Blog on Luke Keefer

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Dr. Brenda B. Colijn Professor of Biblical Interpretation and Theology

By Dr. Brenda Coljin

I first met Luke Keefer when I took church history as a student at ATS.  Since I was also an adjunct for ATS at the time (long story) I felt a bit awkward about the situation, but Luke made me feel welcome immediately.  As time went on, I was glad that I had been able to get to know him from the other side of the podium.  Luke loved his subject and loved teaching.  He inspired his students with his knowledge, his enthusiasm, and his commitment to them.  He loved the Lord and loved life.  He had an infectious laugh that could be recognized from some distance away.

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Present-Future of Theological Education.

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John Byron, PhD

By Dr. John Byron

Ashland Theological Seminary is celebrating 110 years of equipping men and women for ministry in the church and the world. As I become more familiar with the history of Ashland Seminary and speak with those who served here before me, it’s clear that a lot has changed over the years. These changes include a move of location, expansion from a handful of students to several hundred and the shift from one campus to four. And in recent years technology has given us the opportunity and necessity to offer classes online.

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A new partnership for distance education

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Dr. David A deSilva

By Dr. David deSilva

Many Bible students are familiar with Logos Bible Software, by far the leading system for digital Bible study on the market.  One of the features that makes Logos so attractive over its competitors is the extensive integration of the Bible software into a Logos Digital Library like the Logos Gold Library, a vast collection of digitized books, both classic and modern, in the areas of biblical studies, theology, and practical ministry.  With a few keystrokes and clicks, the user can gather together in one place literally every reference to, say, Galatians 3:1 in his or her digital library in addition to having the tools necessary for the study of the text itself.

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The Kingdom of God and Baby Gates

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Mike Cook

By Mike Cook

I love being a part-time stay at home dad. But along with staying at home means that I do much of the household chores. My two-year-old Eloise loves to help, so as much as possible we tag-team them. But sometimes the task at hand isn’t suitable for a toddler’s help, and I have to put her in the other room and close the gate. And there is nothing in the whole world that Eloise hates more than a latched baby gate. But Eloise has a trick up her tiny sleeve. She will stand at the gate, raise her hands and say “I hold you.”

Eloise is independent and rarely wants to be picked up. And I’m a sucker, so of course I reach over the gate and pick her up. But it’s a trap. As soon as I pick her up she squirms out of my arms. All she wanted was the freedom to be where she wasn’t permitted to be. I am so grateful that God doesn’t work that way. We don’t have to try to trick our way into his presence. There are no restrictions to prohibit us joining God’s work. He wants us to be in on his plans and to take part in the restoration of people and society.

Scripture even calls us priests to God himself through Jesus. A priest is someone who mediates between the people and God. Our role is to bring Jesus to the people, carrying his love and goodness with us and sharing it with everyone we are in contact with. We are, in every situation, to be a foretaste of God’s kingdom. However, following Jesus for me might look different than it looks for you. Although every single person has been uniquely gifted, skilled, and positioned by God, all followers of Jesus are called to be salt and light. If you’re not sure how to do that, Ashland Seminary has a ministry that can help you. Join us at the City Gates Conference in Detroit on September 12, 2015. We’ll have nationally-known speakers who have valuable insights on how to bring your faith and your work together and carry the kingdom with you in everything you do.

Mike Cook is the Program Administrator for the City Gates Initiative. Currently Mike is working on the City Gates Detroit Conference on September 12. 

Yankees, Lions, Ice Cream, and Jesus

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Rev. Keith A. Tyson

By Rev. Keith Tyson

Luke Keefer did not have cable or dish so he had to “watch” his beloved Yankees on his computer. The games he “watched” were not live streamed; they were pitch by pitch, play by play, digital print descriptions of the game. But he could “watch” the Yankees, and he did . . . in Cleveland Indians country.

Luke “watched” his home state Nittany Lions of Penn State play the same way, on his computer. He was a faithful Lions fan . . . in OHIO STATE BUCKEYE TERRITORY!

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“Women and Children First”

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Dr. David Baker and Dr. Morven Baker

By Dr. David and Dr. Morven Baker

For anyone who has watched the move “Titanic,” or has any knowledge of acceptable societal norms during the abandoning of a ship, the title of this article needs little explanation.  Women and children need to be protected, and their safety put before that of the men. This chivalraic ideal is evident in such Christian bestsellers as John Eldredge’s Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secret of a Man’s Soul (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2001) where authentic masculinity is to have a battle to fight and a beauty to rescue. Femininity, on the other hand, is “to be romanced, to play an irreplaceable role in a great adventure, and to unveil beauty” (John Eldredge and Stasi Eldredge, Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman’s Soul (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2005). In other words, the woman needs protection since she is powerless, passive, and without personal agency.

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Dr. Luke Keefer: Honoring a man who taught me to honor the past

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Dr. John Swope

By Dr.John Swope

When I came to ATS in the early 90s, I was in my thirties and had not encountered formal teaching on church history (that is, I knew nothing). Dr. Luke Keefer was one of my professors that semester, and I am so grateful for having experienced his teaching from the beginning. Dr. Keefer started us out “from square one” in such a way that allowed even me to grasp the rudiments of Christian history, and did his best in a single quarter to convey the vast scope of Christianity. He brought history alive, not only by the stories he shared, but by the way he connected the significant players and events to portray the movement of history. Continue reading

I (Still) Believe: Leading Bible Scholars Share Their Stories of Faith and Scholarship

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Dr. John Byron

By Dr. John Byron

Like many students, our professors made quite an impression on us. Indeed, our lives have been enriched as a result of our time with them—in their writings, in the classroom, at seminars, tutorials, conferences, and so on—and it’s probably safe to say that we became scholars ourselves because of them.

It’s clear that our professors’ lives and faith have touched us. At the same time, we’ve regularly encountered stories in popular books and other media of prominent Bible scholars who have left the faith as a result of their scholarship. These accounts, at times moving and compelling, have reminded us of the tensions in our work, but also that there is more to be told. We know that even while there are those who have journeyed away from their faith, there are many who have not.

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First Things First

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Dr. Terry Wardle

By Dr. Terry Wardle

Archibald Hart, professor of Psychology at Fuller Theological Seminary (my alma mater), once commented that people entering ministry will find themselves at the convergence of three major forces: their own congenital brokenness, their own convoluted development, and the demands of ministry.

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Blog in Honor of Luke Keefer

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Dr. Dale R. Stoffer

By Dr. Dale R. Stoffer

Though there are many facets of Luke Keefer’s life and work that have left a lasting impression on me, I would like to focus on two qualities that especially stand out.  The first is his unswerving commitment to certain principles that guided his personal and professional life.  One of these principles was the need to see beyond our Western cultural perspective and develop a truly global consciousness.  In his reading, in his selection of course texts, in his own life and ministry, Luke pushed himself and others to see beyond one’s own cultural context to the wonderful and enriching diversity that exists in the world and the church.

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