The Paroikos Bible Blog exists as a resource to those interested in Biblical studies and Koine Greek. It is hoped that this blog will simultaneously provide food-for-thought to the reader while pointing him or her in the direction of valuable resources, both in print and on the internet, that will further help his or her studies in the Word.

Apr 5, 2018

A Mention of the 1950 Wheaton College Revival in David Pao's Colossians Commentary

This year, I have the privilege of teaching "Reading and Syntax of the Prison Epistles" at the seminary level. I allow my students to choose which "track" they want to go on, which determines their textbook, their assignments, and even their final exam. For those who take the Ephesians track, I require  they purchase the commentaries by Harold Hoehner (standalone) and Clinton Arnold (Zondervan Exegetical), though I also require a certain amount of reading from Markus Barth's Anchor Bible commentary. For Philippians, I require Gordon Fee's classic NICNT commentary (still worth its weight in gold) as well as the revised WBC by Hawthorne and Martin. For Colossians, I require Douglas Moo's Pillar commentary and David Pao's Zondervan Exegetical Commentary.

Now, Baptist College of Ministry and Falls Baptist Church are revival-oriented, and I'd occasionally heard mention of a key student revival that had taken place at Wheaton College in 1950. I was surprised and delighted to find that David Pao actually discusses (in a positive way) this event in his fairly recent commentary. Even more significantly, he quotes a student from that era, a quote that provides evidence that this was not just a wide-spread emotional experience, but rather an event which had tangible results:
"Of the senior class, one-third of us became foreign missionaries. That's the only class in the history of the school with such a percentage. Other classes had one missionary or two or three. We had one hundred, and I think that's a very telling fact" (quoted on page 179 of Pao's commentary).

I do not, of course, have time on this blog to provide a deep exegetical or theological discussion on the nature of revival. I do want to say two things in closing, however: 1. the proof of any real work of the Spirit among the people of God will involve tangible results that benefit the local church or expand the kingdom; and 2. kudos to David Pao for a solid commentary that very much cares about the practical application of exegesis.

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