As I write these words, the 2006-2007 academic year is winding down at MiamiUniversity in Oxford,
Ohio, where I teach mathematics. It has
been a good year. I had the privilege of teaching the freshman honors calculus
sequence this year, giving me an opportunity to work with some very talented
students. The Department of Mathematics and Statistics hosted two research
conferences, both of which were stimulating and worthwhile. And with lots of
interesting things going on, two more semesters have flown by.
Living in a college town has some definite advantages. One
of the main ones is easy access to a first-rate academic library. If I'm
looking for a certain book, I can often find it in the stacks of the Miami
University Libraries. If the book isn't available at Miami,
then another academic library in Ohio
probably has it. In that case I can borrow the book for up to fifteen weeks
through Ohiolink, an online catalog that includes the
holdings of every college and university library in the state.
libraries play a major role in the writing of this magazine. For example,
several months ago I saw a reference to a paper by noted New Testament scholar
Richard Bauckham on the subject of how Jews in the
time of Jesus thought about the northern ten tribes of the House of Israel. The
paper had appeared in Revue Biblique, a
journal to which the library at Miami
subscribes, so it was easy for me to photocopy the paper and find out what it said.
An article on this subject, "Anna the
Prophetess and Hope of All Israel," appears in this issue of Grace
A second example: Recently I saw a review of some research
on the role and content of the law of God in the book of Genesis. This research
is described in the book Implied Law in the Abraham Narrative: A Literary and Theological Analysis, the doctoral dissertation
of Professor James K. Bruckner of North Park
Theological Seminary. In this case, Miami
didn't have the book, but it was readily available via Ohiolink.
Bruckner's book contains some valuable insights on
the trial of Sodom and Gomorrah,
as explained in the article "Law and Order in
Genesis: The Trial of Sodom and Gomorrah" in the current issue of Grace
Another major advantage of life on campus is the opportunity
to hear public lectures on a variety of topics. This issue contains reports on
four lectures that took place during the 2006-2007 academic year:
· Olympic fencer
Daniel Alon, one of the few members of the 1972
Israeli Olympic team to survive the infamous terrorist attack at the Munich
Games, gave his
firsthand account of what happened at Munich.
· Richard S. Hess of Denver Seminary gave a
lecture on archaeology and a Bible study on Joshua 1:1-9 during a visit to Miami
in March 2007. An
article on the Bible study appears in this issue. I hope to report on the
archaeology lecture in a future issue.
I do not know what intellectual and spiritual adventures lie
in store for the next academic year. But I look forward to finding out, and I
will try to keep our readers posted.