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Being in my seventh year of teaching at Whitworth, I am beginning to experience the blessings of former students within my own family. One of my former students is my son's ninth grade math teacher. Two of my former students were rival coaches to the same son (football and wrestling). Of course, my children continue to benefit from all of the Whitworth students who serve Christ at our church, other churches, or places like Camp Spalding. It really touches my heart to see as much or more effort being poured out upon my children (Teague, 15, Ethan, 12, Eliana, 3), as the effort I try to give to the education of students at Whitworth.
This year I taught Hebrew I and II, Messiah, and Prophets. Each of these classes was larger than usual. I am indebted to the help and skill of my dedicated teaching assistants, who made the larger classes personally responsive to students. At least 20 students have progressed far enough in their first year of Hebrew that they are ready for advanced reading and exegesis at a master's level. This is a new high mark for our biblical language minor. This semester I started gathering students and pastors to read Amos together in Hebrew. Hinnēh! It was a wonderful experience for all. Next year, I will teach Hebrew Reading and Exegesis I and II (along with Messiah and Prophets). These are now three-credit courses that will cover critical exegetical method and build interpretive skill. I am delighted that we are able to offer these courses to students who not only may become pastors and scholars, but who will more likely serve Christ as educated and insightful laity! This could contribute to a laity along the lines that Calvin hoped.
During the summer I will teach THG 560, the Old Testament Theology course in the M.A. in theology program. I look forward to working with graduate students in this capacity. I will also gather with present and past Hebrew students and read through Genesis 1-11 at my home.
Scholarship: I published a review of an interesting treatise on the nature of scripture (http://www.pres-outlook.org/reviews/book-reviews/8693-gods-word-in-human-words-.html), and several articles I completed a year ago were published in the internationally collaborative The Encyclopedia of the Bible and its Reception. This summer I will work on the bit rimki ritual texts that were used by Assyrian kings to magically shed their sin (or so they thought). This will give me a chance to work in Akkadian while continuing to bolster my theories on the uniqueness of the biblical royal psalms.
I continue to serve as the senior pastor of Manito Presbyterian Church, on Spokane's South Hill. It is a wonderful congregation seeking to live out the missional church model. The number of Whitworth students and faculty who participate continues to grow. We are very thankful for our mutual relationships. One of my greatest joys continues to be sharing ministry with my wife, Pamela, who is also an ordained minister of Word and Sacrament.Keep reading Hebrew!
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