What inspired your love of theology? I’ve always loved the things of the Lord and studying the Bible. It was not until my Christian Theology class at Ouachita Baptist University that my love for God’s Word was truly ignited. My professor, Dr. Preben Vang, would begin every class with this question, “Why must we do theology?” and we would answer “Because we must preach on Sunday.” I learned that right theology will always lead to right worship. I attended a church while in seminary where the pastor, Dr. Mike Miller, was so helpful in stoking this love for theology in me. I hope to inspire other students of the Word to love theology as much as I do. What are your three favorite books? • Desiring God by John Piper. Piper’s book was so developmental to my growth as a Christian in college/seminary. • Knowing God by J.I. Packer. Packer’s book was so influential on the attributes of God in my life. In addition, Packer writes probably the best two chapters on God’s Wisdom entitled God Only Wise and God’s Wisdom and Ours. I keep coming back to these chapters on a regular basis. • Gentle and Lowly by Dane Ortlund. Ortlund’s book on the Heart of Christ ministered to me while walking through a difficult season. It has been one of the most encouraging books for my sanctification. What three things bring you joy? • Students having success. Whenever my students succeed in whatever they do, it brings me so much joy. Even kids who struggle academically, and are finding small successes, it brings me a lot of joy. • My niece Harper. She’s three and she brings absolute joy to my life. Anytime I get home or there is a family get-together, she always makes me laugh or gives me a hug after a bad day. She is absolutely filled with joy and that joy is infectious! • Golfing. I love to play golf with my dad, my friends, and even my golf team. It’s a hobby that allows me to get outside, enjoy the sunshine, and do something active. Although it can be frustrating at times, it does bring me joy to have a hobby that I can share with a variety of people. What are three things your students have taught you? • Be real. Students know when you are being fake or putting on a show for them. I’ve learned that if I’m real and transparent with my students to show them that I don’t have it all together, they seem to open up more. • Take an interest in who they are. I’ve learned that when you take an interest in what they do, such as the sport they play, how the season is going, celebrating the wins, and encouraging them after a loss; they truly appreciate you taking an interest in their lives. • Don’t shortchange them on biblical truth. Students have a lot of good, deep biblical questions. And they desire to have someone answer them. If all I do is ignore their questions and don’t address them, then students think that I do not care about their questions. However, when I’ve answered them, they appreciate it. What motivated you to pursue a doctorate degree? My dad has a Doctorate in Pharmacy, so his example inspired me to seek higher education. For a brief season, I was uncertain if I would go as far as to get a Ph.D. I told myself, “If it happens, great!” Then I realized I should use the gifts God gave me for the sake of His Kingdom. I felt the Ph.D. program I completed provided an invaluable opportunity to love the Lord with my mind and be an expert in the field of the New Testament. What is the most important thing you want your students to take away from your classes? The most important thing I want my students to take away is a quote I read from R.C. Sproul, “You can have knowledge of propositions and still not know Jesus.” I can teach what every Christian believes, but ultimately those things do not save my students, they are a means by which God calls them to Himself and saves them. For students who are believers, I want them to know that right theology leads to right doxology. A right understanding of who God is and what He has done for us through Christ will lead to the proper and right worship of Him. FACULTY SPOTLIGHT 7

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