A WORD about THINGS that MATTER—I have had this tag line in mind for several years and wondered when I might be able to make use of it. Well, no time like the present! Word, matter, thing is the basic definition for the oft used and theologically significant Hebrew word, Dabar. I trust that my musings will be Word driven and encouraging to those who read them.
With so many helpful blogs, why another? Well, now that the Lord has graciously given me the opportunity to serve as a college president I would like to start a thoughtful conversation about the relationship between the church and the college. I am interested in applying a strong ecclesiology to the work of college education, especially the work of a liberal arts college. I am eager to reflect on how a theology of the church affects how we do student life, how we structure chapel, how we teach our courses, and how we prepare young men and women for a strong and healthy church and God-honoring work in the global neighborhood.
My second passion involves gospel ministry. My interest in ministry comes from the perspective of the skills required for it. Whenever I had the opportunity to draft a seminary curriculum or to influence a college program I have thought in terms of the courses that equip the student with WORD skills, PEOPLE skills, and WISDOM skills. Ministry is simply yet powerfully a ministry of the Word to people carried out with God-fearing wisdom. I want to use this communication format to celebrate the glory, the power, and the joy of Gospel ministry that is Word centered and Christ focused.
My third fanaticism is Old Testament studies. I am always curious about how narrative works, learning how to be Christo-telic in my preaching, and stretching to understand how the testaments are tied together theologically. The Lord definitely used some of His choice servant scholars to stir up this love l have for the Older Testament. My first pastor, Bob Mathews from Calvary Bible Church in Wilkes-Barre, PA discipled me with his OT pulpit ministry. John Lawlor, my seminary professor at Baptist Bible College opened my eyes to the artistry, the geography, and the thematic unity of the Old Testament. My love for the Hebrew language was instilled in me by Tom Finch and Richard Engle also from Baptist Bible Seminary. Finally, I was blessed to be mentored by Tremper Longmann III through my dissertation work—awesome!
In addition to exploring these things with you I will be posting daily meditation thoughts that I like to call “Selah Moments.” I had the privilege of preparing these during the years I served with Daniel Davey at Colonial Baptist Church and Central Baptist Seminary. I trust that the Lord will encourage you as you read them.
A word about things that matter–the church and college, gospel ministry, and the Older Testament of Scripture.