In the process of moving out of my old room and moving into my new room, I came across a little notebook with scribbled notes in it from my New Testament class during my first year at Gordon. Notes about the content, interpretation, and theology of the New Testament? Not so much - at least not in this notebook. Instead, here I had written down funny quotes my professor had said. By funny I don't mean funny-laughing-with-him, but rather funny-laughing-at-him.
Here are a few:
"The Word became flesh means God became flesh." (Profound.)
"I am convinced of the Virgin birth for two reasons. One is because otherwise the Bible would not be inerrant, and two is because it is one of the most important doctrines of the Christian faith." (Good reasons, buddy.)
In response to a student asking a question: "Some people do read the text that way. I do not read the text that way." (Brilliant answer.)
"Satan is not omnipresent, so Satan cannot be everywhere at once, so Satan can only be in one place at a time, because Satan is not omnipresent." (Well said! Haha!)
After stating that temptation always comes to us at our weakest point, a student remarked, "After 40 days fasting and spending time with His Father in the wilderness, wasn't Jesus at His strong point?" Dr. G replied, "It seems to me not, it does seem to me that He was tempted at His weakest point, because it seems to me that that is the nature of temptation."
In response to a question about the definition of deism: "Deism is the opposite of theism."
"In Judaism the law is good. So the law is not inherently bad. The law is inherently good." (Thank you for being so concise!)
Student: "You just said that faith is not quantitative. So what does Paul mean when he talks about a person's measure of faith?" Dr. G: "Does that sound quantitative to you? I don't think he means that, myself." (Such a helpful answer.)
"Salvation has not changed at all from the Old Testament to the New Testament. Both are by faith, so there is no difference." (Um, right.)
"Sometimes the word nomos is used to mean the Torah. So sometimes when you see the word law it refers to the Torah. So the context will tell you, and sometimes law means Torah." (Again, so concise. Always mincing words!)
In response to a student question: "'Lead us not into temptation' does not mean that God tempts anybody. It means that we're asking God to deliver us from evil." (Yes, please, avoid any complexity or confusion by giving completely unhelpful, ridiculous answers!)
"The Sanhedrin told the Christians they could not preach. So, they told the Christians not to preach. So, they said to them, 'Look, you can't preach.'" (Need I say it again? The man never uses two words where one could suffice! Oh wait.)
"God-fearers weren't Jews. They were Gentiles. Um, so, they weren't Jews." (I hope he never needs to send a telegram. Brevity may not be his strong point.)
"Antioch was a primarily Gentile community. So, it was not primarily Jewish. It was primarily Gentile."
"So the name Paul means little, and little means Paul, and that's what the name means, and that's the name his family gave to him, and it means little." (Whoah, this is the best one yet!)
"I know that it is difficult to focus on theology, but unfortunately, it's kind of need-to-know stuff." (Careful; your blatant enthusiasm for the topic might be contagious.)
"Holy. H-O-L-Y." (O-H M-Y G-O-S-H.)
"Compared with other schools, this place is liberal - you don't know how well-off you are! We take a nice, moderate stance. You've got it easy - this place is a cinch - a really great place!" (Right. Thanks for that opinion, pal.)
My friends, aren't those amazing? And no exaggerations - I promise. I wrote everything down word for word.
And yeah, I bet I was a real pill to have in class.
No, seriously, I was never rude to him, never laughed out loud, and... never read the assigned readings in the textbook. Er, scratch that last bit. I was a model student. Yeah.