Fifty-two years of teaching history. One week in Rockford, Illinois. Dr. Panosian is our honored guest this week.
Dr. Panosian delivers biographical lectures on the lives of influential men in Church History. His style is easy, testimonial (his delivery is in the first person), and basically extemporaneous. When I first heard Dr. Panosian recount the life of Martin Luther, I knew that this seventy-five year-old retired professor had something of great value to offer small churches like ours. He could help new believers and young churches connect with history, the history of God’s people, the history of the Church. “There is one faith” (Ephesians 4:4).
“The Church is the mirror, that reflects the whole effulgence of the Divine character. It is the grand scene, in which the perfections of Jehovah are displayed to the universe. The revelations made to the Church – the successive grand events in her history – and, above all – the manifestation of “the glory of God in the Person of Jesus Christ” – furnish even to the heavenly intelligences fresh subjects of adoring contemplation” (Charles Bridges).
Those “grand events” are mediated through people – not angels as Dr. Panosian regularly reminds us – and those people are worthy of our rememberance. Last Lord’s Day we praised the glorious grace of God upon hearing the testimony of John Bunyan and Martin Luther. Last night we celebrated the Word of God and its victory in the world while reflecting on the testimony of William Tyndale. John Knox tonight. Spurgeon on Wednesday. John Hus on Thursday.
On Saturday we, along with First Baptist Church, are hosting a Church History Seminar, beginning at 9:00 and ending at twelve. Dr. Panosian will deliver three lectures: 1) “The Origins of the Roman Catholic Church”, 2) “The Providence of God in History”, and 3) “John Calvin”.
Six weeks ago, Dr. Panosian had a triple-bypass heart surgery. He is still recovering. God is giving both physical and spiritual strength to him as he ministers to us. Let’s keep him in our prayers.
My wife and I have greatly enjoyed getting to know this servant of God. We were not students of his (as were a number of people in our congregation), but we are his students this week. May the Lord help us to live our lives wholly for God even as Bunyan, Tyndale, Knox, Hus, Spurgeon, and Panosian have done.
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