Knox Now FA L L 2012
† GOSPEL DRIVEN † MISSION FOCUSED
MISSION FOCUSED “Seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” Jeremiah 29:7
REACHING MIILLIONS FOR THE GOSPEL 4 • TEACHING IN CHINA 8 • MISSION AT THE BEGINNING 13
FROM THE EDITOR І TABLE OF CONTENTS
INTRODUCING KNOX NOW OVER THE PAST TWO YEARS, as many of the seminary’s communication pieces have been redesigned, I have had the pleasure of connecting with students, alumni, pastors, donors, friends of Knox, faculty and staff. These new communication tools have included a new website, social media connectivity, blogs, a video channel, e-newsletters, brochures, banners, and much more. Knox Now is the next way of communicating the gospel-driven teaching of Knox to past, present, and future students as well to the wider, global Christian community. At Knox, we seek to be a blessing to the city where God has planted us – sharing the gospel in a distinctly urban and coastal culture while bringing spiritual and community renewal to a truly international south Florida. Knox Online, our online-learning campus, now gives us the opportunity to teach thousands and reach millions around the globe. What a blessing and opportunity this presents. In order to communicate the gospel afresh, sometimes we have to step back and evaluate what we are communicating and how we share the heart of Knox Theological Seminary. FINDING NEW WAYS TO COMMUNICATE Communication is a cornerstone of the gospel and how we communicate those truths is central to the mission-focused concentration at Knox. It is what Christ calls us to do in proclaiming the gospel message (Mark 16:15), sharing what we believe (Matthew 28:19), the creativity we employ (Exodus 35: 1-2), giving an adequate defense of it (1 Peter 3:15), and communicating positively by being salt and light in the world (Matthew 5:13-16). At Knox, we proudly stand on the foundation that has been built, the legacy of faith and strength of tradition, while boldly looking ahead to what God’s grace holds for us in the future. Many of you will notice that this inaugural issue of Knox Now
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By Ivey Rose Smith DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS
IN THIS ISSUE 3 4 6 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
FACULTY NEWS REACHING MILLIONS FOR THE GOSPEL by Rev. Jonathan G. Smith GOD’S WORK IN KOREA by Dr. Warren A. Gage TEACHING IN CHINA by Dr. Sam Lamerson HOLY LAND TOUR OPPORTUNITY KNOX ONLINE LOGOS PARTNERSHIP OUR CALLING: REWEAVING THE FABRIC OF THE WORLD by Dr. Jim Belcher MISSION AT THE BEGINNING by Dr. Michael Allen MISSION FOCUSED by Dr. Jonathan Linebaugh 2012 COMMENCEMENT
takes on a different look than our publications in the past. We seek to communicate the deeply-held beliefs and timeless truths in a modern and current way that keeps our finger on the pulse of culture. Part of being mission focused is finding new ways to communicate the spectrum of ancient truths and bold, futuristic thinking for ministry to a culture that is rapidly advancing. Our goal is not to make Knox Seminary great but to magnify God and His son Jesus Christ and our prayer is to be a shining light to a desperately needy world (John 9:5). We believe that the new face of Knox Now will best reflect the seminary’s commitment to training students for 21st-century ministry that is Christ centered, gospel driven, and mission focused. †
SPEAKING SCHEDULES І FACULTY NEWS
Faculty News DR. MICHAEL ALLEN Speaking: November 14-16, 2012 Milwaukee, WI Evangelical Theological Society annual meeting, where they are having a review session on his latest book, Karl Barth’s Church Dogmatics: An Introduction and Reader. Books: Completing a book manuscript on justification and the gospel, due to be published by Baker Academic in 2013. DR. JIM BELCHER Speaking: October 8th, 2012 The Gordon College Chapel
Books: Currently working on Deep Christianity, a sequel to his best-selling book Deep Church.
Spring of 2013 The Romance of Our Redemption (with Chris Barber)
DR. WARREN GAGE Teaching: October 15-19, 2012 DMin class, “The Art of Exegetical Theology.”
DR. SAM LAMERSON Teaching: September 2012 Sunday School at Cross Community Church
March 8-17, 2013 Holy Land Tour
October 2012 Taping a series for Logos called “The New Testament in Five Hours.”
Preaching: November 4, 2012 Weston, FL First Baptist Church of Weston Books: Fall of 2012 Journey to Emmaus: A Walk with a Stranger from Jerusalem (with Leah Grace Gage)
WARREN A. GAGE BIBLICAL THEOLOGY COLLECTION NOW AVAILABLE THROUGH LOGOS The Logos Bible Software edition of the Warren A. Gage Biblical Theology Collection is designed to encourage and stimulate a student’s study and understanding of the Bible. Scripture passages link directly to English translations and original language texts, and important theological concepts link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in the digital library. In addition, users can perform powerful searches by topic and find what other authors, scholars, and theologians have to say about Gage’s arguments and conclusions. To learn more about the collection and purchase, please visit www.knoxseminary.edu/dr-warren-gagepublishes.
Books: Currently working on a book on the intertestamental period which will include much of the material taught in China.
Blog: Follow Dr Lamerson on his blog: www.drsamlam.com DR. JONATHAN LINEBAUGH Speaking: November 17-20, 2012 Chicago, IL Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting Blog: Director of Content on Liberatenet.org, a resource ministry of Pastor Tullian Tchividjian, where he is a frequent blog and video series contributor.
DR. ALLEN APPOINTED DR. D. JAMES KENNEDY ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY Dr. Michael Allen has been promoted to the position of associate professor and appointed as the Dr. D. James Kennedy Associate Professor of Systematic Theology. This first endowed chair at Knox was established by Mr. Richard DeVos. The appointment is effective immediately. Dr. Warren A. Gage, Dean of Faculty, observed that, “Dr. Michael Allen has proven to be one of our most popular teachers and has already created a publication list that would be remarkable for a scholar twice his age. His work ethic, his pastoral heart, and his winsomely gospelcentered manner display the kind of scholarship Knox will be known for in the future.” Dr. Allen is an ordained minister in the Evangelical Presbyterian Church.
FALL 2012 | KNOX NOW
MISSION FOCUSED І GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE
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for the Gospel
How does Knox Seminary, located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, reach out and train millions of people scattered throughout the world? The answer is straightforward: through the unprecedented
By Rev. Jonathan G. Smith DEAN OF KNOX ONLINE
communication revolution of the Internet. THIS PAST SUMMER, Knox received approval from the Board of Commissioners of the Association of Theological Schools to offer a comprehensive distance education program. As a result, Knox has created an ambitious new endeavor to aggressively expand our program offerings by allowing students to complete 100% of their education through online courses. But there is more to the story than just offering students the flexibility of completing their academic program online. There are now endless possibilities for Knox to expand its mission to be Christ Centered, Gospel Driven and Mission Focused. When Dr. D. James Kennedy, founder of Knox Theological Seminary, dreamed of a
new theological institution in south Florida, he incorporated into the DNA of the school a passion and zeal to reach the world for Christ. So the school was founded on the rich tradition of the evangelical gospel that characterized Dr. Kennedy’s ministry. Now more than ever, the possibility for Knox to see that vision—to have a truly global impact for Christ—is being realized through the medium of online education.
online course experiencing the rich teaching of Dr. Allen. Even more interesting, these same Croatian students will be interacting with other Knox students who are located throughout the continental U.S. Imagine with me for a moment, a young California pastor interacting with potential church planters in Zagreb, Croatia. Never before has such an experience been possible. It is truly an example of the global community of learning.
LIVING OUT THE MISSION An immediate example of this is our international work presently underway in Zagreb, Croatia. Knox has partnered with a local church-planting ministry, Gospelon-the-Go, to establish a learning center embedded in a mission church located in the heart of Zagreb. Five Croatian students have enrolled in our Master of Divinity program and are beginning coursework this fall. Dr. Andrew Vuksic, director of Gospelon-the-Go, estimates that the southern European area is ripe for an evangelical seminary to begin theological training. But how do we connect Croatian students with our local faculty? The answer is through the medium of online learning. These students have enrolled in Dr. Michael Allen’s course, Systematic Theology (God and Creation). This fall they will progress through the
GLOBAL OUTREACH, LOCAL IMPACT But even more exciting to me, as a dean of a seminary, is the possibility of our students who come from all walks of life to have an impact for the gospel in their immediate area. This was the heartbeat of Dr. Kennedy’s emphasis on being mission focused. By keeping students in their geographic area, they can begin to share the fruit of the gospel with their friends and neighbors. And if we do our job correctly, Knox Theological Seminary will be able to reach millions of people with the gospel of Jesus Christ. This is the heartbeat of Knox Online and we believe the heartbeat of the Great Commission. To be Christ Centered, Gospel Driven and Mission Focused requires that our institution continue to forge ahead and become cutting-edge leaders in educational delivery methods. As the technology continues to improve and expand, Knox Online will continue to be innovative and create new possibilities for students from all over the world to have access to the very best in theological education. †
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MISSION FOCUSED І GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE
God’s Work In “I say to you that many will come from east and west and recline at the table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 8:11
IN HIS PARABLE OF THE SOWER, the enjoyed a partnership with our sister Lord speaks of several different kinds seminary, Reformed Theological of soil to express different receptivity Seminary in Seoul, Korea. This past to the gospel (Matthew 13:3-9). In summer I was invited to give our that prophetic light, some of the most annual Doctor of Ministry class to fertile gospel soil in all the earth today Korean DMin students. is the Republic of South Korea. Since In conjunction with that trip, I the beginning of the last century, was invited to preach at the world Christian missionaries have witnessed famous Pyungkang Cheil Church. Rev. blessing to such an extent that nearly Abraham Park is the founding pastor one-fourth of the entire South Korean of this prominent church of 80,000 country professes a warm, solidly members. The church is located near biblical, and evangelical Christian faith. the city government center. It is The largest Christian churches in filled with ministers of state, former the world are now found in Korea. and current premiers, military high More missionaries command and are supported and “These precious believers media as well as sent forth from are a testimony to the truth popular celebrities. Korea to bring It was my of the Savior’s promise, the gospel of privilege to bring Christ to the world sharing the same faith as the morning than from any message to one of that of Abraham.” other missionarytheir four Sunday sending country. It is a surprising and services. This was by far the largest interesting fact that there are more group I have ever had the privilege to Presbyterians in Korea today than preach to. There were over 15,000 in there are in America. Truly the gospel attendance at that service! The pews has been blessed in Asia! in Korea all have small tables on the back to allow worshippers to have an GOSPEL PARTNERSHIP open Bible and a place to take notes. For many years Knox Seminary has Now that’s an idea worth copying! What a sweet service we had!
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Korea By Dr. Warren A. Gage DEAN OF FACULTY; PROFESSOR OF OLD TESTAMENT
GOD’S GLORIOUS WORKMANSHIP Many of the pastors at Rev. Park’s church are in the DMin classes, and I have to admit they are among the finest students of the Bible I have ever had the privilege to teach. How they encouraged my heart with their zeal to know and live the Word of God! Scripture is certainly precious to these people whose history has been marked with extraordinary suffering. But the gospel promises that suffering precedes glory. And these precious believers are a testimony to the truth of the Savior’s promise. Indeed, many are coming from the east today. They are sharing the same faith with those of us from the west. It is the same faith as that of Abraham, who was first promised the seed through whom the whole world would find blessing. So it was with great joy (and not a little surprise to find a bowl of Kimchi on Abraham’s table!) that I shared a supper with these Korean brothers and sisters and recalled the promise that many would come from east and west! That really is the kingdom of heaven! †
FALL 2012 | KNOX NOW
MISSION FOCUSED І GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE
IT WAS JULY 18TH and I was in China at an underground seminary, speaking to a group of Chinese students about what happened on this same day in 64 AD when Nero started the fire that burned Rome. Because Nero blamed the destruction on the Christians, a great deal of persecution followed the event. Tacitus wrote that Christians were put to death with “exquisite cruelty.” In telling the students about the cruelty of Rome, I could not help but think about how many people in this country of China (perhaps in this very room) had faced the same sort of persecution for their faith. Yet the room where I spoke (I can’t reveal much detail here for obvious reasons) was packed despite the excessive heat, overcrowding, lack of proper air-conditioning, and no running water in the building. These students desperately wanted to learn about the Scripture and were willing to sacrifice much to be there in the room with me. PERSECUTED BUT PERSERVERING While it is true that things have changed in China, it is still a communist country and a westerner like me teaching was doubly problematic because not only was listening to me illegal, but the very school in which I was teaching was also illegal. I was a little nervous at times, but concluded that if these people were willing to take the chance then I could do the same. They, after all,
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By Dr. Sam Lamerson PROFESSOR OF NEW TESTAMENT
valuable. They wanted to sing for me a Chinese blessing on my work and travels. It was a very moving experience. The Gospels tell us that the Kingdom goes forth whether we wake or sleep. In China the Kingdom is moving ahead thanks to the bravery and commitment of these gracious brothers and sisters. risked jail. I doubted that I would be arrested (more probably deported) but I didn’t know for sure. It was clear to me that most of the students were poor even by Chinese standards. Yet many had gone to great lengths and sacrificed much to be in the class, and saw my coming as a great and wonderful opportunity to learn. In other teaching situations, even in other Asian countries I often hear “suggestions” from students about being let out early. Here I heard genuine requests to be kept late. I taught from 8:30-5:30 each day (with a lunch break) and the students asked me to come back at night and teach. When I explained to them that because of jet lag, I was simply too tired to teach at night, they would gather together at night to study what I had taught during the day. I have taught in many places, both around the U.S. and in other countries, but I don’t think that I have ever felt more loved or appreciated by a group of students than I did in China. On the last day the translator said to me “the students have a gift for you.” I was afraid that they had taken what little money they had and purchased something for me but what I received was much more
BOOTS ON THE GROUND In spite of the small difficulties (I’ll tell you about Chinese beds next time), I was proud to be the first representative of Knox Seminary to teach in China and thankful to One Hope (a wonderful missions organization with contacts all over the world) who made my trip possible. You supporters of Knox can be assured that the faculty are not just sitting in the ivory tower of academia, but are putting “boots on the ground” to train Christians all over the world. While in the country I saw the Great Wall, which was spectacular (I’ll write more about this later). I witnessed amazing Chinese acrobats. I walked on Tianamen Square and entered the Forbidden City. Yet nothing was so amazing as what God is doing in China. Please pray for my friends in this part of the world. They are beautiful children of God committed to sharing the Gospel with those that are around them. I was humbled to be a small part of this incredible movement of the Kingdom of God. †
IN OTHER NEWS І KNOX
MARCH 8-17, 2013 "Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, whose heart is set on pilgrimage." Psalm 84:5 Dear Friends: We invite you to join us as we take a life-changing study tour. People from all over the world come to Israel to walk in the footsteps of Jesus and see the places they have read about in the Bible. When you come to Israel you will not only visit powerful historic sites, but you will experience the fresh footsteps that Jesus makes today. Just as Christ's encounter with people left them forever changed, you too can experience the powerful presence of Christ afresh in your own life. You will see the places where Jesus walked, Old Testament history was made and Bible prophecy was fulfilled and will be fulfilled in the future. This entire tour is not just any tour; it is a faith-building and learning experience. We have already begun to pray for the group that God will draw together on this spiritual pilgrimage. We look forward to seeing you in the Holy Land with us. Blessings, Dr. Warren Gage and Rev. Tom Hendrikse For more information or to register, visit
TOUR HIGHLIGHTS Sail...on the Sea of Galilee Be baptized...rededicate your life in the Jordan River Float...in the Dead Sea Cable Car to...Masada, King Herod's fortress (or the adventurous can walk up Masada) Hike through...the oasis of En Gedi where David hid from Saul and wrote many of the Psalms Discover...the mysteries of the Western Wall Tunnel Walk through...the wet or dry ancient tunnel of King Hezekiah (bring a flashlight!) Sit on...the Temple Mount steps where Jesus taught as a child Enjoy...the biblical on-site teaching by Dr. Gage and Rev. Hendrikse Celebrate...His Resurrection with Communion at the Garden Tomb Enjoy...farewell dinner at Yad Hashmona, a kibbutz established by Finnish believers Return home...Full of wonderful memories of your Holy Land tour, the Jewish people and the Land
New Appointment JEFFREY MICHAEL SHYNE (Seton Hall University, BS, BA; University of Miami, MBA) has been appointed as the Director of Admissions. Jeffrey’s guiding principle in his approach to education, business, ministry and life has been to make a difference. His goal for the Admissions Department is to meet the current and future needs of students, whether residential or distance, around the globe. His background includes extensive domestic and international experience in organizational development, training and development, managerial consulting and financial operations management for Fortune 100 companies worldwide. He has led projects throughout North America, South America, Central America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Recently he worked and lived in Dubai, UAE as a Senior Partner for a global consulting and training firm. Jeffrey also served as the
interim children’s pastor for a large south Florida church. Jeffrey has specialized in partnering with client organizations at the most senior level. He is passionate about implementing strategic change initiatives and leadership development programs, establishing human capital development programs and providing other consulting/development services. He also has vast experience in the creation and design of customized workshops, offsite retreats and team-building activities. Jeffrey’s passion is spending time with his wife Annie and their three children. They enjoy traveling, reading and outdoor activities.
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CUTTING-EDGE TECHNOLOGY, WORLDWIDE COMMUNITY
ACADEMIC І KNOX ONLINE
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CUTTING-EDGE TECHNOLOGY Knox Theological Seminary has been granted approval to offer a comprehensive distance education program. Knox is accredited by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada, and the following academic degree programs are approved for online study: Master of Arts (Biblical and Theological Studies) and the Master of Arts (Christianity and Culture). Knox is also offering an array of other online courses that can be applied to any of our degree programs. For students interested in the professional Master of Divinity program, ATS limits the number of course hours to 66%. So in the 99‐hour program, 66 hours may be taken via online offerings. In the Knox Online classroom, students are able to view professionally‐edited course lectures via video downloads on a weekly schedule, participate in online student‐to‐student forums designed to foster a learning community through intentional built‐in activities, take quizzes and examinations, and speak live with faculty through course webinars. Knox monitors a student’s progress to ensure that no one gets behind. WORLDWIDE COMMUNITY Knox recognizes that a community is essential to the learning process. Interaction between students, faculty, and the collaboration that comes from those relationships is an integral part of student learning and course satisfaction. Our goal is to foster learning
through creative, online social environments that integrate proven pedagogy and technology to meet student needs. The Knox curriculum is suited for a wide range of individuals desiring to lead and serve in various ministries – from pastor and academic, to Christian teacher, missionary and layperson. So whether students are in the United States or around the world, they will have access to the most innovative Bible research tools and teaching available.
LOGOS PARTNERSHIP І ACADEMIC
Unprecedented Learning with Logos Bible Software
THE POWER OF LOGOS Logos is one tool you don’t want to go to seminary without! Knox Theological Seminary and Logos Bible Software, the largest developer in Bible software and a worldwide leader in multilingual electronic publishing, have partnered together to offer an Online Master of Arts (Biblical and Theological Studies) and a joint Doctor of Ministry program. Logos provides a powerful Biblical research tool that helps students access an ever-expanding theological library, compare and contrast quickly, and customize search parameters for optimal results. Hours spent in the library referencing Bibles, theological books and commentaries have been enhanced with a powerful search engine in Logos. FEATURES: • A personal copy of Logos Bible Software 4: Portfolio • $1,000 in Logos.com book credits • Training in how to use Logos for scholarly research • Sources that cite themselves when copied/pasted • All textbooks on Mac, PC, and mobile devices • A massive library to use for decades of ministry to come PROGRAMS OFFERED: ONLINE MASTER OF ARTS (BIBLICAL AND THEOLOGICAL STUDIES) Know the Word This program is designed to ground students in a responsible exegetical method utilizing advanced Bible software. This specialized track captures the essence of the residential program’s emphasis on biblical languages but reorients the training around the Logos interface. The goal of the program is to graduate students who will carry responsible exegetical skills with them into a lifetime of effective ministry.
KNOX/LOGOS DMIN Theological Studies for the Working Pastor This uniquely designed program is ideal for the working pastor. Students will get personalized instruction with four on-site classes each year. That means a student can keep working in ministry while completing their education. A working pastor can then bring a real-world perspective to their theological studies—and worldclass teaching and preaching to their church. With a Doctor of Ministry in Preaching and Teaching from Knox, students will understand the Bible more thoroughly and communicate it more effectively. They’ll read the Bible from a historical-grammatical perspective while approaching the text artistically. Students will increase their understanding of the ancient original languages and dig into the biblical narrative to find how their congregation and their community all fit into God’s grand story of redemption.
For more information on the Knox/Logos joint programs, please scan the QR readers below:
FALL 2012 | KNOX NOW
MISSION FOCUSED І LOCAL PERSPECTIVE
Our Calling: REWEAVING THE FABRIC
OF THE WORLD
A FRIEND OF MINE pastors a church in Chino, California, not far from the infamously violent Chino State Prison. He had never given the prison much thought. It was just a necessary reality. But a couple of years ago this changed. He began teaching his church something radical, something revolutionary, something that could turn the world upside down: That God had called them into his family--he persuaded them of the truth; he liberated their souls from the things that enslaved them; and he made them his children. My friend may also have taught them about Abraham, Moses, Joseph and even the 72 disciples in the New Testament— all of them called into God’s family. But each of these Biblical characters was not only called into something, they were also sent out to do something.
that inner inadequacy, I can understand why you would be so self-absorbed in your life and problems. “But now that I have called you, your reality is different. I have dealt with your shame, your guilt, and your crippling sense of inadequacy. I have provided the deepest resources you have needed for beauty and love and acceptance. And now, having taken care of your deepest needs, I am calling you to get out. GO. You are now ready to serve others; you are ready to serve as an overflow of your amazing emotional and spiritual wealth, imparted to you by the gospel.” This missional message impacted my friend’s congregation; they responded to the call to go out. They looked around for the greatest place of need. They found it in the Chino State Prison, just recently wracked by deathly riots and bloody mayhem. This was the place no one wanted to serve; this was the place they knew they had to serve. Not with the inmates, however, as most Christian groups often target, but with a despised, bedraggled and discouraged group: the prison guards.
“God only blessed them so he could send them out to bless others.”
GOD’S MISSIONAL CALLING In fact, God only blessed them so he could send them out to bless others. God said to them, “I want you to go out into the world and be a healing agent, to reweave the fabric of the world.” You can almost hear God saying, “Before I met you, when you were having to be your own savior, when you were having to invent your own sense of significance, when you where always fighting and losing against
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THE IMPACT OF MISSIONAL GRACE When they met with the senior warden he did not know what do say. “You want to
by Dr. Jim Belcher ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF PRACTICAL THEOLOGY
serve the guards?,” he said, “Really?” No one had ever approached him about caring for his guards. This had never been done before, he thought. He reluctantly agreed. The church started serving, loving, praying and being there for the guards and their families. Their greatest gift was their consistency—they showed up week after week, without fail. Faithfully present. After a year, the warden sat the pastor down to tell him something. I can imagine my friend wondering if the experiment in missional living was over for his church. They had failed. Oh, well, time to move on. Instead the warden said—to even his great surprise— that something unexpected had happened. The church’s involvement in the prison had begun to change the entire culture of the prison. And, he said, it was all because of the church. Here at Knox, we are teaching our students that God brings each of us into his family and at the same time sends us out - out to help God heal and reweave the fabric of his world. This is what it means to be missional. And this is our calling at Knox—to train a new generation of missional leaders to have the same kind of impact that the small, faithfully present congregation in Chino has had in a dark and needy place. We are called; it is time to go. †
LOCAL PERSPECTIVE І MISSION FOCUSED
Mission AT THE Beginning
By Dr. Michael Allen
D. JAMES KENNEDY ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY
THE GOSPEL TELLS US that mission is at the very beginning of the Christian story. Indeed, as one understands the way that the whole Bible points to Jesus and the gospel shapes and sustains the whole Christian life, we find that we are inevitably led to point to and participate in his glorious mission to the ends of the earth. Very briefly, I want to link the gospel with this passion for Christian missions, so you can get a sense of why these matters are part and parcel of our DNA here at Knox Theological Seminary. GOD AND MISSIONS First, the God who has all life in himself shares that life with others. It is no small thing that the perfect God – Father, Son, and Spirit, who were without need or want for all eternity past – determined to create and to call others into fellowship. Out of the depths of divine love came intimacy and nearness, peace and joy. The Puritan theologian Richard Sibbes said: “God’s goodness is a communicative, spreading goodness. . . . If God had not a communicative, spreading goodness, he would never have created the world. The Father, Son and Holy Ghost were happy in themselves and enjoyed one another before the world was.” Mission is at the beginning, because the God who was the beginning is a mission-pursuing sort of being. Second, this missional God then gives these men and women a mission as well: to share that life with others, spreading out and filling the whole earth with his glory.
We – from Adam to Noah to Abraham to Mission is at the heart of Christianity, Israel to each of us from every tribe, tongue, because it is at the heart of God. As Karl Barth and nation – have failed in that mission. The confessed so loudly, the God of the gospel eternal Son became incarnate, however, to has chosen to be with us and not without us; make good on that calling and to take the thus, he pursued us in Jesus Christ and by his presence of God to the ends of the earth. In Spirit. That is the kind of being that God is: our place he obeyed and served. In our stead one marked by a “communicative, spreading he sacrificed and loved. In us by his Spirit, we goodness.” That is the beginning of the begin also to obey and gospel. That is the root serve, to sacrifice and “Mission is at the heart of of Christian mission. love. A growing sense At Knox, we believe Christianity, because it is of the love of God that all theology is for at the heart of God.” in Christ inevitably life. It is for knowing leads to a deepening the God who is life in concern for loving God’s children as did himself. It is for living authentic and faithful Christ. Again, Sibbes is helpful in leading us to lives before him and for others. And to pray for a character like our heavenly Father: live genuinely and freely in Christ is to be “Oh that we had hearts to make way for such one caught up in his mission. So we are a goodness as God would cast into us, if we unabashedly mission focused in an age when were as we should be. God’s goodness is a such things may sound presumptuous or spreading, imparting goodness.” dangerous. Full disclosure: we are not mission focused because of a sense of self-importance THE ROOT OF THE CHRISTIAN MISSION or human achievement. Far from it. We are What do we see if we reflect on the mission focused, because our very existence gospel? Mission is not a response or remedy. is testimony to the grace and power of a Mission is not an afterthought or option. mission from another world. We are mission focused because we are gospel driven and Christ centered. We testify to the gospel of God that has pursued us in Jesus Christ from before there was time. Mission is at the beginning, and mission will be our calling to the very end. †
FALL 2012 | KNOX NOW
Ὃ ἦν ἀπʼ ἀρχῆς, ὃ ἀκηκόαμεν, ὃ ἑωράκαμεν τοῖς ὀφθαλμοῖς Mission Focused ἡμῶν, ὃ ἐθεασάμεθα καὶ αἱ χεῖρες ἡμῶν ἐψηλάφησαν περὶ τοῦ λόγου τῆς ζωῆς — καὶ ἡ ζωὴ ἐφανερώθη, καὶ ἑωράκαμεν καὶ μαρτυροῦμεν καὶ ἀπαγγέλλομεν ὑμῖν τὴν ζωὴν τὴν αἰώνιον ἥτις ἦν πρὸς τὸν πατέρα καὶ ἐφανερώθη ἡμῖν — ὃ ἑωράκαμεν καὶ ἀκηκόαμεν, ἀπαγγέλλομεν καὶ ὑμῖν, ἵνα καὶ ὑμεῖς κοινωνίαν ἔχητε μεθʼ ἡμῶν. καὶ ἡ κοινωνία δὲ ἡ ἡμετέρα μετὰ τοῦ πατρὸς καὶ μετὰ τοῦ υἱοῦ αὐτοῦ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ. καὶ ταῦτα γράφομεν MISSION FOCUSED І LOCAL PERSPECTIVE
By Dr. Jonathan Linebaugh
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF NEW TESTAMENT
THE APOSTLE PAUL was the missionary of the early church. According to his own self-description he was “a slave of Christ Jesus…set apart for the gospel of God” (Romans 1:1). His mission was defined by this message – this gospel: “I am eager to preach the gospel…for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” (Romans 1:15-16). When Paul wrote these words to the Christians in Rome he believed his missionary work in the eastern Mediterranean region was complete and his hope was to move west, through Rome and ultimately to the end of the earth, represented by Spain (Romans 15:19, 24). But notice this: he understands his missionary task to be solely and simply the announcement of the good news. His ambition in the West is to “preach the gospel” and his work in the East is fulfilled because “Christ has already been named” (Romans 15:20). Paul’s mission focus is, like our mission statement here at Knox, Christ centered and gospel driven.
MISSIONAL MEDIATORS Paul the missionary is a messenger: he knew and proclaimed “nothing except Christ crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2) his good news consisted of the promise that “Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures… and that he was raised on the third day according to Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). This, for Paul, is what it means to be missional: it means to confess that “God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them” and that this confession comes with a commission, as those who are reconciled to God become “ambassadors for Christ” – mediators of the message (2 Corinthians 5:19-20). Thus, like Paul, the focus of our mission work is the speaking of a word. To a wounded and worn out world, to broken and burntout people, to sufferers and sinners, to our families, friends, neighborhoods, cities,
“Paul’s confession comes with a commission.”
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countries, and planet we have something to say; we have good news to proclaim: “For our sake God made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
CHRIST CENTERED, GOSPEL DRIVEN... Knox Theological Seminary characterizes itself as Christ centered, gospel driven, and mission focused. What Paul, the quintessential missionary of the New Testament, reminds us is that these are not three separate things. Our mission is to announce a message. Our message is the gospel of Jesus Christ – the good news that real people in real places with real problems are reconciled to God by his Son, who, as Paul puts it in Galatians 2:20, “loved me and gave himself for me.” †
2012 COMMENCEMENT І KNOX
2012 Commencement Highlights Graduating Student Testimonies Sam Kastensmidt, MDiv, 2012 “My Knox education has completely changed my life. When I first enrolled, I never imagined that this school would leave such a huge impression on my heart and soul. The professors have taught me to love the Word of God -both in the flesh and on the page -- in a way that I never imagined possible.”
Charlie Boatright, MDiv, 2012 “My education at Knox has thoroughly grounded me in a greater appreciation of seeing the Bible as my only authority in life or ministry.... It is only God’s Word that provides the light to see clearly in a rapidly changing culture today.”
Bill Schott, MDiv, 2012 “Knox showed me just how incredibly broad and deep the Bible is. It showed me that the Bible is inexhaustible.... Scripture became utterly beautiful to me through learning about it.”
Now The Magazine of Knox Theological Seminary FALL 2012 Published by The Communications Office
Editor Ivey Rose Smith, M.A. Assistant Editor Joyce Grothmann Designer Mike Costanzo, M.A. Contributing Writers Dr. Samuel Lamerson Dr. Warren Gage Dr. Michael Allen Dr. Jim Belcher Dr. Jonathan Linebaugh Rev. Jonathan G. Smith Contact the editor at: Editor, Knox Now Knox Theological Seminary 5554 North Federal Highway Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308 Phone: 954.771.0376 Email: ismith@KnoxSeminary.edu Website: KnoxSeminary.edu (c) 2012 Knox Theological Seminary. Content may be reprinted with the permission of the editor. Mission Statement Our mission is to equip servant leaders for ministry that is Christ centered, gospel driven, and mission focused. Our goal is to prepare leaders of the 21st century, emphasizing the application of Scripture to all aspects of life while providing them with excellent academic instruction combined with evangelism training, guidance for personal spiritual growth and hands-on ministry experience. Knox Theological Seminary is an evangelical, Reformed seminary founded in 1989 and accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in the U.S. and Canada (ATS), the major accrediting association for theological schools.
FALL 2012 | KNOX NOW
TEACH THOUSANDS to REACH MILLIONS Teach Thousands to Reach Millions is a bold new campaign to dramatically expand the number of students Knox Seminary trains and sends out for ministry.
Our five-year plan includes:
Increasing full-time residential students to 350
Enrolling 5,000 students in Knox Online
Giving away over $1.6 million in scholarships Creating five new Knox Learning Centers globally Increasing the number of full-time residential faculty from 8 to 20
Please consider a year-end gift to the Teach Thousands to Reach Millions campaign. To learn more, contact John Aman, Director of Development (954.334.5092 or Jaman@KnoxSeminary.edu), or visit our website.
5554 North Federal Highway Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308 1.800.344.KNOX 954.771.0376 WWW.KNOXSEMINARY.EDU