Giving Thanks for Teachers

One of the pleasures I gain in attending the Evangelical Theological Society meeting each year is to see a few of my old teachers. This year I heard Douglas Moo, my teacher at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. In my classes at TEDS, I often served the role of non-Calvinist punching bag for my Reformed fellow students, and this occasionally included professors. I had a class on Romans 9-11 from Dr. Moo, and although Reformed theology runs deep in his doctrinal veins, he never treated me with disrespect or allowed other students to do so in class. Consequently, I learned a great deal from him. Later, as the Director of TEDS Ph.D. studies, he sat on my doctoral dissertation defense  committee and made incisive comments concerning the project itself. Dr. Moo has since gone to Wheaton College to become one of the most respected New Testament scholars of his generation. He serves as the current chair of the NIV translation committee. This is one of the reasons I have great faith in the NIV2011. No one who knows Doug Moo would question his personal or scholarly integrity. I’m glad I heard Doug’s plenary address at the ETS concerning “Creation Care,” which was a wonderful commentary on the interlocking role of the Bible, exegetes, theologians, and practitioners in a Christian debate about care for the environment. You can watch the address at this link, Dr. Moo’s talk starts at about the 1.00 mark.

This year, Advent does not begin immediately after Thanksgiving, so I am taking some extra time to pause and be thankful for various things in my life. One of these blessings is the great teachers I have had. This includes Richard Owen (who gave me a high respect for the Old Testament), Beauford Bryant (who showed me how a great scholar could be a great preacher), Fred Thompson (who taught me that systematic theology was a worthwhile discipline), D.A. Carson (who patiently helped me learn to be a critical and careful scholar), Kenneth Kantzer (who showed me that the Restoration Movement had its roots in Reformed theology, that in many ways John Calvin was our theological father), Walter Kaiser (who showed me that it was OK to have fun in the classroom even when talking about very serious matters), and Carl F.H. Henry (who taught me what was at stake in the so-called “culture wars” of the 1990s).

Students, give thanks for your teachers. They influence you for the rest of your lives. But remember most of all that

God is exalted in his power.
Who is a teacher like him?

So thanks to Doug, Richard, Beauford, Fred, Don, Kenneth, Walt, Carl, and many others. Most of all, thanks be to God who teaches me new things every single day.

Mark Krause
Nebraska Christian College

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