Knox Now SUMMER 2013
† GOSPEL DRIVEN † MISSION FOCUSED
RESONATE “But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” Exodus 9:16
LOVING PEOPLE WHO ARE DIFFERENT 8 • KNOX SARASOTA 10 • RESONATING WITH ETERNITY 14
FROM THE EDITOR І TABLE OF CONTENTS
Resonan by Ivey Rose Smith DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS
“The plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of His heart through all generations.” Psalm 33:11
GOSPEL BOLDNESS For this summer issue, I ran a magazine cover contest on the Knox Facebook page. We had two cover images that I just loved and I couldn’t decide on my favorite so I let our ministry friends choose the cover of this issue for me. That is fun, right? Some prefer the subdued, but my eye always leads to the bright and the colorful and, somewhat to my surprise, the bolder of the two images was actually selected. The choice prompted me to think about gospel boldness. Do we live life like the other image, which was more even keeled and safe, or do we live life with a boldness that resembles a thumping neon speaker in South Beach, Miami? GOSPEL RESONANCE Resonance is a vibrant word! I envision pulsing sound waves amplifying at decreasing frequencies and serene ripples of water extending to infinity. It’s amazing that one word can capture such a contrast in imagery. But there is a beauty and unity in differences, as we’ll read in this issue. That’s where Christ’s unifying work happens. The word’s essence and rich imagery communicate what we all desire to see in ministry personally, in the seminary, in our churches, local community and throughout the world. We want to make an impact for Christ now, and we want the love of Christ to resonate in the hearts of the lost for time and eternity. Perhaps one of the greatest compliments that I have ever received is, “Ivey, you just have a light about you.” Immediately I thought, “Oh no, that’s not really me. That must be Jesus shining through because I am not feeling very ‘glowy’ here.” The
2 KNOX NOW | SUMMER 2013
acquaintance said, “It’s just who you are and the way you live, always smiling, always giving thanks and encouraging people.” He went on, “You have a light that shines in a dark, dark world.” Nearly knocked over and feeling totally unworthy of such a compliment, I gave a hearty thank you and humbly reminded him that Jesus gets all the credit for that one. The compliment urged me to consider that maybe the greatest form of evangelism and resonance is the way that we live our lives—with a resonant light and potent vibrancy that stands in stark contrast to the darkness of the world. It feels like a great responsibility in this world to be living, breathing, faith-in-action displays of the gospel but it definitely reminds us to think twice about how and what we resonate to others around us. Do strangers know that you are a Christian by the way you live? Do you respond in kind, in love, or with a sharp tongue and harsh words? The subtle way in which we live our lives may get less attention than crossing continents on mission trips for Christ but there is beauty in the contrasting imagery and God uses both for His glory. “Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16
UNCHANGING GOSPEL The times change but human nature and God’s word does not. So how then do the gospel and the church resonate in a pluralistic, blended culture? With racial strife as it is in this country, we’ll see examples in this issue of how different cultures and different ethnicities are worshiping together in beautiful harmony. As a coastal, international and diverse place, the ministry work done in the very urban South Florida will resonate in the coming decades, as other cities will begin to resemble the cultural landscape here. We’ll not only look at multi-cultural and multi-ethnic churches but also explore what it truly means to be a follower of Christ in a world where we face gun rights, abortion, gay marriage, etc. Instead of seeing these things as separate and apart from God, perhaps we shift mental gears a little and think of the Greater that is He and how He works in the lesser of these things—legislation, science, leadership, the arts and entertainment. The common thread in this rich tapestry of life and culture is always Christ. How can God resonate in and through these issues? As you will read in our articles, you’ll see that the truth of the gospel motivates us all as followers of Jesus to rethink how we interact with different types of people, ideas, and the world around us. RESONATING IN THE NOW How then does the seminary resonate? Although equipping ministry leaders is our goal and remaining faithful to the tenets of providing training that is Christ centered, gospel driven, and mission focused, the seminary remains committed not only to
nce God’s Word but how it resonates in the narrative of culture and the expanding needs of the church. Our striving goal at Knox is continuing to stay relevant and apply the gospel practically, intelligently, thoughtfully and with the unrelenting hope that lives will be forever changed. Think about how you can resonate in the rhythms of your everyday life. †
IN THIS ISSUE 4 6 7 8 10 12 14 16 18 19
AUGUST 20, 2013 Student Orientation and Dinner 5:30 Convocation Ceremony 7:00 Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church
AUGUST 22, 2013 Fall Classes Begin
SEPTEMBER 10, 2013 OUR MULTI-ETHNIC, MULTICULTURAL FUTURE by Danny Slavich
Day of Prayer
HUMANITY’S BEHAVIORAL DNA by Dr. Michael Metzger
Sarasota Campus opens for classes
KNOX NEWS LOVING PEOPLE WHO ARE DIFFERENT by Rev. Jonathan G. Smith KNOX SARASOTA
SEPTEMBER 27, 2013 OCTOBER 7-11, 2013 DM841 “Church Planting” course and workshop with Dr. Terry Gyger Fort Lauderdale, FL
OCTOBER 14-18, 2013
THE ODDS ARE IN OUR FAVOR! by Dr. Howard Edington
DM926 “Using the History of Exegesis” course with Dr. Gerald Bray Fort Lauderdale, FL
RESONATING WITH ETERNITY by Dr. Michael Allen
OCTOBER 14-18, 2013
A STRANGE WAY OF JUDGING by Dr. Jonathan Linebaugh
DM905 “Preaching Christ Prophetically” course with Dr. Warren Gage Bellingham, WA—Logos Bible Software Headquarters
FACULTY NEWS FEATURED COURSE
NOVEMBER 15-24, 2013 Knox Seminary and Rio Vista Holy Land Study Tour to Israel Dr. Warren Gage and Rev. Tom Hendrikse leading
SUMMER 2013 | KNOX NOW
RESONATE І MULTI-CULTURAL PERSPECTIVE
by Danny Slavich
Our Multi-Ethnic, Multi-Cultural
LEAD PASTOR, PEMBROKE ROAD BAPTIST CHURCH KNOX DMIN STUDENT
OUR NEIGHBORHOODS ARE STEWING church reflected a significant amount of Like me, you might have been taught early ethnic diversity, both in the congregation and in life about the United States as a “melting the leadership. pot,” a place, where people’s differences On Wednesdays, I now spend time with gradually melt into a homogenous and some of our “Sunny Seniors” who gather for harmonious single society. It flattens our fellowship and worship. They showed me how differences and doesn’t to become a multi-ethnic explain the complex “Multi-ethnicity is not church. They were doing it interplay of cultures and before it was cool and long another niche “style” ethnicities. Our nation before I got here. That’s rare of church, but the very and special, and I’m grateful. and its neighborhoods are urbanizing and In the last four years, fabric of the church.” diversifying. For all its our church has become flowery rhetorical power, this metaphor increasingly diverse ethnically and also doesn’t work. A few years ago I discovered generationally. As we have walked this a better metaphor: a stewpot. In a stew a pathway together, I have seen this as a diverse array of ingredients simmer together reflection of how God’s people will gather and mutually benefit one another in taste and around Jesus’ throne at the end of time— texture; at the same time, those ingredients pictures of multi-cultural-generationalremain totally unique and distinct from each economic families bonded together by Jesus’ other. blood. Think of it this way. Our neighborhoods Multi-ethnicity isn’t accidental to the are stewing. Cultures are interplaying and church. Here’s what I mean: it isn’t something affecting one another, while distinct ethnic that a church might be, or might not be, groups are retaining their uniqueness. And depending on its DNA, culture, location, or the aroma, like a savory stew, is amazing. place in history. The church is ultimately the end-time gathering (assembly/congregation) OUR HISTORY of all God’s people from every time, every In 1999, shifting demographics exposed racial place, every people, language, tribe, and tensions in historic Miramar and overt racism nation around the heavenly throne of was revealed. Pembroke Road, the corridor Jesus. Therefore, for us, multi-ethnicity is where our church got its name, was changing not another niche “style” of church, but the and so was our church. A historically white, very fabric of the church–the ekklesia, the Southern Baptist church was adjusting. assembly of God’s heavenly people itself. Almost 15 years later, our church fellowship In our church, it’s a matter of reflecting the finds a reversal in the minority and majority heavenly reality on earth. constituencies with only 30% of the congregation now being white. THE FUTURE IS COMING When I got to Pembroke, God was already I love South Florida. One reason: diverse doing some special things with a body that South Florida neighborhoods project the had embraced a multi-cultural mindset. Our future. For example, the neighborhood
4 KNOX NOW | SUMMER 2013
behind our church campus is 55% Black, 29% Hispanic, 11% White, and 2% Asian. The neighborhood across the street is 21% Black, 40% Hispanic, 33% White, and 3% Asian. It’s happening everywhere. Cultures are colliding in the neighborhoods of our nations. Majority and minority ethnicities are switching places. You already know this, and you are probably experiencing it in your city, or you will soon experience it. If your world isn’t multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, and multi-national, get ready. Languages, colors, and cultures are piling on top of each other. And our churches must learn how to respond to these changes. As Tim Keller said recently at The Gospel Coalition conference, “Our churches in the future need to be multiethnic, multi-cultural, multi-racial churches.” IT ISN’T JUST PRACTICAL, IT’S BIBLICAL And the best thing about this simmeringstewing in our neighborhoods is that God has privileged us with the ability to demonstrate in our local, here-and-now churches what the universal, there-and-then Church will be: a redeemed, every-tongue-tribe-peoplenation Bride circled in tight around the throne of Jesus. We’re told in Ephesians 2 that the gospel of grace must generate a new humanity, defined by God and not by cultural or ethnic differences. Only the gospel allows us to simultaneously celebrate and transcend ethnic and cultural differences. If our churches don’t reflect the reconciling power of God’s gospel, it should bother us. SO, ARE YOU READY? Have you adapted? Are you ready? Here’s a quick test to find out. Google “New York Times interactive census map” and you will find an amazing tool for discovering more about
THREE REASONS TO GET INVOLVED IN A MULTI-CULTURAL CHURCH I believe there are at least three reasons why it’s awesome to be a part of a multi-cultural, multigenerational church: 1. IT REMINDS US THAT THE GOSPEL IS TRUE. If we take the Bible seriously, we see that a major purpose of God in the gospel is to reconcile a multiethnic people to himself. Ephesians 2 says that Jesus has abolished the law of commandments so that (a statement of purpose) he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two (Jews and Gentiles), making peace (v.15). This means that unity across cultures, generations, and any other potential barriers is not a byproduct of the gospel, but a purpose of the gospel.
the fabric of your community. You can look at population changes, and the percentages of various ethnic groups in a given census tract. Type in the address for where your church gathers and look at the demographics for your community. The true texture of your neighborhood(s) might surprise you. Maybe you’ve been viewing your community through your own ethnic and cultural lens and missed some of the people living near you. You might live in a more diverse neighborhood than you realized. Or, maybe you’ll only confirm what you already have been seeing. Ask yourself if the ethnic composition of the gathered congregation of your church matches your community. If you live in a multi-ethnic community, do the percentages inside match the percentages outside? Statistically, they probably don’t. More than 80% of our churches haven’t adapted. If your community hasn’t changed yet, get ready. What are you doing to reach those who are different from you? † LEARN MORE AT
2. IT REMINDS US THAT IT’S NOT ABOUT US. Jesus died, the Bible says, so that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for Him who died and rose to life again for us (2 Cor 5:15). Our default is selfishness— living for ourselves, serving ourselves, loving ourselves, protecting ourselves. Hanging out with people like us makes it easier to stay comfortable in our little all-aboutme boxes. But living life with people of different cultures and generations stretches us outside of ourselves. It can show us how selfish we really are, how much we protect our preferences, and how much we don’t love others as we love ourselves. And by God’s grace, it brings us to our knees again in repentance and faith. 3. IT REMINDS US THAT TENSION LEADS TO BEAUTIFUL MUSIC. Various folks in a multi-cultural and multi-generational church will disagree over styles of music, pews versus stackable chairs, projector versus hymnals, and suits versus casual attire. Let’s just be honest. There is tension, and there will be tension. Tension, however, does not have to be negative. Think about a stringed instrument. Only the tension on the strings allows that guitar or piano or violin to be used to play beautiful music. I believe the tension of a diverse, multi-cultural, multi-generational church is something we should embrace and that God will use it to make beautiful music that will lead people into a reconciled relationship with Him.
SUMMER 2013 | KNOX NOW
RESONATE І PRACTICAL PERSPECTIVE
by Dr. Michael Metzger VISITING LECTURER OF PRACTICAL THEOLOGY
SIXTY YEARS AGO Francis Crick and James Watson announced to the world that they had discovered the structure of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) and how DNA’s relatively simple biological structure (adenine, guanine, cytosine, and thymine) explains the way the human body operates. I’ve discovered a behavioral DNA, based on four actions everyone takes everyday— ought, is, can, will. Anyone can discover it. For example, a few years back I spoke to a group of scientists in Beijing, most of whom were not Christians. I began with the story of Watson and Crick and then asked if a behavioral DNA might also exist. The group was intrigued, so I gave them a case study: A development team is struggling with a colleague whose work performance is falling short. As a result, jobs are in jeopardy. Everyone is feeling stress. I asked the scientists to form small groups and record everything they’d feel, think, say, and do. They wrote down dozens of responses. Recording them on a whiteboard, everyone felt their reactions fell into four categories. Feelings like disappointed fit in the first column. Everyone imagines how life ought to be and is disappointed when it doesn’t work out. Words like angry fell into a second category—recognizing the way it is. There was a third column. Words like review and fix indicate what can be done. Phrases like “set new standards of performance” fit a fourth category, a hope for what will be. The group discovered our behavioral DNA—oughtis-can-will. It was an “aha” moment. Their discussion took off and went late into the night. Ought-is-can-will resonated. It seemed to explain everything. THE CHURCH IN EXILE C. S. Lewis wrote that he believed in
6 KNOX NOW | SUMMER 2013
Christianity as he believed the sun had believable to an increasing percentage of risen—not only because he saw it; but the population. Augustine wrote: Nullus because by it, he saw all things. We live in quipped credit aliquid, nisi prius cogitaverit an age when fewer and fewer folks feel the esse credendum—“no one indeed believes gospel explains much of anything. Sociologist anything, unless he previously knew it to James Davison Hunter is one of many scholars be believable.” Our situation today is similar describing today’s church as, “spiritually to what the sons of Judah faced in Babylon speaking, in exile.” The church is an outsider which trumpeted its 1197 temples. Only in the Monday-Saturday world, but it’s a selfOne God was not believable. In Europe and inflicted exile. Many America today, saying Jesus churches measure is The Only Way is simply not “Ought-is-can-will success by what Dallas resonated. It seemed to believable. Willard called the What is the language and explain everything.” “ABCs”—attendance, literature of today? Ought-isbuildings, and cash. can-will is the language. I have While a packed sanctuary might be a good seen how people resonate with ought-is-canthing, it can also gloss over how the faith isn’t will as our behavioral DNA. I’ve even seen resonating with an increasing percentage of people delight in it. Why? Augustine also said the total population. Ignoring these trends is the soul delights in what it learns indirectly. I one reason why the church is in exile. take the indirect approach—case studies and This is why the Babylonian exile of 2,500 conversations—so that people might one years ago might be the best precedent for day delight in the gospel. Several years ago, understanding our times and knowing what an executive told me how ought-is-can-will to do. The first thing the sons of Judah did seemed to explain everything for him. “Where was learn the language and literature of does ought-is-can-will come from?” I walked Babylon (Dan.1:4). They couldn’t relate to the up to the whiteboard and wrote: Babylonians if they were unfamiliar with their “Ought • Is • Can • Will” language, literature and culture. On a line below, I wrote: When I became a Christian, I struggled “Creation • Fall • Redemption • Restoration” with “Christianese”—Christian language Then I asked if there could possibly be a suitable only for Sunday. That’s why I correlation between the two. He stared at the eventually developed ought-is-can-will. It board and muttered, “Well I’ll be damned...” resonates. It’s accessible to all. And it’s the I told him that was not my department. This gospel—creation-fall-redemption-restoration. man, formerly a confirmed agnostic, takes mission trips today. He’s drawn to the gospel TODAY’S LANGUAGE AND ETERNAL that resonates everyday with everything he THEMES feels, thinks, says, and does. † By studying today’s language and the literature, I discovered ought-is-can-will as Mike Metzger is the President of The Clapham a translation of creation-fall-redemptionInstitute, an organization that solves problems restoration. I don’t use it to be clever or by reframing them. He writes a weekly column relevant. I use it because the gospel is not at: www.doggieheadtilt.com.
SCHOLARSHIP WINNER І KNOX NEWS
Scholarship Gives Hope to Young Family Meet the winner of the second Leith Anderson scholarship by Sherri Huleatt
CONGRATULATIONS TO MARK ABBOTT! Several years ago, Mark Abbott and his wife of nine years, Alyson, were given the most heartbreaking news of their lives: their doctor informed them that they were unable to bear children. “When we first got that news, it was like our world, hopes, and dreams had crumbled,” wrote Mark. “I’ve spoken about the sovereignty of God, sung songs about it, even preached a time or two about it, but this time God was asking me if I was really going to believe it.” At the same time, Mark was feeling a tug on his heart to return to seminary to pursue his Doctor of Ministry. Although this sounded great in theory, the cost of adopting a child within the United States is well beyond what most families can afford; add to that the expense of pursuing seminary and you may very well sink yourself into decades of debt. But Mark’s faith was never shaken. “I know that no matter what happens to me in this life, God has a way of taking the bad things that happen and using them for good,” he wrote. And he couldn’t have been more right. Mark was recently awarded the Leith Anderson Scholarship—an $18,000 scholarship that will allow Mark to earn his DMin for free through Knox Theological Seminary. Mark was shocked when he heard the news. “This was a gift from God,” he wrote. “It was the opportunity of a lifetime to earn my doctorate for free.” With this scholarship, Mark and his wife can follow through with their adoption plans without the additional financial burden of paying for seminary. Knox’s DMin program also allows Mark to pursue his degree on his own time and keep his day job—something many seminary students have to sacrifice while in school. Mark is incredibly passionate about music and serves as the Minister of Music at Cherokee Avenue Baptist Church in Gaffney, SC. He received his Master’s degree in Church Music from Southern Seminary in 2009, and intends to put worship at the forefront of his Knox studies as well. “I really look forward to learning more about how the local church can spread the gospel in this culture without compromising its values, traditions, or the gospel itself,” he wrote. In addition to preparing for his new educational journey, Mark and his wife are now in the final stages of the adoption process and are on the waiting list for a child to be placed in their home. “I’ve stopped asking why and started trusting that His plan is better for me,” wrote Mark. “His plan is better than any plan that I could come up with on my own.” †
Learn more about pursuing your DMin on your own time with Knox. Just visit our website:
Credit Opportunity Learn Logos from Morris Proctor KNOX STUDENTS HAVE A WONDERFUL opportunity to learn Logos Bible Software from the master teacher, Morris Proctor. Recently Dr. Sam Lamerson attended Camp Logos I and II and raved about the wonderful teaching from Morris Proctor and the amazing amount of material covered in the Logos seminars. Because he has highly recommended the course, the faculty has agreed to offer credit to Logos students who are required to take DM818 and master’s students who may use it as an elective. All you need to do is alert Knox Seminary of your intent to attend the seminars (you must attend Camps I and II) and follow up the teaching with some further work on hermeneutics. For DMin students only, this includes some reading, a short test on using Logos, and a sermon or lesson. To find out if there is a Morris Proctor seminar in your area, please check out the Morris Proctor website at www. mpseminars.com/camp-logos. If this sounds like something you would be interested in, please contact Knox for the syllabus which will include all of the requirements for this class.
KNOX theologic al seminary
SUMMER 2013 | KNOX NOW
RESONATE І PASTORAL PERSPECTIVE
Loving people by Rev. Jonathan G. Smith DEAN OF KNOX ONLINE
LOVING GOD IS EASY. Loving people, The first conversation David and I ever had well, that can be difficult. As a minister, quickly spiraled into politics, and I could tell parishioners with problems often approach he was staking his ground and probing to see me with this question, “What do I do my response. Determined not to allow politics when…?” Usually the problem involves a to stand in the way of building an authentic relationship that has gone sour or struggles relationship with David, I strived to provide with various personal problems. But the best answers I could without landing into sometimes the problem a senseless point/counter emerges when people “Oneness in Christ Jesus point argument. I knew I have very different wasn’t going to change is the fruit of the gospel.“ this man’s mind on our backgrounds and very different ideas on first encounter. David was particular issues. Nothing seems to raise the different from me in every political sense temperature of people more than the issue of imaginable and yet, as I soon discovered, he politics. deeply loved Jesus and the church. Much During my first ministry assignment in to my delight, David and I developed a a small Anglican church, this issue became relationship that lasted three years. my first real test. The parish was as diverse as the area, representing a dozen or so different AN UNEXPECTED TRIAL nationalities all joined together by a common David would show up every Sunday and we liturgy. Of all the various nationalities, one would spar over various issues. Occasionally man stood out to me among the rest. David he would miss church because of the night was a white man in his mid-fifties who also shifts he worked as a DJ and generally he had long brown and gray dreadlocks hanging would leave a message on my voicemail below his waist. He wore transitional glasses, letting me know where he was and what was which due to the lighting of the sanctuary, happening in his life. As our relationship always seemed to have a light tint that grew, David fell very sick and was diagnosed contrasted against his skin. Compared to with a rare form of cancer. Because of his the other parishioners, he dressed down, income and poor health insurance, he had preferring to wear old jeans and wrinkled to file for special health disability coverage shirts. If it wasn’t for his dreadlocks, you could that would cover the cost of his medical have mistaken him for the country western treatment. After several months of processes, singer Willie Nelson. And like Willie, David he was finally approved. Unfortunately it played guitar at local venues and supported proved to be too late. himself as a reggae DJ at a Miami radio No one really knew how sick he actually station. was. One day I received a phone call from
8 KNOX NOW | SUMMER 2013
David. He was back in the hospital due to fainting several times at home. As usual, in his typical phlegmatic tone, he gave me an update on his status and reassured me he would be discharged within a day or two. However, after speaking with him for a few minutes, I could tell by his voice something was different. While David would never say it, intuitively I gathered he wanted me to visit him in the hospital. The next day I went down and spent an hour with him. He asked about the church and my family. He expressed to me how much he missed the church and how he was looking forward to returning. In every way, besides being in a hospital, David appeared to be healthy. He spoke about the church expressing how he longed to return and how much he missed receiving communion. From this conversation, I knew there was a deep reflective well in David. After an hour with him, we prayed together and I left. That day was the last time I would see David. A week later, David died from an intense infection that rapidly took his life. A BLESSING MULTIPLIED David’s funeral was as eclectic as David himself. Attendees came from all kinds of diverse backgrounds including many from the Caribbean. According to those who attended his funeral service, David knew more about reggae than most and this accounted for so much respect that was awarded David. However, what surprised me more than anything else was how many times his friends
and family testified to David’s faith and love for Jesus. It was quite obvious that David’s life resonated the gospel in such an authentic manner that it was able to transcend cultural barriers otherwise impervious to most typical forms of evangelistic outreach. And as a testimony to his efforts, a small multi-ethnic group from all walks of life gathered together to remember David and to celebrate him in such a way that it left an indelible impression on my own outlook of the gospel. The ability of the gospel message to overcome racial, cultural, and political separations was so evident to St. Paul that he boldly wrote to the Galatian church, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28 ESV). Oneness in Christ Jesus is the fruit of the gospel. Finding an intersection with David’s life and my own was challenging. Outside of our mutual love for Jesus and the church, we hardly agreed on any issue. But because of the gospel’s mutual impact on each of our lives, we could join together in common table fellowship and partake in God’s grace through the elements of bread and wine. DIVERSITY AND GOSPEL UNITY In a culture that places such emphasis on diversity, the message of unity through the gospel is more needed than ever before. The Great Commandment by Jesus to love God and neighbor flows through the gospel, places ethical constraints on how we relate to others, but also invites us to move beyond our limited perspectives and enjoy the richness of God’s creative handiwork. Although it may be hard and sometimes uncomfortable, such a demand is the very price Jesus paid on the cross at Calvary by becoming a servant to all (Colossians 2:7). How the gospel resonates in various cultures and people groups is as eclectic as the mosaic of humanity. Recognizing this truth and being compelled by the gospel to love others different from ourselves is the very hallmark of Christ’s finishing work in each of us. Amen. †
SUMMER 2013 | KNOX NOW
RESONATE І KNOX SARASOTA
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
10 KNOX NOW | SUMMER 2013
One of Americaâ€™s
fastest-growing evangelical seminaries
is going to Sarasota.
Knox Theological Seminary, in partnership with Grace Community Church and Senior Pastor Chip Bennett,
launches the new
Knox Sarasota Learning Center this fall
on the campus of Grace Community Church.
nary.edu/sarasota SUMMER 2013 | KNOX NOW
RESONATE І COMMENCEMENT 2013
THE ODDS ARE by Dr. Howard Edington KNOX VICE CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD RETIRED MINISTER
IN OUR FAVOR!
WHAT AN INCREDIBLE HONOR and privilege it was for me to be asked to address the Knox Theological Seminary graduates. How appropriate it was for this event to be held in the great Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church—a church which has stood as the light of Christ shining in this world’s darkness and as the bulwark of truth against the deceptions of this present age. To be sure, we are living in an uneasy, uncertain era. However, after more than 45 years in the ministry of Jesus Christ, I am convinced that those who are called by God into the ministry will taste the victory which comes through Christ alone. “THERE ARE MORE WITH US...” In the commencement sermon I chose to focus upon a great Old Testament story, in 2 Kings 6, featuring the prophet Elisha. On one occasion the Syrian army, bent on the capture of Elisha, surrounded the place where Elisha was staying. Elisha’s young assistant cried out “Master, what shall we do? There is a whole army out there. We haven’t got a chance. The odds are stacked against us.” Elisha calmly responded, “Do not be afraid. Actually the odds are in our favor, for there are more with us than there are with them.” Elisha then asked God to open the eyes of his young assistant. Sure enough, the young man’s eyes were opened so that now he saw beyond the Syrian Army an infinitely greater army—rank
12 KNOX NOW | SUMMER 2013
after rank of angels, archangels, and chariots spiritual armies of God surround her. So I of fire. All the hosts of the Lord had come to do not fear for the Church—not so long as the defense of Elisha, and, by the power of the Church stands as the pillar of truth in a this great spiritual army of God, Elisha won world filled with deception; not so long as the victory. the Church exalts Jesus Christ as the King Elisha knew he had been chosen and of all kings, the Lord of all lords, the same called by God. He knew he was important to yesterday, today and forever; not so long as God and to God’s work in the world. That is the Church declares that the Christ who died, why he could say it and know it to be true: who was raised from the dead, will come “There are more with again… and when He comes us than there are with again His glory will cover the “The Church is God’s them.” earth as the waters cover Church and nothing less Make no mistake, the sea. I do not fear for the than the spiritual armies the church in our Church for she can say with time is under attack. Elisha, “The odds are in our of God surround her.” It is being attacked favor. There are more with us by those outside the Church who degrade than there are with them.” and deride her Biblical morality, who focus Work in God’s Kingdom is never easy— on the expediency of politics rather than never has been, never will be. Certainly the sacredness of human life, and who have that has been true in my own experience. little or no regard for the Lord’s Day or the Consequently, the words of Elisha have Lord’s way. It is being attacked by those been a great source of strength and within the Church who have chosen to place encouragement to me for all of my years in a greater weight on the values of the secular the ministry. May that be true for all who culture than on the validity of the inerrant receive the call of the Spirit of God into the Word of God. Like Elisha of old, the Church is ministry of Jesus Christ. surrounded by those seeking to destroy her. Soli Deo Gloria! † OUR GLORIOUS HOPE However, I do not fear for the Church, for like Elisha of old, I look through the eyes of belief in God and I see what is true. The Church is God’s Church and nothing less than the
WATCH THE COMMENCEMENT ADDRESS ONLINE:
SUMMER 2013 | KNOX NOW
RESONATE І THEOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE
KENNEDY ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY, DEAN OF FACULTY
by Dr. Michael Allen
COME NOW—BE PATIENT Franz Kafka mentioned that we need books that strike us powerfully: “If the book we are reading does not wake us, as with a fist hammering on our skull, why then do we read it? . . . [W]hat we must have are those books which come upon us like ill fortune, and distress us deeply, like the death of one we love better than ourselves, like suicide. A book must be an ice-axe to break the sea frozen inside us.” As we read James 4:135:11, we are distressed and broken, because it seems to pull us in such different directions. James pairs two fascinating statements in this section of his letter. “Come now” is a phrase that he repeats twice (4:13; 5:1). “Be patient” is also mentioned twice (5:7, 8). Clearly the apostle wants us to pay attention quickly—obviously he wants us to slow our pace and take stock of the long run. How can we do both? As we explore the way that James distresses our assumptions and breaks our expectations, we can ensure that our lives resonate with eternity by fostering what Karl Barth called a “hastening the waits.” TRUST GOD WITH HISTORY “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit’—yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring” (4:13-14). James puts his audience in their place, reminding these Christians that they do not hold history in their hands or their destiny in their minds. Medieval Jewish rabbis always began their written works with page two, remembering that God always speaks and acts before they ever do so. Christians have responded to James 4:13-14 by
14 KNOX NOW | SUMMER 2013
regularly concluding prayers with the phrase: “God willing” or “if it is God’s will.” Both practices are healthy reminders that we live amidst God’s lordship, not our own. We did not write the script, and we do not decide when the curtain falls. Now we are called to remember our creatureliness and dependence. REPENT OF SELF-INDULGENCE “Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you” (5:1). James then turns to address the plight of the seemingly powerful: wealthy non-Christians who seem to have it all together. Like a television reality show, he is pulling the curtain back and exploring the darkness behind the glitzy lifestyles of the rich and famous. It is not mere wealth that marks off the rich here, it is those who hoarded wealth for themselves (vv. 2-3), exploited workers (v. 3), overindulged themselves (v. 5), and mistreated the “righteous person” (v. 6). Apparently these practices worked: these “rich” have gold, silver, treasure, fields, and luxury. But their treasures are already doomed: they “have rotted,” “are moth-eaten,” and “have corroded” (vv. 2-3). The author even places these bearish statements in the past tense: these depreciations are definitively the case, even if they’re not yet overtly obvious. Now James reminds us, by addressing the real darkness of the wealthy and powerful, not to turn ourselves over to the path of self-indulgence and self-aggrandizement. ESTABLISH YOUR HEARTS AND INVEST IN OTHERS James has warned us twice: “come now,” trust the one who controls history; “come now,” repent of efforts to satisfy yourself. James then offers two commands: “Be
“What is your life? mist that appears for a little time For you are a
vanishes.” James 5:14
patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient” (5:7-8). Having summoned us to creaturely dependence and having called us quickly to cease our own projects of security, James now bids us slow down for the lengthy plod of patient love. If 4:13-16 called us to faith in God’s rule of history and 5:1-6 hearkened us to repentance of our desires to be masters of the universe, then 5:7-11 call us to rely on strength outside us and invest in lives beyond ours. In so doing we resonate with the very pulse of eternity. The path of patience is not easy. So James then says: “establish your hearts” (v. 8). Obviously establishing one’s heart cannot mean anticipating and selfmedicating ahead of time for a future one can predict. “Come now,” that would be to forget that God rules history and we do not. Further establishing one’s heart cannot mean building a nest egg and buying a golden parachute so that one can always be safe. “Come now,” that would be to miss the fleeting security of self-indulgence. For James and for anyone this side of the resurrection of Jesus, “establishing your hearts” means remembering that the “Lord is compassionate and merciful” (5:11). Our hearts really are fixed upon the Lord, who has sovereignty and power over all. Yet our hearts truly are dependent upon the LORD, who has committed himself to us. Because God is Almighty and God is our Father, as the Apostles’ Creed puts it, we can patiently entrust ourselves to him and, in so doing, we can pace ourselves in a way that resonates with the very rhythm of eternity. †
SUMMER 2013 | KNOX NOW
RESONATE І ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
by Dr. Jonathan Linebaugh ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF NEW TESTAMENT
“THERE ARE TWO KINDS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS.” This phrase from Martin Luther’s 1531 Lectures on Galatians identifies a Leitmotiv in Victor happens when Fantine, la miserable, suffering Hugo’s beloved 1862 novel, Les Misérables. personified, encounters the two kinds The story of Jean Valjean is at once a literary of justice, an encounter that in narrative masterpiece and a thunderbolt of social terms is identical with Fantine’s interactions commentary. The massacre of the students with Inspector Javert and Jean Valjean? To involved in the June Rebellion and the anticipate our conclusion: the effects of the agonizing existence Hugo portrays as the life justice of Javert and Valjean echo another of the poor function as a narrative unveiling Reformation distinction—judgment kills; of the injustice of the judicial and political mercy makes alive. justice of Restoration France. The book is, to quote Hugo’s own description, a “sad story” THE JUSTICE CALLED JUDGMENT and the title tells the truth: it is about Les The political and penal justice, what Luther Misérables—the sufferers, the “wretched of might call the first kind of righteousness, the earth” as the musical sings. It is, however, is symbolized by the guillotine, which, in the more intimate stories that Hugo paints on Hugo’s words, is “the law made concrete.” this vast socio-political canvas that provide Its name is “the Avenger” and a vision of the color for his lament. Taking our cue from it shakes the seer to his or her core with Luther’s distinction, I want to consider the its capacity to “devour, eat flesh, and drink nature and effects of the two kinds of justice blood.” This is the justice that locked Jean Hugo presents, limiting our attention to Book Valjean in prison for nineteen years for I, entitled “Fantine.” stealing a loaf of bread to save his sister’s At the beginning of chapter eleven seven children from starvation, and we first (“Christus nos liberavit”—i.e., Christ has set us hear of its effects in relation to Hugo’s hero: free) Hugo asks and answers an interpretative “Jean Valjean entered the galleys sobbing question: “What is the story of Fantine about? and trembling; he left hardened;” his “soul It is about society buying a slave. From whom? had progressively withered” and, as “dry eye From misery.” Fantine’s goes with a dead soul” and narrative arc, for those “he had not shed a tear for who don’t know the nineteen years,” Valjean was story (and who should dead. It is this justice, the kind therefore stop reading that killed Jean Valjean, that is this and go read Hugo!), embodied by Inspector Javert. goes from star-crossed With language reminiscent lover to prostitute by of the description of the way of the desperation guillotine, Javert is introduced Javert confronts Fantine on her deathbed of a mother who has as inflexible, absolute, already sold her hair and her two front teeth intimidating, and terror-evoking. “Order, law, in an attempt to support the daughter she morality,” writes Hugo, “were personified in has left with (monstrous) innkeepers. For him,” as were “justice, light, and truth in their our purposes, the question is this: what celestial function as destroyers of evil.” In
16 KNOX NOW | SUMMER 2013
his embodiment of the “thunder of the law,” Javert reflected a kind of glory, but it was the “glory of the superhuman bestiality of a ferocious archangel,” incontestably “good,” as Valjean calls Javert, but a revelation of what Hugo is tempted to call “all the evil of the good.” THE JUSTICE CALLED MERCY In contrast to this portrait of political justice, we meet what Luther would call another kind of righteousness as we meet Monseigneur Bienvenu, the Bishop of Digne. “Compassion,” the bishop muses, “is the most beautiful of all [God’s] names” and in Hugo’s portrayal this divine name is Bishop Bienvenu’s chief characteristic. As an “ex-sinner” he sees humanity honestly (“sin is like gravity,” he says) and so sees suffering as an opportunity for love: “Grief everywhere was only an occasion for love always.” Following this “rule of love,” the bishop opens his doors to Jean Valjean: “You are suffering; you are hungry; you are welcome.” But though Monseigneur Bienvenu calls him brother and offers food and rest, the corpse of Valjean is too cold to feel the warmth of love and so he steals the bishop’s silver only to be caught in the night and dragged back to face the bishop’s justice. And here is where the story turns: Bishop Bienvenu “has a strange way of judging things,” a different kind of justice which Hugo suspects “he acquired from the Gospels.” Caught in the act and expecting condemnation, Valjean encounters forgiveness, freedom, and a future: “Go in peace… It is your soul I am buying for you. I withdraw it from dark thoughts and the spirit of perdition, and I give it to God.” The effect
of this different justice was “a mass of new emotions” and whereas prison had wrought the death of dry eyes, forgiveness remade a man: “his heart swelled, and he burst into tears.” Judgment killed Valjean; mercy made him alive—recreated him, to quote the musical, as “the man of mercy.”
“her face, radiant just a moment before, turned deathly pale, and her eyes, wide with terror, seemed to fasten on something terrible facing her.” That “something terrible” was Inspector Javert. Confronted with “justice personified” and the “vengeance of the law,” Fantine shrieks, “Save me!” (“Moses had no other intention than to invite all men to go DEATH AND LIFE straight to Christ,” another Jean—Calvin It is these two kinds of justice embodied this time—might say.) Mercy could not save in these two figures, Javert and Valjean, Fantine from the “first death,” however. Javert that Fantine encounters in the darkest was a “monstrous St. Michael,” and their moment of the hell that is encounter had a simple “Death cannot stop conclusion: “She was dead.” her history. Having lashed out at a potential customer Hugo leaves the reader the eternal smile of who provoked her, frail in no doubt about the cause love. Judgment kills; of death. “You have killed Fantine listens to Javert’s judgment: “Six months! The mercy makes alive.” this woman,” Valjean says to Eternal Father in person Javert. But the judgment couldn’t help you now.” And in response to that kills is not the last word said to her whispered plea for “mercy,” Hugo simply Fantine. We do not learn what writes, “Javert turned his back.” But it is when “this condemned man said to this justice is done sentencing that the justice this dead woman” (welcome called mercy speaks: “One moment if you to homiletics 101!), but the please,” interjects Jean Valjean, “Inspector one eyewitness reports Javert, set this woman free.” Instead of the jail “that as Jean Valjean Javert threatened, Fantine finds a hospital whispered in Fantine’s bed, pardon (“you have never ceased to ear, she distinctly be virtuous and holy before God”), and a saw an ineffable promise: Cosette, Fantine’s daughter, will be smile spread cared for. Again, Hugo highlights the effects: across her Javert caused Fantine to weep and collapse; pale but “when Javert was gone”—at the end of the law (c.f. Rom 10:4)—“she felt the fearful darkness of her hatred melt within her and flow away, while an indescribable and ineffable warmth of joy, of confidence, and of love welled up in her heart.” Admittedly, Javert knows something of mercy—he calls it “illbegotten kindness”—but he’s afraid of it: “Such kindness disorganizes society.” In fact, Montreuil-sur-mer, the town in which Valjean is mayor, is Exhibit A: “Miserable town, where convicts are magistrates and prostitutes are nursed like countesses,” a description of Javert’s sociopolitical hell that has a ring of heaven to it. In this “miserable town,” in the presence and protection of the merciful mayor, Fantine was without fear or worry; “she was,” Hugo says, “joy itself.” But…
lips and those dim eyes full of the wonder of the tomb.” Hugo only adds, “Fantine’s face seemed strangely luminous,” for though she was “buried in the common grave…in which the poor are lost… God knows where to find the soul.” There are two kinds of righteousness that reach Fantine. The first is the justice called judgment, and it puts a desperate mother to death. The second is the justice called mercy, and from the nothingness of despair and hatred it creates hope and love. “Mercy triumphs over judgment,” James says (Jam 2:13), and so it is in Les Misérables: death cannot stop the eternal smile of love. Judgment kills; mercy makes alive. This “strange way of judging things” is stronger than “the last enemy,” something Victor Hugo felt when he wrote, “This life has a day after.” †
SUMMER 2013 | KNOX NOW
RESONATE І FACULTY NEWS
Faculty News DR. MICHAEL ALLEN Publications: The Obedience of the Eternal Son (with Scott Swain), published in the International Journal of Systematic Theology. ’It is No Longer I Who Live’: Christ’s Faith and Christian Faith, published in the Journal of Reformed Theology. DR. JIM BELCHER Books: In Search of Deep Faith Pre-order on Amazon.com Due out in November 2013 Traveling: September 2013 Oxford
Filming 2-4 mini documentaries for In Search of Deep Faith Twitter: Follow Dr. Belcher on Twitter @JimBelcher DR. GERALD BRAY July 28, 2013 Cross-Cultural Ministry Practicum London DR. BRYAN CHAPELL Publications: Fallen: A Theology of Sin (Theology in Community), co-contributed with Dr. Gerald Bray DR. WARREN GAGE Speaking: July 14-19, 2013 Lamplighter Guild for the Creative Arts, conference with
Mark Hamby, Dr. Jeff Myers, and Michael Card. Mohonk Mountain House (New York) August 7-13 Pyungkang Chiel Church (Dr. Abraham Park). Conference with Dr. Bruce Waltke Seoul, Korea Teaching: September 12, 2013 Lecturing for the Christian Union: Columbia University September 13, 2013 Yale University Teaching Trip: November 15-24, 2013 Knox Seminary & Rio Vista Holy Land Study Tour to Israel. Students can receive course credit for the trip.
DR. SAM LAMERSON Teaching: Continuously in 2013 Sunday School at Cross Community Church Deerfield Beach, FL Blog: www.drsamlam.com DR. JONATHAN LINEBAUGH Publications: God, Grace, and Righteousness in Wisdom of Solomon and Paul’s Letter to the Romans: Texts in Conversation (Novum Testamentum Supplements, Brill, 2013). REV. TULLIAN TCHIVIDJIAN Books: One Way Love: Inexhaustible Grace for an Exhausted World Pre-order on Amazon.com Due out in October 2013
DR. LINEBAUGH AUTHORS NEW BOOK ON GOD, GRACE, AND RIGHTEOUSNESS
NEW BOOK RELEASE: IN SEARCH OF DEEP FAITH BY DR. JIM BELCHER
IN HIS NEW BOOK God, Grace, and Righteousness in Wisdom of Solomon and Paul’s Letter to the Romans, Jonathan A. Linebaugh places the Wisdom of Solomon and the Letter to the Romans in conversation. Both texts discuss the relationship of Jew and Gentile, the meaning of God’s grace and righteousness, and offer readings of Israel’s scripture. By listening in on this conversation, Linebaugh demonstrates that while these texts have much in common, the theologies they articulate are ultimately incommensurable because they think from different events—Wisdom from the pre-creational order crafted by Sophia and exemplified in the Exodus; Paul from the incongruous gift of Christ which justifies the ungodly.
IN THE POST-CHRISTIAN WORLD, doubt and skepticism come naturally to us. Many have given up on faith of any kind, finding it shallow and unsatisfying. But still we yearn for more. Grappling with his own questions, Dr. Belcher set out on a quest to see how the Christian faith faces the challenges of the modern world. In Search of Deep Faith is the story of how he and his family spent a year traveling through Europe, exploring the faith that has shaped civilizations throughout the centuries. He rediscovered key figures, places and events in the history of Christianity, from C. S. Lewis’s life at Oxford to Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s death in a concentration camp, and found himself surprised by joy and compelled by faith. (Now available for pre-order on Amazon.com.)
18 KNOX NOW | SUMMER 2013
FEATURED COURSE І RESONATE
CHURCH PLANTING 3 credits • October 7-11, 2013 KNOX THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY • FORT LAUDERDALE, FL
Now The Magazine of Knox Theological Seminary SUMMER 2013 Published by The Communications Office
Dr. Terry Gyger, Former Director, Redeemer City to City Former Executive Pastor, Redeemer Presbyterian Church Dr. Gyger has planted churches in numerous metropolitan areas.
To examine the in-depth biblical principles and practice of church planting and revitalization.
WHO CAN REGISTER:
This course is open to all Doctor of Ministry students. Master’s-level students may take the course with prior permission from the Dean of Faculty. Other interested individuals may take the course as non-degree-seeking students. Please contact the registrar about registration (email@example.com).
Editor Ivey Rose Smith, M.A. Assistant Editor Joyce Grothmann Designer/Assistant Editor Mike Costanzo, M.A. Contributing Writers Ivey Rose Smith, M.A. Danny Slavich Dr. Michael Metzger Sherri Huleatt Rev. Jonathan G. Smith by Dr. Howard Edington by Dr. Michael Allen by Dr. Jonathan Linebaugh Contributing Photographers John Murphy Howard Lewis 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) 2013 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.
SUMMER 2013 | KNOX NOW
5554 North Federal Highway Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308 1.800.344.KNOX www.knoxseminary.edu
Receive Up To
For Life with a Knox Charitable Gift Annuity
Receive a lifetime of tax-favored, guaranteed income paid in monthly or quarterly sums through a charitable gift annuity with Knox Theological Seminary. Charitable gift annuities provide higher-than-normal rates of return which substantially exceed what is available from traditional investment vehicles such as CDs or money market accounts. A Knox charitable gift annuity will help insure your financial independence while also growing Godâ€™s kingdom. Itâ€™s a marvelous win-win for you and our mission of equipping servant leaders for Christ-centered, gospel-driven, and missionfocused ministry. Find out if a charitable gift annuity is right for you by contacting Knox Seminary at (954) 771-0376. Without any obligation to you, we will be happy to provide more information.
Knox Now--The Official Magazine of Knox Theological Seminary.