One of My Teachers Has Died

One of My Teachers Has Died

Arthur Holmes was one of two philosophy teachers (the other was Stuart Hackett) who had a significant influence in shaping my mind at Wheaton College. I thank God for him.

I wrote in The Pastor as Scholar and the Scholar as Pastor,

In one sense my college and seminary days relate to each other as form and substance. The college days solidified passions and habits of mind. The seminary days defined what the focus of those habits would be, namely God and his word and his people. (30)

The structures and passions of the intellectual life were formed at Wheaton, and the truth and fire of God’s word were ignited in seminary.

Holmes embodied two things I had never seen before: 1) the quest for a comprehensive worldview that helped make sense of everything—and that had Christ as the integrating center—and 2) the life of the mind as vocation. In other words Christian scholarship as a vocation came onto my horizon as a possibility for the first time in my life. (30)

My favorite sentence of all that he wrote and spoke was: “To image God in the fullness of our humanity is our highest calling.” (The Idea of a Christian College, 35).

Amen. It is a fitting epitaph.

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John Piper (@JohnPiper) is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is author of more than 50 books.