‘Passionate scholar’ need not be an oxymoron. Gordon Fee, who died on Tuesday at the age of 88, exemplified this in his career and teaching.
The book he co-authored, How to Read the Bible for AlI Its Worth (now in its fourth edition), has been very helpful in showing how literary genre, background, and other factors influence how we are to understand the Bible’s content. They are vital for correctly interpreting and applying its message.
However, this need not result in cold and lifeless teaching. The Holy Spirit works through the fruits of our diligent and careful study to light up the world and build up his church.
Gordon Fee, who was a minister under the Assemblies of God denomination, believed that when done right, biblical interpretation is a ‘touch of lightening’. His life goal was to be a ‘scholar on fire.’
In his words,
“We must hear the words with our hearts, we must bask in God’s own glory, we must be moved to a sense of overwhelming awe at God’s riches in glory, we must think again on the incredible wonder that these riches are ours in Christ Jesus, and we must then worship the living God by singing praises to His glory.”
While he now sings praises to Christ in heaven, his books will continue to be treasured by the church on earth.