KINDRED SPIRIT SPRING/SUMMER 2013, Vol. 37, No. 1
A PUBLICATION OF DALLAS THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY
The Disabled: Vulnerable and Valuable
CONTENTS SPRING/SUMMER 2013, Vol. 37, No. 1
FROM THE PRESIDENT Dr. Mark L. Bailey Dallas Theological Seminary’s mission is to glorify God by equipping godly servantleaders for the proclamation of His Word and the building up of the body of Christ worldwide.
KINDRED SPIRIT ® SPRING/SUMMER 2013 Vol. 37, No. 1 ISSN 1092–7492 © 2013. All rights reserved.
Published three times a year by Dallas Theological Seminary 3909 Swiss Avenue, Dallas, Texas 75204 Dr. Mark L. Bailey, President John C. Dyer, Executive Director of Communications and Educational Technology Sandra L. Glahn, Editor-in-Chief Keith D. Yates, Director of Creative Services and Publications Dr. Roy B. Zuck, Copy and Theological Editor (2000–2013) Debbie J. Stevenson, Production Manager Karen Grassmick, Copy editing service Kelley Mathews, Copy editing service Christian Journalism classes, Research SUBSCRIBE Subscriptions are free of charge to addresses in the United States. Call 800-DTS-WORD or 214-824-3094 and ask for the Kindred Spirit subscription office, sign up online at www.dts.edu/ks, or write to the address below. EMAIL Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for information about DTS’s graduate degree programs. Contact email@example.com to submit articles, request reprints, or make comments. DONATIONS For information on how you can support the ministry of DTS: call 214-841-3720. KS ONLINE/SUBMISSIONS Visit dts.edu/ks to download writers’ guidelines or to view Kindred Spirit online. POSTMASTER Send email address changes to firstname.lastname@example.org, or mail to: DTS‑Kindred Spirit 3909 Swiss Avenue Dallas, Texas 75204 Unless noted otherwise, Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version, © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House.
ore than one billion people, about fifteen percent of the world’s population, live with some form of disability, according to the World Health Organization. These people form the world’s largest minority. And the church has a great opportunity to reach out. But how? Dallas Theological Seminary professor Dr. Larry Waters served as coeditor of the book Why, O God? that addresses this subject of suffering and disability. And Dr. Waters tells how the church can minister: “When many of us see a person with disabilities, our reaction is that he or she needs help. Some of us aid the disabled, from pushing a wheelchair to cutting their meat. We admire their great attitudes and point them out as examples of endurance. We tell them their pain will one day end and assure them of God’s love.” But, he asks, how many of us view the disabled as spiritual resources? He wonders, “How often do we think that they might have something to offer us—some insights gained from their pain? Those with serious disabilities are faced with the need to surrender constantly to God and His love. And that makes them valuable resources to the Body of Christ.” Indeed, those needing help can also offer help to us all. The testimony of Lacie Habekott (MA/CE, 2008) beautifully illustrates Dr. Waters’s words. Today Lacie ministers to U.S. Air Force cadets in Colorado Springs with Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ). But in her teens she endured multiple surgeries after a neighbor driving home from a bar struck her, amputating her right leg on impact. Her mother saved her life, but the next eighteen months involved so many surgeries that Lacie can hardly remember any details of that day-to-day experience. One detail she remembers clearly, however. After Lacie came home from the hospital, that neighbor called to apologize. And she heard her mother tell him, “In light of all Christ has forgiven us, how can we not forgive you?” Having her mom’s example of what it looked like to forgive, Lacie said, is “what set me on a course for accepting it. And in turn, with lots of time, I could see God’s grace to me. I would not trade being an amputee for anything. I think I would be a lot more selfish, more me-minded, without this picture of dependence every morning when I rise. I have a tangible picture of dependence. In order to walk, first thing, I have to put my leg on. His grace gave me that gift.” What a valuable resource for the body of Christ! Through her “weakness,” Lacie reminds us of our dependence and of Christ’s supernatural power to overcome bitterness and forgive. In this issue of Kindred Spirit we will hear from a number of these valuable resources, including their caretakers. They remind us that we are “earthen vessels.” That we need each other. That every member has a function in Christ’s body. Also in this issue we remember the life of our beloved Prof Hendricks (1924–2013), whose own battle with cancer left him without sight in one eye. One of the gifts Prof gave us was in modeling how to live out our days in bodies that groan as we await redemption. As we consider the truth about our broken physical world, we do so in a context of hope, looking to “Thy kingdom come,” when the One with nailscarred hands who cooked fish on a beach will make all things new.
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“Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me” (2 Cor. 12:9).
4 I A Lasting Legacy
DTS remembers the life of our beloved Dr. Howard G. “Prof” Hendricks (1924–2013). During his sixty-year tenure Prof taught three hundred fifty individual courses and invested in some thirteen thousand students.
8 I Disability: The Ologies
Any man or woman who lives long enough will join the ranks of the disabled. How do we think theologically about such brokenness?
12 I A Good and Perfect Gift
When Miltinnie Yih’s son received a diagnosis of “autism,” she wrestled with the “why?” Was it unconfessed sin? A generational curse? Demonic oppression? Ultimately she found two underlying questions: Who made this happen? Who is in charge?
14 I Speaking from Experience
Members of the DTS family talk about what it’s like to live with disability—from the perspective of both the impaired and the caregiver—and how the body of Christ can both help and reap benefits.
Kindred Spirit Online Content you won’t find in these printed pages Tributes to Prof Hendricks and Dr. Roy B. Zuck Life as a Disabled Dad, by Dave Furman Chapel messages and an article by Joni Eareckson Tada DTS’s entire online course, “The Theology of Suffering, Disability, and the Church” A book excerpt about life in a post-Christian world, by Dr. Erwin Lutzer A profile of long-time professor Dr. Stanley Toussaint, who has retired And much, much more. See page 19 for details.
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A Lasting Legacy Howard G. “Prof” Hendricks
Prof was known for his short, pithy sayings, which many now call “Prof-isms.” You can find more, as well as tributes to Prof, a place for you to leave your own remembrances, and view his memorial service at dts.edu/hendricks.
A belief is something you will argue about; a conviction is something you will die for. Nothing is more common than unfulfilled potential. You can impress people at a distance, but you can impact them only up close. Biblically speaking, to hear and not to do is not to hear at all. Experience is not the best teacher; evaluated experience is. The size of your God determines the size of everything. People tell me they want to make the Bible relevant. Nonsense. The Bible is already relevant. You’re the one that’s irrelevant.
ur beloved Dr. Howard G. “Prof” Hendricks went to be with the Lord early on February 20. Prof directly or indirectly touched millions of lives in the evangelical community and beyond. For more than sixty years he served on the faculty of Dallas Theological Seminary, where he taught more than thirteen thousand students. He also ministered in person in more than eighty countries. Through speaking engagements, radio, tapes, films, the numerous books he authored and coauthored, countless journal and popular-market articles, his service on numerous boards, and his work as a chaplain to the Dallas Cowboys (1976–1984), his reach was and is worldwide. His legacy, in partnership with Jeanne, his wife of more than sixty-six years, includes four children, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. In speaking about the difference between celebrity and legacy five years ago, Prof told The Dallas Connection, “I do not think that celebrity is in any way Christian. Celebrity is something that is attached to you by people. A legacy is something that God produces in your life. He uses you, but you’re not the center of the activity. When you are talking about a person who leaves a legacy, no one can ever question the impact of it. He or she may not know the true impact. But God does. And it remains permanently.” Prof spent his life, which included more than fourteen hundred speaking engagements outside of his thousands of hours in the classroom, leaving a God-produced legacy of discipleship. Ten years ago he told The Dallas Morning News, “You’re looking at a completely fulfilled human being. If I died today having produced some of the people God has given me the privilege of shaping, it will have been worth showing up on the planet.” continued on next page
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Never traffic in unpracticed truth.
You cannot impart that which you do not possess.
All people are born originals, but most die a copy. Heaven is a person: Jesus Christ. In the words of Prof’s wife, Jeanne, “He was born into a fractured family in Philadelphia, and as a young boy, he floundered. Then a small, nondescript neighborhood church reached out to a little boy shooting marbles on his front sidewalk. He found an anchor for his soul, and leadership skills soon blossomed. He organized a jazz band, playing drums. He quickly rose to prominence in the national youth group, Christian Endeavor. At Wheaton College he was senior class president, and then he intersected the ministry of Lewis Sperry Chafer at Dallas Seminary. “Never before had he truly been confronted with the enormity of God’s grace. The impact propelled him into a passion for exploring what the Bible really says about marriage, home, and ministry. Coming from tough German roots, he worked tirelessly and with an eye to perfection in everything…. His overwhelming desire was to be a conduit to convey to as many as possible the power of God’s Word. He never desired prominence, and he detested administrative detail. He just loved people, especially his students. The flower has faded, but the power of the Word lives on. “It is my prayer,” she said, “that you might catch the baton from him and run the race until our Lord returns. May you find deep peace and renewed inspiration as we share together, not HGH, but the thrill of what God can do with an ordinary little boy.” 6
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The measure of you as a leader is not what you do, but what others do because of what you do.
There’s no such thing as faith apart from risk-taking. Creativity takes risks. The people who are most secure in Jesus Christ shouldn’t be scared to try new things.
Your career is what you’re paid to do; your calling is what you’re made to do. My fear is not that you would fail, but that you will succeed in doing the wrong thing.
You are able to do many things. Be sure you find the one thing you must do.
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Disability: The Ologies
esley and her family usually seat themselves near the front of the sanctuary. When the music starts, Lesley lifts her hands, her head moves, and her eyes shine. She praises God without worrying about how she looks. Sometimes Lesley will involuntarily make noise. Lack of mouth-muscle control means she cannot speak, and she often drools. She is cognitively present, but she’s imprisoned by a body that refuses to submit. Often folks have trouble understanding her. To do so takes effort, and many people just don’t have the time to learn how to know her. She is surrounded by a circle of polite distance. Leslie has a disability. “Disability” is an unruly word. Its broadness covers people who are quadriplegic, autistic, clinically depressed, or suffer from chronic illness. Nearly 57 million Americans are categorized as disabled, according to U.S. census data. It is unruly in how diverse it is; disability does not discriminate by race, class, age, or sex. Any man or woman who lives long enough will join the ranks of the disabled. Local congregations, neighbors, and families are reflected in these statistics. A circle of polite distance is not an option for the body of Christ. Rather, we need sound theology accompanied by compassionate practice.
Lord.’ She demonstrates the tension of the image of God and the fallenness of humanity.” Genesis 1:26–31 chronicles God’s commission of humanity to bear His image and represent Him to the created order, to rule, and to “be fruitful and increase in number.” After the Fall, humanity’s ability to fulfill God’s commission became marred. Thus, our bodies decay, underperform, and die. Our ability and willingness to reproduce or be industrious is thwarted. We don’t “rule” quite right. According to professor of Theological Studies Dr. Glenn Kreider (ThM, 1990; PhD, 2001), “Clearly there’s a different connotation of ‘rule’ that one hears in a fallen world than one hears in a pre-Fall world. Yet even in a redeemed world, every person will not reflect God in the same way. God is reflected through brokenness in a different way. There are benefits and additional abilities that come from specific areas of brokenness, including disability.” Greg asserts that society recognizes the decay of the Fall and longs for the healing from it, without dependence on God. We are an airbrushed society trying to rehabilitate our bodies while neglecting our souls. Sometimes we blame the soul for the body’s condition. In the Gospels, we read that Jesus responds to questions about a man who was born blind: is it because of his parents’ sin? His own? Jesus
Anyone who lives long enough will join the ranks of the disabled.
Anthropology: The Imago Dei and the Fall “The Imago Dei is about who you are, not what you do,” says Dallas Theological Seminary’s director of Alumni, Greg Hatteberg (ThM, 1992, DMin student). He has been married to his college sweetheart, Lisa, for almost thirty-three years. And they have been living with her full-blown multiple sclerosis since 1999. “Lisa is a picture of the peace that passes understanding.” A former gymnast and track athlete, she now spends most of her days bedridden. “One day Lisa said to me, ‘I’m sorry I’m not the wife you married.’ I told her, ‘It was your eyes and smile that drew me in. Your spirit, your love for the
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replies that neither this man nor his parents sinned, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him” (John 9:1–3). Some might say that disability is a spiritual gift given to a person to bring him or her closer to the Lord, or to teach dependence. Dr. Kreider challenges mistaking disability for a gift: “How can we ever call something that’s a result of the Fall ‘good’? Disability is not good. Brokenness is not good. But God does things through brokenness and in the midst of brokenness, and He uses brokenness, and His strength is made perfect in weakness.” Ecclesiology: All Body Parts Matter Joel Megli (ThM student, Dallas campus), his eyes sparkling, tells stories about bow hunting, music, and growing up in a farming hamlet in Australia. But he also talks about the day that changed his life. The day Prince Charles and Lady Diana were wed, he was run over twice by an industrial tractor. The accident left him with limited mobility in his legs. He was three years old. Joel’s legs haven’t stopped him from traveling from his home in Australia to pastoring in Canada to mission trips in South Sudan and China. He’s even worked for a roofing company. “People around me saw the best in me,” Joel recalls. He sees this as a distinctive of the church—to see the best in all people and to involve them in the community. Joel recognized that with every trip and job, people recognized both his limitations and his capabilities, and they set him up to thrive. Society, and at times the church, values people according to their ability to independently function and produce. Knowing this, Joel says, “Our biggest fear is to be a burden. That’s why our hearts are so broken for the disabled. “But if I am a part of a group [that upholds me],” he continues, “my ability to function in society isn’t the issue so much, because I’m not judged by my productivity.” Maybe we as a believing community have been asking the wrong questions. When we begin to ask according to John 9:3, “How can we see the works of God displayed in this person?” we might begin to recognize the Imago Dei. In 1 Corinthians 12, we read that the apostle Paul compels believers to establish a community defined by something other than convenience, comfort, or favoritism—by mutual honor and cooperation in Christ. Paul wrote of our interdependence, saying “The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I don’t need
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you!’ And the head cannot say to the feet, ‘I don’t need you!’ On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor” (vv. 21–23). Lesley is one of the body’s members. And she is an indispensable worshiper among us. If mere comfort compels us, how many Lesleys will the church miss out on? How many Joels won’t get to participate in the life of the church? Eschatology: Hope for Healing Another way to define “disability” is what will be healed in the kingdom of God. When Jesus announced His public ministry in Luke 4:16–21, one of the characteristics of His reign was to recover sight to the blind. Jesus could well have been talking about healing spiritual blindness, but He physically healed the blind, the sick, the lame, and the demonpossessed as He demonstrated that the kingdom of heaven was at hand. The ultimate proof of His power was manifested in resurrection: first He raised people such as Jairus’s daughter, the widow’s son at Nain, and Lazarus from the dead; then He Himself was raised with an incorruptible, glorified body to live forever, while incredibly still bearing the scars of crucifixion (John 20:27). Jesus’s resurrection confirms that God means business about redeeming us, wholly. In God’s eyes, we are all disabled, and those in Christ are being redeemed, and shall be redeemed. We are still the Imago Dei. Body and soul are in bondage to the effects of the Fall; body and soul are subject to brokenness that distorts God’s ideal; but ultimately body and soul will be made utterly and eternally whole. So we wait with the hope of Revelation 21:4: “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” We wait for the day when Lesley will speak, Lisa will walk, Joel will run. But until that day, we must lend our tongues, our arms, and our legs, because these saints represent the Imago Dei among us, and we belong to each another. Sharifa Stevens (ThM, 2004) is a freelance writer living in Dallas, Texas. She contributes regularly to Manna Express Online.
Number of people worldwide living with disability
Unemployment among persons with disabilities
Cause and effect: People living
in poverty are more likely to have a disability, and people with a disability are more likely to live in poverty.
In some countries, up to a quarter of disabilities result from injuries and violence
Annual rate at which violence against children with disabilities occurs as compared to the rate at which it happens to their peers without disabilities
Percentage of babies diagnosed with Down syndrome who are aborted in countries where abortion is available
Percentage of peo‑ ple with disabilities living in developing countries
Sources: World Health Organization, UN Development Programme (UNDP); Journal of Religion, Disability and Health
Ways to Honor the Imago Dei n Treat each person with dignity. n Humbly acknowledge the person’s distinctive features. n Never limit the individual’s personhood to his or her distinctive features. n Avoid using disability descriptions that serve no purpose. These can be limiting. For example, think about why you would want to mention that a person is blind in a conversation in which the ability to see is unimportant. n Honor the person first. Note the difference between labeling someone as “the deaf woman” and “the woman who is deaf.” One conveys the primacy of personhood; the other, the primacy of differentiation. Taking care in our speech is not about political correctness; it’s about honoring people.
Sampling of verses that refer to physical healing
Psalm 103:2–5 Matthew 11:4–5 Romans 8:18–23 1 Corinthians 15:51–55 2 Corinthians 5:17–19 Revelation 21:4–5, 22:1–2
Rick Smith’s Tips for Creating More Welcoming Churches
Rick Smith (ThM, 2012) has a rambunctious, adorable two-year-old who has Down syndrome. Rick’s blog, noahsdad.com, chronicles each day in his son’s life in an effort to give encouragement to parents of kids with Down’s and to parents who discover their unborn child may have an extra chromosome. The Smiths’ story has appeared in multiple media outlets. Here’s Rick’s advice to churches: n Initiate conversations about how the church can accommodate people with disabilities: Should you have an interpreter for the deaf? Is your sanctuary wheelchair-accessible? Are your Sunday school curricula adaptable to children who have sensory challenges? n Ask questions. People with disabilities and parents of kids with special needs want to be asked about what makes them distinct. n Remember the Holy Spirit has given spiritual gifts to folks with disabilities who are part of the body of Christ.
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A Good and Perfect Gift A s a follower of Christ, I find my deepest questions are about God’s role in our son David’s autism. When our pastor asked if David’s condition could be due to unconfessed sin in our lives, the cause shifted from the physical to the spiritual. Anxious to find the cause in order to find the cure, we examined ourselves, just in case. What would we not do to get David healed? If only it were as simple as making confessions or promises or bargains with God. “But is this really what it is about?” I wondered. “Is David’s autism a punishment from God for past sin?” If God wanted to deal with me according to my sin, I deserved far worse. But God does not deal with us as we deserve, because while we were helpless, sinners, and enemies of God, Christ died for us (Rom. 5:6–10). Jesus received what I deserved, and I received what I did not deserve: bloodbought forgiveness. While we do suffer the consequences for our sins, suffering isn’t always the result of sin. God has reasons for allowing trials that we cannot fathom in this life. Another Christian friend asked us if David might be under a curse. She informed me that a generational curse could be passed down from ancestors who might have dedicated future descendants to idols or cursed them by their own sins. She pointed me to the second of the Ten Commandments: “You shall not bow down to them [idols] or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me” (Exod. 20:5).
Her solution was to delve into the root of that sin, confess it on behalf of the ancestor, and receive forgiveness for it. Many people believe in generational curses and spend an enormous amount of energy on researching the possible sins of their ancestors. But, I thought, wouldn’t this fall into the same category as God’s giving David autism because of our sins, except that this was even more indirect and remote? As I pondered these possibilities, my eyes slipped down to the next verse: “but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments” (v. 6). Would He who forgives my sins still hold ancestral sins against me? Salvation in one generation can change an entire lineage’s destiny from cursed to blessed. Our family already experienced this gracious reversal through our conversion to Christ. When a famous healer who specialized in deliverance, or exorcism, came to town, people urged us to invite him to pray for David. Could David have a demon? If Satan was the cause, our son was under demonic dominion, requiring us to use every resource to deliver him. Parents in the Bible sought Jesus to deliver their children from demonic control. If we had the opportunity, we reasoned, shouldn’t we consider this as well? We invited this healer to pray for our son. Though nothing happened, the disconcerting thought that autism might be caused by a demon unearthed new questions. At the heart of the problem lay the underlying questions: Who made this happen? Who is in charge? Was Satan the cause of this autism in my
At the heart of the problem lay the underlying questions: Who made this happen? Who is in charge?
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child, or was God responsible? These crucial questions determined the proper route to take in search of answers. While demonic oppression is a reality in the world, if some other cause was behind our son’s autism, were we misdirecting our time and resources by trying to oppose Satan? What if God was behind it, and we were fighting God? Job was a righteous man whom God gave Satan permission to strip of every blessing. Nevertheless, Job continually identified God as the one responsible for his suffering (Job 13:15). Never once did Job attribute responsibility to Satan, though Scripture clearly states that Job’s suffering came directly from Satan’s hands (2:3). But Job knew that God was in control of even Satan. And what Job believed is still true today. God is ultimately in control, so we focus on the Lord, fearing only Him (Luke 12:5). In John 9, we read that Jesus’s disciples met a blind man, and asked Jesus, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?” “Jesus answered, ‘It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him’” (John 9:2–3, NASB). I began to look for how God would display His work in our son. I stopped asking “Why?” because I knew the answer to “Who?” God, not the devil, was and is in charge. God did not look away when our child was born. He did not make a mistake, nor was He punishing us. Nothing comes into a believer’s life without first coming through the hands of our loving heavenly Father.
By Miltinnie Yih
God gave David to us, and He will also give us everything we need to love and care for him. Yearning to know the “whys” of David’s autism is an unproductive line of thinking. Why did I want God to give me the reasons? Would they bring me satisfaction or simply put me in a position to judge God? Could I really understand the workings of God? Job continually asked, “Why?” to which God only answered by asking, “Who?” (Job 38:2–11). The sooner we recognize that God is ultimately and fully sovereign, the sooner we can trust Him in our problems. Paul reminds us, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28). By faith I believe that my child is not a burden, but a special gift from God. God is in control and has my best interests at heart. God did not give us this child to ruin our lives, for God promises to work all things for good. And though it is not always easy and we cannot always see “the good,” and though David is still autistic and mentally handicapped, yet by faith we trust that God is working all things for good. This is how David is not our tragedy, but God’s triumph—not a punishment, but God’s “good and perfect gift” (James 1:17). He’s still working.
I stopped asking “Why?” because I knew the answer to “Who?”
After spending nearly two decades working as tentmakers in the Hong Kong business community, Miltinnie Yih and her husband of forty-two years (Lee, ThM, 1984) have an active outreach to Chinese scholars at Harvard University and MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
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Speaking from Experience MIKE JUSTICE (MA[BS], 1988; ThM, 1992) has served on staff at a number of Dallas-area churches, and is often found ministering to the disabled. For more than forty-seven years, I have lived with Type I diabetes, thirty-two years with severe visual impairment, and more than twenty years with two kidney transplants, the latter of which my wife donated. We have faced many scary health issues, which have challenged our faith. For a while, I felt God could not use me in the ministry, but one way He has chosen to use me is through encouraging others who ask how I cope. Exodus 4:11 states that God told Moses He created man’s mouth and made him mute, deaf, sighted, or blind. Because I know now that these disabilities are part of God’s plan for my life, I can answer the question of coping by telling others about my Savior and how He works in the ups and downs of health issues. Another way that encourages me to serve the Lord while coping with disability is through specific Bible passages. Moses had a speech problem, yet God used him to be His spokesman to an Egyptian Pharaoh. Isaac lost visual perception in his old age, yet God used this to bring about the bestowing of his blessing on Jacob. Mephibosheth walked with a limp, yet David extended kindness to him by inviting him to eat at the king’s table. Others had withered hands, deaf ears, blind eyes, paralyzed limbs, and various sicknesses. Some were healed to validate Jesus’s messianic authority, and some were not. And since the Lord has not seen fit to heal me yet, it must be that He wants to perfect His strength through my weaknesses.
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TERRI JUSTICE manages Copy Services at Dallas Theological Seminary. Her husband, Mike, was DTS’s first visually impaired Doctor of Ministry student. I am a spouse of someone with chronic illness, including several disabilities. We have been married thirty-four years, thirty-two of which have included disability and dealing with chronic illness and its problems. One thing that has happened over and over through the years is that people often tell me how strong I am, yet inside I don’t feel strong at all. In fact, much of the time I feel weak and tired. I try to cling to verses such as Psalm 61: 1–4, which says, “Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe. I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings.” One way God has used my situation to help others is to encourage them to endure in their hardships. When people understand even a bit of what my life is like, they are more likely to come to me or listen to me when they encounter hardships. This has given me a voice. Even though believers with disabilities (and their families) are part of the body of Christ, we still fit into a category that tends to be on the fringes. We long for normalcy and acceptance. We long for our brothers and sisters to believe that the one with disabilities in His body still has many abilities and usually a mind and heart to minister to others. LACIE HABEKOTT (MA/CE, 2008) lives in Colorado Springs, where she is on staff with Cru (formerly Campus Crusade), ministering to cadets in the U.S. Air Force. I grew up in a farming town in northwest Oklahoma, in a big family, full of grace. The only disabled people I knew were the sweet ladies who sat in front of us at church, used walkers to get around, and kissed my cheeks. One snowy evening fifteen years ago, my mom, my niece, and I were driving home when we heard a noise. Accessories that came with the grill we purchased had come untied and were rolling around in the
Kindred Spirit, Spring/Summer 2012
pick-up bed. My mom pulled over, and we got everything situated. But as we shut the tailgate, my neighbor, on his way home from the bar, struck me and our vehicle. My mom, less than three feet from me, was untouched, but the impact immediately amputated my right leg and forever changed my worldview. I was fifteen. Losing my leg opened a door for me to understand both depravity and God’s goodness. During my hospital stay, a friend sent a journal with verses handwritten in the front. They have been a constant encouragement, because in them Paul assures us that our suffering has purpose. In fact, our trials are producing “an eternal weight of glory” that far outweighs the suffering (2 Cor. 4:17–18, NASB). He reminds us that our agony is “light and momentary,” and when I think on what Christ endured on the cross and compare it to my own experience, this verse puts my pain into perspective. Through lots of time, growing trust, and a healing community, I have seen over and over that taking my leg from me was God’s act of grace for me. Many times every week someone will ask why I’m limping. Every time I see it as an opportunity to share the gospel. I tell people, “I was hit by a drunk driver, but would you like to know what God has done with it as a result?” I haven’t always viewed my pain with purpose, but even in my untrusting times, the Lord has been faithful and reminded me that He alone is good. As a broken-bodied teenager, I struggled with my identity and worried that no man would ever see me as beautiful. I just turned thirty, and am realizing I have some lingering insecurities to face as a single woman in ministry to the military. I know these issues aren’t resolved easily, but I know that God is faithful to take what’s been broken and make it beautiful in His way. He brought His disciples through a storm to show His love for the demoniac. So if He chooses to take me through a storm to go after a lost soul, I hope my response is a submitted, willing heart ready to follow at all cost.
CHRISTIN BATES (ThM, 2012) is an active member of First Baptist Church of Jacksonville, Florida. She describes herself as “always looking for opportunities to gain experience teaching and ministering.” For me to be born with a genetic progressive neuromuscular disease is not a result of anything specific I have done or anything my parents or grandparents did. Rather, I was born with this particular physical disability because I am a daughter of Adam. While this may not seem like a positive response, it is a realistic one that has given me a foundational truth in which the rest of my perspective is rooted. Addressing this issue with such a response does not negate or lessen the difficulty of my circumstances, but it is a logical answer to what at times can seem like an incomprehensible situation. Because of the nature of my disease and physical disability, God’s grace is evident in my life each day. I purpose within myself daily to be thankful for the small stuff, and I like to believe that my positive outlook in general reflects God’s glory to those with whom I come in contact. Also, my situation has given me countless opportunities to share my Christian worldview with people from every walk of life. Believers can glean much from taking a serious look at the theology of suffering. Christians need to realize that not one of us is immune to pain. While there are those who appear to have a more difficult journey than others, in an instant one’s life can change as a result of a traumatic event or diagnosis. One question I have heard numerous times is “Why?” or “Do you ever wonder why God allowed this thing to happen?” The most helpful and the most pragmatic response I have ever heard to this type of question was from DTS professor Dr. Doug Blount, to which he answered, “Why not?” The reality for me, as well as everyone else, is that we are each born into a fallen world as a result of original sin.
Kindred Spirit, Spring/Summer 2013
All disabilities are not created equal.
In speaking about disability, the language I find most helpful is specific (i.e., physical disability, intellectual disability, hearing impaired, visually impaired). I am not all that sensitive in general. But one word that does make me sort of cringe is “crippled.” I find that term to be antiquated and consider it somewhat ignorant. All disabilities are not created equal. Thus pastors and churches should be mindful of the variety of disabilities that might be present in their congregations, and there should be a measure of preparedness to meet the needs of such individuals. In most churches I would be unable to join a choir or partake in any activity that would require me to be on stage because of issues with wheelchair access. While I was a student at DTS, I attended a church that located its single adults’ Sunday school class upstairs. They worked to accommodate me, but it took a full semester to rearrange classrooms, so I sat in with the married 45–60 age group during that time. Understanding why God chooses to heal some and not others is a complicated issue. I believe that God is sovereign, and I have come to terms with the fact that I will never know the answer to some of these difficult questions. I find peace and understanding in 2 Corinthians 12:9, “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’”
DR. EVETTA ARMSTRONG serves as an adjunct professor in Christian Education at the DTS Houston campus. After the hooding ceremony for graduating with a doctorate from the University of Georgia in 2007, I took one look into my mother’s eyes and knew I had a decision to make: Do I pursue the career opportunities that await me, or do I move back to Houston to care for my mother and assist her with providing care for her mother? After seeing the fatigue in my mother’s eyes, the decision to move to Houston after thirty years of being away did not require much thought. It had already been seven years since my grandmother moved in with my parents after being
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diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. My mother was the classic example of providing exceptional care for her mother while putting her own health at risk by ignoring the prolonged stress and the physical demands of caregiving. I moved back to Houston that summer and commuted to Texas A&M one day a week to teach as a visiting professor and later also as an adjunct faculty member at the DTS Houston campus. When I graduated from high school, an aunt wrote me a letter explaining that Proverbs 3:5-6 should be the guiding principle for my life. I have found comfort, purpose, and direction with that passage. After praying about what to do, and going back to this Scripture, I was confident God would make my path clear as I trusted Him with my future. The Bible has been my guide, but another resource that gives insight into what to expect or do at different stages is Passages into Caregiving (Sheehy). For those of the “name it and claim it” strand of Christianity, disability can be devastating to faith and belief in God. Their expectation is for God to restore their loved one back to perfect health or at least to a certain baseline according to their faith. Such individuals wholeheartedly believe God will respond to their requests. Anything apart from complete healing causes them to question themselves and God. Often the loved one dies, yet their prayer has been answered as God has chosen to heal in heaven rather than on earth (see Phil. 1:21; 2 Cor. 5:8; 1 Thess. 4:13–18). Caregiving is an outward expression of the many “one another” passages found in the Scriptures. There is a daily dying to self as one puts the needs of another before his or her own. At this point in caregiving, a Christian’s realization that it is no longer he or she who lives, but Christ who “lives in me” makes it possible to serve selflessly (Gal. 2:20). Individualism is antithetical to Christianity. Although we are saved as individuals, we are called to live in community, serving one another. Acts 2:42–47 is a great example of what that looks like—and what should be the church’s mission today. JOSH KOSTREVA (MA/MC, 2011) is producer and social media strategist for Point of View Radio in Dallas. Fourteen years ago, a drunk driver and his pickup sent me flying over a guardrail, leaving me permanently paralyzed. After a hip surgery to reconstruct my fragmented femur and broken pelvis, six weeks for multiple breaks in my right arm to heal, and time
LEE HOUGH (MA[BS], 1985) is a literary agent with Alive Communications in Colorado.
for my kidneys and liver to recover, I started physical therapy. At first even the small things such as moving from the bed to my chair seemed impossible. All the activities I took for granted were gone. All of a sudden my arms took the job of my legs. The wake-up call came when I met my first curb. I knew I could either conclude that “inaccessibility” and “paraplegic” went together or figure out a way to make them accessible. A teacher once told me, “You need to advocate for yourself, because eventually no one else will.” So I decided to push the limits of the boundaries that seemingly trap a paraplegic. As I learned to ride escalators and fly down stairs, I noticed that once-closed doors opened. I saw that most boundaries are more like PlayDoh than concrete. As I learned the new intricacies of my mobility, I started to dream bigger and bigger. One day I grabbed a guidebook for Costa Rica off the shelf from my college’s library and ripped through the pages, searching for something exciting. As if the words were in bold, neon yellow shouting at me, I read “Pacuare White Water Rafting: Class 3 and 4.” Two weeks later I had convinced some fellow classmates to risk their lives and go on an adventure. My encounter with the Pacuare allowed me to rub shoulders with life and death, but my greatest experience was gliding down the last section of the river. I felt uninhibited by any “disability” or perception of a disability, because I conquered something most people never experience, and I was able to revel in it, screaming at the top of my lungs. I will never forget the echo of my cheer and those of my classmates in that canyon, because I knew this adventure marked only the beginning. I came away understanding that fear and limitations have the potential to paralyze almost anyone far worse than any physical disability.
In the summer of 2011, after several weeks of nagging headaches, nausea, and some dizziness, Lee learned he had a malignant tumor in his brain’s right frontal lobe. Nine months later he wrote this to his friends: It’s become embarrassingly obvious that my brain cancer is making it hard for many of you to share with me about your own struggles. Let’s roll the tape on a typical conversation: Me: “How are you?” You: “Doing fine, thanks, though lately I’ve had these ongoing migraines” (pause for a self-conscious beat and then), “but my migraines are nothing compared to what you’ve been through.” End conversation. You see where this is going? In the very short span of two sentences, there’s a whole lot of thinking going on. Yours—and what you think I’m thinking. I think. Roll tape on thinking: You’re thinking: “Uh-oh. Why did I just complain about headaches when the man has been through brain cancer? Retract, retreat, apologize!” Because you think I’m thinking: “Did she just whine about piddly migraines? Doesn’t she know that on the ‘my problem is bigger than yours’ graph migraines are nothing compared to brain cancer?” So you immediately apologize: “But my migraines are nothing ...” “But my head-on collision in a wheelchair with an eighteen-wheeler is nothing ...” “But your (fill in the blank) is nothing compared to what I’ve been through.” Can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this. And well-meaning as it is, it’s keeping me quarantined from being able to enter into your life, your struggles. So let me free you up so we can be friends again. First, I don’t carry a “my problem is bigger than yours” pocket pity chart. So, no, I don’t compare hardships. And you don’t need to either. Second, trust me, I’d love the focus to be somewhere other than on me and cancer. So let’s talk about you. I’d like that.
Kindred Spirit, Spring/Summer 2013
CAMPUS NEWS FIVE ESSENTIALS FOR LEADERS Want to be a successful leader? Make sure you possess the following for accurate self-awareness: • An awareness of your true values. These values form your character and determine whether others can trust you. They influence all of your goals and actions. • An awareness of how God has used the experiences of your life to mold and develop you. Often painful experiences, the ones we would most like to forget, are the most formative. • An awareness of your strengths and weaknesses. Your strengths will be the areas in which you make the greatest impact, and your weaknesses will be areas in which you can facilitate the success of others with gifts different from yours. • An awareness of your passion. Know what you must do if you are to be true to yourself in expressing who God has made you to be. Working in the area of your passion will give you a sense of excitement about what you do every day. • An awareness of your ultimate dependence on God and a heartfelt acknowledgement of your inability to do anything of eternal significance without Him (John 15:5). The LEAD program at DTS is a personal ministry assessment experience that works with individuals in accessing these five goals of self-awareness. Participants look at their strengths, weaknesses, life story, and passions, and leave this four-day intensive leadership experience with a game plan for what their ministries should look like for five to ten years. Go to dts.edu/ccl/lead for more information. —Pam Cole, administrator, Center for Christian Leadership and Cultural Engagement
You Can’t Beat This Price Understanding suffering is a universal challenge. Did you know DTS offers for free its entire online course The Theology of Suffering, Disability, and the Church? Instructors include Joni Eareckson Tada, numerous DTS faculty, medical professionals, counselors, and people who live with disabilities. Topics include suffering, evil, bioethics, disability ministry, and wisdom for offering hope and help to a hurting world. Go to dts.edu/itunesu to check out the course online.
Dallas Theological Seminary
DTS Milestones This year marks a number of significant anniversaries for DTS: • The 170th year of Bibliotheca Sacra’s continuous publication • The 60th anniversary of the World Evangelization Conference • The 50th anniversary of the World Missions department
DTS: Training Christian Media Professionals This summer Dallas Theological Seminary will inaugurate a new department, chaired by Dr. Reg Grant. The Department of Media Arts and Worship will house the Master of Arts in Media Arts and Worship (MA/MW) and the ThM Media Arts in Ministry emphasis, offering courses in writing, presentation, and worship. The purpose of the Department of Media Arts and Worship is to prepare leaders who seek to honor Christ as they reflect excellence of character, content, and production.
Living on the Edge: What a Deal! As a Kindred Spirit reader, you may order copies of Chip Ingram’s (ThM, 1984) book Living on the Edge for a minimum donation of $5, which includes shipping, while supplies last. The book normally retails for more than twice that price. As a benefit to our readers, we are offering this special for up to three copies per person. Go to dts.edu/ks to order.
DTS: Helping You Engage the Culture The Howard G. Hendricks Center for Christian Leadership and Cultural Engagement is now producing free weekly videocasts. “The Table,” so named because gathering around a table denotes discussing topics from a variety of perspectives, includes conversations with DTS faculty and evangelical leaders. The videocasts are available on the Seminary website (dts.edu/thetable) as well as on iTunes. Dr. Darrell Bock has been appointed as executive director for Cultural Engagement at the Center. “This new emphasis reflects our belief that cultural engagement is imperative in today’s world,” Dr. Bailey said. The Center will cover the media, arts, workplace
topics, social issues, sexuality, other religions, and numerous other subjects. The goal is to be a useful resource for the church, as well as to equip DTS students and churches to engage the complex array of issues. Dr. Bock said, “Good cultural engagement with a sensitive yet challenging tone helps us think about how God and culture connect. That is what we hope to show.” As part of the new emphasis, the Center will host an annual event called “The Table Conference.” Visit dts.edu/ccl for more information.
How to Reach Out to the Intellectually Disabled
Only Online DTS Faculty, Grads, and Students Engage the Culture about Disability and Other Important Topics Glean wisdom from DTS grad Dave Furman, who talks about his life as a disabled dad. Read an excerpt about gratitude and parenting from Prayer Warrior Mom, by DTS grad Marla Alupoaicei, whose son has PDD-NOS (pervasive development disorder). Watch DTS’s entire online course The Theology of Suffering, Disability, and the Church. Go to dts.edu/itunesu and see it for free.
When I first met Lisa, a national sign-language artist who knew more songs than my iPod contained, I looked forward to forming a friendship. But I was unsure of what to say around her. Lisa has Down syndrome, and initially I knew little about intellectual disabilities. Fortunately, Lisa and her mom, transparent teachers, have taught me a lot:
See Joni Eareckson Tada speak in DTS chapels about “A Theology of Suffering” and “A Cause Worth Living For.” Also, read her Veritas article, “Receiving God’s Grace.”
• Start a conversation. Begin by asking, “How are you?” You’ll be able to find out her communication level and see if she’s able to converse. • Ask questions. Does he have a favorite hobby? What movies or music does she enjoy? Does he have siblings? A job? • Be careful with touch. Some people like touch and some don’t. So start with a handshake, pat, or high five. Be sensitive, and avoid making someone feel uncomfortable. • Be respectful. As much as possible, talk to someone with a disability as you would any person her same age. If she’s a child, play games and laugh. If he’s an adult, treat him like one. Value her thoughts and be sensitive to feelings. • Watch your words. Above all else, avoid words such as “retard,” “stupid,” or “dumb.” Currently the preferred terminology is “intellectually disabled.” Whenever Lisa shares her story, she reminds people that she’s not disabled but “specially-able.” It’s a great perspective—and one that might make all of us better friends to the intellectually disabled.
Check out technical and popular-market reviews of Logos language software from DTS professor Dr. Michael Burer and adjunct professor Jenny McGill.
Read “The Church of the Closed Door,” an excerpt from Dr. Erwin Lutzer’s The Cross in the Shadow of the Crescent.
Consider what DTS professor Dr. Mike Svigel has to say about living in “True Community” in an excerpt from his book RetroChristianity. Read about the life, ministry, and sayings of the late Drs. Hendricks and Zuck, and the nowretired Dr. Stanley Toussaint. Check out articles by Mike and Terri Justice, the couple featured on page 14 of this issue. Read what DTS professor Dr. Aubrey Malphurs has to say about leadership in an excerpt from Look Before You Lead. Watch/listen to The Table Podcast, in which DTS’s Dr. Darrell Bock offers these topics and many more: Leaving a Legacy (with Prof Hendricks) Christianity and Culture Christian Sexual Ethics Understanding Islam in the West
—Amanda DeWitt (MA/MC, 2009)
Kindred Spirit, Spring/Summer 2013
NEW RESOURCES from the Seminary Family
More resources at dts.edu/books.
Prayer Warrior Mom: Covering Your Kids with God’s Blessings and Protection Marla Alupoaicei (ThM, 2002)**
Saying Goodbye: Facing the Loss of a Loved One Cecil Murphey and Gary Roe (ThM, 1998)
The Cross in the Shadow of the Crescent: An Informed Response to Islam’s War with Christianity Dr. Erwin Lutzer (ThM, 1967)**
The Big Book of Bible Answers: A Guide to Understanding the Most Challenging Questions Dr. Ronald C. Rhodes (ThM, 1983; ThD, 1986)
Jesus the Messiah: Tracing the Promises, Expectations, and Coming of Israel’s King Dr. Herbert Bateman IV (ThM, 1987; PhD, 1993), Dr. Darrell Bock (ThM, 1979),* and Dr. Gordon Johnston (ThM, 1985, ThD, 1992)*
Not Quite Healed: 40 Truths for Male Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse Cecil Murphey and Gary Roe (ThM, 1998)
Look Before You Lead: How to Discern and Shape Your Church Culture Dr. Aubrey Malphurs (ThM, 1978; PhD, 1981)* **
Bite-Size Bible® Charts: A Lot of Discovery in a Little Book (Bite-Size Bible® Series) Dr. Ronald C. Rhodes (ThM, 1983; ThD, 1986)
The Biblical Polemic against Empires Dr. Lanier Burns (ThM, 1972; ThD, 1979)*
Every Day Is a New Shade of Blue: Comfort for Dark Days from Psalm 23 David Roper (ThM, 1961)
In the Beginning . . . We Misunderstood: Interpreting Genesis 1 in Its Original Context Dr. Johnny Miller (ThM, 1970; ThD, 1980) and Dr. John Soden (ThM, 1983; PhD 1989)
RetroChristianity: Reclaiming the Forgotten Faith Dr. Michael J. Svigel (ThM, 2001; PhD, 2007)* **
A Commentary on Judges and Ruth Dr. Robert Chisholm (ThD, 1983)*
Through God’s Eyes: A Bible Study of God’s Motivations for Missions, Revised Edition Dr. Patrick Cate (ThM, 1968)
Daniel: Standing Strong in a Hostile World Gideon: From Weakling to Warrior Peter: From Reckless to Rock Solid Matthew Morton (ThM, 2004), Dr. Brian Fisher (ThM, 1991; DMin, 2010), and Blake Jennings (ThM, 2007)
Sorrow and Blood: Christian Mission in Contexts of Suffering, Persecution, and Martyrdom Dr. William D. Taylor (ThM, 1967), Antonia van der Meer, and Reg Reimer
Glimpses of Grace: Treasuring the Gospel in Your Home Gloria Furman (MA/CE, 2007)
Dreams and Visions: Is Jesus Awakening the Muslim World? Tom Doyle (MA[BS], 1983) and Greg Webster
The Post-Church Christian: Dealing with the Generational Baggage of Our Faith Dr. J. Paul Nyquist (ThM, 1981; PhD, 1984) and Carson Nyquist (MA[BS], 2012)
Fasting for a Miracle: How God’s Power Can Overcome the Impossible Dr. Elmer Towns (ThM, 1958 )
Triumph Amidst Bloodshed: Civil War Soldiers’ Spiritual Victories Dr. John Reed, professor emeritus,* and Craig Claybrook (ThM, 1979), eds.
From Moses to Malachi: Surveying the Old Testament Dr. Kenneth G. Hanna (ThM, 1961; ThD, 1964)*
Checkpoints: A Tactical Guide to Manhood Brian Mills and Nathan Wagnon (ThM, 2006)
Walking with Giants: A Memoir Dr. Elmer Towns (ThM, 1958)
Sue Edwards Inductive Bible Study series Revelation: Discovering Life for Today and Eternity. Dr. Sue Edwards (MA[BS]), 1989)*
Connecting Church and Home: A GraceBased Partnership Dr. Tim Kimmel (ThM, 1976)
Creature of the Word: The JesusCentered Church Joshua Patterson (ThM, 2006), Matt Chandler, and Eric Geiger
Do You Believe in Miracles? Amazing True Stories of God at Work John Van Diest, compiler (ThM, 1966)
David C. Cook NIV Bible Lesson Commentary 2013-14 Dr. Dan Lioy (ThM, 1988)
Privilege the Text! A Theological Hermeneutic for Preaching Dr. Abraham Kuruvilla (ThM, 2002)*
The Full Armor of God: Defending Your Life from Satan’s Schemes Dr. Larry Richards (ThM, 1962)
*Dallas Seminary faculty member **Excerpt online
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FILM The Birth Control Movie Project Scott Dix (MA[BS], 2002) (writer, producer), Kevin Peeples (director, writer), Nathan Nicholson (co-producer). The San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival (SAICFF) declared this film runner up in the Best Sanctity of Life category.
Kindred Spirit, Spring/Summer 2013
Follow the FACULTY
FROM THE CHANCELLOR
Taking the Word around the World
Dr. Charles R. Swindoll
Members of Dallas Theological Seminary’s full-time faculty will minister at these locations in the months ahead.
The King’s Speech
For a complete listing of faculty travel go to www.dts.edu/maps/faculty.
NORTHEAST Dr. Mark Bailey Aug 11–14 Word of Life Fellowship, Schroon Lake, New York Dr. Ronald Blue Jul 21–28 Living Waters Bible Conference, Danforth, Maine; Aug 11–18 Central Manor Bible Conference, Lancaster, Pennsylvania Dr. Darrell Bock Jul 1–4 Messianic Jewish Alliance of America Conference, Messiah College, Grantham, Pennsylvania MIDWEST Dr. Ronald Allen May 26 Horizon Christian Church, Branson, Missouri Dr. Mark Bailey Jun 2 Stonebridge Church, Rockford, Illinois Dr. Abraham Kuruvilla May 22 Moody Pastors’ Conference, Moody Bible Institute, Chicago, Illinois SOUTHEAST Dr. Ronald Blue Jun 16 Bayside Community Church, Tampa, Florida Dr. Mark Yarbrough Jun 18–22 The Cove, Asheville, North Carolina SOUTHWEST Dr. Ronald Allen Aug 25 Grace Church, Wichita Falls, Texas; Aug 31–Sept 1 Church Retreat, First Chinese Church, Plano, Texas Dr. Ronald Blue Aug 25 Hispanic Congregation, First Baptist Church, Corsicana, Texas Dr. Darrell Bock May 25–26 Grace Church Getaway, Grace Church
of Albuquerque, New Mexico, Ruidoso Downs, New Mexico Chaplain Bill Bryan Jun 2–8 Pine Cove Family Conference, Tyler, Texas Dr. Abraham Kuruvilla Jun 30, Jul 7, 14, 21 Northwest Bible Church, Dallas, Texas; Aug 4, 11, Stonebriar Community Church, Frisco, Texas Dr. Ramesh Richard Jun 9–29 Dallas Global Proclamation Academy, Dallas Theological Seminary, Dallas, Texas
INTERNATIONAL Dr. Victor Anderson Jun 1–30, Jul 1–31 Evangelical Theological College, Addis Ababa, ETHIOPIA Dr. Lee Jagers Jul 4–15 Park Cities Presbyterian Church choir trip, JAPAN Dr. Tim Ralston Jun 10–14, 14–16 North Caucasus Bible Institute, WEST Prokhladny, KabardinoDr. Ronald Allen Balkaria, RUSSIA Sep 20–22 Chinese Dr. Ramesh Richard Independent Baptist Aug 3 Commencement Church of Oakland ceremony, Pastors at Mount Hermon Leadership Development Conference Center, Program and Theological Mount Hermon, Education, Port-auCalifornia Prince, HAITI Dr. Victor Anderson Dr. Larry Waters Aug 15–18 Paul May 29—Jun 11 What the Congregational Church at Bible Says Community Camp Perkins, Stanley, Church, Manila, Idaho PHILIPPINES, Naga City Dr. Mark Bailey Bible Church, Naga City, Jul 18–Aug 3 DTS PHILIPPINES Conference, Mount Dr. Daniel Wallace Hermon, California Jun 17–21, Logos in Dr. Darrell Bock Oxford, Wycliffe Hall, Jul 13 Solid Rock Church, University of Oxford, Covington, Washington; ENGLAND Jul 15–19 Western Seminary, Portland, Oregon Dr. Stephen Bramer Jun 9 Lazy Mountain Bible Church, Palmer, Alaska Chaplain Bill Bryan Jul 28–Aug 3 DTS Conference, Mount Hermon, California Dr. Abraham Kuruvilla Jul 29–Aug 3 DTS Conference, Mount Hermon, California
Dallas Theological Seminary
Dr. Rodney Orr Jun 27-Jul 5 Cru’s Institute for Biblical Studies, Fort Collins, Colorado
On March 16, another long-time DTS professor went to be with the Lord. At the time of his death, Dr. Roy B. Zuck was senior professor emeritus of Bible Exposition, having served for twenty-three years, including seven as Vice President for Academic Affairs. He was editor of the journal Bibliotheca Sacra and coeditor of the widely acclaimed two-volume Bible Knowledge Commentary. He also wrote or edited more than one hundred books on Christian education and biblical and theological topics. Six years ago, he received a Distinguished Educator Award for outstanding contributions to the field of Christian Education. A number of years ago, Dr. Zuck’s late wife, Dottie, faced progressive illness, so he withdrew to care for her. When asked about the demands on him, he expressed delight in serving. In the words of senior professor of Christian Education, Dr. Michael Lawson, “His life-long love, devotion, and care represent the sweet fruits of true Christian education.” For the past thirteen years, Dr. Zuck has served cheerfully behind the scenes as Kindred Spirit’s copy and theological editor. We will miss him. Go to dts. edu/read/roy-zuck-tribute for much more on Dr. Zuck’s legacy.
f you’ve seen the movie, The King’s Speech, or if you’ve lived long enough to remember, you know that the man we now refer to as King George VI took the throne when his brother abdicated. But this father of Elizabeth, now Queen Elizabeth II, had a dreaded disability—a stammer that he felt made him unfit to reign. With the help of a speech therapist, however, the king found his voice and led his country through the dark hours of war. I can identify with his struggle. Though I have spoken to millions in my adulthood, when I was growing up, I never imagined myself as a preacher. Not only was I uninterested, I lived with a major struggle: I stuttered. My disability grew steadily during my early teenage years, and by the time I entered high school, speaking in front of a large group was the last place I wanted to be. All that changed the day I met Richard Nieme. Mr. Nieme (pronounced “Nee-mee”) was the drama and speech teacher at Milby High School in Houston, Texas. For some reason he determined to get me into one of his courses. Perhaps my sister, Luci, tipped him off, since she used to endure my q-q-q-q-quoting various p-p-p-poems I’d m-m-m-memorized. Learning the lines came easily, but delivering them was another story. I could see them in my head, but my tongue and lips failed to cooperate. Trying to impress my family as the poet laureate of the Swindoll clan while quoting Coleridge’s moving lines from “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” I sounded like Porky Pig on a bad day. That explains why I backed away when Mr. Nieme approached me, convinced he was talking to the guy at the next locker. When this determined drama and speech teacher pressed for an answer, all I could do was squeeze out, “M-m-m-mme?” I reluctantly gave in. By the time I was a senior, I had landed the lead role in the play, “George Washington Slept Here.” I had signed on. Little did I know the difference that experience would make, not only for the rest of my high school years, but for the rest of my life. I, who once stuttered like Moses, have seen the Lord transform my stammering Coleridge into speech for the King. But sometimes God chooses not to change our disabilities. Moses’s stuttering required Aaron’s help. And the apostle Paul prayed three times for the Lord to remove his own “thorn in the flesh.” Scholars are unsure about what exactly that “thorn” was, but whatever the disability, the Lord’s answer to the prayer for its removal was “no.” Why? So that God’s power would be seen in Paul’s weakness. And Paul’s response? “I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me” (2 Cor. 12:9). My daughter Colleen Swindoll-Thompson understands well such an answer to prayer. She directs Insight for Living’s special-needs ministry, a work borne out of raising a child with autism and other disabilities. In Colleen’s words, “Perhaps you believe your life has little value, you’re an unnoticeable shadow, disabled and lonely, or are raising a child this world finds odd or weird. That is not the truth. God can use even the most challenging circumstances for good. God is cultivating in each person magnificent gifts we can share with one another in this world.” What is your greatest weakness? He can make His strength shine through it, whether by healing or by granting daily grace. Do you want Christ’s power to rest on you? Let your greatest weakness demonstrate His greatest strength.
Moses’s stuttering required Aaron’s help.
The verse art on the back cover was crafted by DTS graphic designer Linda Tomczak. Go to dts.edu/profiles to view a short video of Ms. Tomczak telling her story.
Kindred Spirit, Spring/Summer 2013
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