LIBERATE2013 Speaker Profile: Paul Zahl—Grace in Practice Six Years Later
Over the next few weeks we will be introducing you to each of the speakers and their particular topics for LIBERATE2013. Each of the featured participants will introduce their own subject.
Our first speaker profile is Paul Zahl, the title of whose book, Grace in Practice (Eerdmans, 2007), is the theme of the conference. Whether through his work as a pastor, author, speaker, seminary professor, and keen enthusiast of film, literature, and music, Paul Zahl’s work has been singularly devoted to celebrating the radical and life-giving one-way love of God’s grace.
Here’s what Paul has to say about his topic:
“Afterward” (Edith Wharton): Grace in Practice Six Years Later
Edith Wharton published one of the greatest American ghost stories in 1910. It was called “Afterward.”
In it, a wife and her husband discover the meaning of meaning that is only conveyed, and understood, after certain events have taken place. At the end of the story, you say to yourself the reflective equivalent of ‘OMG’, as everything “comes clear” in a bright illuminating flash.
What is illuminated is not pretty.
In my talk at LIBERATE2013 I will try to paint a slightly prettier picture, but still afterward.
Grace in Practice was published in 2007 but continues to receive interest.
It is a systematic but associative laying-out of the practical implications of God’s Grace for practical life—from romance to extended family relationships to child rearing to the mall to criminal justice to the church to the parish.
At LIBERATE, I would like to reflect on what I said in that book from the standpoint of an older and somewhat more disillusioned point of view.
I still believe what I wrote in Grace in Practice. But I also think its message has gone even a little bit deeper into my own life, and especially in my experience of ministry and faith.
“Grace in Practice Six Years Later” will draw on some literature that taps some of the same underground streams: observations from Galsworthy, Inge, Cozzens (Yay, Cozzens!), and even Finland’s deep Lutheran, Mika Waltari.
“How Low Can You Go?”
Come to Ft. Lauderdale and limbo with me!