Dear RTS Houston students,
Greetings in the name of our risen Lord Jesus Christ! As Summer is winding down and Fall is around the corner we are eagerly looking forward to a wonderful semester. While I have had the privilege of meeting many of you, there are still several of you that I am looking forward to meeting in the coming weeks.
This past week I have been in Grand Rapids taking a course on Reformed Piety. Yesterday we considered the piety and spirituality of John Calvin. There are several facets to Calvin’s piety, but one aspect that particularly struck me was its ‘Word-centeredness.’ That is, Calvin’s piety is a Word-shaped piety. In contrast to the speculative and contemplative nature of Christian spirituality that characterized much of the thought of the Middle Ages, Calvin takes us back to the Word. God confronts us and comforts us in his Word. He speaks to us in his word. The Word calls for a response of faith. As my professor, Dr. Stephen Myers put it, summarizing Calvin, “piety is faith reacting with new life to the word of God.” Whenever we read or hear or reflect on the Word of God, we are to respond with holy reverence, faith, and joy! This truth lies at the heart of Calvin’s piety!
As seminary students you have the great privilege of diving deep in God’s word. But with that privilege comes a responsibility. Your studies are not ‘mere’ academic studies; rather you are studying the living word of the living God!! The Bible is not like a science or business textbook, rather it is the word of life. Thus even as you study the Bible in an academic setting, you are to respond to it with humble faith, joy, and reverence. May this be your heart’s desire this semester!
1) Please remember to reach out to me or to any of the staff – it is our desire to help and serve you in any way we can.
3) Please mark October 11 on your calendars for our Fall student Welcome Dinner. It will be held on the campus of RTS Houston. Sign Up Today.
My prayer for you is that the Lord would be shaping in each of your minds for truth, hearts for God, lives of service, and a love for people!
Blessings in the Lord,
Rev. Robert Arendale