Written by: Rev. Nathan Hill
In today’s age of information, we all want to know who we can trust to give us the best and most accurate wisdom. I use the Internet to search for different things every day: recipes for healthier food that I can eat without stomach issues (growing older is not fun…), to see what is going on in the world of news, and even to see what the popular opinion is about any topic that I am interested in. But who can we trust to give us sound wisdom? Who can we look to for wise guidance? Who has proven themselves over time to be solid, stable, and thoughtful? Of course we ought to all have our own direct connection with Jesus and not put too much faith in any person (because we are all fallible), but there is one Canadian theologian/writer that I have found to be a source of thought-provoking wisdom over the years, and I just discovered that he is now closer to home!
Who is this person that I am speaking of, you might ask? Well, his name is John Stackhouse Jr., and while I have never met him, I have read pieces of what he has written over the years. His background involves education in both Canada and the US in the disciplines of history and theology. He has recently occupied the role of professor of theology and culture at Regent College (succeeding J.I. Packer, for those of you who are familiar with that name) but what a surprise I discovered just today—this summer he moved to Moncton, NB to take up the role of professor of religious studies at Crandall University! What a great asset this will be for theological education and leadership in the Maritimes provinces of Canada.
What kind of wisdom can you expect from Stackhouse? Well, he writes a lot about the evangelical church in Canada, and so I first encountered his writings as a seminary student in a class called Evangelical Thought. However, the most influential book of his (that still occupies an important spot on the bookshelf in my office) has been his book on gender and its implications for service in Christian ministry. The book is called “Finally Feminist: A Pragmatic Christian Understanding of Gender,” and I love the sub-title: Why both sides are right…and wrong. This has been the best book that I have read on this topic throughout my entire career as a seminary student and over 10 years in pastoral ministry. If you struggle with questions in this area, this book will be a great resource. Not only will this book provide you with wisdom from Stackhouse, the bibliography will lead you to other solid resources for deeper investigation.
Who have you found in your life to be a constant source of wisdom? Who do you trust with answers to tough questions? We must always have people who are ahead of us that can pass on their lessons, and we must always have people following us to whom we can pass on the very lessons we once received. Not only does this sound like a great communications and marketing strategy, it is also biblical! Imagine that. 🙂
Take a moment to think and perhaps share the name of the person that you can trust. Famous or not it does not matter, what matters is that we are both giving and receiving—moving waters rarely become stagnant.
One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts. (Ps 145:4)