My mentor, colleague, and buddy, David Powlison, is gone, now house with the One whose love consumed his coronary heart. There are occasions when phrases fail to seize the profound influence one man can have on one other. The thoughts scans the years as the guts struggles to simply accept the truth that one so important has gone on.
A Lengthy Friendship
I first met David Powlison as a doctoral scholar at Westminster Theological Seminary in 1985. He taught a course on the dynamics of the religious life that exposed him to be a clever religious surgeon. I drove two and a half hours every approach to take that class; few issues would have saved me away. That class rose approach above a required tutorial course, every session capturing my thoughts and stirring up a deeper love for Jesus in my coronary heart. What I didn’t know as I sat below my favourite instructor was that he would turn into my colleague and buddy.
In 1987 I used to be referred to as to be a school member at CCEF and a lecturer at Westminster. David and I shared a coronary heart for the gospel, for the church, and for a street-level utility of Scripture to on a regular basis life. In some ways, biblical counseling was in its theological and methodological infancy, and with Ed Welch, David and I spent hours and hours collectively attempting to assemble a theology of the guts and the way the gospel works change, together with looking for to develop a strategy that might encourage lasting coronary heart and life change.
I’m deeply blessed to have been a part of these hours and hours of debate. I’m passionate and a bit loopy; David was quiet and contemplative, so he could be making insightful observations as I bounced across the room, pondering out loud. David made me assume: assume deeply, assume biblically, and assume virtually. These discussions have been by no means a waste of time.
As we acquired a larger sense of what God had referred to as us to within the area of non-public, pastoral, counseling ministry, we knew we would have liked to coach others. Because the church wasn’t coming to Philadelphia, we would wish to go to the church. So David and I traveled to church buildings throughout the U.S. Since we have been away from the day by day busyness of counseling and instructing, we might speak. These talks in planes, inns room, airports, and eating places have been wealthy and formative. Every journey was greater than a coaching alternative. Every journey was marked by wealthy gospel fellowship with a uniquely gifted and godly buddy. I’ll all the time treasure these journeys.
Earlier than lengthy, our journey expanded. A number of journeys to South Korea and India deepened our discussions and my love for David. In Korea, we have been confused collectively by meals we didn’t know learn how to eat and customs we didn’t perceive. In India, we have been sick collectively, dragging ourselves away from bed solely lengthy sufficient to show. However in every place, we collectively acquired new eyes to see the gospel, and in every place, I’d attempt to get inside David’s good thoughts to study what he was seeing. In India, we had lengthy discussions about what the overt idol worship there taught us concerning the covert idolatry that captures us all. I’m blessed to have been in a position to serve my Lord and his church in these locations, however much more blessed, that in his grace, I used to be in a position to do it alongside David Powlison. In every dialogue, I used to be stimulated by the nuances of the gospel David was in a position to perceive, by the main points he was in a position to see, and by his surgical facility with Scripture.
A Profound Influence
There’s a lot extra I might say concerning the richness of my 20 years studying from and dealing with this man whom I esteemed and beloved so, however I need to finish with two issues. First, it’s arduous for me to think about that I’d’ve written what I’ve written, taught what I’ve taught, and preached what I’ve preached with out the influence of this expensive man. However there’s something extra: I wasn’t simply formed by David’s thoughts, however extra profoundly by the best way he lived his life. His infectious love for Jesus, his mild love for God’s folks, his humble scholarship, and his zeal to incarnate God’s love marked me and has marked my ministry to others.
Within the final a number of years, our ministries took us away from the common contact we loved for therefore lengthy, however I’ve carried David in my coronary heart and my prayers till this second. At the moment I really feel deep disappointment combined with profound gratitude. I’m glad that David is within the arms of his Savior, however I’m certain nobody once more will depart this sort of imprint on my coronary heart, thoughts, life, and ministry.