Category Archives: Dallas Theological Seminary

The compelling call of ministry

Pastor and author Chuck Swindoll has written a very encouraging article on the call of ministry. “The Most Magnificent Life” is found in the Summer 2019 edition of DTS Magazine, the publication of Dallas Theological Seminary.

Dr. Swindoll affirms the experience of many, including myself, of the compelling sense of “having” to do ministry because nothing else would satisfy.

I often think that most who study at DTS are here because they can’t help it. It was the great preacher of the Victorian era in Great Britain, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, who said, “Do not enter the ministry if you can help it.” If you can’t, you are entering into something as permanent as marriage, till death separates you. You are in it for the long haul . . . for life.

A calling of God fuels the passion of the one going into ministry. He’s the One who lights our fire and fans the flame. There is no magic in these buildings, in the desks, in the library, or in the books. Seminary is extremely hard work. Students think more in-depth than ever in their lives. They endure rigorous testing. They don’t casually arrive or come on a lark—they pray about it. They seek advice, and because they can’t help it, they come. They are in it because they can’t stay away. They are compelled by the Spirit of God to be here!

I can’t imagine being fulfilled doing anything else other than ministry. Could I be successful in doing something else? Maybe. Could I find fulfillment? Never. It’s the most fulfilling, the most rewarding of all callings. The most magnificent life a person can have is to be in the nucleus of God’s will, and for those who decide to study at DTS, that’s called preparing for a lifetime of ministry.

 Click on the link to read the rest of the article.



Continue the Education

“If you stop growing today, you stop teaching tomorrow” is the first of the seven maxims in Prof. Howard Hendricks’ book, Teaching to Change Lives. To be an effective teacher/preacher, Hendricks argues, you must be a lifelong learner.

One of the occupational hazards of ministry is that it is easy to fall into the trap of only studying for the next lesson or sermon. You have to be intentional about widening your field of reading and learning or else your field of interest and expertise will become far too narrow.

Over the past couple of years, I have personally benefitted from some of the online courses offered by Dallas Theological Seminary. I am able to learn from different professors as they teach on a topic or book of the Bible. I recently finished the course on the book of Acts and am now starting Understanding God’s Covenants. The courses are free to everyone.

I also try to listen to audiobooks, lectures, or sermons while I am exercising. I just finished listening to The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas, a classic tale of revenge and redemption. I just started listening again to The Best of Prof, a collection of sermons and lectures by Dr. Howard Hendricks.

I also try to read eclectically. I am working my way through Knowing God, by J. I. Packer, in order to sharpen my theological understanding. In addition, I am in book five, Grail, of the six-volume series, The Pendragon Cycle, by Stephen R. Lawhead, which is a retelling of the King Arthur stories. By reviewing books for different publishers, I am exposed to new and different authors. Through the courses I teach for Regent University, I become acquainted with various authors and textbooks as well as having to answer questions of students.

The online courses, audiobooks, theology, and novels is in addition to studying the book of Hebrews which I am preaching through on Sunday morning. I am also developing lessons on leadership development for a conference in Moscow in October.

I want to continue my education and growth so that I have something to offer. I don’t want to fall into the trap of relying on old lessons and greatest hits. I want to stay fresh and growing.


A six-week study of the book of Revelation

Over the past six weeks, I taught a summer series on the book of Revelation at First Central Bible Church in Chicopee, MA, on Wednesday evenings. We met for 90 minutes each night from July 3 – August 7. Because of time constraints, we only focused on the book of Revelation rather than do an extended study of eschatology and pull in all the references to end times prophecy in the Old & New Testaments. Much of the material was gleaned from Dr. Tom Constable’s Expository Bible Study notes. (Dr. Constable was one of my profs at Dallas Theological Seminary.) Here are links to the various outlines I distributed each week.


How teachers and students view final exams

During the week of final exams, Dallas Theological Seminary posts the following verses to illustrate how professors and students have differing perspectives when it comes to exams. I still find it quite humorous, especially since I’m not the one taking the tests.

The verse of the professors, Jer. 17:10 – “I…search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give to each one according to his ways, According to the results of his deeds.”

The verse of the students, 2 Cor. 13:6 – “…But I trust that you will realize that we ourselves do not fail the test.”


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Posted by on December 19, 2018 in Dallas Theological Seminary, Fun


It’s nice to be appreciated, pt. 2

I received the following note this afternoon from the Alumni Department of Dallas Theological Seminary.

All we want to say is “Thanks!”

For the long days…Thanks.
For your sacrifice of time…Thanks.
For tenderly encouraging grieving families during times of loss… Thanks.
For the hours of prep…Thanks.
For your outreach efforts at reaching your community… Thanks.
For taking hits when it isn’t your fault…Thanks.
For the difficulty ministry puts on your family…Thanks!
For shepherding…Thanks.
For caring…Thanks.
For loving…Thanks!
For the eternal difference you’ve made for God’s Kingdom…Thanks!

You are appreciated more than just one month!

Your Partner in Ministry

Needless to say, I was encouraged.


Posted by on October 23, 2018 in Dallas Theological Seminary, Encouragement


The Concept of Functional Subordination

Each one of us has different roles and responsibilities. The pattern for these differences is rooted in the Trinity. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit modeled the concept of functional subordination for the church, marriage, and the family.

  Equality Function Order
Trinity The Father, Son, and the Spirit are equal as persons.

John 6:27; 10:30; Acts 5:3-4

The Father, Son, and the Spirit have different functions.

John 16:7-15;

Col 1:15-18;

Eph 1:3-14;

1 John 2:1-2

The Father has leadership and the Son and the Spirit submit.

John 17:1-5;

1 Cor 11:3;

Phil 2:5-11;

John 14:26

Church All members are to be considered without distinction in the Body.

Gal 3:28

All members have been given spiritual gifts to serve the Body.

Rom 12:6-8;

1 Cor 12:4-11;

Eph 4:7-11;

1 Pet 4:10-11

Christ has the authority and leadership is delegated to elders and pastors.

Heb 13:17;

1 Pet 5:1-4;

1 Tim 5:17

Marriage Husbands and wives are viewed as co‑heirs of the grace of God.

1 Pet 3:7;

Gal 3:28

Husbands and wives have unique functions in the family.

Gen 1:26-31; 2:18-25

The husband is given the role as the leader to which the wife is commanded to submit and respect.

Eph 5:22-33;

Col 3:18-19;

1 Pet 3:1-7;

Prov 31:10-31

Family All members stand in the place of equal responsibility before God.

Ezek 18:1-32 (20, 30)

Different members have different roles and responsibilities.

Col 3:18-21; 1 Thess 2:7, 11

Parents have the authority in the home and the children are to obey.

Eph 6:1-3;

Col 3:20;


(Dr. Mark Bailey of Dallas Theological Seminary introduced this chart at the 1996 Couples Conference hosted by Crossroads Bible Church at the Inn at Semi-ah-moo. I found it to be extremely helpful in understanding submission and have used it ever since.)


Exam humor

I think some of my students view their weekly quizzes like Jeremy does.

As final exams approach every semester, teachers and students look to different verses in Scripture for hope. (Courtesy of Dallas Theological Seminary)

The verse of the professors, Jeremiah 17:10.- “I . . . search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.”

The verse of the students, 2 Corinthians 13:6.- “I hope you will find out that we have not failed the test.”


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Posted by on February 14, 2018 in Dallas Theological Seminary, Fun, Zits