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CU-backed Film Being Honored

CU-backed Film Being Honored

“Faith on the Edge” to compete for Feature Documentary Award

Faith on the Edge,” a documentary film backed by Calvary University in 2019, has been honored as an official selection by the Christian Worldview Film Festival based in Nashville, Tennessee. 

The film was produced and directed by The Creation Guys, Pat Roy and Kyle Justice, who said, “We’re excited and honored that ‘Faith on the Edge’ has been selected to compete for the Feature Documentary Award in the Christian Worldview Film Festival.”

Roy and Justice created the film to address a new wave of Christians who are converting to a belief in the flat earth. It was designed to equip Christians to give Biblical and scientific answers to questions that they say “will inevitably come from family and friends.”

The film featured several experts and real-life experiments, including a weather balloon carrying a 360˚ camera 22.75 miles up into the atmosphere. This is how Calvary got involved. 

Calvary University Research Professor, Dr. Steven Boyd, was one of the experts featured in the film. Boyd is considered an expert on the related subjects, especially the Hebrew text of the Old Testament. He holds a Master’s in Physics from Drexel University, a Master of Theology from Dallas Theological Seminary as well as a Master’s and a PhD in Hebraic and Cognate studies from Hebrew Union College. He is a Research Professor of Bible and Theology as well as the Director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Creation Studies at Calvary University, the Director of the Cataclysm Chronology Research Group and a specialist in Old Testament and Semitic Languages.

A generous donation from Calvary University also helped with the spectacular balloon launch in Johnstown, Ohio. The balloon went several miles into the atmosphere, carrying a 3D 8K camera. The Creation Guys videotaped the launch and included the footage in “Faith on the Edge” in order to “demonstrate the curvature of the Earth.”

Justice called the nomination, “Very cool!”  “Faith on the Edge” will be played to an audience attending the film festival March 18-20. “The evening of the 20th,” he said, “there is an awards ceremony where we’ll see if it wins for ‘Feature Documentary.'” 

Calvary Partners with Military Tuition Assistance to Train Students

Calvary Partners with Military Tuition Assistance to Train Students

Matt Blackledge, Air Force Reserves, leads worship at a prayer night on Calvary’s campus.

Vets and Reservists use Military Tuition Assistance to study Scripture and get marketable degrees.

Sgt Jonathan Haggard USMC (ret) served in the Marine Corps for eight years before coming to Calvary University to pursue his bachelor’s degree. He was searching for a local university to use his GI Bill and chose Calvary because it was close, “and the fact that it wasn’t just a Bible college,” but offered a range of widely marketable degrees in business, education, performance arts.

Haggard is studying Business Administration and Organizational Leadership, building off of the skills he acquired during his military tenure. Leadership training was one of the reasons Haggard joined the Marine Corps. He referenced the Marine concept of JJDIDTIEBUCKLE, an acronym for Judgement Justice Dependability Integrity Decisiveness Tact Initiative Endurance Bearing Unselfishness Courage Knowledge Loyalty Enthusiasm. “Those are leadership traits Marines are supposed to have. And I would say they all fit into Christian values.” Haggard’s time in the military was “training to be a leader. And as Christians, we’re called to leadership.”

Matthew Blackledge joined the Air Force Reserves three years ago, and currently pursues a master’s degree in Bible and Theology through the Air Force’s Military Tuition Assistance (TA). “I knew I wanted to go to a place to study the Bible, that’s always been my passion. And also, I had a goal to not go into debt at college. That was a big deal.” Calvary’s commitment to biblical education, keeping costs low, and working with TA met all of Blackledge’s criteria. Now that he’s here, he said, “I actually think I want to keep going and go all the way to PhD. Because when I’m 70, I want teach. I want to tell the story of the Bible.”

Calvary is proud to partner with veterans and enlisted soldiers to provide quality education, equipping them to live and serve, in the church and in the world, according to the biblical worldview.

Calvary University is approved by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs for the training of veterans.

 

Calvary University is a member of the DoD Voluntary Education Partnership.

 

The Baby’s Name

The Baby’s Name

“For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us… And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.”

Isaiah 9:5-6

Dr. Steven Boyd is the Director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Creation Studies (CICS) and Research Professor of Old Testament and Semitic Languages for Calvary University

When I first heard the magnificent strains of “Unto Us a Child is Born” from Handel’s Messiah, I didn’t know that its text was drawn from the sublime poetry of Isaiah in chapter 9, verses 5–6 (verses 4–5 in the Hebrew text). I have since learned that in those verses, Isaiah introduces the Child-Son, whose four-fold compound Name refers not only to His humanity but also to His deity.

The first Name, often translated as two, ‘Wonderful’ and ‘Counsellor’, is better understood as one phrase: “Wonder Purposer.” The first part of the Name refers to the quality of the supernatural from a verb which means ‘adviser’. But to Isaiah, it connotes the unthwartable plans and purposes of God which shall certainly come to pass.

“Mighty God” is best translated as, “God the Hero.” The word I translate “Hero” is used of one characterized as powerful, hence a ‘hero’ in the sense of a mighty warrior. Isaiah depicts God as a mighty warrior donning armor to save His people (Isaiah 59:15–17; 63:1). It is a name akin to “Jesus,” which in Hebrew means “the one who will give victory.”

The third name, “Father of Eternity,” can be understood in two ways: (1) the One who is eternally a Father and (2) the Progenitor of eternity. An approximate New Testament analog is “through whom He made the ages” (Hebrews 1:2).

Finally, He is called “Prince of Peace” (“Monarch of Well-being”) which speaks of the Child’s purpose in bringing reconciliation between God and man. The word usually translated “prince” is connected to the Akkadian word for king, and the word often translated “peace,” refers to a wholeness, an unbrokenness which He restores by taking our punishment upon Himself (Isa. 53:5–6)—the “peace offering” which celebrates the return to “at-one-ment” with God!

A Blessed Christmas to all in His Name!

 ***

Waiting

Waiting

“Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him.”

Psalm 37:7

Karen Hange is the Program Director of Elementary Education and Assistant Professor of Elementary Education at Calvary University

Waiting.

It is not something many of us like to do. We live in a world where we try to minimize our waiting time by calling ahead for reservations, ordering our groceries online, and quickly becoming impatient in the drive-through with the cars ahead of us. We fret at the red lights and look for the shortest line at the checkout. We tap our fingers incessantly when being put on hold and sometimes decide to hang up and call back later. Waiting is something we all try to avoid.

Waiting is sometimes the way God teaches His biggest lessons.

The Israelites were waiting for centuries for a coming Messiah. Simeon was waiting in the Temple to see the One promised by the Holy Spirit. Believers today are waiting for the second coming and return of our King.

But how do we wait?

We are told to wait patiently. Isaiah 40:31 says that strength is renewed for those who wait. Isaiah 26:8 says that as we wait for the Lord, his Name should be the desire of our souls.  Can you feel the expectancy…not in an impatient way, but in a way that eagerly anticipates the good things that God has in store?

It seems a bit like the picture of the children waiting for Christmas….gazing expectantly under the tree…waiting for the good things that they know are hidden beneath the brightly wrapped paper and bows. They are so eager. They can hardly contain their joy. They wait expectantly.

This Christmas, as we wrap our gifts so that the recipients can experience the joy of the anticipation of unwrapping, may we be reminded of the joy that God desires as we wait expectantly for His return. Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus.

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What’s in a Name?

What’s in a Name?

The names and titles for God found in the Bible are carefully brushed strokes on the canvas of God’s most awesome work: The revelation of Himself.

Shakespeare’s Juliet asked, “What’s in a name?” 

The irony of the question lies in the fact that her name was her biggest problem! The reason she could not be with her Romeo was precisely because her name was Capulet and his was Montague. Capulets didn’t love Montagues — they hated them. But Juliet protested:

“That which we call a rose, by any other word would smell as sweet. So Romeo would, were he not Romeo called, retain that dear perfection which he owes without that title.”

Juliet didn’t think his name mattered at all — what mattered was the person. And perhaps in that case, she was right. And perhaps in many cases, the name or title of something makes no difference whatsoever.

Ask for the whatchmacallit or the doohickey or the thingamajig and you’ll probably get what you want. Call him Santa Claus, Father Christmas or Saint Nick — it doesn’t matter. Name your son Austin, Peter or Max — it probably makes no difference. 

But not so with God. 

If Juliet was speaking of God and said, “What’s in a name? Call Him whatever you like,” she would be dead wrong. It’s true that this “Rose” — the true and living God — would “retain that dear perfection which He owes without (the Biblical) titles.” But, the names and titles of God found in the Bible were not given to us in a random and pointless way. They are not incidental. 

The names and titles for God found in the Bible are carefully brushed strokes on the canvas of God’s most awesome work: The revelation of Himself.

Each time we come across a name or title of God in the Bible, we learn another great truth about the God who created us. 

“YHWH” tells us He is eternal and personal. 

“Father” tells us He is the perfection of love and discipline.

“Shepherd” tells us He is our protector and provider and guide.

On and on it goes. The more we encounter these one-word revelations, the more we know Him, the more we appreciate Him, the more we — along with the psalm writers — see that “His name alone is exalted” (Psalm 148:13) and we want to “sing praises to His name for it is lovely” (Psalm 135:3). 

When we come to the stories of the birth of Jesus, we find them rich with names and titles for the newborn King. He is…

“The Messiah…son of David, son of Abraham…Jesus Christ…Immanuel…King of the Jews…a Ruler who will shepherd…son of Mary” in Matthew 1-2. 

“Jesus…great…Son of the Most High…the Holy Child…the Son of God…A Savior…Christ the Lord…her (Mary’s) firstborn son…a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger” in Luke 1-2.

“The Word…light…life…the Only Begotten God (God the One and Only, NIV), who is in the bosom of the Father” in John 1.

“Jesus” is just one example of how each of these names is like a blast from God’s trumpet of revelation. The “angel of the Lord” told Joseph to give this name to the Boy because “He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). “Jesus” is a Hebrew name that means “Jehovah is salvation.”

Notice the word “son” popping up several times: “Son of David…Abraham…the Most High God.” He is called Mary’s “firstborn son”. All the “Son” references add up to tell us that He alone was qualified to fulfill two of the greatest covenants God ever made with humans — the Davidic and Abrahamic covenants (see the very first verse of the New Testament). As Mary’s Son, He not only took on human flesh that He might bleed human blood for the sins of the world, but He also became Heir to the promises God made to David and Abraham. 

“Son of the Most High…God” tells us His life did not begin in Bethlehem — He has always existed in an eternal relationship with the Father. This explains what kind of King can have a kingdom that will last forever: the Eternal King, God’s only, unique Son.

Or what about “Word”. What is a “word” for? Communication! What did this “Word” do, according to John? He wasn’t just another self-proclaimed guru speculating about things he didn’t understand. His perspective is like no other: “No one has ever seen God. But the one and only Son is himself God and is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us” (John 1:18, NLT).

With all this in mind, read the Birth Narratives as part of your Christmas celebration. And when you do, let God’s Self-revelation — through His names and titles — renew your mind as you celebrate Christmas. Stop and enjoy every name. Underline every title. Each one is a delicate brush stroke deserving of close examination. But when seen together, they are a jaw-dropping revelation that should result in nothing less than what the Magi did when they saw the Child in His mother’s arms: “They fell to the ground and worshipped Him (Matthew 2:11).”

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Shaun LePage is the Ministry Studies Department Chair and Assistant Professor in Ministry Studies and Bible and Theology. He also serves as Associate Vice President of the CU Marketing and Communications Department. 

 

Norm Baker Named 2019 Alumnus of the Year

Norm Baker Named 2019 Alumnus of the Year

“It was all for God’s glory!”

Norm Baker, adjunct faculty member in the Bible and Theology Department, was given the Calvary University (CU) Alumnus of the Year Award at the 2019 Commencement ceremony on May 11.

“It was all for God’s glory,” said Baker as he accepted the honor.

“You are what we all want to be,” said Dr. Christopher Cone, President of CU. “You have been trustworthy in the classroom, you have taught the word faithfully, and that’s all any of us are after. So, thank you for your example. Thank you for serving the Lord.”

Unfortunately for the students of CU, Baker has decided to retire. However, he will continue to serve the CU community with a pen.

“He has his next assignment,” said Dr. Cone, “which is to write for Calvary University Press and we’re very excited about that.”

CU Press is a new venture being developed this year. Dr. Mike Dodds will be stepping away from his familiar roles as Dean of the College and Department Chair for Ministry Studies, to become the first director of CU Press. He will continue to teach as a Professor of Ministry Studies. Baker has been asked to be a regular contributor to CU Press.

Baker was born in Portland, Oregon, in 1950. Soon after, his family moved across the country to upstate New York. As a young boy he enjoyed riding on trains with his father and grandfather who worked for the New York Central Railroad. His uncle owned a Christian book store, and Baker enjoyed browsing while having a popsicle. He speculates that this is where he first developed a love for books.

After his family moved to Aurora, Colorado, a few year later, Baker attended Aurora Central High School. His sister started going to the youth group at Aurora Bible Church. When she told him some cute girls were there, he decided to go with her. It was there that Baker heard the gospel message preached and received Christ as his personal Savior. Shortly after that, his parents rededicated their lives to Christ, and the Bakers started attending church as a family.

While in high school, Baker often heard evangelists and missionaries speak of the need to reach the lost for Christ. He dedicated his life to serve wherever God called him. His teachers encouraged him to go into an acting career because he loved drama. However, Baker sensed God leading him in a different direction, and after graduating from high school in 1967, he went to Frontier School of the Bible to prepare for overseas ministry.

During his time at Frontier, Baker heard about the work in Africa from missionaries with Gospel Missionary Union (now Avant Ministries). In 1971, he was accepted as a missionary with GMU to go to Mali, West Africa. During the missionary candidate training he met his future wife, Mary Alice, and they were married on September 18, 1971.

After raising support, they left for Switzerland to study French in April 1972 and then headed to Mali in July 1973. The next couple of years were spent learning the Bambara language and the culture. Baker particularly enjoyed hearing the Malian proverbs and stories that had been passed down verbally for many generations. He quickly developed a love and deep respect for the Bambara people.

Norm and Mary Alice served with Gospel Missionary Union for fifteen years. They raised their family of three sons and one daughter while living in the bush. Baker helped with church planting and discipleship training. He translated discipleship materials and assisted with a new revision of the Bambara Bible. During their last few years in Mali, Baker taught at the Mana Bible Institute, training Malian pastors and church leaders.

In 1986, Baker received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Calvary Bible College (CBC). He then served as the Missionary in Residence there from 1986 to 1987. He became the pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church where he served from 1987 to 1991. During that time Baker received his Master of Divinity degree from Trinity Theological Seminary. The Baker family then moved to Dallas, Texas, where Norm attended Dallas Theological Seminary and graduated with a Master of Theology degree in 1998. He also became the pastor of Stanley Bible Church in Overland Park, Kansas, in 1998, where he served for ten years.

In addition to pastoring, Baker taught Bible & Theology classes at Calvary from 2001 to 2005. He returned as an adjunct professor in January 2012, a total of twelve and a half years of service at Calvary. He has also enjoyed supporting CU’s theatre department as well as attending athletic events.

On the CU campus, Baker is fondly referred to as “Stormin’ Norman.” His love for studying and teaching the Word of God has been his life-long passion. He has had a sincere love for his students, as evidenced in his one-on-one interactions with them as he continues to disciple and prepare others for ministry. And, his students have returned that love. At Baker’s retirement party, student after student shared how much he has influenced their lives.

“Each one of these students,” Baker said, “helped me be a better teacher by their attitude in the classroom. That’s all I can say.”

The Alumnus of the Year award is given annually to a CU graduate who has shown faithfulness in ministry and has maintained a strong connection with the school in the years since graduation.

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Special thanks to Sara Klassen for compiling the biographical data for this article.

The Alumni of the Year Award was presented to Norm Baker at the 2019 Commencement ceremony on May 11. The award is given annually to a CU graduate who has shown faithfulness in ministry and has maintained a strong connection with the school in the years since graduation.

Norm Baker (top right) played a part in the 2018 Calvary University theatre production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Baker has enjoyed supporting the CU theatre department and attending athletic events in addition to his service in Calvary classrooms. 

“It was all for God’s glory,” said Norm Baker as he accepted the Alumni of the Year Award at the 2019 Commencement ceremony on May 11.