Later on at Princeton Seminary, I sat under the teachings of men such as Diogenes Allen for Philosophy, Karlfried Froehlich for Theology, Thomas Long for Preaching, James Moorhead for Church History, and the likes of Bruce Metzger and J.J.M. Roberts for Biblical Studies.
And at Southern Seminary, my teachers included men such as James Blevins for Biblical Studies and Bryant Hicks for Evangelism and Missions.
I suppose, however, that if I were asked to pick the greatest influence on my life and ministry, at least among my various professors, it would have to be William Geren. A learned man (Th.M., Southern Seminary; Ph.D., University of Chicago), he was nonetheless very meek and humble. I truly believe he has already learned and forgotten more then I will ever read and learn.
The last I heard from Gr. Geren, he was semi-retired and living in the North Georgia mountains, still teaching some. He was in his early 90’s, having served the Lord long and well, as well as having been a faithful and loving husband and father.*
I recently referenced a list of “Classic Bible Passages” he had handed out way back in my “Introduction to the Bible” class at Mercer University in 1980. I still have this list; and it is helping to form the basis of a short series of messages I am now preaching on Sunday nights on the great chapters of the Bible. Several have asked for this document after I referenced it. It is attached here.
Note: I have made a slight modification from the original document. Dr. Geren had listed the books in the order of their historical development. I placed them in their traditional order, as this may be more beneficial to lay persons. (For example: The book of Psalms is commonly accepted as the Worship and Prayer Book of the Second Temple period in Old Testament times. Dr. Geren’s list, therefore, had Psalms occurring after the rebuilding of the temple, and thus toward the end of the Old Testament period.)
Note Also: Any listing of classic passages of the Bible will always be somewhat subjective, and therefore open to debate. From Dr. Geren’s perspective, he was attempting to teach an introductory course covering the whole of the Bible in its historical development and unfolding. This is not intended to be a devotional list. Therefore, he does not include, for instance, Psalm 23, as such a list might be expected to include.
*UPDATE: Sadly, since posting this blog, I have learned that Dr. Geren has passed away and gone on to his Heavenly reward. I regret that I missed his memorial service, which was conducted by Drs. Davis and Harris. If you would like to know more about the life of this Godly man who so heavily influenced my own life, you can read his obituary at: