Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Howard Hendricks 1924-2013

In 1980, I took an Amtrak train from Grand Rapids to Dallas.
I got off the train, rented a car (yellow Ford Pinto…classy), and drove straight over to my version of Oz, Mecca, Shangri-la, and Disney World rolled into one: Dallas Theological Seminary.
Just for a visit, though I would end up spending many hours in it’s fabulous library during the time I lived in Dallas.  Dallas, the wonderful town where I also met my wife, Michele.
Anyway, to my absolute amazement, as I pulled up in front of DTS, walking down the sidewalk toward me were…no, not Clint Eastwood and John Wayne.
Way better.
Dwight Pentecost and Howard Hendricks!  Chatting together, like regular guys.  Can you imagine?  Timing is everything, as they say.
Theologically geeky, I know. Whadaya gonna do?  I’ll never forget it.
But seriously, I thought, and still think, that DTS was on the cutting edge of breaking through centuries of theology crusted with musty Old Covenant-oriented misunderstandings and legalism, into the fresh air and sunshine of the Age of Grace, or as I would later refer to it more often, the New Covenant.
Dwight Pentecost and Howard Hendricks were just some of my Bible-teacher heroes at the time.
I’d read their books, studied their writings from the DTS Journal, Bibliotheca Sacra, and in Hendricks’ case, listened to many of his cassette tapes.
(Cassette tapes were an ancient technology, boys and girls, that…oh, never mind.)
Anyway, the beloved Howard Hendricks passed away this morning.  He was a scholar, a tough cookie, a sweetheart, a gentleman, and a very fine teacher.
Though I haven’t had much contact with his stuff for years, I will miss him.  Dearly.

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