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† GOSPEL DRIVEN † MISSION FOCUSED
Majestic “O LORD, our LORD, how majestic is your name in all the earth.” Psalm 8:9
MAJESTIC AND HUMBLE 4 • TRANSFIGURED FOR THANKSGIVING 8 • COME, LORD JESUS 16
MAJESTIC І FROM THE EDITOR
BOLD AND HUMBLE
by Ivey Rose Smith
DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS
“Glorious and majestic are His deeds, and His righteousness endures forever.” Psalm 111:3 JESUS ROCKS MY WORLD I don’t know about you but Jesus really rocks my world. The person and work of Christ is majestic and…. breathtaking! When you read about how Jesus lived His life, the people He interacted with, it is that colorful cast of characters we read about in Scripture—sinners and harlots, the social lepers, the outcasts, the fringe, the despised, and the down and out. Our King spent some of His last moments washing other people’s feet. By worldly standards, Jesus was far from flashy. He wasn’t arguing about contemporary versus traditional, robes versus jeans, or liturgical versus lethargic. His life was lived by and in love. He didn’t spend His whole life just declaring but He demonstrated. Let’s face it. Jesus wasn’t very “churchy.” Those in His social circle are not ones that we envision in our church pews today. And He didn’t care so much for pious religious people and even called the Pharisees a brood of vipers (Matthew 23:33). He contextually lived out the gospel in word and deed and in many ways was majestic because of the bold yet humble way in which He lived. Jesus left His throne, gold, glory, a mansion, riches, and perpetual blue skies to be born…. in a barn. His mother was not a duchess and His father was a simple, just man. He left glory to be crucified by self-righteous people. Think about that. Visualize it. Let that thought marinate and really sink in because
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when you do there is a freedom that comes. This freedom in Christ is what allows us to engage in bold mission without fear. OUR KING AND OUR CULTURE As Christians, we often overthink things. We often try to create a formulaic pattern or systematic approach on how to be culturally acceptable yet be an appropriate Christian representation in outreach. In the corners of urban darkness, could it be more of a willingness to get our hands a little dirty? Jesus was often accused of eating with sinners. Today, do you think that Christians might say, “That behavior is not very Christian of you, Jesus?” If we are honest, I think we would. Perhaps we enter the conversation of culture not in a formulaic way but in getting back to the basics and looking for ways to serve, share a meal, share the light of Christ, and love our neighbor. In our alumni feature this month, you will see how the church is making a difference just by handing out bottles of water. And you’ll see how this King purposes life’s great tragedies and sufferings for glory and how there is liturgy and lessons even in life’s frustrations. HUMILITY, SUFFERING, AND LOVE It’s been my experience that when you have suffered and when you have come faceto-face with your own sinfulness, you can
appreciate Christ’s sacrifice and His life all the more. If we can’t see ourselves as poor in spirit then are we not missing what the gospel says entirely? “Never trust a man that hasn’t had a heartsmashing, bone-crushing, head-on collision with his
own depravity” are words spoken by Nate Larkin. But how true is it that the greater our understanding of that reality, the more we are aware, the more we experience and feel the depths of our own depravity, the more appreciation we have for the person of Christ and the work He did on the cross. Like my pastor says, we just bring the sin that makes salvation necessary. That reality wipes pride and self-righteousness away and should humble us. It’s not about how many degrees we have, our social status, net worth, or athletic achievements. It’s about Jesus, the greatest gift, whose name is majestic in all the earth. It’s about who we love because He loved us. †
TABLE OF CONTENTS І UPCOMING EVENTS
Upcoming Events at Knox
OCTOBER 14-18 DM926: Using the History of Exegesis course with Dr. Gerald Bray (Fort Lauderdale, FL) DM905: Preaching Christ Prophetically course with Dr. Warren Gage (Bellingham, WA—Logos Bible Software Headquarters) ---FALL SEMESTER BREAK---
OCTOBER 21 Fall Two: Knox Online Classes start
IN THIS ISSUE 4 6 8 10 14 16 18 20 22
NOVEMBER 15-24 Knox Seminary and Rio Vista Holy Land Study Tour to Israel (Dr. Warren Gage and Rev. Tom Hendrikse leading) NOVEMBER 28-29
MAJESTIC AND HUMBLE by Dr. Scott Manor STORMS AND SEMINARY EDUCATION by Dr. Samuel Lamerson TRANSFIGURED FOR THANKSGIVING by Dr. Michael Allen REVERSAL OF FORTUNE by Dr. David Sawnson TREASURE COAST CHURCH by Ivey Rose Smith
Thanksgiving Holiday (Seminary closed)
DECEMBER 2-6 Registration begins for 2014 Winter/Spring Terms
DECEMBER 3 Last Day of Fall Semester Residential Classes
DECEMBER 9-13 Fall Semester Examinations
DECEMBER 14-JANUARY 3 ---CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR’S HOLIDAY---
COME, LORD JESUS by Dr. Jonathan Linebaugh FINDING GOD by Rev. Jonathan G. Smith GREATER THAN THE TEMPLE by Dr. Warren Gage FACULTY NEWS
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MAJESTIC І GLORY OF GOD’S DESIGN
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Unequaled in humility, unrivaled in suffering, King Jesus is also eternally glorious in His majesty. ON JULY 22, 2013 PEOPLE ALL OVER BRITAIN and the world celebrated the birth of Prince George Alexander Louis, the son of William and Kate, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. To honor his birth, cities around the world were abuzz with street parties, gun salutes, and the ringing of church bells. Prince George has already been immortalized in song as well as government coins, T-shirts, and those gaudy commemorative plates with which the British are strangely fascinated. All of this, of course, is in anticipation of the day—long in the future—when he will bear the shortened title, “His Majesty.” Amidst all of this pomp and circumstance consider the contrast of the humble circumstances into which our Lord Jesus Christ, was born. The story of this kingly birth demonstrates that true majesty is not defined in terms of titles, wealth, armies or kingdoms, but in humility.
by Dr. Scott Manor ASSOCIATE DEAN OF KNOX ONLINE
song of praise, the Magnificat, she recalls the actions of her God and Savior, which stood in contrast to the worldly ideas of power and majesty. He scattered the proud, brought down the mighty from their thrones, exalted those of humble estate, and fed the hungry (Luke 1:46-55). And now through her humble estate God was going to provide the long anticipated Savior. Christ took on the flesh of man, and through this incarnation the true majesty of God’s plan of salvation came to fruition.
THE GLORY OF GOD’S DESIGN Such is the distinction between God’s economy and that of mankind. Prince George will one day bear the title “His Majesty” and serve as the monarch of a nation. This is his right, privilege, and duty because of the noble lineage into which he was born. But consider the contrast between the honor afforded to “True majesty Prince George and the true majesty found DELIVERANCE THROUGH HIS is not defined in in the humility of the King of Kings, Jesus HUMILIATION Christ. This Divine Word voluntarily made terms of titles, Humility is probably not an adequate term Himself nothing, was born as a man, took wealth, armies to express the lowliness of Christ’s birth. the form of a slave, and humbled Himself His mother was a virgin; His birthplace to the point of suffering the lowliest form or kingdoms, was a barn; His crib was a feeding of death, crucifixion. but in humility.” trough meant for livestock. His lineage Why would the eternal God do such was equally unimpressive by human a thing? It was not only to take upon standards. It is tempting to want to prune the rotten Himself our sins and the resulting penalty of death, but branches of His family tree that included philanderers, also to grant us a share in His majesty. As the Church murderers, prostitutes, and liars. Father Cyril of Alexandria notes, “In short, He took what Yet this is the royal lineage of our Lord and Savior, was ours to be His very own so that we might have all and through this rather unsavory cast of characters God that was His.” upturned the wisdom and majesty of this world on its The Epistle of James exhorts the readers to “humble head. He has made foolish the wisdom of this world yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you” and chose what is foolish to shame the wise. God chose (James 4:10). In so doing we are following the example what is low and despised to bring low those that are of our Lord and Savior, Who, because of His humility, not. Christ the King was born from a long line of sinners God has highly exalted Him and at His name every for sinners. knee shall bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Prior to Jesus’ birth, Mary, the mother of Jesus, Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. † understood this seemingly paradoxical truth. In her
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MAJESTIC І 2013 CONVOCATION ADDRESS
Storms and Seminary Education [ Mark 4:35-41 ]
GOD IN THE STORM The first lesson that the disciples needed to learn is that “Storms in our lives are PROFESSOR OF certainly providential.” The reason that the NEW TESTAMENT disciples were in the boat and going across the Sea of Galilee was that they were doing what Jesus told them to do. Thus they were THE STORMS OF LIFE in the middle of a storm not One thing that I can assure “The reason that the because they had disobeyed all seminary students as God but particularly because disciples were in the they start or continue they had obeyed him. We boat...was that they their journey is that they must never think that the will have problems. They were doing what Jesus only reason that we have may be family, financial, problems or storms in our life told them to do.” academic, or physical, is because of disobedience. but all of them will have Sometimes it is obeying the problems. If so, where should the student Lord that brings those problems to us. turn during these times of trial? They must The second lesson that the storms teach turn to the Scriptures, and particularly stories us is that “Storms in our lives are seemingly of the trials of others. inescapable.” The description of the storm This passage at the end of Mark 4, the is that of a “great wind.” The waves were story of a storm in the life of the disciples, is threatening to sink the boat in the middle a valuable lesson for modern-day disciples of the sea. The boats used at this time were who are engaging in ministry training. Too small wooden boats that were not meant to often in Christianity there is an underlying be out in this kind of weather. When trapped assumption that all problems go away when in a storm, those on board were in severe one puts faith in Christ. The Bible assures us danger. Simply because we are Christians that this is not true, but that we have a rock does not mean that we will not be brought upon which we can depend when troubles to those times when we face real danger, just come. like the apostles before us.
By Dr. Samuel Lamerson
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SLEEP WELL The third lesson that is learned from this passage is that “Storms in our lives are obviously educational.” Note that the disciples, some of whom were fisherman, turned to a carpenter during times of storm. They find Jesus asleep in the boat (much like Jonah) and call upon him to wake up. An interesting fact is that this is the only story in the Gospels that tells us about Jesus sleeping. Being fully human, Jesus certainly needed sleep like the rest of us, but only in this situation does the Holy Spirit bring it into the text. This may be to remind us that the Lord is not worried, He is in control. Since Jesus can sleep in the midst of a storm, we should be able to as well. And so the disciples, and the readers of Mark, learn some valuable lessons from this story of the storm. We are reminded of God’s providence, of the reality of evil, and of our education through difficult times. I reminded the students of this during Knox’s convocation, and I remind the readers now, that we must go through our lives not denying the presence of evil, but knowing that our Lord controls it all. Sleep well in the midst of a storm. †
SHAREFAITH & BIBLEMESH І KNOX NEWS
KNOX NAMED ONE OF THE
TOP 20 SEMINARIES
IN THE U.S.
Knox Theological Seminary was recently named one of the “Top 20 Theological Schools and Seminaries in the U.S.” by ShareFaith. Below is an excerpt from the ShareFaith website: Knox has already built a reputation for its solid faculty [and] is a top choice, especially for those who are pursuing theological training from a Reformed perspective. Learn more at knoxseminary.edu.
Knox Online is now offering a full suite of courses for the instruction of biblical languages. In addition to our robust biblical and theological instruction, students are now able to study Greek I-IV and Hebrew I-IV online. Courses are offered in partnership with BibleMesh, a leading innovator in delivering online courses for biblical languages. To learn more about what BibleMesh has to offer, visit www.biblemesh.com/.
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MAJESTIC І THEOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE
IN MEMORIAM: DR. ROBERT REYMOND THE FACULTY AND STAFF at Knox Theological Seminary would like to extend our prayers and condolences to the Reymond family for their loss. Dr. Robert Reymond was a founding professor at Knox Theological Seminary and served here faithfully as the Professor of Systematic Theology until 2008. Dr. Reymond has written a great number of books, notably Contending for the Faith: Lines in the Sand That Strengthen the Church, The God-Centered Preacher: Developing a Pulpit Ministry Approved by God, and A New Systematic Theology of The Christian Faith. Dr. Sam Lamerson writes of his professor and colleague: “I learned only a few days ago that my dear friend, professor, and mentor Dr. Robert Reymond had gone to be with the Lord. I have known Dr. Reymond since my first semester as a student here at Knox in which he took a young and foolish kid under his wing and tried to train him to be a good pastor/scholar. I will never forget the wonderful times sitting in his classes and listening to him expound the Scripture. “Dr. Reymond was one of three founding faculty members who came to Fort Lauderdale to help Dr. Kennedy start Knox Seminary and served as the professor of systematic theology. He was incredibly kind to those few of us who wandered in the doors in that first year. I will never forget him, but more importantly I will never forget the vision of the Lord that he passed on to me. “In speaking of Matthew 1:23 (For they shall call His name Immanuel, which means God is with us) Dr. Reymond said this: ‘I could understand “God is against us;” I could understand “God is angry with us;” but “God is with us?” That I will never be able to understand.’ “It is that great picture of Christ that was faithfully passed from the founders to the faculty, and which we now seek to impart to students in the classroom today. “Thank you our Father, for that ‘great cloud of witnesses’ who have gone before us.” Samuel Lamerson Professor of New Testament
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Thanksgivi HOLIDAYS DO NOT NORMALLY conjure psalmist identifies thankfulness as the up thoughts of holiness. We can enjoy flip side of trust. “I trust in the steadfast rest at appointed times and, as citizens love of God forever and ever. I will thank of this or another country, mark our you forever, because you have done it” national pastimes. We savor the chance (Ps. 52:8-9). to exchange gifts or to eat, drink, and be merry. Many of us treat opening-day THANKSGIVING AND PERSERVERENCE games as a matter of liturgical celebration, Second, we need to persevere in but, if we are honest, these holidays are thanksgiving in the midst of our daily not exactly made to honor and shape the forgetfulness. In commenting on Christian life. Thanksgiving Day is a blissful Psalm 52, John Calvin said: “There is exception. no religious duty in which it does As we celebrate this appointed time not become us to manifest a spirit of the year, we are reminded of the deep of perseverance; but we need to be and abiding call of our Lord to be thankful especially enjoined to it in the duty of in all things. Aware that it is easy to skate thanksgiving.” We are prone to forget, past the substance of this feast day, I want “disposed as we are so speedily to to reflect briefly on forget our mercies.” “God must change our three aspects of the The psalmist and call to thankfulness. hearts and minds so that the prophets of Israel call us instead to we see and remember THANKSGIVING remembrance. We His goodness.” AND WORSHIP are summoned to First, the value of thanks. For centuries thanksgiving lies in magnifying God and Christians and Jews have marked meal acknowledging our dependence on him. times as a regular time for such thanks, Thanksgiving puts God in His place and cognizant that without stage prompts keeps us in ours. Thanksgiving is a marker we tend to forget to express gratitude. of radical dependence and a sign of Often meals go too fast: not only is food continued receptivity. More specifically, consumed with unhealthy haste, but it not only defines us as recipients but it provisions are not marked as manna names the Holy Trinity as our provider. poured down from the heavens. We “Every good gift and every perfect gift are summoned to repent and believe is from above, coming down from the and, in this case, that takes the form of Father of lights” (Jas. 1:17). praying for daily bread and marking its Thanksgiving marks the embrace arrival with heartfelt thanks. of our place as a son or daughter and our delight that this one—the one who CULTIVATING THANKSGIVING raised Jesus from the dead and the one Third, we should participate in practices who continues to astonish us with His which cultivate thanksgiving. If Calvin’s beneficence—is our Father. Indeed, the observations about the forgetfulness of
by Dr. Michael Allen
KENNEDY ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY, DEAN OF FACULTY
humans are right, then we should think long and hard about how to cultivate thankfulness. Marilynne Robinson’s words at the conclusion of her novel Gilead remind us that everyone views the world and its history, but only some will see its glory. “Wherever you turn your eyes the world can shine like transfiguration. You don’t have to bring a thing to it except a little willingness to see. Only, who could have the courage to see it?” It takes willingness to see and courage to actually take it in. We must be willing to see something more than ourselves and to view ourselves as creatures. We must have courage to go forward not as gods but as dependent beings who find their life and sustenance in the mercy and generosity of another. We must long to see the world shot through with God’s glory, so that our hearts will melt with thanksgiving. THANKSGIVING AND GRACE Ultimately God must bless us with thankfulness: as with those first disciples, transfiguration must occur. God must change our hearts and minds so that we see and remember His goodness. But God uses means and instruments, that is, God typically does not send a bolt of lightning in the midst of an empty field. God works through practices to change us by His grace and mercy. God calls us regularly to celebrate the Eucharist, that is, a thanksgiving meal of gratitude and praise. God summons us to pray daily and in so doing to mark our blessings that come from His hand. It is in the vein of these sorts of practices that we can also see how Thanksgiving Day presents a reminder that we are to gather our blessings and return the thanks to another. It is an annual prompt and reminder of this ongoing need for grace and, most importantly, of God’s generous provision for us in the gospel. † FALL 2013 | KNOX NOW
MAJESTIC І PASTORAL PERSPECTIVE
by Dr. David D. Swanson
REVERSAL of FORTUNE
SENIOR PASTOR, FIRST PRESBY TERIAN CHURCH OF ORLANDO, EPC
EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE I stumble upon lethal, in the right hands they save people. things in life that do not work the way they It leaves me scratching my head wondering, first appear. For example, I stayed in a hotel “How in the world is this possible?” once—a real high-quality place, where the hot and cold knobs on the sink were BLESSINGS BY MEANS OF A CURSE? reversed. I spent my stay burning myself with Nevertheless, as I examine other portions of what I assumed was cold water. Another my life, I find the same principle at work. I oddity occurs in the realm of common know deeply faithful people who have been poisons. A poison, by definition, is something fired from their jobs only to be hired into that when introduced into or absorbed by a new job they find much more fulfilling a living organism causes and rewarding. They now injury or death. Typically, “How odd: bad things consider their firing to be a when we hear something great blessing. The same is that in the right hands true in some cancer patients. is poisonous we recognize the potential danger and become good things.” The disease changed their we stay away from it. perspective on life in such However, consider the following: a profound way that they now view it as a warfarin is a poison that has been used blessing. as a pesticide in the United States for How odd: bad things that in the right several decades, mostly to kill rats hands become good things. Many of us know and mice, but scientists discovered those feelings—the feelings we get when it several years ago that when used in seems that some sort of poison has infiltrated small doses, it is a marvelous drug our lives, spinning us chaotically out of for helping to prevent blood clots in control. Our hearts cry out, “What in the world humans. Today, it is the most widely is going on here? Why is this happening?” prescribed anti-coagulant drug in the They are moments filled with human anxiety United States—a poison that could kill in which we tend to forget the unique nature people, yet in the right hands, actually and character of God and the way He works in saves lives. There are numerous this world. examples of other such poisons that Thankfully, mercifully, our God is can do the same thing: potentially sovereign. Our God controls every moment of
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Flexible our lives, and because of His gracious hand, even those things that might appear to be lethal to us can be used by our sovereign God to bring life and hope and peace.
is now being done, the saving of many lives.” And there it is again: utter poison, complete evil and pain, used for health and healing. It is the evidence of the unique way in which God works in our lives—our sovereign God who can take even the most heinous of circumstances and still bring about His purpose and plan.
THE REVERSAL OF JOSEPH Consider Joseph and his brothers in Genesis 37-50. Because of deep jealousy, Joseph’s brothers kidnap him, threaten to kill him, throw him down a dry well while they decide, TAKING THE BAD WITH THE GOOD and eventually sell him into slavery. It’s a So as we consider our own life’s journey, horrible scene that the circumstances we are now “Let yourself be human. enduring or some of the pains we can pass over too quickly. and evils we have faced, it is But don’t ever forget This is abject evil. important that we remember It’s poison. His brothers the merciful, wonderful this truth. God is sovereign. sovereignty of God.” have murder in their Nothing is beyond His grasp hearts. They sell him even when it may appear as if into slavery. Who does that to his own family? things are spinning perilously out of control. This is human depravity at its worst. If there Perhaps the hardest thing when we has ever been anyone who would have been find ourselves in one of those places is the thinking his world was spinning out of control waiting. I would imagine Joseph had some and that evil was running rampant, it was pretty strong feelings as he lay at the bottom Joseph. He certainly felt exactly the way you of that well. It was a very long time from then and I have at various points in our lives. until the time he came to leadership in Egypt. And yet, this amazing thing starts to What I see, however, is that Joseph never happen. What we think is terrible turns out to allowed any feelings of anger, fear or revenge be something overwhelmingly, miraculously to overtake his core belief that even in that good. Through a series of events, Joseph is moment, God was still in control. God was put in charge of Egypt. As a famine looms, still at work; therefore, God would ultimately he manages Egypt’s grain in such a way that prevail with His plan and purpose. the people do not starve, but thrive. It was a Life is hard, no doubt. Ministry is hard too. potentially crushing circumstance that even We all hit points in which we wonder, “Why brought people from other countries to Egypt did God allow this?” It’s okay. Feel the feelings. for relief, including Joseph’s brothers, which Let yourself be human. But don’t ever forget eventually led to their reconciliation. the merciful, wonderful sovereignty of God As the narrative concludes, Joseph made that “works for the good of those that love an enormously important statement in him, who have been called according to His Genesis 50:20, “You intended to harm me, but purpose” (Romans 8:28). † God intended it for good to accomplish what
PAYMENT PLANS Knox is introducing new flexible payment plans for our Knox Online and Doctor of Ministry students. These plans bundle all program costs (tuition, fees, and Logos Bible Software) into one convenient monthly payment plan. Our goal is to see that you graduate with little or no debt, allowing you greater freedom to engage in bold mission for God’s kingdom.
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MAJESTIC І GIVING
Giving GIVE AN ETERNAL GIFT TODAY!
At a time when many have compromised God’s Word, Knox Seminary remains firmly committed to keeping Christ at the center and the truths of Reformed theology: the Sovereignty of God, the inerrancy of His Word, and the Great Commission. Your gift today will help us teach these timeless truths to future ministers here in America and around the world.
GIFTING PLANS FOR 2014:
• Development of a fully-online Spanish program • New Learning Centers in Atlanta and Seattle (where less than 3% of the population is Christian) • Technological infrastructure improvements to Knox Online, allowing us to expand and continue teaching thousands to reach millions • Remodeling one floor in our four-story building to expand the library and increase classroom space When you give a special year-end, taxdeductible charitable gift, it will be used to train the next generation of Christian leaders for the challenges ahead. It will help us teach thousands who will reach millions—and make an eternal difference for Christ and His kingdom.
YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Please plan to include Knox Theological Seminary in your end-of-year giving plans. To discuss other ways to give, please contact the Development Office at 954-771-0376 or 1-800344-KNOX. Be a part of the exciting growth at Knox and help us equip kingdom workers by all means possible. It can’t happen without you. Please give today!
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BOOK TRAILER PROMO І MAJESTIC
New Book Trailer and Video Documentaries Featuring Dr. Jim Belcher Coming Soon ON SEPTEMBER 3, 2013, I traveled to London with southern California-based film company De Vos Entertainment to begin work on a book trailer and four minidocumentaries based on my book, In Search of Deep Faith: A Pilgrimage into the Beauty, Goodness and Heart of Christianity (IVP) that was published in October. The goal of our ten-day filming trip was to shoot footage of the people and places, the great heroes of our faith, which my family studied and visited over the course of a year, which is the basis of my book. I took the film crew to Oxford, London, Paris, Lyon, Le Chambon sur Lignon, Salzburg, and Flossenburg, covering over 2500 miles in trains, buses and a rented RV and spanning five different countries. The highlights were time at the Kilns in Oxford,
C.S Lewis’s home for three decades, filming the glittering Eiffel Tower at night, standing atop the majestic castle in Salzburg and walking through Flossenburg Concentration where Bonhoeffer spent the last twelve hours of his life. Since my return on September 15, I have been busy helping to write the script and to shape the trailer and the documentaries. The book trailer is complete, as well as two documentaries on C.S Lewis and Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Two more mini-documentaries will be finished by the end of November, so stay tuned!
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MAJESTIC І ALUMNI CHURCH FEATURE
by Ivey Rose Smith
DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS
NESTLED IN THE QUAINT DOWNTOWN in systematics and former Knox Professor Dr. REACHING STUART FOR CHRIST community of Stuart, Florida, is Treasure Robert Reymond asked, “Are you going to be Chris Perry, former director of Children’s Coast Presbyterian Church. Two Knox alumni a pastor?” Puzzled and a little flustered David Ministries at CRPC, decided to join his friend members are on the pastoral staff of this answered, “I don’t really know.” The story goes Dave at TCPC where he serves as an assistant growing congregation. Lead Pastor David that Dr. Reymond declared, “You should be a pastor. What brought them to Knox is now Richardson (MDiv, 2009) and Assistant pastor!” and just walked off. The words were what brings them together in a shared vision Pastor Chris Perry (MDiv, 2009) not only stirring, and a little uncomfortable, but David for impacting Stuart with a Christ-centered, went through classes still wasn’t sure. gospel-driven, and mission-focused vision. and seminary together Nearing graduation from Throughout the New Testament you see a but now find themselves seminary in 2009, Dr. David robust community of faith living self-sacrificial ministering together to Nicholas, former senior pastor lives for the sake of Jesus. That is the type a growing community of of Spanish River Church and of community TCPC is seeking to create in believers. president of Knox, served as downtown Stuart. The small to mid-sized Having grown up a pastoral mentor to David. town of Stuart is the picture of demographic as a pastor’s kid, David He states, “Dr. Nicholas just diversity. A sleepy coastal town, young families associated the pastorate poured into me and poured are attracted to the top schools along with The Richardson Family with what he calls into my ministry.” Treasure retirees who are drawn to it for the low cost “uprootedness” as he and his family moved Coast Presbyterian Church was of living, strong community around a lot. Despite a great affection for planted in 1997 by Spanish River feel and small-town coastal his family, he decided early on that this was Church in Boca Raton, Florida, charm. Visitors get a sense of just not something he wanted for himself. which is known for being a that when they walk the brickAs a young man in his twenties, he found church-planting church. In lined sidewalks of downtown himself jumping from college to college and January of 2011, Dr. Nicholas where there is always an organic job to job and what he describes now as made the connection for David market, arts and crafts fair, or “floundering around.” Ultimately he realized with TCPC. Feeling called to fishing tournament going on. that the pattern of his pursuits away from South Florida, David felt a real The question for David and ministry closely resembled the uprootedness tension about pursuing ministry Chris was really how to reach that he didn’t want. He finally graduated from in Stuart, which is about 75 miles this community for Christ and college after six years of doing undergraduate north of Fort Lauderdale and has how TCPC could make an impact. The Perry Family work and found himself interning in churches, a totally different culture. When David arrived at TCPC teaching Sunday school and teaching at In early January of 2011, Dr. Nicholas in 2011, the biggest problem he faced was Christian academies, all the while feeling told David, “You are called to preach” and visibility. Nobody downtown had ever heard totally inadequate and wanting to learn more he recalls that statement as one that really of TCPC. With the church lacking a presence about God. “warmed my soul and was when I really felt in the community, David set up meetings the Spirit’s probe.” Days after this declaration, with the vice mayor and city manager. He “ARE YOU GOING TO BE A PASTOR?” Dr. Nicholas passed away and David was began attending downtown business meetings Feeling the gentle leading to seminary, he asked to preach at TCPC. His wife Christy said, and connecting with other organizations that knew he liked teaching but was still unsure of “We are moving to Stuart!” In March 2011, he serve the downtown area with the intent of pastoral ministry. One day at Knox, he recalls received the call to become their lead pastor creating awareness for the church in the city, sitting in the library after finishing a course and in May 2011, he was ordained as a pastor. for the sake of the Kingdom.
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How two Knox Alumni are reaching their community— and fulfilling their calling. ACTS OF LOVE AND SERVICE The next goal was to orient the church around mission and how to tangibly demonstrate their love for Jesus and His love for their city. David spent the first year training the leadership at TCPC and reorienting the congregation around outreach while subsequently preaching messages centered on mission. Members began to catch the vision and today the church demonstrates that vision by distributing thousands of bottles of water at local events like the July Fourth Star Spangled Stuart Fireworks event and city service days. This has been a great way for the church to just start conversations with residents. The church has also participated in the City of Stuart Service Clean Up Day. TCPC organized and executed a complete exterior renovation for a non-profit organization called Building Bridges to Youth, an organization that provides underprivileged youth in the East Stuart Community with a safe place to study, be tutored, and have access to the Internet. TCPC members got their hands dirty alongside others in the community all working together to make their city a better place. The City of Commissioners in Stuart recognized the church’s efforts and awarded them a Certificate of Appreciation for their participation. GET CONNECTED, LIVE CONNECTED Everything TCPC does as a church is through the rubric of “Get Connected. Live Connected.” Above all, TCPC desires connectedness in their city and their church. “The culture is bent toward paralyzing and individualistic living but the gospel absolutely blows that
kind of living out of the water. As a church and a community, we have to fight hard against that mentality,” says David, “We must intentionally seek to create a culture of connectedness.” TCPC has made great strides in connecting with the community but one of the primary ways they cultivate that connectedness in their church is through community groups. Their community groups gather regularly in homes throughout the area so the people can know and experience Christ Jesus together. In describing these meaningful gatherings, Pastor David says, “He promises us that when even two or three are gathered together in His name that He will be in our midst. We believe Jesus does exactly what He promises. So we gather, centered around His Word, to learn from one another, pray for one another, and encourage one another.” God has been gracious to TCPC and has seen fit to establish the church as a meaningful presence in Downtown Stuart with intentional interaction and engagement with the City, for the city. †
TCPC MISSION & VISION “Treasure Coast Presbyterian Church exists, by the grace of God and His glory, to ignite a deep love and affection for Jesus Christ and the gospel of His grace. We want to be used by God to ignite the entire city of Stuart, and beyond, with a love for Jesus. In short, we want to see a revival. As a church, we want to be part of BIG things because we serve and worship a BIG God who is actively at work doing BIG things in our very midst.”
www.treasurecoastpca.org FALL 2013 | KNOX NOW
MAJESTIC І ADVENT DEVOTIONAL
by Dr. Jonathan Linebaugh ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF NEW TESTAMENT
Christmas past, present, and future to show us our true selves. And, again like Scrooge, we will not like what we see.
ADVENT WEEK 1—KNOW THYSELF “Know Thyself.” This Socratic call is the fountainhead of the Western philosophic ADVENT WEEK 2—GO AWAY, JESUS tradition. But it is a call without a compass. God’s way of showing us ourselves is How, in other words, do we come to know speaking His law. Romans 3:10-18 paints a ourselves? Socrates’ answer is contained in “realist” portrait of the human race: none his other famous maxim: “The unexamined are righteous, no one seeks God, all are life is not worth living.” But again, how do worthless, they’re quick to kill, and the list you examine your life goes on. The severity of this and, more urgently, what situation, however, is exactly “Jesus just won’t go will you discover if you what the lies of the deceitful away, especially not succeed in finding it? human heart keep us from from sinful people. ” The different answers seeing. This is why, again, to these questions “the wrath of God” must be represent a parting of the ways between “revealed from heaven” (Rom 1:18). This is Socrates and Scripture. The Socratic call to something we do not know—“we must be understand the self through the examination told who we are.” And God’s way of telling of life has the human—the “I”—as the active us is by speaking His holy and good law: agent of self-discovery. Question, think, “Through the law comes the knowledge observe, examine: these are, in the Socratic of sin” (Rom 3:20). The result of an unholy way, verbs with human subjects. You are person seeing their reflection in the mirror summoned to examine your life with the of God’s holiness is the realization of the result that you will come to know you. Socratic quest: self-knowledge. But as Scripture, however, tells a different story. Johann Georg Hamann writes, this revelatory “The heart is deceitful,” says Jeremiah, and experience is not to make it up to heaven; it we are fundamentally hidden from ourselves is “a descent into the hell of self-knowledge.” by the lies we tell. For this reason, who we Hamann knew this from experience, are—our core condition as sons of Adam and but it’s also the experience witnessed to in daughters of Eve east of Eden—is something Scripture. When Isaiah encountered the God that needs to be “revealed from heaven” whom the seraphim call “holy, holy, holy,” (Rom 1:18). As one theologian put it, “we his response is “Woe is me! For I am lost; need to be told who we are.” Like Socrates, for I am a man of unclean lips” (Isa 6:2-5). Scripture emphasizes the necessity of honest In seeing the holiness of God Isaiah saw self-knowledge, but unlike the Socratic call to himself: unholy. The Apostle Peter has a “know thyself” Scripture insists that “I” cannot similar experience when, in meeting Jesus, find “me.” Like Ebenezer Scrooge in Dickens’ he meets himself. Catching a A Christmas Carol, we need the ghosts of glimpse of the power
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and purity of Jesus in the fishing miracle recounted in Luke 5:1-7, Peter sees himself: “I am a sinful man” (Luke 5:8). Peter says something else, however, and it’s something worth listening to as we approach Advent, that time of year when we remember that Jesus came and pray for him to come again. When Peter, by seeing Jesus, saw himself, his initial response is the antithesis of Advent: “Depart from me” (Luke 5:8). This is an honest first word. The natural reaction to the “descent into the hell of “selfknowledge” that happens as our sinfulness is revealed to us in the mirror of God’s holiness is not the Advent motto—“Come, Lord Jesus”—but its opposite: “Go away, Jesus.” ADVENT WEEK 3—WHAT’S IN TWO NAMES? But Jesus just won’t go away, especially not from sinful people—from the hurting and the hurtful, from the victims and victimizers. Peter’s confession that he was “a sinful man” didn’t convince Jesus to heed his request to “depart.” On the contrary, the Jesus who said that He came as a doctor for the sick and to call the unrighteous (Luke 5:31-32) answered Peter’s frightened plea and honest confession with a word of compassion: “Do not be afraid” (Luke 5:10). Jesus’ presence, the simple fact that He was there in His power and purity, terrified Peter. But Jesus’ person, expressed here in His word of comfort, freed the frightened fisherman to become (an often failing) fisher of men (Luke 5:10). This same dynamic is captured by Matthew in the two names given to the one he calls “the son of David, the son of Abraham” (Matt 1:1). The name Immanuel, which as Matthew explains, means “God with us” (Matt 1:23), is, on its own, a terrifying thought. It is the presence of the holy God
JESUS that left Isaiah undone, that made Peter command Jesus to depart, and forced the unclean spirit of Mark 1:21-28 to ask if “the holy One of God” was there to destroy him. The name Immanuel, in other words, raises a question: Should I be afraid? The answer to this question is the second name, Jesus (Matt 1:21). The God who is with us is present “to save His people from their sins.” The name Immanuel, because it says God is here among us, evokes fear. The name Jesus, because it says that the God who is with us is also for us, says “Do not be afraid.” ADVENT WEEK 4—COME, LORD JESUS Now the Advent cry. The self-knowledge that is given to us in our confrontation with “the holy One of God” is a revelation that engenders a fearful response: “Go away, Jesus.” That God is with us, that Jesus is Immanuel, means that He sees our secrets and our shame. He knows what His presence compels us to confess: I am a sinful man. But the one who as Immanuel says “I see your sin” also says, as Jesus, “I came to save you from your sin.” Our deceitful hearts cannot tell the truth. We’re too scared to even ask our deepest questions. What if God is really “with us” in our relationship with our child that just isn’t getting better; in the struggle to lose the weight that we just can’t win; in the secrets we’ve kept from our spouse for years? What if God is there, in our real lives? The name Immanuel says that He is. This is what caused Peter’s “What if God is fear and forced him to really ‘with us’ in say “go away, Jesus.” But our struggles?” Jesus didn’t go away, and He answered that fear by saying “Do not be afraid.” “He came into the world”—He is Immanuel—“but He did not come to condemn the world; He came to save the world”—He is Jesus (John 3:17). Seeing our sin makes us say “Go away, Jesus.” Seeing that Immanuel is here to save us from our sins, seeing that the God who is with us is also forever for us, makes us say “Come, Lord Jesus.” †
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MAJESTIC І EVERYDAY LITURGY
FindiNg God: by Rev. Jonathan G. Smith
LITURGY FOR EVERYDAY LIFE— A LESSON FROM PARENTING
DEAN OF KNOX ONLINE
quietly pick him up and walk out, missing the first song. You came to worship God. Instead, it has become an exercise in futility, frustration and despair.
SUNDAY MORNING SCRAMBLE What kind of activities do you engage in on Sundays to reorient your mind around JESUS—OUR SHELTER FROM CHAOS worshiping the Lord? How do you make the transition from the profane to the holy, from If you have ever been a parent or know the secular to the sacred? someone who is a parent, you have probably If you have been a parent, then consider observed the same phenomena. The the following scenario. We have all been formula is simple. Chaos breaks out before there, rushing across the parking lot from church resulting in a distracted heart and the car and then dragging our children into mind, leaving you feeling disappointed and the sanctuary of the church. disconnected from God. “After teaching His As the deacon welcomes you Jesus amazes me. When into the sanctuary where disciples the liturgy, you think He goes left, He you are to worship God, you turns right. When debating He teaches them immediately feel the warmth with His enemies and it seems about the nature of blood flowing to your face they have boxed him in, the as you become flush from the of God’s heart. ” tables turn and they walk away embarrassment of being seen defeated wondering how this outside fussing at your kids prior to entering Rabbi from Nazareth out-foxed them again. the church. Hoping the deacon does not see The same is true with His disciples. When the slight redness of your now rose-colored they asked him to teach them how to pray, cheeks, you look around to find the first He responded with a simple liturgy to follow. available pew and hurry the kids to their “Father, Holy is your name. Your kingdom seat. Tired and bewildered, the events of the come. Give us each day our daily bread, and morning still replay in your mind as the guilt forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive of fussing at your children to get dressed and everyone who is indebted to us. And lead move toward the car quietly settles into your us not into temptation” (Luke 11:2b-4, ESV). mind. “Help me God,” you say to yourself. Simple, elegant and to the point, Jesus strikes Then the call to worship happens. “Please to the very heart of basic human needs: stand,” says the worship leader. You politely a focal point of worship, physical and stand. And then out of the corner of your eye, spiritual nourishment, and shelter from you notice your toddler son has just decided to chaos. decorate one of the hymnals with the crayon After teaching His disciples the you gave him, which in hindsight is another liturgy, He teaches them about the reminder of the deficiency of parenting nature of God’s heart. He is the wisdom being demonstrated that day. Father, waiting and desiring to hear So instead of preparing yourself to from His children. “Is there anyone worship, you instinctively grab the crayon out among you who, if your child asks of his hand, and as retribution for this gross for a fish, will give you a snake infraction, he proceeds to scream and cry, instead of a fish?” (Luke 11:11 drawing disapproving scowls from several NRSV). When children are acting people. Frustrated and bewildered, you out or chaos in relationships
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seems to fill our lives, it is easy to project our own feelings of anger and frustration onto the Lord believing that is how He feels toward us. But the master of profound simple truth dismisses these ideas altogether. When we approach the throne of God in worship, we are allowed to come to him as a needy child who comes to a father asking for a simple meal. Each Sunday we come to worship filled to the brim with life’s chaos and feeling spiritually depleted from a sin-saturated world. As a remedy He returns us to the basics and teaches us “When you pray say, ‘Father, Holy is your name.” The beauty of this liturgy is that it jars us from the complexities, to which we are so often attracted, and sharply focuses our attention on this most important spiritual principle. God loves us. Amen. †
NEW WEBSITE LAUNCH І MAJESTIC
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MAJESTIC І THE TEMPLE
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Greater than the
by Dr. Warren Gage PROFESSOR OF OLD TESTAMENT
And he (the seventh angel) carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and he showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God…and I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God, the Almighty, is its temple.” (Rev 21:9-10, 22). THE TEMPLE INSUFFICIENT of living stones, or believers like you and me, Solomon’s temple was gloriously magnificent, built as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, but insufficient to hold the immensity of one that offers spiritual sacrifices acceptable God. Solomon dedicated his temple with the to God through Jesus Christ (1 Pet 2:5). knowledge that, for all its splendor, it was inadequate. He lamented, “Will God indeed BOTH UNDEFILED AND PURIFYING dwell on the earth? Behold, the heaven and Solomon’s temple could be desecrated. the heaven of the heavens cannot contain Therefore, nothing unclean was permitted to you. How much less this temple which I enter lest the house of God be defiled. Jesus have built!” (1 Kings 8:27). has given us a better temple. “Jesus is the But John tells us that one Consider this. Christ greater than Solomon has temple, and what touched the leper and the also built a temple that is leper was cleansed without a temple is Jesus!” defiling Jesus. When a woman cosmic in scope, universal in its dimensions and therefore with an unclean flow of blood adequate for God to dwell within it in holy approached Jesus in a crowd and dared to fellowship with man (Rev 21:3). touch Him, a power from His body healed her Solomon’s temple was built with stones affliction and removed the uncleanness of her cut from the quarries of kings. But Jesus touch. Nothing was more defiling than death has built His temple out of stones that the to the temple of old. But Jesus could even builders rejected, out of broken and flawed reach out and touch the dead. Rather than stones, out of stones rejected by men but being defiled by the touch of death, the dead precious in the sight of God (1 Pet 2:4). These were made alive. stones have been fashioned by a greater Jesus is the temple and what a temple is wisdom and fitted together by a greater Jesus! Jesus is a better temple than Solomon’s understanding so that the splendor of His temple. His touch completely cleanses of house far exceeds the beauty of the temple any defilement. His touch makes us fully Solomon built. adequate as a royal priesthood serving and Solomon’s temple was made out of stone worshipping a holy God! Solomon’s temple, and wood. But Jesus has built a temple made for all its splendor, could not do this.
“Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). Aaron offered a lamb that took away the sin of Israel for a season. But Jesus offered Himself as the Lamb of God who took away the sin of the world forever! GREATER THAN THE TEMPLE How much greater is the Lamb of God than all of the offerings placed on the altars of Israel! Jesus was the Lamb of God, His sacrifice, for us. We were hungry, and He gave Himself to be our Passover Lamb. We were thirsty, and He gave His blood to be our living fountain. We were strangers, and He gave us the warmth of His sacrifice. We were naked, and He gave us His coat as our covering. We were sick, and He bled for us a healing balm. We were in prison, and He gave Himself as the full price of our ransom. We were under the condemnation of sin so He gave Himself as a sacrifice for us. The Lord God has laid our iniquities upon Him, and by His sacrifice we have been made worthy. But He alone is truly worthy. The Lamb of God lavished all His love upon us. He has done what all the sacrifices on Israel’s altars could not do. He gave us His all, and with it, peace with God. Forever. Once and for all. †
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MAJESTIC І FACULTY NEWS
Faculty News DR. MICHAEL ALLEN Books/Publications: Justification and the Gospel: Understanding the Contexts and Controversies (Baker Academic, 2013). “’It is No Longer I Who Live’: Christ’s Faith and Christian Faith” Journal of Reformed Theology Volume 7, Issue 1 (2013) 3-26. Speaking: November 20, 2013 “Thomas Aquinas on Faith, Reason, and Following Christ: A Reply to Fritz Bauerschmidt” Baltimore, MD November 21, 2013 “The Theo-Logic of Exaltation in the Epistle to the Hebrews” Baltimore, MD November 25, 2013 “Witnesses on the Journey to Perfection” Baltimore, MD
DR. JIM BELCHER Books: In Search of Deep Faith: A Pilgrimage into the Beauty, Goodness and Heart of Christianity Due out in November 2013 Traveling: October 30 Gordon College Chapel Twitter: Follow Dr. Belcher on Twitter @JimBelcher DR. GERALD BRAY Award: 2013 Christianity Today Book Award of Merit for God is Love: A Biblical and Systematic Theology. DR. BRYAN CHAPELL Books: Christ-Centered Sermons: Models of Redemptive Preaching (Baker Academic, 2013). Fallen: A Theology of Sin (Theology
PROFESSOR TULLIAN TCHIVIDJIAN’S NEW BOOK ONE WAY LOVE NOW AVAILABLE! OUR EXHAUSTED WORLD needs a fresh encounter with God’s inexhaustible grace— His one-way love. In his new book, professor Tchividjian shows that Christianity is good news for bad people coping with their failure to be good, and calls the church back to the heart of the Christian faith. “It is time for us to abandon our play-it-safe religion, and to get drunk on grace. Two hundredproof, unflinching grace. It’s shocking and scary, unnatural and undomesticated... but it is also the only thing that can set us free and light the church—and the world—on fire.”
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in Community), co-contributed with Dr. Gerald Bray. DR. WARREN GAGE Speaking: November 15-24, 2013 Yale University Teaching Trip: Knox Seminary & Rio Vista Holy Land Study Tour to Israel. Students can receive course credit for the trip.
“The Christo-Centrism of Faith in Christ: Martin Luther’s Reading of Galatians 2:16, 19-20” New Testament Studies Volume 59 (2013): 535-544.
DR. SAM LAMERSON Teaching: Continuously in 2013 Sunday School at Cross Community Church Deerfield Beach, FL Blog: www.drsamlam.com
REV. TULLIAN TCHIVIDJIAN Books: One Way Love: Inexhaustible Grace for an Exhausted World
DR. JONATHAN LINEBAUGH Books/Publications: God, Grace, and Righteousness in Wisdom of Solomon and Paul’s Letter to the Romans: Texts in Conversation (Novum Testamentum Supplements, Brill, 2013).
DR. SCOTT MANOR Publications: “Proclus: The North African Montanist?” Studia Patristica LXV (2013): 139-146.
DR. BRUCE WALTKE Books: The Dance between God and Humanity: Reading the Bible Today as the People of God (WM. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.). The Psalms as Christian Lament: A Historical Commentary (WM. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.).
ANNOUNCING KNOX MEDIA: SEMINARY-LEVEL COURSE LECTURES (AND MORE) FOR FREE NOW STREAMING FOR FREE: full-length course lectures, special faculty messages, and much, much more! The newly launched KNOX MEDIA page puts dozens of great video resources at your fingertips. Looking for a deeper understanding of God’s Word? Know someone who might benefit from access to seminary-level education? Look no further than Knox Media! Visit http://knoxseminary. mediaspace.kaltura.com to get started.
FEATURED BOOKS Đ† MAJESTIC
Now The Magazine of Knox Theological Seminary FALL 2013 Published by The Communications Office
Christ-Centered Sermons: Models of Redemptive Preaching Written by Dr. Bryan Chapell
Editor Ivey Rose Smith, M.A. Assistant Editor Joyce Grothmann Designer/Assistant Editor Mike Costanzo, M.A. Contributing Writers Dr. Scott Manor Dr. Samuel Lamerson Dr. Michael Allen Dr. David Sawnson Ivey Rose Smith Dr. Jonathan Linebaugh Rev. Jonathan G. Smith Dr. Warren Gage
Justification and the Gospel: Understanding the Contexts and Controversies Written by Dr. Michael Allen
Contributing Photographers Howard Lewis Kendell Stellfox
The Dance Between God and Humanity: Reading the Bible Today as the People of God Written by Dr. Bruce Waltke
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.
Why We Belong: Evangelical Unity and Denominational Diversity Contributions by Dr. Gerald Bray and Dr. Bryan Chapell
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.
The Psalms as Christian Lament: A Historical Commentary Co-Written by Dr. Bruce Waltke
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5554 North Federal Highway Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308 1.800.344.KNOX www.knoxseminary.edu