Southern California is known for its warm sunshine and beautiful beaches, but recently I discovered some fine work going on there too. I was invited by my friend Dr. Scott Rae, Dean of Faculty of Talbot School of Theology to give the annual Robert Saucy Lecture Series. Dr. Scott Rae had asked me to speak on the crucial importance of embracing a more robust theology of vocation within the seminary experience and curriculum. In addition to the seminary chapel addresses, I also had the joy of speaking to the Talbot faculty regarding my own seminary experience. I wanted these dedicated and esteemed scholars to consider an important corrective that I believe is needed in our seminaries to better prepare pastors to be more faithful in their pastoral vocation.
It was a delight to meet so many of the outstanding Talbot faculty and to sense their openness to consider some possible changes in their teaching and curriculum. Reconnecting with Dr. Don Sunukjian who was a homiletics professor at Dallas Seminary when I was a student was a special joy. Over the years, Dr. Sunukjian has profoundly shaped many seminarians in communicating effectively God’s Word.
Another highlight was the privilege of speaking at the undergraduate chapel of Biola University. On a day devoted to campus-wide prayer, I was delighted to give a message on prayer from Isaiah chapter 61. It was a privilege to meet and serve with Biola President Dr.Corey. I found the Biola students, intellectually curious, spiritually engaged and warmly welcoming.
The sunny Southern California hospitality will always be a treasured memory. Dr. Scott Rae and his lovely wife Sally were the consummate hosts including a magnificent dinner watching the brilliant sunset over Laguna Beach. Biola University is a beautiful place, but also a special place doing a great work.