I am very proud of my students–past and present. Recently two of them have made what I consider powerful and positive contributions to the evangelical community (and beyond).
Austin Fischer is teaching pastor at The Vista Community (church) in central Texas (Temple/Belton). He is the author of the much acclaimed book Young, Restless, No Longer Reformed that I reviewed and recommended here. If you haven’t purchased it and read it, you should. He is the new up and coming evangelical spokesman for non-Calvinism. He does that in such a winsome and irenic way that you cannot help but admire.
Recently Austin participated in a four way debate held in Chicago sponsored by Zondervan publishers and Christianity Today. You can see it on Youtube. It’s in two parts and both are entitled Old Debate, New Day: Calvinism. I am proud of Austin and the way in which he acquitted himself in the debate. This debate is a model of how such disagreements among evangelicals should be handled–no ridicule or caricaturing or misrepresenting of others’ views but only serious, irenic engagement of ideas.
I am also proud of former student Christopher M. Rios whose excellent scholarly book After the Monkey Trial: Evangelical Scientists and a New Creationism examines the history of evangelical engagements with science during the last 150 years. The book is published by Fordham University Press and was just published this year. Congratulations to Chris who is now a dean at a major Christian university.
I would love to take some credit for Austin’s and Chris’s successes, but I can’t. Both would have gone on to great accomplishments whoever they studied under. They are extremely capable and competent and personable men–models of evangelical leadership in the church and academy.