Mission House Lecturer at odds with technology, students

T.R. Hildebrandt, Staff Reporter

In a convocation marred by technical difficulties, Stephen B. Reid delivered the annual Mission House lecture on Tuesday to a subdued, if not distracted, audience. Reid, an author and minister, eschewed the advertised theme of the talk, which was to be how socio­economic status affects interpretation of the Bible. Instead, he gave equal time to Taoism and Proverbs,emphasizing that the wisdom contained in each belief system is fundamentally different, as they do not share historical and geographical context. He posited that the world has become a globalized “flat Earth” in which we must acknowledge “incommensurability,” or the lack of shared standards, between cultures.

Midway through his presentation, he admonished the assembled for their lack of vigor in responding to his questions such as,“Who here uses Facebook?” He joked that he was used to more boisterous, Baptist crowds.

Reid struggled to smoothly summon the videos and slides intended to illustrate his ideas. Those in attendance talked among themselves for minutes at a time while a young man in a Lakeland Blue shirt joined him onstage for IT support. The allotted hour proved too short for Reid to tie together the various threads of his theory, though he was able to fit in an ostensibly relevant Esurance commercial, showcase a comically garbled allegory as told by the character Madea, and take questions from those in attendance.

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