I got the looks. He got the brains.
Allow me a moment today to brag on my little brother, Keith. Or, I should say, Dr. Keith D. Stanglin, esteemed Bible professor at Harding University. Keith did his dissertation research on “Jacobus Arminius and the Roots of the Leiden Debate over the Assurance of Salvation” at Leiden University in the Netherlands. And now he’s signed a contract to publish another work, The Lost Public Disputations of Jacobus Arminius: Introduction, Text, and Commentary.
Look at some of these comments about my little brother in a letter from the publisher, Wim Janse at Leiden:
He says Keith is notable for his “independence as a scholar, his linguistic skills (in reading and exploring a vast corpus of early modern theological texts in Latin), his ingenuity (also in tracing and attributing 27 new disputations to Arminius), and his unpretentiousness and sense of humor.”
He claims to be impressed by Keith’s “erudition, originality, and ability to express difficult matters (in fact, Reformed scholastic theology, drawing from medieval philosophy) in clear language.”
He lauds Keith’s “lucid style as he combines sober, succinct, and balanced scholarly prose with crystal-clear explanations of intricate theological questions.”
Of Keith’s published dissertation, Janse writes, “The author is a born teacher.”
Most of the book Keith is writing now will be original texts in Latin. Keith is writing the English introductions to each of the 15 chapters or arguments, plus all the footnotes, plus the commentary. Kind of like a Study Bible for these arguments about divine election and man’s free will from the 17th century. It’s not something you’ll be able to find at Mardell. But the publishers are calling it “a major step forward in the international scholarly research on Arminius and early modern Reformed theology.”
They call Keith the “world’s leading scholar on Arminius and Arminius’ thought.” And he’s scheduled to be one of the keynote speakers at an international conference at Leiden in 2009.
I’d like to think I had something to do with encouraging Keith and pushing Keith and recognizing in Keith all of this potential when we were younger. But I’m afraid holding him on my shoulders at the Stevie Ray Vaughn concert at Fair Park and taking him to Rangers games at old Arlington Stadium and introducing him to the Naked Gun series of movies probably didn’t have much of an impact. At least not in that direction.
I’m so very proud of my little brother and all he’s accomplishing in the field of Reformed theology on this international scale. It blows me away. It really hit home to me the very first time I gave a chapel talk in my second semester at Austin Grad when Dr. Mark Shipp accidentally introduced me as Keith Stanglin. Being ten years younger than me, and going to the same church and the same schools as me, Keith was forever called Allan. His whole life. And now, in a seminary in Austin, Texas, I was being called Keith. Perfect.
Keith is doing tremendous work for the Kingdom, not just in the field of academics at Harding and abroad, but in the preaching and teaching he does in their church in Searcy and in the way he lives his life for our Lord. My phone conversations with him are always educational and encouraging. He inspires me.
Way to go, little bro! Congratulations! I love you.
The November 4 deadline is looming for members here at Legacy to sign up to be Small Groups Co-Leaders. We’ve had more informational meetings, formally and informally, over the past couple of weeks than we’ve had in the previous three months combined. But it’s all very, very rewarding. For every person or family who’s reluctant to grab the dream and see the vision, there are a dozen others who absolutely can’t wait to get started.
One such family is Ron and Stephanie Frost. Stephanie tried to comment on one of these posts a couple of days ago, regarding small groups, but somehow my SPAM guard grabbed it and just now released it. Sorry about that. Here’s Stephanie’s post:
Gripes! I wrote a long-winded note yesterday to throw some support your way regarding small groups. I obviously did something wrong b/c it didn’t show up!
Here I go again… Ron and I are very excited about this change. We have experienced small groups at a previous church home and it was a huge blessing in our lives.
As new members at Alameda C of C, small groups gave us an immediate place to belong. We were instantly part of a ‘group’. It gave us access to ministry opportunities right from the start. It gave us a face and a name in a medium sized congregation where we could have easily disappeared. People missed us and not only that, called us when we didn’t show. (which we rarely didn’t show b/c our attendance mattered – when one couple is missing from a small group, the dynamics are effected)
As we became not-so-new members, they were our family. They knew our prayer concerns – big and small and we knew theirs. We prayed with each other, celebrated with each other, comforted each other…. They waited for HOURS at the hospital waiting for Brighton to be born. My parents couldn’t believe how packed our hospital room was when she finally arrived. One couple even went on a Bueno run for me!
I have experienced big, medium and small churches. I love different things about all of them. One thing that small groups accomplish really well is preventing the ’somebody else is already doing it’ dilema that can occur in medium and large congregations. Some things; jobs, ministries,and unfortunately PEOPLE can be overlooked and ignored – not because people aren’t thinking of them or caring, but b/c people ASSUME someone else is doing it. With small groups, we KNEW where the responsibility was. This is not to say the church as a whole didn’t pull together; however, the small groups were integral in initiating such endeavors b/c of the intimate knowledge and relationships that were developed.
Small groups create a non-threatening nuetral territory for non-church goers or those from differing denominational backgrounds. People can learn about and develop relationships with Christ in a living room. We witnessed this multiple times. Eventually, when their ‘church barriers’ would be broken down, they would come to Sunday mornining worship – already as baptized believers!
And just to touch on ‘multiplying’, b/c we weren’t allowed to say ’split’. Yes, our group grew and multiplied. Praise God! No, we didn’t lose friends. We gained more close friends that spread church wide. New leaders were continually being developed and sent out to grow God’s Kingdom. Isn’t that what it’s all about anyway?
I know this isn’t supposed to be about us; however, selfishly, I am so excited about this change. Since I believe in the whole, ‘what you think about, you bring about idea…’ I am thinkin’ our small group is going to ROCK!
As in every single thing we do, if you expect it to be great and wonderful, it will be. If you think it’ll be lousy, it will be. I know the Frosts and the Greens group is going to be fantastic. I know our group will be terrific. And I’m excited to see how our Father is going to “do that thing he does” in our church family through our Small Groups efforts.