This past week has brought another school year to a dramatic close. I was installed at graduation as the W. A. Criswell Professor of Expository Preaching, delivered the commencement address, traveled to Glen Rose, Texas to attend and help officiate at my son Daniel's wedding, watched the Jerry Falwell funeral, entertained out of town guests, and preached. This summer is going to be very busy. Besides preaching each week, taking a group of students on a mission trip, and teaching international students at the Global Proclamation Academy (held on the campus of DTS) for Ramesh Richard, I will also attempt to complete writing my dissertation on "The Kingdom-driven Church: Evangelism and Ecclesiology in Eschatological Perspective."
Research for the dissertation has become a joyous, although strenuous adventure. I completed my first Ph.D. in 1982; so, this has been a lot of work for an old man! In the course of the past three years I have read nearly 400 books on the subject and untold journal articles and commentaries. I believe I have a real grasp of the kingdom and hope I will be able to make a significant contribution to the body of knowledge now available. My main objective is to relate kingdom theology to the local church.
The kingdom of God is now my passion. The Lord willing, I wish to devote the remainder of my academic life to kingdom studies. If the kingdom was the focus of Jesus' ministry, it should be ours as well.