller III: But if I encourage you like to go to his book justice brings up a point, and this is like something that fleshes itself out in my denomination very regular people go to the wesleyan quadrilateral quickly and.
00:38:17.100 --> 00:38:24.240
Andy Miller III: In appropriately i'll say and often it moves against the direction of the faith once for all delivered to the saints let's just say, and so.
00:38:24.990 --> 00:38:34.740
Andy Miller III: billy Graham was a fierce advocate against it and his outside go to his book waking up from doctrinal amnesia just for a quick summary of various or you.
00:38:34.980 --> 00:38:40.980
Andy Miller III: could probably even YouTube billy Abraham Western quadrilateral and get something on that I think you've got a lot.
00:38:41.430 --> 00:38:48.960
Andy Miller III: Every shaking her head So hopefully if you say some I disagree, and let me know David I didn't mean to cut you off there looks like you're about to say something about Wesley studies.
00:38:49.860 --> 00:39:10.380
David Watson: No, I was gonna say I think that if you read the proposed section one of the discipline for the global Methodist church, there is no quadrilateral there is no nothing like our theological task in the United Methodist book of discipline which i'm quite pleased with amen.
00:39:10.470 --> 00:39:19.770
David Watson: And I, I think that that is in a way, a tribute to billy's influence upon this movement that.
00:39:20.940 --> 00:39:27.840
David Watson: To use the quad, especially in the way that it came into the Book of discipline in 1972 as a way of.
00:39:29.790 --> 00:39:41.490
David Watson: encoding doctrinal pluralism into the life of the church that was just a devastating That was a slow acting poison for United Methodist some and we're seeing its effects now.
00:39:41.790 --> 00:39:42.150
David Watson: yeah.
00:39:42.630 --> 00:39:43.410
David Watson: But even know.
00:39:44.580 --> 00:39:50.040
Andy Miller III: What that quick outline of what that of how that happens, I alluded to it, maybe we can exclude people in like.
00:39:50.940 --> 00:39:59.820
David Watson: Having so so basically what you know, we have the first restrictive rule which which protects the articles of religion and confession of faith.
00:40:00.540 --> 00:40:05.940
David Watson: But they and they couldn't do away with these, but what they did was they.
00:40:06.750 --> 00:40:24.330
David Watson: then put in the section called our theological tasked with these four resources scripture tradition, reason and experience and they said, none of these can be defined unambiguously and what defines us as methodists is a commitment to the on and they use the word theology rising.
00:40:24.720 --> 00:40:26.340
David Watson: So the ongoing process of.
00:40:26.340 --> 00:40:42.840
David Watson: theology sizing using these for resources within with no, not even a nod to the primacy of scripture until 1988 so you use these for resources and and the.
00:40:45.000 --> 00:40:54.660
David Watson: The doctrinal standards, the articles of religion and confession of faith sort of become landmarks, but they are not standards anymore.
00:40:55.200 --> 00:41:03.000
David Watson: And so they couldn't get rid of these doctrinal standards, but they undermine them so that they didn't carry any weight in the life of the church that's what happened in 72.
00:41:03.270 --> 00:41:09.540
Justus Hunter: landmarks in the sense that, like the old without Shell station in an abandoned town middle of the houma is a landmark.
00:41:10.230 --> 00:41:11.850
Andy Miller III: Turn left yeah.
00:41:12.030 --> 00:41:13.620
Andy Miller III: A great analogy justice.
00:41:13.710 --> 00:41:15.660
David Watson: yeah and so.
00:41:16.890 --> 00:41:24.720
David Watson: yeah and so billy understood how damaging that was to the core of Methodist identity and theology and.
00:41:25.920 --> 00:41:32.250
David Watson: didn't win the day within the United Methodist church, but I think with the formation of the global Methodist churches influence will be.
00:41:33.540 --> 00:41:38.310
David Watson: quite significant The other thing I wanted to say, though, about Wesley studies is.
00:41:40.590 --> 00:41:53.250
David Watson: under an area that I wish he had written more in his epistemology and methodism and I remember reading some things that he wrote about epistemology and the inner witness of the Holy Spirit.
00:41:53.280 --> 00:41:58.530
David Watson: Yes, Wesley, this was an important concept, the inner witness of the Holy Spirit assurance of salvation.
00:41:59.070 --> 00:42:10.200
David Watson: And, and what did it exactly happened to older escape right Sophocles thinking theologically speaking, and this is an area that I think warrants greater excellent.
00:42:10.620 --> 00:42:26.700
David Watson: exploration by people who are trained in this area, I mean this is not my area of training, but someone like Jason or justice would would be quite well suited to write about a epistemology in the inner witness of always spirit and to develop.
00:42:28.590 --> 00:42:32.430
David Watson: Some particularly Methodist Wesley an.
00:42:33.660 --> 00:42:38.700
David Watson: epistemological distinctive I think that billy would like that, and I think that he would find that.
00:42:40.020 --> 00:42:41.640
David Watson: helpful for the life of the Church.
00:42:42.180 --> 00:42:48.480
Andy Miller III: You know the skill sets of start to that is that all there's gate to Athens, the Oxford yeah and.
00:42:48.900 --> 00:43:02.070
Andy Miller III: You know he's just so short it just needs more immediate needs more time, but I loved how in that book he was able to bring in like bring Leslie in the conversation at planning guy and these type of things Jason you're smiling a lot there you want to jump in there.
00:43:02.460 --> 00:43:20.220
JASON VICKERS: Oh no I was just thinking that he said it was short and needed more time for some reason, what popped into my head is that billy Abraham was the Chris stapleton of Theology right like brilliant you know but, but often you kind of go wait a minute that song only lasted two minutes.
00:43:21.060 --> 00:43:22.290
JASON VICKERS: He finished writing it.
00:43:24.960 --> 00:43:25.470
Andy Miller III: yeah.
00:43:26.130 --> 00:43:38.190
Justus Hunter: I was thinking you know one thing one thing that he that's still left to be digested I think by the tradition is also this is related his work on new mythology and an Achilles geology which he wrote a lot of I think.
00:43:39.390 --> 00:43:45.510
Justus Hunter: very insightful papers over the last 10 years on those two topics, but I don't think he ever delivered really i'm.
00:43:46.560 --> 00:43:47.250
Justus Hunter: fooling.
00:43:49.170 --> 00:43:56.040
Justus Hunter: The Count of what he was thinking there it's undergirds a lot of what you see, for instance in i'm in the for volume set.
00:43:56.340 --> 00:44:10.860
Justus Hunter: and especially comes through volume three of his for volume set I think that's the that's the book that will should have a long legacy that we should we should hope for, because that really is a systematic theology anyway, he lays out there and that their volume.
00:44:12.120 --> 00:44:16.890
Justus Hunter: And some of the key move there are there, but I think that's another area where you know just thinking what.
00:44:17.430 --> 00:44:26.550
Justus Hunter: What part of his legacy was what were the books, I was hoping he'd write someday you know I want to read them something or something on the church and something on the on the spirit and explicit matter yeah the great.
00:44:28.470 --> 00:44:29.100
00:44:30.450 --> 00:44:34.470
Andy Miller III: um any last thoughts I wanna know Wesley stuff.
00:44:35.430 --> 00:44:37.140
David Watson: I do want to say that I think.
00:44:38.820 --> 00:44:45.660
David Watson: Another contribution he made was he was very concerned to bring methodism into conversation with a broader canonical tradition of the Church.
00:44:45.840 --> 00:44:48.570
David Watson: Right, I mean his whole canonical theism project.
00:44:49.080 --> 00:44:54.000
David Watson: was, in my opinion, his most distinctive theological contribution yeah.
00:44:54.120 --> 00:44:56.190
Andy Miller III: We all agree on that yeah.
00:44:56.580 --> 00:44:59.400
Andy Miller III: yeah okay keep going keep going David sorry yeah.
00:44:59.760 --> 00:45:12.060
David Watson: And of course billy was Methodist to the core and he was he was an apologist for methodism but at the same time he didn't want Methodist to deprive themselves of the riches of the Church.
00:45:12.240 --> 00:45:17.730
David Watson: Right have come down to us through the centuries, and I think he did feel that, in some ways.
00:45:18.180 --> 00:45:32.760
David Watson: Protestants in general but but also Methodist specifically impoverished themselves by their refusal to engage with the breadth of the canonical tradition and who's trying to to help us to see what was there yeah.
00:45:34.020 --> 00:45:37.080
JASON VICKERS: yeah I think that's totally right and I end it sort of.
00:45:40.590 --> 00:45:51.600
JASON VICKERS: was something that in a few cases even got him into trouble with fellow conservative methodists you know who immediately, it would it cost him.
00:45:53.880 --> 00:46:09.750
JASON VICKERS: His his Protestant bone a few days, you know my colleague can commons is a good example of this man he wrote a scathing kind of critique of the vcs that are at the beginning of the canonical theism volume.
00:46:10.920 --> 00:46:20.040
JASON VICKERS: That was either published in the wesleyan theological journal The asbury theological journal I can't remember which one has journal me asbury tournament know billy billy wrote a response to it.
00:46:21.060 --> 00:46:31.890
JASON VICKERS: But but i'm simply bringing that up just to say that that for for many people, the canonical theism project in so far is it pulled.
00:46:32.970 --> 00:46:36.510
JASON VICKERS: saints and icons and.
00:46:38.430 --> 00:46:49.740
JASON VICKERS: You know the the possibility of sacraments beyond baptism and eucharist you know the these kind of things into the conversation, or at least asked them to be taken seriously considered.
00:46:50.700 --> 00:46:55.860
JASON VICKERS: was just unacceptable and I think there were people that thought billy had.
00:46:56.520 --> 00:47:09.540
JASON VICKERS: Had sort of you know, lost his way or should go East you know should should leave methodism he was told on more than one occasion that he should just that he really was no longer a Methodist because of the canonical theism project.
00:47:10.920 --> 00:47:14.250
JASON VICKERS: which you know, is well.
00:47:15.270 --> 00:47:35.460
JASON VICKERS: let's just say that that the I do think that the canonical theism project could be what you could do if we're talking about unfinished business work that can be done because you could take the basic concepts and categories there and and sort of read the history of methodism.
00:47:36.660 --> 00:47:43.590
JASON VICKERS: In in the light of those concepts and categories, who are the saints of the tour of the Methodist tradition right and so forth.
00:47:44.640 --> 00:47:54.330
Andy Miller III: I would love to go on further about this, but we're running out of time, I want give folks a chance to close out a little bit, and you know this is this was somebody people in my audience like.
00:47:55.350 --> 00:48:12.240
Andy Miller III: Who who saw something in me that I didn't see myself and I didn't see myself as a as a scholar as a preacher establish army officer and I, you know I love I love your I love doing this average army officer, but he he kind of used his debating skills on me.
00:48:13.770 --> 00:48:26.520
Andy Miller III: And just push me to think in a different way and and then, then what kind of, I think, is one of the day, one of the day for me was that my own tradition, this in this goes right along with what you're all saying so, to hear you say this confirms this.
00:48:27.570 --> 00:48:33.300
Andy Miller III: had something to offer something for the broad like the Salvation Army so it's rough rugged.
00:48:33.750 --> 00:48:40.890
Andy Miller III: gritty tradition had something to offer the wider not just not just the.
00:48:41.160 --> 00:48:52.920
Andy Miller III: evangelical Westland world, but to the church as a whole and so he was saying, who else is going to do that and Mr Salvation Army who else is going to do that point that me and my Salvation Army uniform so like i'm an eye.
00:48:53.370 --> 00:49:00.030
Andy Miller III: In Jason you wrote, something that was interesting me talking about your last in the last six months, your time with them, I was.
00:49:00.630 --> 00:49:09.600
Andy Miller III: I hadn't heard from him for a while and then just 24 hours before he died, I had a letter from him, and it was just a sweet.
00:49:10.410 --> 00:49:19.230
Andy Miller III: letter recover Fuck out where I am and then he he was going to be doing this project which i'm disappointed, is it going to happen, where he was going to be doing a paper in DC.
00:49:20.010 --> 00:49:34.050
Andy Miller III: theological defensive, the United States, which i'm sorry we don't have time to talk about that, but i'm in it was just a sweet way that I was able to have this conclusion to my time with him as as we experienced time right now.
00:49:35.070 --> 00:49:46.650
Andy Miller III: let's so I just like to have folks on talk about that talk to me just close out maybe on your closing reflections on him and maybe some of your last interactions with them, or whatever you'd like to share let's give everybody a chance Jason you re.
00:49:48.450 --> 00:49:49.320
JASON VICKERS: yeah sure.
00:49:50.670 --> 00:50:01.200
JASON VICKERS: You know, maybe the The thing that is probably stuck with me the most in terms of my last conversations with billy when he was here at our home in June.
00:50:04.050 --> 00:50:06.960
JASON VICKERS: He was moving.
00:50:08.250 --> 00:50:25.380
JASON VICKERS: The one I needed to work he was still planning to do but, but he was moving with with grace into a bit of a semi retirement mode still working, but it was the most relaxed i'd seen him, and it was actually really enjoyable.
00:50:26.790 --> 00:50:38.580
JASON VICKERS: To see him relaxed and and there was just a certain peacefulness about him at the time the but the thing that stuck out to me and sticks out to me now.
00:50:39.540 --> 00:50:45.240
JASON VICKERS: was his his commitment to his what i've been calling his missionary teaching.
00:50:45.870 --> 00:51:00.720
JASON VICKERS: And he was very concerned about that that he said multiple times that week that he couldn't keep doing it all, and some of the rest of us we're going to have to pick up some of that work and get committed.
00:51:01.260 --> 00:51:16.620
JASON VICKERS: to helping the Church in places like Romania and Kazakhstan and Costa Rica, you know I know david's got a lot of work going on in Cuba and helping down there and and in that sense that's part of billy's legacy and I think that if if billy.
00:51:18.090 --> 00:51:22.590
JASON VICKERS: cared very deeply about anything toward the end of his life, it was the.
00:51:23.040 --> 00:51:34.200
JASON VICKERS: kind of the Church, you know around the world, but especially in places where it was not yet well established, where it was still vulnerable and where it needed good teaching and good training.
00:51:34.500 --> 00:51:45.060
JASON VICKERS: And I think he was very committed to that for decades and that's The one thing that I think he really was he was more worried about that in some ways, then the future of methodism.
00:51:45.450 --> 00:51:46.080
00:51:47.310 --> 00:51:49.320
Andy Miller III: David, you have a closing thought.
00:51:50.100 --> 00:51:52.650
David Watson: Well, I do agree with this, and I think that.
00:51:53.910 --> 00:51:58.350
David Watson: For those of us who were formed in such profound ways by billy.
00:51:59.430 --> 00:52:02.040
David Watson: The International component is going to be increasingly important.
00:52:03.180 --> 00:52:04.620
David Watson: We just can't ignore this.
00:52:04.740 --> 00:52:06.270
David Watson: yeah and.
00:52:08.250 --> 00:52:10.350
David Watson: The work that he did and Eastern Europe.
00:52:12.450 --> 00:52:24.360
David Watson: You know the work that he was beginning to do in Costa Rica, this kind of work has to continue and it's not going to be okay for professors to to.
00:52:26.490 --> 00:52:47.010
David Watson: function for professors in this tradition to function in the way in which we have functioned in the past, I mean that that seminaries are now training missionaries to go into post Christian America and to engage the global church in ways that we haven't had to do before.
00:52:50.820 --> 00:52:51.510
David Watson: billy.
00:52:52.590 --> 00:53:03.750
David Watson: The thing about billy was he could he was he was such a rigorous intellect but he also loved his students yeah and.
00:53:05.220 --> 00:53:20.880
David Watson: He mentor them and he invested the mentor us and invested in us and gave of his time and shared his life with us, and again I you know i've come to think of my own vocation.
00:53:23.640 --> 00:53:39.720
David Watson: And a lot of ways, not as simply an importer of knowledge anymore, but as but in this role of mentoring people and walking alongside them and helping them to grow up in faith and a lot of that is because of his example yeah and so.
00:53:40.980 --> 00:53:46.530
David Watson: I miss him yeah i'm still really, really grieving his death.
00:53:47.850 --> 00:53:52.950
David Watson: And I wish, he was here yeah but i'm so thankful that I knew him yeah praise the Lord.
00:53:54.030 --> 00:53:56.880
Andy Miller III: Thanks for sharing that even justice.
00:53:58.650 --> 00:54:10.380
Justus Hunter: let's do two things come to mind one is I remember, I think it tells the people this that the first wc A meeting was in Chicago maybe and.
00:54:11.460 --> 00:54:19.890
Justus Hunter: I just remember I went up there with you know, a couple friends referred day, maybe, and I remember running into billy in the hallway and.
00:54:21.210 --> 00:54:37.470
Justus Hunter: He really he really felt as if he had done the kind of gritty work he he was called to do and his generation was called to do to clear the table so that another generation could come along and build something.
00:54:38.700 --> 00:54:45.960
Justus Hunter: And I think he was mean he was gonna have a say in what he thought that should be but, but he really was at peace, and that that part of his life, it seemed to me.
00:54:48.060 --> 00:54:52.680
Justus Hunter: His tone, from that point forward was different, and so I think that that.
00:54:53.280 --> 00:54:58.860
Justus Hunter: was a huge Labor that he lives in peace with from that point forward The other thing was I was just thinking about.
00:54:59.190 --> 00:55:16.170
Justus Hunter: My last interaction with them in person was the same as jason's it was actually at jason's house and I remember him the thing I was just thinking about was just before we went to your House Jason that evening we he gave a presentation to a group of people as very.
00:55:16.530 --> 00:55:16.890
00:55:17.940 --> 00:55:31.830
Justus Hunter: And man this thing it was just it was vintage billy I mean it was you know lava and dynamite here love and dynamite there you know it just like firing shots across every I mean and then had this.
00:55:32.400 --> 00:55:39.540
Justus Hunter: It he had this comprehensive vision of how things work and all to get together and what his constructive vision for.
00:55:40.200 --> 00:55:45.360
Justus Hunter: How theology should be done and what the next step and thinking through this stuff should be.
00:55:45.630 --> 00:55:52.950
Justus Hunter: And he was ready to kind of go to bat, even to the point of of arguing that a gustin was dead wrong and everyone's been seeing the biggest and playing controversy wrongly.
00:55:53.760 --> 00:56:07.680
Justus Hunter: Since then, I mean it was that type of stuff that he was not afraid to just kind of jump in and he was still just hammering there and that's that'll that'll always you know that will always live on it's kind of a glimpse of of who this.
00:56:08.790 --> 00:56:11.400
Justus Hunter: Is kind of rock his character and certainly what.
00:56:12.420 --> 00:56:21.810
Justus Hunter: I don't know I mean he was he was a bull in a china shop intellectually that's just kind of how we operated in he just he would.
00:56:23.160 --> 00:56:35.910
Justus Hunter: He would just turn up the ground, you know and just leave leave stuff laying there for other people to come clean up and make good use of basically as a mind that he was always doing that and even at the end you know I think you're still just just turning stuff up you know.
00:56:36.360 --> 00:56:36.810
00:56:37.860 --> 00:56:46.350
JASON VICKERS: Can I just saw the last thing again i'm going to footnote David here and just say that that I think david's exactly right that.
00:56:47.370 --> 00:56:54.990
JASON VICKERS: Of course we miss him, but you know, the thing I find myself thinking now like David is that.
00:56:56.100 --> 00:57:04.530
JASON VICKERS: You know, one of the great gifts in my life was that I got to be friends with billy Abraham and he was a blessing yeah.
00:57:06.510 --> 00:57:06.900
Andy Miller III: yeah.
00:57:08.490 --> 00:57:18.870
Andy Miller III: we're we're blessed and thankful for you all, and the witness that you have in the life of the church and through your own scholarship will try and link as i'll try and link as best I can, to some of your works and.
00:57:19.440 --> 00:57:29.610
Andy Miller III: The way guys using you and with graduate our hearts for this mentor who took time for us, and maybe as you're listening to this there's somebody you know you need to take some time with.
00:57:30.510 --> 00:57:47.640
Andy Miller III: Do it and we trust that the Holy Spirit is at work through this and with thanks in our heart for the man that billy Abraham was and we look forward to our future with him as well, thank you all for being with me and join me on this podcast God bless you.