Learning That Lasts
Evangel – Fall 2015
I recently crashed the reunion of ABC Alumni who had attended “Before Boyd” (Lammiman) in 1967. I say “crashed” because my first semester was his first year as President. Charlene Graffunder, President of ABC’s Alumni, beautifully planned the event.
Alumni remembered teaching styles, strange dorm food, stranger volleyball styles (in a room with fourteen foot ceilings!), and classes in the Gospels, logic, hermeneutics, and Greek. They recounted scrapes with legalism and a few scars of dogmatism. But mostly they remembered how ABC continued to bless them. They recounted the persistence of those now gone. Several unable to attend sent their greetings. Allan Dunbar read a letter from his Dad (Marvel) now 99 years old. He remarked how proud he was to be counted with his 1941 graduating class: Ed and Mary (Chapman) Dunbar, and his twin sister Marie (Dunbar) Rempel.
Listening, I discerned how 1) the ABC experience marked alumni indelibly; and, 2) how they each had long fruitful ministries. Certainly Dr. C. H. Phillips’ vision of a “classical English Bible” program leading to “a gathering of the church,” continues to impact us. Imagine this, ABC’s graduates today could serve beyond 2050. If “a long obedience in the same direction” is to be theirs, how important is today’s dream for ABC’s academic program?
Participation in the mission of God, as portrayed in the Bible, is central. The first effort priority in ABC’s strategic plan is “To transform learners for effective, Biblically based service.” The Scriptures tell how our loving Father is reconciling the world to himself through his Son. The unimagined possibilities of healing, transformation, and life lived with Jesus is good news! Such transformation is life-giving to ourselves and to those we bring his presence to in our world. So we dream of hundreds who testify with Paul: the love of Christ controls me (2 Cor 5:14) because Jesus Christ is at the center of God’s mission. He is our text!