2016 Western Faculty Spotlight “Best Of” – Part 2

Each Friday this semester, we have been placing a spotlight on one of Western Seminary’s faculty members. Today we are running the second of a two-part post of high points from the 2016 interviews we have published so far this year. This week features Bev Hislop, John Johnson, Rob Wiggins, Gary Tuck, and Steve Korch.

Passage of Scripture that has Particularly Impacted Your Life

Johnson: Philippians 3:12. Life is about pressing on to grasp why God has grasped us.

Wiggins: Psalm 100 – I memorized this psalm when I was age seven. It shaped my earliest understanding of the goodness and faithfulness of God, and set my heart towards seeking Him.

Tuck: Psalm 2: it is God’s world view, and it is becoming mine. The Ultimate Truth of the Universe is that Jesus shall reign, and that’s Good News!

Korch: One of many is Zephaniah 3:17. It has given me a frame of reference for relating to my Redeemer.

Theological Topics that Warrant Additional Attention

Johnson: Church history. The further into the past we can see, the greater our ability to see into the future.

Wiggins: Further study on the nature of humanity: being, person, identity, gender.

Tuck: God is King. “He made it; He owns it; He rules it.” Whatever else we say about God is not as big as this. In the final analysis, this is the most important Truth about God, and so it is the most important Truth . . . Period.

Korch: From my perspective, the topics that need more attention are more relational than analytical—how to “delight” in the God of our redemption, and how to find our deepest fulfillment in the person of Jesus.

What The Church Needs More And Less Of

Hislop: Since over fifty percent of most churches are comprised of women, it could be more impactful to have participation by women more visible. A female perspective integrated into messages and worship has the potential to draw more women into the heart of gospel transformation.

Johnson: More people committed to truly being a sacrificial community going deep with God together.

Wiggins: A fuller view of the greatness of God. Who we are and how we are to live is defined by our view of God.

Tuck: Less ‘Show Biz’ commonly called ‘Worship’. (Ouch!) More preaching about The Kingship of God; then we will develop a truer idea of the Kingdom of God.

Korch: It needs more deep theology, spoken relationally into the hearts of the redeemed, and less pop-culture ministry, driven by the latest trends.

One Piece of Advice to Seminarians

Hislop: Keep your focus on your relationship with Jesus Christ. Also, ask friends to pray for you daily during your seminary studies, and perhaps even have them ask you direct questions regarding the health of your soul.

Johnson: See each day as a privilege to study in a theological institution, and give your best self to this while the opportunity remains open.

Wiggins: Set your goal to “learn how to learn.” Seminary will soon be over and you will have the rest of your life to broaden and deepen your knowledge. Seminary is a terrific place to master skills of how to learn from others and on your own. You will want to become a life-long learner. Whenever you stop learning, you will start dying.

Tuck: Expect God to rock your world. Much of what you believe will be confirmed and amplified; some of what you believe will be challenged, shattered.

Korch: Assume the posture of a disciple.

What Makes for a Model Student

Hislop: An ideal student is teachable, wants to grow in her relationship with Jesus Christ, and live out God’s design on her life. Seminary can be very challenging, time consuming, and even feel overwhelming. Yet, if the student can keep “the main thing, the main thing,” she will gain more than she may even imagine.

Johnson: He or she is inquisitive, hungry for learning, and disciplined.

Wiggins: [The model student does not] take their “faith” for granted while in seminary. Seminary students have the ideal opportunity to deepen their faith through every course and assignment. You are not only growing more in love with the Lord today, but also building a richer, more robust faith for tomorrow.

Tuck: Hunger to learn; willingness to be taught, including willingness to grow in critical thinking skills.

Korch: I think the “ideal” student is one who has a passionate love for Jesus and an insatiable desire to learn.