We’re coming to the end of the Spring semester. Preparations for commencement are reaching their conclusion. Student papers are due this Friday at 10AM (for those of my students who haven’t already turned in their papers). After that, there are a few days for getting caught up on assigned reading (the Sabbath excepted; students have 6 days to do all their studying). Then finals begin. During that time the board members arrive on campus and commencement begins. R. C. Sproul is our 2008 commencement speaker. We’re holding commencement in a larger facility this year to accommodate the expected larger than usual audience. Nevertheless, if you’re planning to attend, you should follow the link to the commencement page so that you find out what you need to know (directions, schedule, parking, seating etc).
The Spring and summer periods are times for going and coming. Each year we say good bye to students who have become good friends. I’ve been participating in graduation exercises since 1995 (at Wheaton) and since 1997 at WSC. I expected to feel more sadness than I do. I think that one reason I do not feel so sad is that watching the students receive their diploma with such great joy fills me with joy. Another reason is that most of our students are going to do what they were trained to do; they’re fulfilling their vocations. Most of our graduates are MDiv students and they are men who are called or to be called to ministry of Word and sacrament. They’re going to stand in pulpits all across the globe preaching the law and the gospel, calling sinners to trust in Christ alone for their righteousness and to call those who have trusted Christ to give evidence, <em>sola gratia et sola fide</em> of the faith they have professed. They will be making house visits and hospital calls and always with the Word of God in their hands and in their mouths. They will be praying for their congregations and doing the work of an evangelist. The idea that each year God uses us to contribute to the ministry of the Kingdom of God is truly inspiring.
A third reason sadness is mitigated is that just as these students leave another group comes to join us in the fall and winter. We receive about 75% of our new students in the fall and the rest between fall and spring semesters. It’s exciting to meet new students, to hear their stories of how they got to WSC, and to watch them take the first, baby, steps toward ministry.
One other piece of news. We have copies of volume 4 of Bavinck’s Reformed Dogmatics on hand in the bookstore. Doubtless you’re seen news of the publication. If you haven’t read Bavinck, you should. There’s a lot of loose talk about what constitutes “Dutch”Reformed theology in the modern period. In contrast to many of the minor figures to whom some appeal as representatives of “Dutch” theology, Bavinck is confessional, sane, intelligent and lucid.