Who Would I Have Dinner with Given the Chance?

My pastor wanted to make a point last night about how people would act if we were having the celebrity of their choice over for dinner but how in comparison we don’t treat God with the same enthusiasm or respect.  To an extent he’s right.  Plenty of people think to themselves (me included sometimes), “I hope church doesn’t run too long today,” while they probably wouldn’t think, “I hope my favorite celebrity doesn’t hang out with me for too long.”  But he asked me which famous theologian or biblical scholar I’d want to have over for dinner and I honestly couldn’t think of any at the time.

I think it would be cool to sit down and chop it up with any number of scholars but in truth I’d much rather meet with a lot of you guys.  I’ve developed what I consider to be genuine friendships with a lot of you and I’d probably have a much better time hanging out and sharing a meal with my peers than with some scholar whom I know only through his/her books.  What about you?  Given the chance who would you have dinner with?


28 thoughts on “Who Would I Have Dinner with Given the Chance?

  1. Gordon Fee or Rikk Watts, or perhaps N. T. Wright are about the only biblical scholars right now. Maybe William Lane Craig.

    But I’m with you. I’d rather meet and have dinner with a number of bloggers at this point.

    Maybe some smart political liberals: Krugman, Klein, Maddow, Obama, Biden

    I can’t think of any Hollywood celebrities and although there are some bands and artists that I wouldn’t mind meeting I probably wouldn’t have much in common with them, at least not enough to carry a conversation over dinner.

  2. I’d like to have dinner with you. I’ve had breakfast lunch dinner and afternoon tea with ‘famous’ scholars, but believe me, they’re really just people. Not that I’ve ever struck one bad egg. I generally like most people regardless of where they come from, and I even like scholars whose scholarship I don’t agree with. One or two I eat with all the time. But I’d love to have dinner with you and a few of your friends here (I’ll even bring you some – oops – is it Pepsi or Coke?)

  3. Bryan: I think I’d like to sit down with WLC more than Fee or Watts. I’d rather attend a prayer meeting with Fee though. Before Hurtado started blogging I would have said him, but he seems more suited to hanging out with scholars, so I don’t think it would be that good of a time to be honest. As far as celebrities go I don’t know. My friend said Mike Tyson last night when he was asked. He said he’d like to sit down and talk to him about Jesus. I thought that was cool. I think there’s so many celebrities that need to hear the Gospel but I wouldn’t have a clue as to who I think I’d be most effective in ministering to.

    Steph: I’d like to have dinner with you too. If ever I join the SBL I’ll have to make sure to share a carrot with you at one of the meetings. :-) And it’s Pepsi; always Pepsi!

  4. oh Nick ROFL!!!! You’d better join the SBL, or I’ll have to come to Texas or something. I’ll cook you a big juicy bloody STEAK!! ;-) (and bring you PEPSI)

  5. Love to chat in person with you dude. But not at dinner….maybe playing xbox, or watching a game. As for scholars, I’m all about Craig Evans or Dan Wallace.

  6. Steph: How bout some vegetarian lasagna? Then we both win! :-)

    T. C.: For some reason or another I think Wright would get on my nerves.

    Derek: I always eat pizza and wings when watching a game so we can call that dinner. And your one comment had a different email address which caused the different gravatar thing. Want me to change it?

  7. I don’t eat pasta … but I can eat the vegies and you can have the pasta. And then we can both have whatever fresh fruit you desire because there is NOOOOO fruit I don’t eat. I don’t think. Except figs… and I’m not particularly partial to bananas although I have my bananafazes. ;-)

    PS Wright despite my spite(;-) is actually extremely nice. Quite sweet and funny.

  8. Sounds good to me! If (for whatever reason) your in my neck o’ the woods I’ll treat, and if (for whatever reason) I’m out there…I’ll prolly still treat…

    Nah don’t worry about changing it…I just missed my Batman…

    I don’t remember, do you have xbox live?

  9. Dinner with you, my friend! If SBL is ever anywhere near you, give me a scream and we’ll do lunch/dinner/breakfast, whatever.

    I agree with you about Fee in a prayer meeting; that would be amazing! As for other scholars, probably Bonhoeffer, but I would just sit and listen—and get heavily convicted :)


  10. If we hung out it’d have to be in New York so I could try that Pizza or Texas for the BBQ.

    Yeah I agree about Hurtado unless I really wanted to pick his brain about devotion to Jesus in the early church.

    You know now that I think about it I would probably add Greg Boyd to my list too. And if I could pick someone no longer living from the modern era it would definitely be James Barr.

    You know the funny thing about Fee regarding his prayer is that the first time I listened to a lecture by him I thought it was going to be really boring and put me to sleep. He prays quietly and somewhat slowly—he definitely takes his time. His prayer sounds very humble, worshipful and thought out (not just rattling off key words or phrases). But then when he starts teaching it’s completely different and it’ll almost shock you when he gets going and starts getting excited and practically yelling. Very unexpected after you’ve just listened to him pray. That being said because I’m not great at long periods of prayer I probably wouldn’t choose a prayer meeting with Fee but definitely a meal and conversation. He’s way at the top of my list above everyone else.

    I’d like to hang out with Tyson while listening to “In the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins. But I wouldn’t want to be too close when the drum part come in! : P

  11. Steph: No pasta?!! Alright then; we’ll just eat apples and drink tea. :-) Good to know about Wright.

    Derek: Far be it for me to keep you from treating! ;-) No Xbox live for me. I don’t play enough to justify having it and I don’t have a lot of games that can be played on it anyway.

    James: Sounds like a plan. I just have to break down and join up one day. If I ever do go to a meeting I’ll probably skip all the papers and just spend my time around the books anyway. How else could I finagle free review copies from all you publishers? ;-) And I remember reading a testimony from Ben Witherington once about Fee’s prayer meetings. He said they were amazing.

    Bryan: The pizza’s good in NY but I really do prefer NJ pizza to be honest. They’re all really good though. And I’m gonna have to make my way to TX to get some BBQ. I wanted to get some while I was in FL but it never happened. Oh well…

    I already know pretty much everything Hurtado believes about Christ Devotion so our conversation would just be like, “oh yeah? me too,” since I agree with so much of it. If I could pick someone dead then I might go with Athanasius. I’d like to know what it was like to go through everything he went through with the constant exiles and his unswerving stand against heretics.

    Like I said to James, I heard that Fee’s prayer meetings used to be amazing, and I do good in amazing prayer meetings. It’s the not-so-amazing ones that I tend to want to get out of. And I’d stay away from Tyson while “In the Air Tonight” is playing too! Classic punch in the face! Ha! :-P

  12. Yum, sounds wonderful! :-) It’s actually very helpful meeting people whose work I interact with because I always like them in person – and it helps to put their work in perspective.

  13. I think I would like to have dinner with the Apostle Paul…though it would probably be a lose/lose adventure, as all I would be able to do is sit and stare…no conversation…no eating…*: ( At least I have read his letters!

    You can “hang with God” and still think church is a bit too long…sometimes, He probably does too!

    Hmmm…does God have to stay for the whole service even if He doesn’t want to?

  14. Nick:
    It’s weird that you bring up that Ben Witherington quote about Fee. I read that old blog post just yesterday where he talked about being at one of Fee’s bible studies in like 1975 or something and how incredible it was. I don’t know how I ended up there, I think I was googling something…

    I would have to say Gordon Fee if I had to pick a scholar. Or I might cheat and say Craig Keener & his wife together. It sounds like she’s been through a lot, and in between stories I could get the scholarly stuff from Craig.

  15. Steph: That’s good. I’d probably like a lot of people in person who I don’t like online or in their writing. Something is always lost when you can’t see and hear how someone is saying something.

    Nancy: I have too many questions for Paul to sit in silence! And I’ve been in more than my fair share of services where God left and people wanted to keep “partying.” Those are always taxing!

    Kevin: I haven’t read much Oden but I would like to ask him about his journey into Patristic theology.

    Justin: Stuff always works out like that. It’s like when you get a new car and then see them all over the place. Keener’s wife is from Africa, right?

  16. Nick,

    Can it be guys from the past? I just read a biography of George Ladd lately and it’d be interesting to talk to him. Maybe a dinner with him and Norman Perrin would be fun…

  17. Nick:
    It’s funny you say that about NJ vs NY pizza. My favorite pizza places down here identify themselves as NJ style pizza. In fact I don’t think I’ve had any that identified themselves as NY style pizza.

    Did you ever see the Man vs Food episode with the Salt Like BBQ in Driftwood? I also saw them win some Today Show BBQ competition.That places is pretty good. There’s a lot of great BBQ places and I’ve found I like them for different things. I usually judge based on brisket though. My favorite BBQ places have to do brisket well. It’s hard to think of just one place that I like the best. And they all have their little subtle differences that make them good. Unfortunately BBQ can sometimes be inconsistent so I definitely value consistency in a BBQ joint

  18. Mike: Sure, it can be anyone you want. I just read a bit about Ladd and Perrin on a few days back. Apparently Perrin sent Ladd into a depression from a critical review of his work.

    Kyle: Is TX BBQ big on sauce? That meat looks a little too saucy for my taste. And I can do without the greens although I do love green beans.

    Bryan: That’s funny. There’s not a huge difference but I think we have the better water which makes a slight difference in the dough. It’s really the one reason that other states just can’t get it quite right.

    Oh, and consistency is the #1 factor in the success of any restaurant, even more than good food. If the food’s good one day but not the next then a restaurant won’t be in business for long.

  19. Nick:
    I remember watching a video where they put the water theory to the test using pizza aficionados from NY with a blind taste test using pizzas made with water from different places.The theory was proved true. They were all able to pick out the NY pizza. Luckily I’ve never had the water so I don’t know what I’m missing.

    I thought the BBQ looked a little saucy too. I like to cook with a thick sauce but I prefer to use a thin sauce for dipping. I prefer my bbq dry when I go places and I’ll add some sauce if I want. Although the Salt Lick’s sauce is really light and does well at complimenting the meat. I think it may be mustard or vinegar based. It definitely wasn’t tomato. It was one of the only times I was happy they put the sauce on before bringing it out.

  20. Nick,

    Yeah, the review was pretty intense, I think you can still find it on their database; Perrin basically tore him apart and Ladd seemed to have never recovered from that… Hence my dinner plans with the two of them… People like a good fight every now and then, no? ;)

  21. Mike: I’ll have to check it out one of these days. And a fight is always fun to watch. I don’t know about a fight over dinner though. ;-)

  22. Bryan: Yeah man, the Salt Lick is great! I think I need to take a trip down there on our furlough this year. My absolute favorite restaurant in Texas is Perini Ranch in Buffalo Gap, and whereas they have some good BBQ, I go there for the steaks.

    Nick: Texas can do both dry and wet BBQ, but a lot of places are more wet.

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