This Saturday, another group of future ministry leaders will join in a seminary processional to be inspired, cheered on, prayed over, and sent out. After the pictures, graduates will set aside their gowns and get on with life. Some (hopefully most) will tack their diplomas on a wall and flourish in ministry.
The depth of the ministerial task and the complexity of our age call for forceful training. And yet, I meet more and more students who are making degree choices based upon what has the least force. Along with this, too few churches and individual believers want to invest in the cost of training their future leaders.
This week I will begin my 40th year of teaching the Old Testament (OT) at Western Seminary. In their degree programs at Western, most students will invest 70 hours of class time and 140 hours of personal study in the Old Testament. Why is teaching the Old Testament an important part of the curriculum at Western Seminary?
To start off the new year, we asked a number of Western faculty and staff members to weigh in on their favorite reads from the past year in the fields of biblical studies, theology, pastoral ministry, spiritual disciplines, and missions/cultural engagement. These are titles to consider as you begin putting together your reading list for 2018.
Each year I attempt to write down some of my favorite reads of the year. This year I spent a lot of time on research projects and that meant I employed commentaries and resources that don’t make “best of lists” very often. But I did run across some good books.