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Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
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SUMMER ’10 VOL.38 NO.1
The Ministry Magazine of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
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God’s Presence in the Collapsing Screams of the Haiti Earthquake Jesus & Discipleship The View from the Great Commission
Learning Before the King’s Throne
James R. Critchlow
Discipleship in the Church Watching God Transform Lives
Anne B. Doll
Our Students: Becoming Beloved Disciples of Jesus
Stephen A. Macchia
Spiritual Formation During Seminary
Anne B. Doll
BOARD OF TRUSTEES Mr. Joel B. Aarsvold Dr. Claude R. Alexander Mrs. Linda Schultz Anderson Dr. George F. Bennett Rev. Dr. Garth T. Bolinder Rev. Dr. Richard P. Camp, Jr. Mr. Thomas J. Colatosti, Chair Mr. Charles W. Colson Mrs. Joyce A. Godwin Dr. William F. Graham Rev. Dr. Michael E. Haynes Mr. Herbert P. Hess, Treasurer Mr. Ivan C. Hinrichs Rev. Dr. John A. Huffman, Jr. Mr. Caleb Loring III Rev. Dr. Christopher A. Lyons Mrs. Joanna S. Mockler Fred L. Potter, Esq. Shirley A. Redd, M.D. Mr. Timothy B. Robertson Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, Jr. David M. Rogers, Esq., Vice Chairman Mr. John Schoenherr Mrs. Virginia M. Snoddy Mr. John G. Talcott, Jr. Joseph W. Viola, M.D., Secretary J. Christy Wilson III, Esq. Rev. Dr. John H. Womack William C. Wood, M.D. EMERITI MEMBERS Dr. Richard A. Armstrong Dr. Allan C. Emery, Jr. Rev. Dr. Leighton Ford Mr. Roland S. Hinz Dr. Walter C. Kaiser, Jr. President Emeritus Rev. Dr. Robert J. Lamont Mr. Richard D. Phippen Rev. Dr. Paul E. Toms Dr. Robert E. Cooley, President Emeritus President Dr. Dennis P. Hollinger Vice President of Advancement Mr. Kurt W. Drescher Director of Communications and Marketing Mr. Michael L. Colaneri
Looking Backward to Move Forward
J.I. Packer & Gary Parrett
SEMINARY NEWS FOCUS ON ALUMNI OPENING THE WORD
Edward M. Keazirian II
Inquiries regarding CONTACT may be addressed to: Editor, CONTACT Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary 130 Essex Street, S. Hamilton, MA 01982 Tel: 978.468.7111 or by firstname.lastname@example.org www.gordonconwell.edu
GORDON-CONWELL THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY DOES NOT DISCRIMINATE ON THE BASIS OF RACE, GENDER, NATIONAL OR ETHNIC ORIGIN, AGE, HANDICAP OR VETERAN STATUS.
Senior Communications Advisor and Editor of Contact Mrs. Anne B. Doll Graphic Designer Ms. Nicole S. Rim Writer Mrs. Ruth Hawk Photography Mr. Tom Kates Mr. Kenny Nakai Ms. Nicole S. Rim
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Stuart Rankin, mach, math ‘06 Missions Coordinator, Sturbridge Worship Center Sturbridge, MA
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when the 7.0 magnitude
earthquake struck haiti on january 12, i was near the epicenter.
Our team, sent by Sturbridge (MA) Worship Center, where I serve, had just returned from a day of ministry in the mountains. I didn’t realize it at the time, but God had protected us in a major way. The road we had driven across a few minutes prior to the quake had been torn open and covered by truck-size boulders from the landslides. If we had left later, our story would be different. Instead, we were at the Mission of Hope office in Grand Goave, the headquarters for a Haitian ministry with which our church mission teams regularly work. Unlike so many buildings that collapsed under the violent shaking, including a number at the Mission of Hope school and orphanage, we remained unscathed. We would soon discover that our sleeping accommodations had been totally destroyed, and washed over by a mini tsunami. In that moment, surrounded by danger on all sides, God powerfully protected us. Standing outside, we began to grasp the sheer magnitude of the moment. Structures were visibly damaged. With each successive aftershock, the eerie sound of buildings collapsing left an uncomfortable void of unease and anxiety, offset only by the screams that would reverberate through the city. A woman running helplessly up and down the street approached us in desperation, carrying her beautiful little granddaughter. The three-year-old was already unconscious. A concrete slab had fallen and split open her head. This precious child had simply been standing in the wrong place at the wrong time. We tried in vain to get her to a hospital, and prayed in earnest for her life, but ultimately committed her to the Lord. What could be done? We all felt so helpless. Everyone felt helpless. “Are the orphans okay? Please, God, protect them! How about Pastor Lex? He’s been away since morning!” The phones were down. We just determined to pray constantly and encourage one another. Night was coming quickly.
During those initial night hours, it was difficult to overcome an encompassing sense of dread and uncertainty. As we huddled under the stars with so many whose homes had been lost, we saw desperation and fear grip the people every time a tremor would strike—a relentless reminder that the earthquake seemed to be in charge. Yet, with all of Haiti vulnerable to this spirit of fear, there arose a more powerful voice: unceasing cries to Jesus to save and have mercy. For the five nights we were there before being evacuated, we could hear people praying and worshipping until dawn across the whole city. As many have quipped, that first night, “All of Haiti became Christian.” During the ensuing days, God’s presence continued to be apparent. Just a few blocks from where we were during the earthquake, St. Francois, the local Catholic church, and behind it the priest’s home, had crumbled to the ground, burying alive the priest, a nun and 17 church members. Having feared the worst, we joyfully received word two days later that all had been pulled out alive some 23 hours after the earthquake. I had an opportunity to talk with the priest a day later. From his mattress on the dirt ground where he lay paralyzed from his waist down, he recalled how “The Lord told me we would all be rescued.” That one word from the Lord made all the difference. Despite being trapped under rubble, he fought to keep his group from sinking into despair. As I listened to him, his strength seemingly returning, I could see the depth of faith and gratitude in his eyes. God was certainly at work. After the earthquake, our team, which included current GCTS student William Coley, extended help by being a presence: encouraging, praying and walking alongside our Haitian brothers and sisters as they experienced this catastrophe. We sent out teams to search for survivors with relatives in the U.S. Thankfully, all the individuals we searched for were found alive. We also conducted interviews with survivors (such as the priest), and analyzed and documented the damage of many of those in the Mission of Hope community who had lost their homes. Since the earthquake, we have sent six international relief teams to Haiti, and will continue sending teams throughout the year. In my first return visit in February, I helped coordinate on-the-ground work, including rubble removal and construction at the destroyed beach property, and construction of a wood and tarp structure which serves as
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a temporary church and school. I also helped distribute tents to the mountain area before the rainy season, and worked with Samaritan’s Purse to secure installation of latrines, washhouses and water filtration systems which are providing pure water for the first time to many Haitians. Besides all the incredible reconstruction work that is happening, God is visibly at work in the hearts of ordinary Haitians. Church services are packed. The already vibrant worship is now overflowing with jubilation and thanksgiving to the God who saves. Most people have lost so much, yet they seem to have so much more: an undeniable joy. One early morning, I was privileged to assist in baptizing 28 new believers. They had all come to know Christ through this earthquake experience. In fact, they all came from the mountainous area where, on the day of the earthquake, our mission team was distributing supplies and praying for people. I remember one lady in particular who refused our prayer. “I won’t die today,” she said. “I don’t need Jesus now.” But that night, her life flashed before her eyes, and she ran to the local pastor to give her life to Christ. She was among those baptized. In that same area, we had, prior to the earthquake, met a voodoo priest who confessed he practiced voodoo for the money. However, he allowed us to pray for him and his family. We prayed that he would come to know Christ, and, if not, that God would remove the voodoo influence from the region. And that is exactly what happened. With the earthquake disrupting the voodoo dance he was preparing as an offering to one of his gods, all the people were praising God, even this priest. We don’t know what has become of him, other than that he lost his customers and left for Portau-Prince. It reminded me of the Book of Acts. Haiti faces monumental challenges over the next decade. Yet God is at work. And he can take what is meant for evil and use it for good. With the church leading the way through embodied praise, the powers of darkness that have kept Haiti in generational bondage will be silenced, and Jesus will be exalted (cf. Ps. 8:2; Mt 21:16). Having seen him at work already, that is my prayer for Haiti.
Stuart Rankin, Missions Coordinator at Sturbridge (MA) Worship Center, organizes and leads short-term mission teams to locations where his church has built a network of relationships, such as Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Ghana, France, Germany, Belgium and Haiti. Teams, often international in composition, are sent to serve and strengthen local ministries through a variety of initiatives, typically including teaching and preaching, evangelism, sponsorship programs and humanitarian work. He received Master of Arts in Church History and Master of Arts in Theology degrees from Gordon-Conwell in 2006, and has subsequently served six times in Haiti.
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In the Great Commission, as reported in the Gospel of Matthew, following his atoning death and victorious resurrection, Jesus announces that all authority has been given to him over all creation, and that his disciples should therefore go and lead all nations into also becoming disciples of Christ (Matt. 28:18-20). A closer look at the passage will bring out some aspects of Christ’s distinctive approach to discipleship.1
Jesus & Discipleship
The View from the Great Commission
Roy E. Ciampa, Ph.D. Professor of New Testament; Chair, Division of Biblical Studies
6 Summer ‘10
Most people have heard, correctly, that the only imperative in the passage is the command to lead the nations to be Christ’s disciples. The participle that comes before the verb is rightly translated “go” (not “going”). It is a participle of attendant circumstance, which means that it is not stressed as much as the imperative but still carries an imperatival force. It is to be understood as action that must be done if the command given in the main verb (“make disciples”) is to be accomplished.2 We cannot accomplish the task that Jesus has given us if we stay on the mountain, or stay in Jerusalem, or stay wherever we might find ourselves. If everyone in the world is to learn of the one who has authority over them and who has given commandments for them to keep, then the Church must be intentional about bringing that message to all people everywhere.
“Make all the nations/peoples my disciples”
the rejection of all self-serving and self-promoting behavior and the rejection of self-justifying interpretations of Scripture in favor of behavior and interpretations that reflect ruthless honesty about our own moral and spiritual failures (especially our failure to respect our proper obligations to God and others). We are to unequivocally place God’s honor and agenda above our own. For followers of Christ, this also means following Christ by taking up the cross each day. The cross is at the center of the message of each of the four Gospels, and it was at the center of Christ’s teaching and mission. Those who follow Christ may expect to be rejected and persecuted just as he was. To follow Christ is to be prepared to suffer the loss of all things for the sake of gaining Christ and the life that he offers.
This is the clause that has the one imperative in the passage. This is the main point. Going is a necessary precursor to the accomplishing of this task and, as we shall see, baptizing and teaching are specific parts of how this task is to be carried out.3 What does it mean to make someone a disciple of Christ? Despite some of what has gone on from time to time in the history of the Christian Church, Christ does not condone or warrant the use of physical, political or other kinds of force. This is not a justification for the Crusades or forcible conversions. No one becomes a disciple against his or her own will. Christ calls people to follow him, and only those who freely decide to follow him are his disciples. To be a disciple is to be one who is committed to learning from, and obeying, the teachings and example of one’s master/teacher. Since Christ was committed to proclaiming the need for repentance4 and the good news of the Kingdom of God, and sent the 12 and then the 72 out to do the same (Luke 9:1-2; 10:1), his disciples understand that they must be committed to that task as well. Since he was known for ministering to those who were marginalized and rejected by mainstream society, his disciples recognize that they also must be committed to an inclusive approach to ministry. The disciple learns the teachings of the master and passes them on to others. Jesus’ teaching in the Sermon on the Mount emphasizes
“Baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”
This clause points to a key initial step in making disciples. Christian baptism is associated with faith in Christ (Acts 8:12-13; 16:15; 18:8; 19:4). To be baptized in someone’s name is to “become the possession of and come under the dedicated protection of the one whose name they bear.”5 The baptism of an individual in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit suggests that this person is being brought into intimate relationship with the Trinity; now belongs to, and stands under the protection of, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit; and lives in intimate relationship with them. Christian discipleship, according to Jesus, is about living out a relationship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.6 It is about living out the relationship established by God’s covenant (the new covenant in Christ’s blood) which introduces the believer into the eschatological salvation brought about by the death and resurrection of Christ. The Father has sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins, and the Holy Spirit applies Christ’s work to our lives and communicates Christ’s presence to us.
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“Teach them to obey everything I have commanded Conclusion you”
This passage is filled with uses of the adjective “all”: “all authority,” “all nations/peoples,” “all I have commanded,” “always” (literally, “all the days…”). The relationships between the first three uses of the adjective are particularly important to note. Jesus does not inform his readers that he has been given all authority in heaven and earth just so that they will obey him when he tells them what to do, but so that they will understand why it is that all nations/peoples should obey everything he has commanded. The key logical relationship is not between “I have all authority” and “You should go and make disciples” but between “I have all authority” and “Everyone everywhere should obey everything I have commanded (so go and work toward that end).” Jesus emphasized his universal authority so that his disciples would understand why he should be universally obeyed. To be a disciple of Christ is to understand who he really is, the Lord of all creation, and to live one’s life out with a passion for other people to come to know him and to recognize his absolute, loving and gracious lordship as well. The obedience that Jesus describes here is referred to by the Apostle Paul as “the obedience of faith” (Rom. 1:5; 6:26). Christian obedience will never be perfect this side of the resurrection, but the life of discipleship is a life marked by both continual learning and continual practice of the teachings of Christ (cf. Matt. 7:21-27).
We are not disciples of some ancient teacher who has merely left us his teachings. We are disciples of the living Lord who walks with us and who teaches, nurtures, restores and empowers us as we go into the world in his name and his power.
Jesus probably had Daniel 7:13-14 in mind when he gave the Great Commission. There, we are told that the Son of Man was given authority—an everlasting dominion—so that all nations would serve and worship him. Christ is the Son of Man, the Lord of all. He has been given universal authority which ought to be universally recognized and radically respected (cf. Phil. 2:9-11). What would our lives look like if that truth were to truly penetrate to the very core of our being?
Roy E. Ciampa, Ph.D., is Professor of New Testament, Chair of the Division of Biblical Studies, and Director of the Th.M. Program in Biblical Studies. He also served for 12 years as a missionary with Greater Europe Mission in Portugal, teaching at two theological schools. He maintains close ties to Portugal, serving as a translator/reviser of the Portuguese Bible Society’s contemporary translation of the Bible. He received an M.Div. from Denver Seminary and a Ph.D. from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland.
For a fuller discussion of Jesus’ teaching on discipleship see Michael J. Wilkins, “Discipleship” in the Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels (Joel B. Green et al. eds.; [Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity, 1992]), 182–188; idem, Following the Master: A Biblical Theology of Discipleship (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 1992).
For a fuller discussion of the meaning of this participle in light of common misunderstandings, see Roy E. Ciampa, “As You Go, Make Disciples?” Every Thought Captive (August 18, 2008; http://connect.gordonconwell.edu/members/blog_ view.asp?id=190052&post=37543&hhSearchTerms=as+and+you+and+go).
“I will certainly always be with you, to the very end of the age”
The next two participles, following this main clause, are best understood to be participles of means. As Daniel B. Wallace points out, “The participle of means almost always defines the action of the main verb; i.e., it makes more explicit what the author intended to convey with the main verb.” In fact, it “could be called an epexegetical participle in that it defines or explains the action of the controlling verb” (Daniel B. Wallace, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics - Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament. [Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 1996], 629). The criteria for identifying a participle of means is that it is usually a present tense adverbial participle (as are the ones following) and, they follow the main verb and the verbs they follow are usually “vague, general, abstract, or metaphorical finite verbs” (Wallace, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, 629). In this case, it seems clear that what it means to “make disciples of all nations/peoples” is less than transparent, and the following participles help unpack exactly what is in mind.
See Roy E. Ciampa, “Jesus as a Preacher of Repentance,” Every Thought Captive (June 16, 2009), http://connect.gordonconwell.edu/members/blog_view.asp?id=190052 &post=72380&hhSearchTerms=repentance.
Jesus, “God with us” (cf. Matt. 1:23), reminds us that none of what he calls for in discipleship can be accomplished with our own resources. It is only because Christ is with us—because he goes with us into the world—that we can possibly dare to step out to follow the discipleship agenda that he set for us. Christ’s presence and power are the keys to Christian discipleship.
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William Arndt, Frederick W. Danker, and Walter Bauer. A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, 3rd ed.; (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000), 713.
For a very helpful discussion of how “both forgiveness and becoming Christlike flow from our participation in a relationship, from our becoming sons and daughters by adoption so as to share in the communion that the natural Son has with God the Father” (8), see Donald Fairbairn, Life in the Trinity: An Introduction to Theology with the Help of the Church Fathers (Downers Grove, Ill.: IVP Academic, 2009).
Learning Before the Throne
James R. Critchlow, Ph.D. Ranked Adjunct Assistant Professor in Old Testament
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There are many aspects of discipleship in the Old Testament.
The LORD God mentored Adam in the Garden of Eden. Adam mentored Eve on their responsibilities. Noah trained his sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth, in their ark duties. Joshua acted as Moses’ understudy for 40 years. Deuteronomy 10:12-13 explains what the LORD required of all the people of Israel: “And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments and statutes of the LORD, which I am commanding you today for your good?” (ESV). The five infinitive constructs (to fear, walk, love, serve and keep) specify what the LORD demanded of Israel. If the people were careful to do these, they would be successful. But what did the Law given at Mount Sinai by the LORD assert about the leadership of Israel after the period of the Judges and Priests? In Deuteronomy, the LORD gave provisions for the day when Israel would demand a king “like all the nations.” He anticipated the occupation of the land of Israel and the precipitous demand for a king that would occur in 1 Samuel 8. Deuteronomy 17:14-17 provides the template for this future king whom God would choose:
“When you come to the land that the LORD your God is giving you, and you possess it and dwell in it and then say, ‘I will set a king over me, like all the nations that are around me,’ you may indeed set a king over you whom the LORD your God will choose. One from among your brothers you shall set as king over you. You may not put a foreigner over you, who is not your brother. Only he must not acquire many horses for himself or cause the people to return to Egypt in order to acquire many horses, since the LORD has said to you, ‘You shall never return that way again.’ And he shall not acquire many wives for himself, lest his heart turn away; nor shall he acquire for himself excessive silver and gold (ESV). There are clear stipulations that prevent the king from seeking martial, personal or financial power in horses, marriage alliances or wealth.2 The passage continues in 17:18-20, instructing the future king of Israel to write a personal copy of the law under the supervision of the priests. This book was to remain in his personal possession, and its daily study was an essential aspect of his royal duties. “And when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he shall write for himself in a book a copy of this law, approved by
1 Gary D. Pratico and Miles V. Van Pelt in Basics of Biblical Hebrew (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2001, 2007), pp. 237-248. See especially DeRouchie’s insightful article, “A Life Centered on Torah,” pp. 249-250.
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2 Bruce K. Waltke in An Old Testament Theology (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2007), p. 397 observes that the king was “to renounce his own power by limiting the number of his warhorses, his treasury, and his political alliances through marriage.”
“...that the king would fear the LORD, keep his Law, do as He instructs and not exalt himself above his fellow citizens or turn away from the commandments and instructions.”
the Levitical priests. And it shall be with him, and he shall read in it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the LORD his God by keeping all the words of this law and these statutes, and doing them, that his heart may not be lifted up above his brothers, and that he may not turn aside from the commandment, either to the right hand or to the left, so that he may continue long in his kingdom, he and his children, in Israel” (ESV). Just as in Deut. 10:12-13 cited above, the majority of the verbs in this royal prescription are infinitive constructs, functioning as result clauses. These establish the LORD’s desired outcome, i.e., that the king would fear the LORD, keep his Law, do as He instructs and not exalt himself above his fellow citizens or turn away from the commandments and instructions. It was for these reasons that the use of the infinitive construct was especially revelatory. “In governing his own life by the same Torah that regulates the whole nation, the king reins in his exercise of power.”3 The priests would be there to ensure proper letter formation and spacing—which might delay the process—particularly if the royal writer made an uncorrectable mistake. Not only must the king produce the copy (mishneh), he must have it with him and read from it daily. Under the over-watch of the priests, this was probably to be a scheduled activity. There should be no business that was to
3 Ibid., p. 491. Waltke further explains (p. 496) that whereas the people were to listen to the Law every seven years (Deut. 31:10-13), the future king was to read in the Law daily (my emphasis).
displace this practice in the king’s day. Even the time when the king marched out to war was to be preceded by the reading of the Word of God. It has been my practice to aspire to this Old Testament discipleship pattern. Although I will never be a king, I am in training as a servant of the Great King. I struggle to read the whole counsel of God in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek, and then record 7-15 verses in my Day-Timer™. Wherever I go, this copy of the Bible is my companion. It is my daily study, rule, guide and reminder. I have emphasized the value of daily study of God’s Word for all my students. Nothing should ever displace this practice. No exam, sermon, project or event should displace our time in the Word of God. For those who have gone well beyond their educational years, this principle is still in force. God desires us to know His Word. He wants to speak to us through His revelation. Whether we use the original or a modern language, this directive for leadership was appropriate for ancient Israelite kings. It is also good for King’s kids.
James R. Critchlow, Ph.D., Ranked Adjunct Assistant Professor in Old Testament, joined the seminary in 2008, and has also taught at Bethel Seminary of the East. Prior to his academic career, he served in leadership capacities with the U.S. Army for 20 years. His deployments included two years at the Pentagon, and took him to Germany, Iraq, Bosnia, Korea and many other countries. He holds M.Div. and M.A.B.L. degrees from Gordon-Conwell and a Ph.D. from the University of Edinburgh.
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Discipleship in the Church
Watching God Transform Lives
Each week, Rev. Greg Doll disciples 50 to 60 Presbyterian men before they go to work on Wall Street, to law offices or to other corporate posts.
he Gordon-Conwell alumnus (M.Div. ‘99) currently serves as Associate Pastor for Adult Spiritual Formation and Outreach at Noroton Presbyterian Church (NPC) in Darien, CT—the same church where Rev. Samuel A. Schreiner III (M.Div. ‘83) is Pastor and Team Leader. It was after a year in his first parish in North Carolina that Pastor Greg made a dramatic u-turn in his ministry and headed down the path of discipleship. “I was on vacation, and during my morning devotions, I was meditating on the Great Commission,” he explains. “I got stuck on the line ‘therefore go and make disciples of all nations… teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you’ (Matthew 28:18-20). I could not quite move past the latter section of the passage. “It dawned on me that at least part of what it means to make disciples is to systematically pass on all that Jesus taught his own disciples. That seemed to be the way it worked. He taught them, and they in turn taught others. Now, our responsibility is to continue passing along Jesus’ instruction. I remember thinking, ‘If that’s what it means to make disciples, then I have never done it. Here I am in an ordained status and I have never made a disciple.’” Returning to his church, he surveyed his members, asking if they had been discipled, and was stunned to learn that not one had ever had that experience. “So,” he recalls, “we scrapped everything we were doing and started over. We said, ‘If we’re not making disciples, if we’re not doing what our primary mission is as a church, then what are we doing?’” But how was he to pass along all that Jesus taught his disciples? Did the Great Commission mean he should teach every scripture that Jesus taught? This led to a ministrychanging discovery: a general consensus in the scholarly community that the Sermon on the Mount represents the distillation of all Jesus’ teaching—the heart of his message. With that, Pastor Greg started teaching through the Sermon on the Mount, verse by verse, from the pulpit and in a Wednesday night Bible study. He quickly learned that by teaching Matthew 5-7, he could cover much theological territory and segue easily into other important topics like worship, prayer and meditation—all the while emphasizing that once members had been discipled and understood
Jesus’ teaching, they were to go and do the same. As members embraced discipleship, he watched their faith grow and deepen. He says the concept was “so simple. Regular encounters with God’s Word and Spirit are where growth occurs.” He introduced the same emphasis in his second parish in Ohio. “It was a joy,” he says, “to see people who took their calling to discipleship so seriously…taking copious notes and preparing their own notebooks so that they eventually could do the same.” In 2005, he was called by NPC to focus on adult teaching. There, he discovered a vibrant women’s ministry that had been meeting for more than 10 years. Two groups of women led by Associate Pastor, Connie Jordan-Haas, gathered weekly for discipleship. “It was quite evident that these faithful women had become spiritual leaders in the church,” he says. “They sat on the Session and Board of Deacons and were in the forefront of every ministry of the church. So I proposed that we develop a similar ministry for the men.” This was no little challenge in Darien, CT, where many men board 5:30 a.m. trains for work in New York’s Financial District, and return late at night—at best. At worst, they fly out to Hong Kong or London on Monday and return Friday night. “We realized that they could never get to our ministry offerings during the week to help them grow in their faith,” Pastor Greg explains. So three years ago, he began boarding the 6:22 a.m. train every Tuesday morning to take discipleship to them. Meeting just steps from Grand Central Station, they spend an hour together in prayer, Bible study and small groups. A second discipleship group meets at the church on Friday mornings. In each group, it took a year to work through the Sermon on the Mount. “It was an incredible blessing to watch God transform the men (and me!),” he says. “It has been one of the greatest thrills in ministry to listen to their questions changing, to hear them pray, to learn from their insights and to witness their sincere efforts to learn how to ‘live this out in the hurly-burly of daily existence…how to increasingly integrate our faith into our professional life.’ “Some of their responses have been very poignant and powerful, because we had been meeting just prior to and in the very heart of the recession. Amid the titanic stresses and pressures for guys living in towns hardest hit by the finanww w.gordonconwell.edu /c o nta c tma g a z i ne 13
cial crisis, they were asking things like: ‘How can we reach out to our colleagues and demonstrate the love and grace of God for them in the midst of this storm? What’s the most powerful way we can witness to our faith? How can we express care and concern? Do acts of kindness? Extend grace and forgiveness?’” At the end of the second year, after working through Philippians, he posed a challenge to each group: “Now that you’ve been taught, and seen a regular model of exegetical work and exposition, would you consider becoming
The group is presently working through Jesus’ parables. During this third year, Pastor Greg says something unexpected happened. “A number of men approached me about going even deeper in their discipleship. The joy of it was that it came totally unsolicited. It just seemed to happen organically. The excitement for me was realizing that perhaps we were beginning to fall into Biblical patterns. We know that large crowds followed Jesus, we know about the 72, but we also know that he invested himself in the 12. It’s almost as if the 12 are beginning to surface naturally.”
“If we’re not making disciples, if we’re not doing what our primary mission is as a church, then what are we doing?”
disciplers yourself?” They responded enthusiastically, so he offered a two-part class entitled “A Short Course in Biblical Hermeneutics.” Thirty men showed up. Out of that has come a growing rotation of teachers. “When they sign up to teach, we work together for several months on the passage,” he notes. “They bring in their drafts, we pray and wrestle with the text together, and I point them to additional resources. This process has been a wonderful gift for me and, I trust, for them. It’s another place where the Holy Spirit joins us and bonds us in that experience with his Word. Now, weekly, he has six individual, one-hour discipleship meetings in his study. Each person is working through a book chosen to address an aspect of spiritual development. He views this personalized, albeit time-consuming, discipleship as a way for the church to continue growing organically in width and depth. “By the end of 2011, my goal is to have 12 meetings each week,” he says. “I don’t know if 12 is a magic number, but it worked for Jesus. The ultimate goal is to eventually establish these men in some form of ministry in the church. “I am a strong, strong believer that small groups are incredibly conducive to spiritual growth,” he says. “But I have never witnessed the kind of growth I am seeing in these weekly meetings because the spiritual formation experience can be so tailored. It allows the guys to do a very difficult thing for men: to be open, share weaknesses, struggles, challenges and pain. It becomes a place where the Holy Spirit fills the space of those broken places. “I am witnessing a miracle: guys being renewed, reformed, re-made from their fallen, broken images into the image of Christ…so that they can then go out into their homes and workplaces increasingly and more faithfully reflecting that glorious image. And this beautiful image invariably attracts others, even on Wall Street. “I’m sure there are many ways to do discipleship. This is just my own interpretation of the thrust of the Great Commission. What I can say is: It’s a great joy to watch God work and see the change happen. It reminds me of what a gift and privilege it is to be in ministry.” Editor’s Note: In the next edition of Contact, read how Pastor PoSan Ung is evangelizing and discipling Cambodian believers amid the gang violence and poverty of Lynn, MA.
Pastor Greg Doll, right, disciples church member John Marr.
“And then after writing, re-writing and reflecting, they get up and teach. It’s amazing to observe the growth in someone who previously could never have imagined leading others in prayer, worship and study or having his heart so captured by the Lord and the gospel. My ultimate goal is to replace myself in large measure by establishing a regular rotation of guys who feel called to teach, so that next year I only lead the studies twice a month.”
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Our Students: Becoming Beloved Disciples of Jesus
Stephen A. Macchia, D.Min.
The fresco displayed in the front of the Cooley Chapel at our Charlotte campus depicts Jesus as the Sower of the seed upon the soils: the resistant path, the impenetrable rock, the wandering thorns and the productive good soil. The stunning portrayal of this parable is ideally suited for our seminary. Why? Because we exist for the purpose of preparing a new generation of students to become “good soil” for the extravagance of seed offered generously to us directly from the loving hands of the Sower, Jesus. As we are fully receptive to the lavishing provisions of Jesus, we, in turn, become his beloved disciples. When John and Lois Pierce established the Pierce Center for Disciple-Building, their vision was for every Gordon-
Conwell student to grow as beloved disciples of Jesus Christ while attending seminary. They knew the rigors of academic studies, combined with demands of family, work and ministry, could curtail students from prioritizing the care of their souls. As a result of their visionary generosity, we have the unique opportunity to come alongside our students and offer spiritual formation ministries that nurture their relationship with the Lord. When these ministries are combined with their academic studies, the soil of their souls is nurtured during this significant season of life. For the past eight years, the Pierce Center has served our community by becoming a conscience for the priority of soul care. We engage in spiritual formation experiences
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In Their Own Words
Drew Thompson (M.Div. ‘09, Th.M. ‘10)
“From day one I was connected with mentors who cared about me and prayed for me, peers who listened to, and encouraged me, and small groups that challenged me. It has made all the difference to be in such rich and honest fellowship with others. It brought me life and constantly reminded me of the reason why I want to be in ministry, and the reason why I was pursuing this degree in the first place. It also pushed me into deeper levels of honesty with myself and others, and was an agent of God’s call for me to become more spiritually complete in Christ. The bottom line is that the Pierce Center is a quiet but constant fountain of life on this campus, mediating the presence of Christ through staff and students, and spurring us on to love and good deeds. I am grateful to God for the impact that it has had on me.”
Mary Willson (M.Div. ‘09, Th.M. ‘10)
“As I reflect upon all the good work that God has accomplished in my life during my time at Gordon-Conwell, the Pierce Center for Discipleship rises to the top of the list. As a result of my experiences, the Lord has shaped my heart more into the heart of Christ. He has grown my capacity to rejoice in what Christ rejoices in and mourn what Christ mourns. God promises to transform us more and more into the image of Christ, and I have witnessed the Spirit’s work in this way through the Pierce Center. The ‘big picture’ of my reflection of these past three years in Pierce, then, is Christlikeness. Praise God for his faithfulness in this way!”
that foster deeper intimacy with Christ both in the private space of the prayer closet as well as the communal place of worship, love and service to others. The Pierce Center is located on all our campuses and is serviced daily by a committed team of staff and steering committee members who long for Gordon-Conwell to be a place conducive to the growth and depth of the spiritual lives of our students. We offer many programs that foster the priority of becoming beloved disciples of Jesus Christ. These include the facilitation of Soul Sabbaths, day-long retreats that focus on creating quiet space to practice the spiritual disciplines of biblical reflection and listening prayer. We coordinate Soul Care Groups on campus, encouraging students to maintain ongoing fellowship in small groups that emphasize authentic relationships and learning how to listen with, and pray for, one another. In addition, we offer ourselves to students as confidantes and spiritual mentors to help sort out basic priorities and attend to the everdeepening invitation of Christ to come close, draw near and follow after him in all aspects of life. The Pierce Fellowship is the centerpiece of the Pierce Center, where more than 60 students are selected each year to receive financial support as fellows and to participate more fully in the ministry of the Center. Here the vision of the John and Lois Pierce is most vibrantly fulfilled, as we devote large blocks of time to invest in the lives of new and existing students. Our Pierce Fellows are discipled through retreats, spiritual formation groups and one-on-one mentoring with our
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staff. Our intentional focus with these students is to invest in the balancing of their multi-faceted personal lives, train them in various areas of spiritual leadership, help develop their daily spiritual rhythms in the context of crafting a personal rule of life, and teach them how to listen prayerfully to one another. Each fellow is required to lead a Soul Care Group on campus. The Pierce Fellowship has been a remarkable experience for all involved. We are delighted with the ways these students have demonstrated their genuine desire to develop healthy receptivity to the seeds that are being extravagantly bestowed upon them by the Sower, Jesus. They are learning how to receive God’s love and God’s Word, and growing deeply in attending to His still, small voice. The listening, pondering and reflecting they are doing collectively and individually is opening up the eyes of their hearts to the lavishing love of God. In turn, they love and serve others in Jesus’ name. What better gift can we offer to them…and to the Church of Jesus Christ worldwide?
Dr. Stephen A. Macchia (M.Div. ‘83, D.Min. ‘01) is Director of the Pierce Center and also serves as Founder and President of Leadership Transformations. He’s the author of several books, including Becoming A Healthy Church, Becoming A Healthy Team and Becoming A Healthy Disciple and the creator of the Church Health Assessment Tool (CHAT – www.HealthyChurch.net). For more information about his ministry, go to www.LeadershipTransformations.org.
The John and Lois Pierce Center for Disciple-Building
Vision: By God’s grace and for His glory, we long to see Gordon-Conwell living joyfully as a community of Christ-centered, Holy Spirit-empowered disciple-builders. Mission: Within the context of a loving Christian community, we invite one another to prioritize life-long intimacy with Jesus Christ while developing as incarnational disciple-builders
Becoming A Healthy Disciple: Ten Traits of Spiritual Vitality*
By Stephen A. Macchia
1. Experiences God’s Empowering Presence
The healthy disciple understands the role of the Holy Spirit and lives daily with a fresh reality of his power and presence (John 14:26: “The Counselor, the Holy Spirit, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you”).
2. Engages in God-Exalting Worship
The healthy disciple engages whole-heartedly in meaningful, God-focused worship experiences on a weekly basis (John 4:23: “The true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks”).
3. Practices the Spiritual Disciplines
The healthy disciple pursues the daily disciplines of prayer, Bible study and reflection in the quietness of one’s personal prayer closet (John 15:4: “Remain in me, and I will remain in you”).
4. Learns and Grows in Community
The healthy disciple is involved in spiritual and relational growth in the context of a safe and affirming group of like-minded believers (John 21: 6: “When they did (obey Jesus), they were unable to haul the net because of the large number of fish”).
The healthy disciple prioritizes the qualities of relational vitality that lead to genuine love for one another in the home, workplace, church and community (John 15: 12,13, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends”).
5. Commits to Loving and Caring Relationships
6. Exhibits Christ-like Servanthood
Dr. Stephen Macchia, Director of the Pierce Center, Lois Pierce and President Dennis Hollinger
The healthy disciple practices God-honoring servanthood in every relational context of life and ministry (John 13:15: “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you”).
John and Lois Pierce
John Pierce was a long-time trustee of the seminary, a successful businessman, an avid reader and a devoted follower of Christ. He went home to be with the Lord in March 2002 after battling cancer. He and his wife, Lois, founded the Pierce Center for Disciple-Building as a spiritual formation complement to the excellent academic and ministry skill development each student receives at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. In the words of Lois, “We wanted every seminary student to experience a taste of what we savored for many years with hundreds of young people in Cincinnati as we gathered each week in our home for small group fellowship, worship and Bible study. I hope that students will take advantage of the opportunities provided by the Pierce Center for the deepening of their love for Christ, sharing life together in spiritual community, and growing as disciple-builders in every arena of ministry.”
7. Shares the Love of Christ Generously
The healthy disciple maximizes every opportunity to share the love of Christ, in word and deed, with those outside the faith (John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”).
8. Manages Life Wisely and Accountably
The healthy disciple develops personal life management skills and lives within a web of accountable relationships (John 9:4: “As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me”).
9. Networks with the Body of Christ
The healthy disciple actively reaches out to others within the Christian community for relationships, worship, prayer, fellowship and ministry (John 17:23: “May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me”).
10. Stewards a Life of Abundance
The healthy disciple recognizes that every resource comes from the hand of God and is to be used generously for kingdom priorities and purposes (John 12:24: “Unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds”).
* Excerpted from Macchia’s book, Becoming a Healthy Disciple (Baker Publishing Group, 2004).
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S P I R I T U A L F O R M A T I O N DURING SEMINARY
Caroline Dixon graduated from Harvard College, then worked nearly five years in a fast-paced Manhattan consulting firm before enrolling at Gordon-Conwell in 2009.
“It was thrilling and busy,” she says. “I loved living in New York City and loved my job.” But over time, she discovered that what she was doing at her evangelical Episcopal church was “so much more exciting.” Ultimately, Caroline concluded that she would always be a hard worker, but wanted to expend that energy directly for God’s service. Now an M.Div. student, she is also a Fellow in the seminary’s Pierce Center for Disciple-Building. Through the spiritual formation provided by the Center’s Director, Rev. Dr. Stephen A. Macchia, and Mrs. Susan Currie, Associate for Spiritual Formation, Caroline is learning how to be still and listen for God. A part of this quiet occurs in a bi-weekly spiritual formation group where, she explains, “Fellows are encouraged “to wait attentively on the Lord. Sue will often slowly read a Bible passage several times lextio divina style. We listen prayerfully…and offer a one-line prayer to God in response…and suddenly we’re praying together…We’re learning to better sense the Holy Spirit, which is a privilege.” The group also focuses on the experiences and spiritual life of one Fellow, then prays and encourages that person, sometimes sharing a word or phrase God has given them. “It’s amazing to be on the receiving end,” Caroline explains. “But it has also been a blessing for me to experiment with what it means to listen carefully and deeply to someone, then suppress any initial instinct to give advice or judgment and try to wait.”
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Caroline Dixon, at right, is an M.Div. student and Pierce Fellow.
Like all Pierce Fellows, Caroline leads a small Soul Care Group of students, and meets regularly with Sue Currie for one-on-one spiritual direction. And she is further spiritually formed through full-day Pierce Center retreats. “What it has done for me is that I’m more still and have more faith that God is in that stillness and wanting to nudge me. Coming from the absolute busy to the absolute still has been an incredible thing,” she marvels. “This is the healthiest I’ve ever lived.” After Sam Ferguson completes his M.Div. course work in June, he’ll join the staff of The Falls Church in Virginia, where he’ll be trained for church planting. Also a Pierce Fellow, Sam says the Pierce Center and mentoring by Steve Macchia have been the most intentional contributors to his spiritual growth in seminary. “I have been taught to address my spiritual health. Steve says that
“I’ve been spiritually formed in his classes through witnessing my professors’ own love, passion and devotion to Jesus Christ and his Word...”
-Sam Furguson, M.Div. ’10
if I don’t learn to be selfish with the care of my own soul, I am being selfish toward everyone I’m caring for in ministry. Meaning, if I’m not filled with the Spirit, if I’m not connected to the Vine, anything I’m giving in ministry is just hot air.” Part of that, he explains, “is to realize that I was created by God to work, but also to rest. I was created to strive but also to play, and what does it look like to carve out time during my week not simply to rest but to rejuvenate? “Another question Steve asks is: ‘What’s the state of your soul?’ I think that’s the right question to ask, not ‘How’s your week been?’ That’s like saying ‘Have you been successful in the world’s eyes? Have you managed your time well?’ The state of your soul is a far deeper question.
I could have preached well, counseled well, administered well, but the state of my soul could be very poor, because I had done all that at the expense of spending true time with Jesus and healthy time with my family and friends.” Sam says he has also been spiritually formed in his classes through “witnessing my professors’ own love, passion and devotion to Jesus Christ and his Word...in seeing how they handle the material not merely as an intellectual task, but a profoundly spiritual enterprise. That has formed me more in the classroom than anything else. It has shaped my own approach to the academic side of pursuing God.” He cites a recent experience when his professor was teaching from Luke 15 on the concept of adoption. He was looking at Jesus’ parables of the lost sheep, the lost coin and the lost son when unexpectedly he broke down and couldn’t finish the class. Seeing how my professor understands the depth of what it means to be adopted as sons of God had a bigger impact on me than any of the logical arguments presented before. “What you realize is that this runs really deep with the professors. They believe it. They would die for it. I thought, ‘My professor has probably read this passage 5000 times and he can’t get through it.’ It shows you that in Scripture you’re dealing with a bottomless well. You can never plumb the depths of it because it’s a revelation of God and He’s inexhaustible. “That’s an amazing role model for students. That’s what you strive for in the pastorate. I want to be impacted by what I’m studying like my professor is.”
Pierce Fellow Sam Ferguson, center, will complete his M.Div. work this summer.
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lo o k i n g bac k wa r d to m ov e f o rwa r d
J.I. Packer, D. Phil., and Gary E. Parrett, Ed.D.
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Editor’s Note: Following is an excerpt from the authors’ new book, Grounded in the Gospel: Building Believers the Old-Fashioned Way (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2010). The book explores the historic Christian practice of catechesis--which the authors define as “the church’s ministry of grounding and growing God’s people in the Gospel and its implications for doctrine, devotion, duty and delight.” Excerpt used by permission of Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
… e agree with the widespread conviction that many evangelical churches are in need of deep change today. Indeed, the fact that we share this conviction will be very obvious throughout this book. Our premise, however, is that the surest way forward is to carefully contemplate the wisdom of our past. We are not, as it turns out, the first ones who have ever had to wrestle with the issue of how to grow Christian communities and Christian individuals in contrary cultures. We are not the first to wonder about how to nurture faith in the living God and foster obedience to his way. It is not only contemporary church leaders
must be to the testimony of the Scriptures themselves. Whether we are considering historic practices or contemporary ones, as professed evangelical Christians all our thinking and efforts should be vetted by diligent study of, and contemplation upon, the Bible. From this biblical basis, how shall we best proceed? Perhaps we could apply a version of C. S. Lewis’s familiar counsel. Lewis argued that for every book we read by an author who is still living, we should read one by an author who has died. Or, if that is too much for us, then for every three books we read by living authors, we should read one by a dead author.9 Our counsel here is that for every new method we meet that purports to promote congregational health today we look back to the welltried methods that promoted congregational health in the past. Such an approach will serve us well in many areas, but perhaps none so important as that of making disciples for Jesus Christ. There is so much wisdom for us in the practices of those who have gone before us if we will only humble ourselves to listen and learn. …
9. C. S. Lewis, God in the Dock (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1970), 2012.
instead, we would counsel, let us look back before looking around. our first gaze, of course, must be to the testimony of the scriptures themselves.
who can teach us how to be “relevant” and “effective” in ministry today. We urge concerned church leaders to, in the language of Jeremiah 6:16, “stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it.” In the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments we find an abundance of wisdom for building believers who will live to the glory and honor of our God. There are models and mandates, principles and practices that are as relevant for ministry today as they ever were. Church history also provides us with numerous examples of vibrant, fruitful seasons in the lives of God’s people, when true disciples were truly being made, when whole communities were alive with and for God’s glory. We do not disdain the idea of looking around at contemporary models to find guidance for our own ministries of disciple making. But we do suggest that this not be our only source for wisdom, or even our primary source. Instead, we would counsel, let us look back before looking around. Our first gaze, of course,
Dr. J.I. Packer, Board of Governors’ Professor in Theology Regent College, Vancouver, British Columbia, is regarded as one of the preeminent evangelical theologians today. He is the author of many books, serves as a Senior Editor and Visiting Scholar of Christianity Today and contributes to a variety of theological journals. He holds MA and D.Phil. degrees from Oxford University.
Dr. Gary A. Parrett is Professor of Educational Ministries and Worship, and Chair, Division of Ministry, at Gordon-Conwell. He has taught at Gordon College and served in pastoral ministry at churches in Boston, New York City, New Jersey, Seattle and Seoul, Korea. He earned an M.Div. degree from Regent College and an Ed.D. from Columbia University.
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By Ruth E. Hawk
Her husband’s sudden death in 1991, however, catalyzed her deeper involvement in Kingdom work, and her understanding of stewardship. She served on the Grace Chapel pastoral staff for seven years, and joined World Vision’s U.S. board in 1999. “I was really having my vision and desire for ministry expanded mainly through visits with World Vision,” she recounts. “We went to three countries in Africa, and just seeing the work, that really expanded my desire, that passion to build strong Christian leadership around the world. World Vision was doing that.” She joined the international board in 2001 and has traveled abroad for the organization many times since. “I can’t go anywhere in the world without being overwhelmed by those staff members,” she says. “They are just giving their lives to bless disadvantaged people. It always inspires me in my faith.” Joanna, however, has also inspired others. “She is a very thankful person, very giving and generous,” says Patty MacDonald, a close personal friend and World Vision account manager for New England churches. “Humility is one of the characteristics of Joanna. She doesn’t put any airs on. She’s very accepting and caring of all people.” Joanna is also hospitable, opening her house to numerous events. “I have a large home, which we got before I was a Christ follower, and when I came to the place of deeper faith I asked the Lord to show me how to use it,” she says. “It’s just a privilege to own the home.” Although she will rotate off the World Vision boards this year, Joanna plans to take on more pastoral care responsibilities at Grace Chapel. And, she continues to support Gordon-Conwell. “The work we are doing here is just outstanding,” she says, “and I am very committed to our mission and our desire to teach the Word of God and have that be formative for the people we send from here.” She also enjoys time with her four children and seven grandchildren. She likes to get them involved in her World Vision work, and will be taking one of her sons and his family on her World Vision trip to Guatemala this summer.
If you ask Joanna Mockler, she’s just a steward of the many resources God has entrusted to her care. “It’s very clear from Scripture that God owns everything,” she explains. “I don’t own what I own. God owns what I own, and I’m his steward, and I take that very seriously.” This focus on stewardship, of her finances, time and talents, is largely the reason she has been on the pastoral staff of Grace Chapel, a nondenominational, evangelical church in Lexington, MA; serves on the international and U.S. boards of World Vision; and is a Gordon-Conwell trustee. Joanna grew up with nominally Christian parents and attended an Episcopal school where, she says, she learned the Prayer Book but not the Gospel. Her first real exposure to the Gospel came when she married Colman M. Mockler, a strong Christian, in 1957; moved to Wayland, MA; and began attending a women’s Bible study at an evangelical church. She was converted through a personal encounter with Christ in 1968. After her conversion, she led a Bible study for 17 years. During that time, Colman became CEO of the Gillette Company. In 1986, encouraged by his friend, George Bennett, and feeling a deep affinity with Gordon-Conwell’s mission, Joanna joined the seminary board. “I had a real interest in building the Church through consistent, Christ-centered and biblically-sound leaders,” she explains. “I really thought the seminary was doing that in an excellent way, and I felt privileged to be a part of that.”
Gordon-Conwell to Host National Preaching Conference
The Center for Preaching at Gordon Conwell will honor Dr. Haddon Robinson, Harold John Ockenga Distinguished Professor of Preaching and former President of Gordon-Conwell, at its national preaching conference “What’s the Big Idea?” Sept. 9-10, 2010. The biennial event will take place at the seminary’s South Hamilton, MA, campus. The conference will promote preaching excellence by modeling biblical preaching and equipping ministers with practical skills for proclaiming God’s Word. Participants will listen to renowned preachers and sharpen their skills at a variety of workshops. Keynote speakers include Dr. Robinson; Rev. Dr. SoongChan Rah, Milton B. Engebretson Associate Professor of Church Growth and Evangelism at North Park Theological Seminary, Chicago, IL; Alistair Begg, Senior Pastor of Parkside Church, Cleveland, OH, and host of the daily radio program, Truth For Life; and Dr. Tony Evans, Senior Pastor of the 5,000-member Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, TX. Program highlights also include an evening dedicated to honoring Dr. Robinson, and a live recording of Discover the Word, a daily radio program on which he and former Academic Dean Dr. Alice Mathews have served as Bible teachers for 21 years. The program reaches 2 million listeners in North America and other English-speaking countries. Widely regarded as an expert on preaching, Dr. Robinson received the Living Legend Award from E. K. Bailey Ministries, Inc. in 2008. He was also recognized among Christianity Today International’s Top 25 Most Influential Preachers from 1956-2006, and as one of the 12 most effective preachers in the English-speaking world in a 1996 Baylor University poll. A prolific writer, he is best known for Biblical Preaching, used by seminaries and Bible schools worldwide. Registration and more information are available by visiting www.gordonconwell.edu/ockenga.
Gordon-Conwell Accessible Through Social Media, Blogs
People can now connect with Gordon-Conwell—South Hamilton through a number of social media sites and student blogs. These sites allow users to participate in, and learn about, the Gordon-Conwell community even when off campus, and their communal and interactive nature gives participants a personal and informative look at the seminary.
Facebook: Gordon-Conwell’s Facebook fan page and group page allow participants to learn important seminary information, read relevant articles, hear about the latest events, engage in discussions and connect with other community members. Discussion topics have so far included advice for new students, the best classes to take and the benefits of a D.Min. education. Twitter: Two Twitter accounts provide both factual information about Gordon-Conwell and a personal look at the seminary through the eyes of a current student. iTunes U: iTunes U makes the audio resources of Gordon-Conwell available to iTunes users for free. These resources include some Semlink lectures, a campus tour, some class lectures, President’s Forums, faculty convocations and more.
NING: This active, invitation-only social networking site, called The Prologue, connects matriculated and prospective students with current students and admissions representatives and answers their questions about Gordon-Conwell. It also allows future students to meet and form relationships before coming on campus. Student blogs: Gordon-Conwell’s four student bloggers, Megan Hackman (M.Div.), Soojin Chung (M.Div.), Robson Mulumbe (M.Div.) and John Meinen (M.Div.), post thoughts on everything from theology, to the North Shore to their Christian walks. Their posts provide a firsthand look at life at the seminary.
All but the NING site are accessible through GordonConwell’s website.
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Gordon-Conwell Offers Six New Scholarships
excellence. It will be granted to up to three incoming fulltime students who demonstrate exceptional promise for teaching and academic work and reflect the seminary’s commitment to “think theologically” in service to the Church. • Dr. J Christy Wilson Scholarship for Missions Ministry A renewable, $7,500/year scholarship named in honor of the late Dr. J Christy Wilson, Jr., former professor of missions who served Christ in Afghanistan for 22 years. It will be granted to up to three incoming full-time students who demonstrate outstanding potential for international or local missions and reflect the seminary’s commitment to “engage globally” in service to the Church. Dr. Timothy J. Keller Scholarship for Pastoral Ministry A renewable, $7,500/year scholarship in honor of Dr. Timothy J. Keller (M.Div. ’75), pastor of New York City’s Redeemer Presbyterian Church, who has faithfully communicated the truth of Scripture for more than 20 years. It will be granted to up to three incoming full-time students who demonstrate great promise for pastoral ministry and reflect the seminary’s commitment to “live biblically” in service to the Church. Military Chaplaincy Scholarship A renewable, $5,000/year scholarship granted to up to two incoming full-time students. These students must enroll in the chaplain candidate program during their time at Gordon-Conwell and reflect the seminary’s commitment to “advance Christ’s kingdom in every sphere of life” in service to the Church. Scholarship for Professional Counselors A renewable, $5,000/year scholarship granted to up to two full-time students who demonstrate exceptional promise for counseling ministry and reflect the seminary’s commitment to “advance Christ’s kingdom in every sphere of life” in service to the Church.
Consistent with its commitment to keep education affordable, Gordon-Conwell is introducing six new, merit-based scholarships at the South Hamilton campus beginning in fall 2010. These scholarships are designed to encourage applicants gifted in areas vital to the seminary’s mission to train men and women to think theologically, engage globally and live biblically. New scholarships include: • The Presidential Scholarship for Future Christian Leaders A renewable, $10,000/year scholarship granted to one incoming full-time student who demonstrates exceptional potential for Christian leadership and a commitment to “advance Christ’s kingdom in every sphere of life” in service to the Church. Dr. David F. Wells Scholarship for Teaching Ministry A renewable, $7,500/year scholarship named in honor of long-time theology professor, Dr. David F. Wells, who embodies the seminary’s commitment to academic
Gordon-Conwell—Jacksonville Graduates First Students
Gordon-Conwell—Jacksonville graduated its first four students at commencement exercises conducted May 22. The graduates, all M.Div. students, included Elizabeth Brooke, Barbara Brice, Jeanne Higgins and David Grachek. The exercises were held at First Presbyterian Church in Jacksonville, where the campus currently holds classes. Gordon-Conwell—Jacksonville, founded in 2006, follows the adult education model of the Charlotte campus, providing weekend and weeklong classes and an emphasis on mentoring that allow students already employed full-time to receive a seminary degree.
Dr. Timothy Laniak Installed as Charlotte Dean
Timothy S. Laniak, Th.D., Professor of Old Testament and Curator for the Cooley Collection of the Robert C. Cooley Center for the Study of Early Christianity, was installed as Academic Dean of the Charlotte campus on February 12. He had been serving in that capacity since May 2009. Participants in the installation service included Dr. Dennis P. Hollinger, President; Dr. Robert E. Cooley, President Emeritus; and seminary trustee Rev. Dr. Claude Alexander, Jr., Pastor of Charlotte’s University Park Baptist Church. The event took place at Pleasant Hill Presbyterian Church in Charlotte. Dr. Laniak received an M.Div. degree from Gordon-Conwell and a Doctor of Theology from Harvard Divinity School. He began the ministry of ShepherdLeader.com in 2007. His books, Shepherds After My Own Heart: Pastoral Traditions in the Bible and While Shepherds Watch Their Flocks: Reflections on Leadership From the World of the Bible, are the result of a year’s research in the Middle East. He and his wife, Maureen, have been extensively involved with cross-cultural ministries. They also co-founded Life Long Learning, a non-profit organization offering non-traditional educational opportunities, and Union Academy, a K-12 charter school.
Gordon-Conwell Appoints Dean of Hispanic Ministries
Dr. Alvin Padilla, Dean of the GordonConwell Boston campus (CUME) and Associate Professor of New Testament, has been appointed Dean of the seminary’s new Hispanic Ministries Program, effective July 1, 2010. In this position, he will lead continued development of Gordon-Conwell’s strategic initiative to provide quality theological education to the underserved Hispanic population. Tailored for students in ministry, the program will offer classes through multiple venues and eventually offer certificate and degree programs. Successful trial classes have already been held in New York City. Dr. Padilla is an experienced pastor and teacher, and founded and taught at the Spanish Eastern School of Theology in New York. He holds an M.Div. from Gordon-Conwell and a Ph.D. from Drew University Graduate School. A search for a new Dean of CUME is underway.
Gordon-Conwell Names Director of Planned Giving and Development
William M. Fisher has been named Director of Planned Giving and Development. Fisher has served the seminary’s Advancement office for the past six years, most recently as Chief Development Officer. In his new position, he will work with donors on long-term planning of gifts such as securities, real estate, bequests and life insurance. He has more than 25 years of fundraising experience in nonprofit organizations, including more than a decade as International Events Director for the Haggai Institute, an international leadership organization. He has also been a consultant for the Cecil B. Day Foundation. Fisher has received training in capital campaigns and fundraising from the Institute of Charitable Giving.
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Dr. Mary Ann Hollinger Named to New Position
Dr. Mary Ann Hollinger has been appointed Special Assistant to the Provost for Global Education by Gordon-Conwell’s Board of Trustees. Dr. Hollinger is volunteering her services in this position. In her new role, she is working with Provost Frank James to “explore ways we can expand the educational opportunities for our students abroad.” Her current focus is developing courses that can be taught in other countries, the first of which will be a Heritage of the Reformation course taught in Wittenburg, Germany. She projects that the course will be available in 2011. Dr. Hollinger was previously Dean of External Programs for Messiah College, where she led its national and international offsite learning opportunities. She has also served as Executive Director of the Center for Academic and Professional Services and Assistant Professor of Sociology and Interdisciplinary Studies at Mount Vernon College in Washington, DC. She holds a master’s degree from Montclair State University and Ed.M. and Ed.D. degrees from Columbia University.
Business Ethicist Appointed for New Professorship
David W. Gill, Ph.D., has been named the Mockler-Phillips Professor of Workplace Theology and Business Ethics and Director of the Mockler Center for Faith and Ethics in the Workplace at Gordon-Conwell, effective fall 2010. The new Mockler-Phillips professorship was established in memory of the late Colman M. Mockler, Jr., former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Gillette Company. Gordon-Conwell’s Mockler Center for Faith and Ethics in the Workplace was created by his wife, Joanna, to honor his deep interest in issues of faith, values and ethics in business. Dr. Gill previously taught business ethics at St. Mary’s College in California and was Principal of an organizational ethics consulting business. He has written several books on ethics, most recently, It’s About Excellence: Building Ethically Healthy Organizations. He has also authored numerous articles, and lectures frequently. He belongs to several ethics organizations and is President of the International Jacques Ellul Society. He holds an M.A. from San Francisco State University and a Ph.D. from the University of Southern California.
CUME, EGC Collaborate on New Book Series
Gordon-Conwell’s Boston campus, the Center for Urban Ministerial Education (CUME), and its ministry partner, Emmanuel Gospel Center (EGC), have teamed up to produce the first book in a new Urban Voice Book Series. Entitled The Cat and the Toaster (Wipf and Stock 2010), the book was written by Dr. Doug Hall (’68), President of EGC, and his wife, Judy. Using the letter to the Laodiceans in Revelation 3, the book discusses the church’s tendency to
unwittingly undermine God’s work and calls the church to a new ministry paradigm. Believing that Scripture is transformative when accurately applied, the Urban Voice Book Series is designed to provide faithful biblical instruction appropriate for the urban context. The Halls are long-time urban ministers who have served Emmanuel Gospel Center since 1964. EGC supports churches in the greater Boston area in their ministries, especially to the poor and marginalized. Dr. Hall is also an adjunct professor at CUME. He holds an M.A. from Michigan State University and an M.Div. equivalent from Gordon-Conwell. In 1981, the seminary awarded him an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree for his pioneering work in urban ministry.
New Biblical Literacy Project in Charlotte
Gordon-Conwell—Charlotte has received a grant to research and test a project in biblical literacy. A pilot course begins in September. This project will explore how the unique mission and resources of the Charlotte campus might be used to alleviate biblical illiteracy in the church and the need for lay training in Scripture. The Robert C. Cooley Center for the Study of Early Christianity at Gordon-Conwell—Charlotte is launching the project. This undertaking is in keeping with the Center’s emphasis on understanding the Scriptures in their original contexts and will help to train Bible teachers and make Bible instruction widely accessible.
Kalos Art Journal Produces New Issue
Kalos, the semiannual creative arts journal at Gordon-Conwell—South Hamilton, has published its second issue, “Light.” The journal, founded in 2009 to nurture the seminary’s artistic community, contains poetry, artwork, photography and creative writing from faculty, staff, students and spouses. For the latest issue, visit http://www.editionduo.com/ publication/?i=24898
Recent Edition of Africanus Journal Now Online
The Africanus Journal at CUME, the Boston campus of Gordon-Conwell, has published its second issue. This urban-oriented, multiethnic and multilingual journal was founded in 2009 to feature the academic work of Gordon-Conwell professors, alumni/ae and the Africanus Guild, CUME’s Ph.D. support program. For the latest issue, visit www. gordonconwell.edu/boston/ africanus_journal.
CUME Participates in Ethnic Ministries Summit
Dr. Alvin Padilla, Dean of the Boston campus of Gordon-Conwell (CUME), and Associate Professor of New Testament, was one of the keynote speakers at a conference in Boston hosted by the Ethnic America Network. Entitled “A City Without Walls,” the conference provided training and fellowship for pastors involved in urban and ethnic ministries. Dr. Padilla’s address offered CUME as a learning model for contextualizing theological education. Rev. Dr. SoongChan Rah, a CUME graduate, and Dr. Alvin Sanders, an adjunct professor at CUME, also served as plenary speakers on the topics “A New Kind of Reality” and “A New Kind of Glory,” respectively. A City Without Walls was the 10th annual ethnic ministries summit organized by the Ethnic America Network, a coalition of more than 60 denominations and organizations in North America dedicated to ethnic ministry.
Dr. Sean McDonough Publishes New Book
Dr. Sean McDonough, Professor of New Testament, recently published Christ as Creator: Origins of a New Testament Doctrine (Oxford University Press, 2010). The book argues that the New Testament doctrine of creation through Jesus (i.e. 1 Cor. 8:6) developed from reflection upon Christ’s identity as the Messiah and his ministry, death and resurrection.
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Lessons from Generous Givers
Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:6-8). In my line of work, I know many generous givers. I am overwhelmed by their sacrifice, generosity, humility and love for our great God. These are cheerful givers. What is it that leads these folks to be such remarkable givers? And why are they the exception, not the rule? What have these people figured out that eludes so many in the Church? How does the Church generate and cultivate more partners in the ministry who are generous with their time, talent and treasure? I think true generosity starts with how we spend our time. I have found that generous and cheerful givers are unselfish with their time. They are volunteers at church who show up early or stay late, servant leaders who hang on and don’t quit before the finish line, and devoted Christ followers who carve significant amounts of time to spend with our God. These folks are cheerful givers. The Church needs thoughtful leaders and teachers who encourage us to start by giving God our time. We need Church leaders to teach and model what it means to “be still,” slow down and listen for the gentle whisper from God. These shepherds teach us to be generous with the time we give to God. This is counter cultural, certainly not the message we regularly receive in an overscheduled society constantly bombarding us with multiple demands. We are often so busy and hurried that we cannot possibly hear the gentle whisper of God amid all the noise. When we give God our time and talent, then our treasure is likely to follow. Recently, I had a conversation with a mentor and friend about this very topic. My friend is a generous giver of his time, talent and treasure. Here are some of his thoughts on giving: We are most like God when we give. God is, first and foremost, a generous Giver—of life, blessings, His Son. We most closely align ourselves with His character when we give generously. Giving is not God’s way of raising money. Giving is God’s way of building character. Every sacrificial gift produces in us less selfishness. As we give generously, we move from selfcenteredness to helping others and supporting the ministry.
Giving honors God. We glorify God when we return a portion of the blessings He has so freely and bountifully bestowed on us. Giving acknowledges God’s ownership. When we give, we demonstrate the biblical truth that everything belongs to God. We are given the responsibility to manage the resources He has entrusted to our care. Giving is an investment in ministry. In all of Scripture, from the pitching of the Tabernacle, to the building of the Temple, to supporting the priests and apostles, God has always given the responsibility to believers to support the work of ministry.
God has given Gordon-Conwell the vision to advance Christ’s Kingdom in every sphere of life by equipping Church leaders to think theologically, engage globally and live biblically. Your giving supports this vision. We cannot possibly advance this vision without the faithful support of generous donors. At Gordon-Conwell, we are deeply grateful for the manifold faithful partners who are investing their time, talent and treasure into our ministry. We give thanks to God for them—for their faith, their witness and their sacrifice. They are people who model generous giving.
New Planned Giving Section on Our Website
The new planned giving web page on the GordonConwell website provides clear, detailed information on each kind of planned giving gift, as well as charts, tips and contact information. The site facilitates and clarifies the process for anyone interested in learning more about making a planned gift to the seminary.
Jenifer Hale Deming’s planned giving includes a major bequest to GordonConwell Theological Seminary. Her extravagant generosity comes on the heels of many gifts to the seminary—a pattern established while she was still an M.Div. student at the South Hamilton campus. When she took a course that included a travel seminar to England, she discovered that a young man in the class could not afford to travel. So she started a Travel Seminar Fund. When she and other members of the campus’ Women’s Resource Network observed the financial needs of non-M.Div. female students, they created the Doulas Fund to help support scholarships. Many recipients were women in the Master of Arts in Counseling program. When the seminary introduced a Mission Loan Repayment program that assumes the educational loans of students called to the mission field, she also gave to that initiative. The program enables individuals to pursue their call immediately, rather than wait five to 10 years to pay back loans—a requirement of most mission agencies. “Just being there and seeing the needs of these students led me to want to give back,” she explains. “Here I was having just inherited a decent sum of money and there were people who found it hard to rub two nickels together.”
After graduating in 2001, Jenifer pursued a chaplaincy residency at the Albany (New York) Medical Center, and now serves in an interim capacity at a men’s medium security prison in the Adirondack Mountains. She preaches or participates in inmate-planned Sunday chapel services, and leads a Monday Bible study. She is also a volunteer chaplain for a local hospital and a nursing home. In planning her future philanthropy, Jenifer determined that a bequest was the best option for her, in part because of present income needs and the tax advantages this type of donation offers. And she chose Gordon-Conwell because, as she explains, “I felt that the seminary was doing work that I really, really valued. The fact that I was a student there and got so much out of it, I knew that what it is doing will be of lasting significance.” As an older student, Jenifer enjoyed living on campus, engaging with the professors, participating in a Friday night fellowship group in her dormitory, and enrolling in the meal plan so she could get acquainted with fellow students. Today, she’s still finding ways to help students with practical needs. In her home in the Adirondacks, the front section is somewhat independent of the rest of her house. So she lets Gordon-Conwell students use it for vacations.
President Hollinger Represents Seminary at Home and Abroad
In late fall, he traveled to Seoul, South Korea. Over 10 days, he spoke 19 times to more than 30,000 people, visited six seminaries or universities, met with two government officials and many church leaders, made donor contacts, attended an alumni gathering, connected with potential students and granted several media interviews. In March, President Hollinger also taught “Christian Ethics in the Global Context” in Kiev, Ukraine, at REALIS Christian Center. REALIS is an interdisciplinary center that trains and equips Christian leaders. The same month, he gave the keynote address at a joint National Association of Evangelicals/Assemblies of God Theological Seminary event in Springfield, MO, entitled “Respecting Sex and Reducing Abortions–What Can Christian Leaders Really Do?” In his address, President Hollinger argued that understanding and communicating the meaning and purpose of sex can protect respect for the dignity of human life and preserve the sanctity of sex within marriage.
President Dennis P. Hollinger has made several trips abroad in recent months on behalf of the seminary, and was the keynote speaker at a major event in the U.S.
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FOCUS ON ALUMNI
Alumni by the Numbers
The two graphs below represent the denominational affiliation and occupational status of Gordon-Conwell alumni. These graphs were part of a larger alumni report presented to the leadership of the Seminary this past spring.
E 55% of alumni/ae reporting. Data collected from Fall 2008 to Summer 2009 and includes alumni through 2008. ^This classification includes traditional congregational denominations, as well as the Evangelical Covenant Church and the Evangelical Free Church. *This classification includes those identified as nondenominational, inter-denominational, and independent. It also includes more than 30 identified denominations ranging from Lutheran to Catholic to Christian Missionary Alliance.
*9000+ living alumni reside in all 50 states and on six continents. *Six percent of alumni have two or more degrees from the seminary. *25 faculty members are also alumni. *The oldest living graduates are from the class of 1939 (there are two of them!). *Alumni are a part of nearly 100 different denominations around the world.
FOCUS ON ALUMNI
Beside Still Waters Alumni Day in Charlotte
Alumni gathered on a snowy Saturday morning in March at the Charlotte campus for Beside Still Waters, an event designed to refresh souls and connect with other seminary graduates. While the snow created a smaller turnout, the ministry of Drs. Leighton Ford, Maria Boccia (D.Min., ’03) and Garth Rosell blessed those who were able to attend.
Dr. Leighton Ford ministers to alumni in his session entitled “The Attentive Life: Discerning God’s Presence in All Things.”
Calling All Alumni Authors!
The Alumni Office staff is working on a project to build a list of books authored by Gordon-Conwell graduates. The goal is to make such a list available online in the future. If you have authored a book, please let the Alumni Office know by emailing email@example.com or calling 1.800.294.2774. Thanks in advance for your help with this project!
The Good News We Almost Forgot: Rediscovering the Gospel in a 16th Century Catechism (Moody Publishers, 2010) by Kevin DeYoung (’02); Sacred Encounters from Rome to Jerusalem (InterVarsity Press, 2009) by Tamara Park (’05) (available at ivpress. com); and The Life and Letters of Emily Chubbuck Judson: Volume 1; Biographies and Timelines (Mercer University Press, 2009) edited by George Tooze (’65) - three of numerous alumni books. If you are an alumni author, let us know!
Come Back to Gordon-Conwell for a Helping of Roast Preacher
The 2010 Preaching Conference gives an opportunity for our alumni not only to grow in the area of preaching, but also to come back to campus! This year’s conference is unique in that it will honor Dr. Haddon Robinson for a lifetime of service in preaching and teaching God’s Word. As part of the conference, we are excited to announce a special alumni lunch with Dr. Haddon Robinson entitled, “Roast Preacher: Lessons Learned from Mistakes in Preaching.” Learn more about the conference at store.gordonconwell.edu or call 1.800.294.2774.
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Kenneth M. Hughes, M.Div., ‘53, of Havelock, New Brunswick, Canada, passed away January 25 at the Sussex Health Center in Sussex, New Brunswick. William Clemons, M.Div., ’73, of Abington, MA, passed away in May 2009. Margaret Ellen Bowen, MATS, ’87, passed away December 8 after a yearlong battle with cancer. Margaret is survived by her husband of 45 years, the Rev. Dr. John P. Bowen. Pauline Santucci, M.Div., ’08, of Epping, NH, died February 17 at age 67 after a period of failing health. A memorial service was held March 6 at Epping Community Church.
Raymond Isleib, M.Div., ’84, recently opened a law office in Merced, CA, practicing bankruptcy law. Stu Austin, M.Div., ’85, and his wife, Ethelanne Black Austin, M.Div., ’86, are now part of New Hope Presbyterian, an Evangelical Presbyterian church in Fort Myers, FL. New Hope was started on Easter 2008, after a majority of the members of Covenant Presbyterian Church left the PCUSA. Stu serves as the Associate Pastor of Congregational Care and Outreach. Ethelanne retired in 2000 from the Department of Justice, where she served as a federal probation officer. Robert Turner, M.Div., ’86, was quoted in an article in the Baltimore Sun highlighting the growth of St. John Baptist Church, where he pastors. Andrew Carr, MATS, ’88, has been accepted into the Ph.D. program in New Testament Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary. David Kimberly, D.Min., ’88, M.Div., ’78, has been serving as Senior Pastor of Faith Community Fellowship in Massillon, OH, since 1994, and teaching as an adjunct faculty member at Malone University since 1998. This past February, he presented a paper on the impact of evangelical faith on American national life at an international conference on American culture at the Russian State University for the Humanities in Moscow.
Stanley Horton, M.Div., ’44, has taught thousands in the U.S. and in 25 countries and is known especially for his impact on Pentecostalism. Lois E. Olena recently published his biography, Stanley M. Horton: Shaper of Pentecostal Theology (Gospel Publishing House, 2009).
John Beauregard, M.Div., ’56, retired from Gordon College after nearly 41 years of service. A news release from Gordon College says of him, “From organizing library resources to coaching student athletes and most recently to overseeing the College archives— including the A.J. Gordon Heritage Project—Beauregard has had a pastoral presence across campus.”
Thomas Dalbo, M.Div., ’65, recently celebrated his 45th anniversary as Senior Pastor of Winchester Community Church, an Evangelical Free Church of America, in West Seneca, NY. His first Sunday there was January 17, 1965. George Tooze, M.Div., ’65, recently published the first volume in a six-volume compilation of the letters of Emily Chubbuck Judson. The volumes are being published by Mercer University Press.
Tom Backer, M.Div., ’93, has been a CPE Supervisor at the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha since 2007. Prior to his current position, Tom completed CPE Supervisory Education at Alegent Health in Omaha while serving as a staff chaplain at Alegent Health—Bergan Mercy Medical Center. Tom is ordained with the Baptist General Conference and is a board certified chaplain with the Association for Professional Chaplains. Penelope Hamilton-Kauffman, M.Div., ’95, and her husband have served with Campus Crusade for Christ, sharing Christ and offering Bible training to international students at Ohio State University, for the last seven years. They have two young daughters. Stephen Samuel, M.Div., ’95, recently celebrated 13 years of pastoral ministry at Westbury Gospel Tabernacle in Westbury, NY. He and his wife, Elizabeth, have two daughters. Eric Bennett, M.Div., ’96, was ordained by the Colorado Springs Council of Christian Churches in January 2010. He completed his third season presenting Christ in the Passover for Jews for Jesus, this year in Oklahoma. He will serve on a mission trip to Israel in June. His wife, Kathy, works part-time with Jews for Jesus. They have a young daughter. Alan “Blues” Baker, D.Min., ’97, has been named Directional Leader at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church in Menlo Park, CA. David Deboe, M.Div., ’98, and his wife, Jacqueline, M.Div., ’98, welcomed their first child, a son born in China, in November 2009. David Swanson, D.Min., ’98, is part of a team developing The Well, a media ministry platform for presenting the Gospel through Dr. Swanson’s teaching. The platform launched in December in Orlando and Ft. Myers, FL; Dallas, TX; and Chattanooga, TN. Dr. Swanson will also soon publish his first book, Vital Signs. James Magness, D.Min., ’99, has been called to serve as Canon for Mission and Diocesan Administration at the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia.
David Montzingo, M.Div., ’75, recently founded Holy Spirit Anglican Church in the College Area of San Diego. Holy Spirit Church is in the Diocese of Western Anglicans of the Anglican Church in North America. Charles Sutton, MTS, ’76, retired Oct. 1 from active service in the Episcopal Church, after serving 27 years as a presbyter, the last 19 years at Trinity Episcopal Church in Whitinsville, MA. Following his retirement, he was received into the Anglican Church of North America, in the Anglican Diocese of New England. He and his wife, Mary, MTS, ’77, now live in Uxbridge, MA. Dennis Lower, M.Div., ’79, has been named President and Chief Executive Officer of the Center of Research, Technology and Entrepreneurial Exchange (CORTEX).
Paul Helgesen, MRE, ’80, is featured in an article on the Gordon College website for using his vacation time to volunteer in Haiti after the January 12 earthquake. He is Director of Plant Operations and Sustainability at Gordon College.
Lenny Anderson, M.Div., ‘00, was ordained into the Holy Order of Deacons in the Episcopal Church Diocese of Easton, MD, on February 20. He currently serves at Wye Parish Episcopal Church. Tim Andrews, M.Div., ‘00, has been called to pastor the Evangelical Congregational Church in Lancaster, PA. Mark Briesmaster, M.Div., ‘00, received his Ph.D. from Biola University in 2006. That same year, he and his family went to southern Chile to work as missionaries among the Mapuche Indians. Currently, he directs a rural seminary for Mapuche pastors and church leaders, is a seminary professor in several urban seminaries and is Vice President and board member of the first Christian university in Chile, La Universidad Cristiana de Chile. Tom Waddell, M.Div., ‘01, was recently installed as Rector of the Anglican Church of the Redeemer in Chattanooga, TN. Previously, Tom and his wife, Linda, were missionaries with SAMS (Society of Anglican Missionaries & Senders) in Bolivia. Ben White, MANT, ’02, is finishing his Ph.D. in Ancient Mediterranean Religions at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has accepted a tenure-track position in Religious Studies at North Carolina Wesleyan College in Rocky Mount, NC. He will serve as Program Coordinator in Religious Studies. Kevin DeYoung, M.Div., ’02, recently published Why We Love the Church: In Praise of Institutions and Organized Religion with co-author Ted Kluck (Moody, 2009). The book won a Christianity Today Book Award. Casey Barton, Th.M., M.Div., ’03, is finishing a Ph.D. at the University of Toronto, in the Toronto School of Theology. In June 2009, Casey became Pastor of Student Ministries at Great Exchange Covenant Church in Sunnyvale, CA. He and his wife, Sarah, welcomed their first son, Eugene, in December 2007 and their second son, Theo, in June 2009. Rick Picariello, Th.M., ’03, M.Div., ‘02, and Mount Hope Christian Center, where he is Senior Pastor, were featured in an article on www.wickedlocal.com for their work in the Burlington, MA, community. Rob Rienow, D.Min., ’04, has recently published a new book, Visionary Parenting (Randall House, 2009), which is designed to inspire and equip parents to take the lead in passing faith to their children. Eric Russ, M.Div., ‘04, and Leon Stevenson, M.Div., ‘08, were featured in an article in the Wall Street Journal about church planting in Detroit. Along with others, they planted Mack Avenue Community Church there. An interview with Leon Stevenson is on the Gordon-Conwell website. Nijay Gupta, Th.M., ’05, M.Div., ‘04, has accepted an offer to teach biblical studies at Seattle Pacific University’s School of Theology. Geoff Rach, M.Div., ‘05, is Associate Pastor at Canonsburg United Presbyterian Church in Canonsburg, PA. Geoffrey Reiter, MACH, ’05, has been appointed Professor at The Baptist College of Florida in Graceville, FL. Previously, Reiter taught 8th-10th grade at a charter school while pursuing a doctoral degree in English at Baylor University in Waco, TX.
Jonathan Dodson, Th.M., ’06, M.Div., ‘05, and Austin City Life Church, where he is Pastor, were featured in an article on the Austin Statesman blog. Stuart Rankin, MACH, MATH, ’06, was serving at the Mission of Hope in Grand-Goave, Haiti (less than 20 miles from the epicenter), when the earthquake struck in January. He describes his experience in the On the Front Lines section of Contact. James-Michael Smith, M.Div., ‘06, has developed a DVD course entitled The Bible for the Rest of Us. James Banks, D.Min., ’07, recently published his book, The Lost Art of Praying Together (Discovery House, 2009). Steve Barrett, M.Div., ’07, was formally ordained by the Christian and Missionary Alliance at a special service at Christ the Rock Fellowship of Worcester, MA, on November 22, 2009. Steve has been serving as Pastor of Christ the Rock Fellowship since July 2009. David Martin Hanke, M.Div., ’07, is featured in an article on the Arlington Connection. He is serving at Restoration Anglican Church in Arlington, VA. Eric Mason, D.Min., ’07, spoke at the Desiring God Conference in Minneapolis, MN, in February. Steve Witte, D.Min., ’07, is now Vice President at Asia Lutheran Seminary in Hong Kong. He and his wife, Mary, moved to Hong Kong in October. Jonathan Bonomo, MACH, ’08, has recently published Incarnation and Sacrament: The Eucharistic Controversy between Charles Hodge and John Williamson Nevin (Wipf & Stock, 2010). Victoria Italiano-Lee, D.Min., ’08, is the new lead pastor at the Kirkwood Presbyterian (PCUSA) Church in Bradenton, FL. Michael Koerber, M.Div., ‘08, is now Mobilization Coordinator for Janz Team Ministries. Jason Phibbs, MACL, ’08, will run for the District 25 North Carolina Senate. David Escobar Arcay, MAUM, ’09, wrote a book review in the recent publication of American Theological Inquiry on Seek the Peace of the City: Reflections on Urban Ministry by Dr. Eldin Villafañe, Professor of Christian Social Ethics at CUME, the Boston campus of Gordon-Conwell. Josh McClendon, M.Div., ’09, is Pastor of Bethel United Methodist Church in Rock Hill, SC. He is featured in an article on www. heraldonline.com about a homeless ministry in that church. Jess Bousa, MABL, MAR, ’10, recently published his third book, The Discipleship Dare: Living Dangerously for God (Kalos Books, 2009).
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The Whole World Is(n’t) Watching
Sean McDonough, Ph.D. (M.Div.,’93, Th.M.,’94) Professor of New Testament
t looks as though we may need to update the old Zen koan: “If a tree falls in the forest and nobody hears it, does it make a sound?” The new version might go, “If I eat a sandwich but don’t write about it on Twitter, will I still be hungry?” Now at this point I feel compelled to insert the customary, “Technology has lots of wonderful uses…” and the contractually obligatory, “like allowing people to read our faculty forum, Every Thought Captive!” And technology does, in fact, have lots of wonderful uses. Encryption programs can allow dissidents to report on the atrocities committed by repressive governments with minimized fear of reprisal. On a less dramatic level, you can post photos of your recent trip to Ethiopia on Facebook without having to email a bunch of people directly (let alone make actual prints and mail them, as we used to do in the late Bronze Age). But the Twitter-ization of communication in the last few years clearly represents the other side of technology’s two-edged sword. Life, I suppose, is always some mix of grandeur and triviality, but the difference now is that your trivia can reach a worldwide audience within seconds. Whether everyone is out there anxiously awaiting your news (“im typing a thing for evry thot cptiv right now, how cool is that, then im snacking, prb a sweet ‘n’ salty nut bar, ill keep you posted!”) is of course another question altogether. Maybe the whole world isn’t watching. But there is always the chance that it might be, and that is the problem I want to focus on. One of the most powerful forces that shapes our behavior is simply who we think is watching us. We try to get good grades to please our parents. We tailor our jokes to please our peers. We cut our lawns to please our neighbors. This is all natural enough, but the world-wideness of the Web adds a new dimension to the problem. I can begin to derive significance
34 Summer ‘10
for my humdrum little life from the assumption that the Global Community is clicking like crazy to read about my latest thoughts on politics, religion, and what color shoes I’m thinking of wearing tomorrow. We speak of “death by a thousand cuts.” We might tweak that to, “life by a thousand tweets.” I came, I blogged, I conquered. I am read, therefore I am. Most human enterprises end up slogging towards the swamps of idolatry, and the new communication tools look like they’re taking that same sad path. The internet can serve as a surrogate sheltering sky, aglow with galaxies of fellow bloggers and tweeters; a Zodiac of sympathetic stars happy to guide our ways. But like all makeshift deities, it promises much more than it can deliver. Because at the end of the day, we all live pretty ordinary lives, and continually blogging about them is not going to change that. What makes the difference is recognizing that your ordinary life is, in fact, lived out in the presence of a very extraordinary God, who knows every hair on your head and loves you with limitless concern. With his eyes on you, you don’t need to worry about who else is watching.
Enjoyed this article? Read new faculty thoughts each week (and access nearly 100 archived Every Thought Captive entries) at www.gordonconwell.edu/alumni. Dr. Sean M. McDonough, Associate Professor of New Testament, joined the seminary in 2000 after serving as Chair of the Biblical Studies Department and lecturer in New Testament at Pacific Theological College in Suva, Fiji. He is active in his local church and also a speaker for MedAir, a Christian relief organization. He received his Ph.D. from the University of St. Andrews. Dr. McDonough is author of several books, including Christ as Creator: The Origins of a New Testament Doctrine, due for released in 2010 by Oxford University Press.
Edward M. Keazirian II, Th.D. Assistant Professor of Greek and Director of the Greek Language Program
After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread” (Matthew 4:2–3). So, what’s wrong with making bread? Look, this isn’t exactly rocket science: You’re hungry and a guy’s gotta eat, right? No big deal. Go ahead. It’s just bread. Well, apparently Jesus thought it was a big deal––a big enough deal that he confronts the tempter with an answer from Scripture, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God’” (Matthew 4:4 quoted from Deuteronomy 8:3). This is just the first of three temptations Jesus will face in his encounter with Satan, but it is the most important for anyone who aspires to follow Christ. In this first skirmish, Jesus defines by word and deed the essence, authority and role of Scripture for every disciple. When Jesus quotes the text from Deuteronomy, he is reminding himself––and affirming for his disciples––that the words of Scripture are in essence the very words of God. It is not that the Scripture contains the word of God or that in human experience it somehow becomes the word of God, but rather the words written in Scripture actually are God’s own words. These words are, as is all of Scripture, God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16). Similarly, Jesus affirms that Scripture, as the Word of God, is truth and is endowed with the full authority of God. Therefore, he and his disciples after him are to believe and obey the Scriptures. Even Satan understands that God’s Word is supremely true and authoritative, and so his first tactic is always to cast doubt on God’s Word: “Did God really say, . . .” (Genesis 3:1) or “If you are the Son of God, . . .” (Matthew 4:3). Thus, every temptation ultimately tests our allegiance to the word and authority of God. Rather than question God’s Word, Jesus uses the
Scripture to dispel doubt. Jesus relies upon the Scripture as the basis for his preaching and teaching (doctrine), for reprimanding Satan (rebuke), for reestablishing proper belief and behavior (correction), and for continuing education and maturation (training in righteousness). Jesus thus demonstrates in his own life the role that Scripture should play in the life of every disciple and every church (2 Timothy 3:16). So, what’s wrong with making bread? Nothing, unless it leads you to betray your God, your identity, and your destiny. And that is exactly what was at stake for Jesus. Satan’s seemingly harmless suggestion that Jesus make himself some bread was just the first step in his strategy to dissuade Jesus from going to the cross and ultimately to eliminate the redemptive work of Christ. Satan is still out there seeking ways to destroy those who follow Christ. Therefore, as disciples and as those making disciples, we must by our words and deeds accord the same identity, authority and role to Scripture that Christ himself did. Our very survival depends upon it.
Dr. Edward M. Keazirian II, Assistant Professor of Greek and Director of the Greek Language Program, has a background in evangelism and discipleship through InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and the Navigators. He has also served as a minister of evangelism and discipleship in a local church. Currently, he is involved in multiple ministries in his church; is a guest speaker for churches, conferences and campus ministries; and is a member of the U.S. support organization for InterVarsity in the Philippines. He received M.Div. and Th.M. degrees from Gordon-Conwell and a Th.D. from Boston University School of Theology.
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National Preaching Conference in honor of Haddon Robinson by the Center for Preaching at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
tony evans, alistair begg, and soong-chan rah
Join us on September 9-10, 2010
Please join us for What’s the Big Idea? on September 9 and 10, 2010. During this momentous occasion we will be honoring Haddon Robinson for a lifetime served as a preacher and teacher of God’s Word.
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