Let me introduce you to my grandfather, Marshall Bain. I named my son after him. He was the closest thing I had to a father until he died in my early teenage years. If you want to know why I do what I do, or why I am who I am…look at my grandaddy.
He loved the Lord. But he was taught that you could commit the unforgivable sin on accident. That meant you could live your life for the Lord, and still not make it to heaven. I remember hearing him talk about it. He always cried when he talked about Jesus…but these tears were different. He was terrified that he might go to hell for a sin he didn’t even remember. I wish with everything that is within me that I could go back and help him understand the gospel a little better. Don’t get me wrong. Grandaddy knew Jesus better than I probably ever will. But in spite of that, his theology was lacking and that lack drove him to tears on more than one occasion. It still upsets me to this day.
Bad theology ruins lives. Bad theology makes my grandaddy cry. I hate bad theology, and I believe that the Lord has called me to fight it for the rest of my life. To that end, I have decided to pursue more master’s level education at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, with the hope of helping people understand the gospel through the classroom, through the church, and particularly through this blog.
I’ll be pursuing the MA in Old Testament, further sharpening my understanding of the Hebrew language for the purpose of interpreting the Hebrew Bible. I plan to complete this degree in less than two years and hopefully move on to my ultimate goal of a PhD in the Old Testament. I’m moving in this direction for two primary reasons (among many). First, I really love Hebrew. I love reading Hebrew more than anything else I’ve done in school. In addition to that, in my experience the greatest teaching need in the church is more careful explanation of the Old Testament.
The Gordon-Conwell has made a way for this education to be more affordable through the Partnership Program. This program gives students tools for personal stewardship, biblical/theological stewardship, and an annual full tuition scholarship toward their seminary education. Its vision is to help students enter Christian ministry with a supportive network of friends and family. Plus, it offers life-long skills for managing financial support. In order to accomplish this, students partner together with local churches, friends, and family for both prayer and financial support.
I view this partnership as a supportive network. I will send monthly updates about my life at Gordon-Conwell. Each update will also suggest ways you can be praying. In addition to monthly updates, this further education puts me in a unique position to serve as a biblical scholar in residence for all my supporters. That means that I would be happy to undertake research, translation, or even just answer basic questions about scripture, the Christian faith, church history, and/or Greek or Hebrew. All of this will be done through your support.
The financial goal is to raise $6,600 per year. The suggested goal is ten donors who give $50 a month for the duration of my studies toward this scholarship, plus a sponsoring church at $600 per year (a huge thank you to my home church, Community Life, for their support). However, the Partnership Program is flexible and can accommodate how any one person feels led to give. For instance, 100 donors giving $5 a month would work just as well.
The donations are tax deductible. You can give online. However, if you prefer you can also have automatic credit card withdrawal, electronic fund transfers, or checks can be made out to Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Just email me (you can contact me through my Facebook page) and I’ll send you a donor card in the mail. Although the first gift was due by December 31st, gifts can be made at any time.
Would you consider joining this network to pray and/or to support financially this undertaking? This is a chance for me to gain more training in God’s word and use that training to equip the saints for the work of ministry (Ephesians 4:12).