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My Teachers, Part II

I wrote a blog post a few days back out of gratitude for those who taught me at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. What prompted me to write the first post were the recent deaths of pastors/teachers/theologians and reading those who wrote tributes to them. And then a former student from WTS wrote a nasty, "victimy" blog post about the culture, faculty and student body of WTS when he was there.
If you want, take a look at the previous post on what I wrote there.

Below are five more professors God gave me to help prepare me for pastoral ministry. I continue to be grateful for them.

As in the last post, I've linked to a book they've written. Some of these men have written many books and I encourage you to take a look at all of them.

Winston Smith--I had the opportunity to worship in the same church as Winston and his wife Kim and their then small children. He led our small group. Winston's passion for equipping future pastors in the counseling classes was what drove him. He was preparing people to serve people while serving Christ.

Paul Tripp--There was a reflex in Dr. Tripp's class to exclaim "Aha!". His ability to pull at the strands of the human heart and connect them to the redemptive work of Christ was just incredible. What we learned from him in the counseling classes continue to bear fruit today in my pastoral ministry and in the ministry of many of my former classmates. 

Vern Poythress--Dr. Poythress teaches New Testament at WTS.  My first impression of him was a bookish genius. But his gift of teaching became very apparent as difficult challenges were made accessible to me and my classmates through his lectures. However, personally, he never seemed accessible as a professor early on. I think it might have just been me. That all changed when I heard him preach at our church. His handling of the text and ability to display to us the beauty of Jesus was masterful. 

Ed Welch--Dr. Welch has a speaking manner that challenged me at first. His soft, dulcet tones tempted me to sleep rather than listen (sleep was "catch as catch can" for me in seminary). But I soon found out that if I didn't pay attention, take notes and reflect on what he was teaching, I would be missing out on how to love the depressive person, come alongside those who have faced trauma and to exercise a gracious patience with an addict. There was so much more that he taught us. God blessed me with the wisdom he has given Dr. Welch. 

Doug Green--Doug Green taught some of my Old Testament courses. For those courses, we needed to use the Hebrew language. I struggled in Hebrew (and Greek). What impacted me most about Doug was his personal tutoring of me over a Christmas break. He met with me every day over the course of two weeks in Montgomery Library and worked through the first 3 chapters of Genesis in Hebrew with me. He saw the lights go on for me regarding Hebrew and it was because of his patient teaching of me. I continue to be grateful to him for those two weeks. (Doug hasn't published a book, to my knowledge, so nothing to link to below for him.)

Marriage Matters--Winston Smith

Instruments in the Redeemer's Hands--Paul Tripp

The Returning King--Vern Poythress

Side by Side--Ed Welch


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David Powlison (1949-2019)

David Powlison died around 11am on Friday, June 7th, 2019.

I wrote this about him a couple of years ago:

He taught some of my counseling classes at WTS and is the Executive Director of CCEF. His ability to pastor the human heart and his relentless pursuit of the glory of Christ was on display in the classes he taught. We would often begin classes by singing a hymn together and Dr. Powlison would pull a nugget of truth from the hymn and riff for a few minutes. It was always encouraging to our faith. I will forever be grateful to Dr. Powlison and his wife Nan for how kind they were to me and my young family.

He has left a treasure for us in what he has published. Without reservation, I recommend everything below:

The Journal of Biblical Counseling. You can subscribe to the digital copy or a hard copy. He was the editor and past copies are available.

Seeing with New Eyes. This is a "vision shaping book" that makes the case that the Bible is sufficient for all we experience.

How Do…

My Teachers

Ephesians 4:11-14

And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. (ESV)

In the last couple of months, I've heard of the death of a couple of influential professors. The tributes I read reminded me of how God has blessed His church with these men. I began to think about the teachers and professors who have influenced me.

And then I read a post recently from someone who graduated from Westminster Theological Seminary (WTS). What he wrote about WTS was foreign to me. He admitted it was based on "his experience" but it was full of char…

Suffering--Book Brief

Paul Tripp is a faithful counselor and has served me and many of you through his conferences, books, video series, newsletters and booklets. He has written on the transition to middle age, love, sex, and money, raising teens and many other subjects.  If you are not familiar with him or his writing, I highly recommend him.
His latest book, Suffering, is the best thing he has written.
There are multiple contact points any reader will have with this book because suffering is universal. We all experience it. We can’t escape it. Tripp, through his decade's long association with the Christian Counseling and Education Foundation (CCEF) has counseled hundreds of sufferers. You will hear many of their stories in this book. More importantly, you will hear how a skilled biblical counselor helps the sufferer frame her experience in such a way that the truths of the Bible connect to the experience of the sufferer.
The chapters “The Awareness Trap”, The Fear Trap”, “The Envy Trap”, “The Denial T…