Heroes of the faith

Turning 50 was wonderful. That lasted, what, 20 days?

Transitions are tough, and at 50 I just hit a transition I knew was coming, but still hated to see. One of my great heroes of the faith is retiring. Dr. Gordon Anderson announced his retirement as president of North Central University today. This is my alma mater and also the place I currently serve as an adjunct professor.

Those who know Dr. Anderson only as a college president know a good part of him. I was incredibly fortunate to know him as TEACHER. Dr. Anderson was on the faculty during my time as a student. He was tough, knowledgeable, passionate, and deeply hungry for teaching others about Jesus. I took classes I didn’t need to take just because Dr. Anderson was  teaching them.

He also got me hooked on Calvin and Hobbes. In fact, that may be his greatest legacy. We were in a class one day and somone asked about some papers we had handed in and had not received back as yet. Dr. Anderson replied, “Sorry I didn’t get to that yet. I was somewhere over Russia the other night and couldn’t get to it. Well, at least I THINK it was Russia. My transmogrifier doesn’t have windows.”

To that point I had only heard of Calvin and Hobbes, but enough to recognize that term. I read Calvin and Hobbes the next day in the comics… and was hooked for the length of the series.

When my wife and I had left North Central to start a new church in my hometown, we found out he was the morning teacher at a Bible camp about an hour away. We went over for a couple of days just to listen to his morning teachings. It was so great drinking in his wisdom once again!

After the last morning session we could attend, we were talking to him and nervously asked if we could take him to lunch. It was nerve-wracking for us. He was our hero. Did heroes even EAT?

He graciously accepted our invitation and we had about a two hour lunch talking life, ministry, and so much more.

Transitions happen. This one is significant. I am so deeply thankful to the influence of this incredible man of God. I am so deeply grateful for the professors I had during my time at North Central, and so deeply grateful for Dr. Anderson’s influence on my life as a teacher of the Word.