Archive for September, 2012

Jury Duty and Civic Responsibility

 I blogged last Fall about my first opportunity ever to be a witness in a trial.   Earlier this week I had something else happen to me that had never happened before in my entire life (I am about to turn 59).  I was selected to be on a jury at the Lackawanna Courthouse in Scranton, PA.  I have been in many jury pools and made it to the selected group to be questioned by lawyers to see which folks from the jury pool make it into the 12-seat box of jurors.  But never had I been selected to be on a jury.  It has been my assumption that all these years it is mostly because I was a Baptist minister.  But nothing prevented it this time.

I learned a lot of things in terms of judge’s instructions, rules for evidence, rules for jury note-taking, deliberation, video depositions, role-playing testimony, etc.  I learned how to work with 11 other people to talk things through in a tense kind of situation.  The case was a civil law suit in light of a car accident.  We decided unanimously in favor of the defendant.

As I sat there through the two-day trial, I wondered again at our country and system with all of its faults.  However, I thanked the Lord that in such cases, we can be judged by twelve of our peers instead of by some government bureaucrat or military figure.

Dr. Kaiser, Barndollar Lectures, and the Future of Israel

Last week we combined the college students with the seminary students at Baptist Bible College and Seminary to have the Barndollar Lectures with Dr. Walt Kaiser, a premier evangelical Old Testament scholar.  In spite of the fact that he was 79 years old, he connected quite well to the 18-year olds in the audience as well as the seminary students and area pastors who had come to listen to him.  Let me comment upon my encounter with Dr. Kaiser, whom I had met previously through the Evangelical Theological Society.

First, he was a humorous and down to earth fellow, in person at meals, meeting with faculty, or in the pulpit.  He was a regular guy who did not treat others in a condescending way.  He treated all of us graciously.  Second, he affirmed what our seminary believes concerning hermeneutics and Israel, namely, literal interpretation of the Bible and a distinction between Israel and the Church.  Third, as a result of these convictions, he strongly presented the future of national Israel.  In harmony with this is the affirmation of the land promises throughout Scripture.  The title of the lecture series, held Sept. 10-13, was “God’s Future for Israel and the Near East.”  The first lecture was an overview of the great promises concerning Messiah including the giving of land to Israel.

Read the rest of this entry »