Patheos asked the evangelical bloggers to name our hero for 2014.
I’ve selected the renowned New Testament scholar Craig Keener.
To my mind, Keener is the world’s foremost expert in first-century history as it relates to the New Testament documents.
Keener is the editor of the best-selling IVP Bible Background Commentary of the New Testament and the author of the new formidable, ground-breaking commentary series on Acts entitled Acts: An Exegetical Commentary.
Keener is a “hero” in my eyes for the following reasons:
(1) He’s full of the Spirit (like Stephen, Acts 6:5), has keen discernment, and is humble in Christ. This is evidenced by his openness to all believers and their spiritual insights, including those who aren’t part of the academic “guild” of New Testament scholars.
(Craig has endorsed several of my books and has been my historical adviser on a few of them — this despite the fact that I’m not part of the “guild.” The fact that he’s the foremost expert in New Testament history in the world makes this all the more impressive.)
(2) He’s accessible and takes time with people. This is another evidence of his humility in the Lord.
(3) He understands the power of the Spirit as well as the academic pursuit of the Scriptures. Jesus said to the religious leaders of His day, “You are in error, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God.”
Keener knows both where many scholars only know the academic dimension of the Bible.
All of these reasons make Craig Keener a “hero” in my eyes for 2014. And it’s also why he’s my favorite living New Testament scholar. (F.F. Bruce is my favorite non-living New Testament scholar.)
May the Lord continue to use you to turn the sod in your field, and may other scholars follow your example in these three ways.