Tracing the Trinity, 5 – How It All Got Started

The reason I even have a series on my blog, called Tracing the Trinity really goes back to the image before you.  The date, June 19, 1992.  I had just taken my very first seminary course at RTS-Orlando.  I went on to do my M.Div. at Covenant Seminary in St. Louis.  But, there I was, having just come into the doctrines of grace a few years earlier, knowing that what I wanted more than anything was to pursue a course of theological studies to prepare me for ministry.  So, I started in grand fashion, as my first course was The Theology of John Calvin with the Dr. Sinclair B. Ferguson.  There wasn’t a kid more giddy at Disney World across town, than I was when I stepped onto campus (in those days at an office park).  I learned so much about Calvin’s Institutes that week.  Dr. Ferguson began the week-long class by telling us we would need to have read the Institutes by the end of the week!  I went to class during the day, and back to my hotel until 2am each night, plowing through the rich terrain of Calvin.

I learned even more about prayer, as Dr. Ferguson opened each class with prayers, the likes of which I had never heard – humble, Bibline, with a rhythm of reverence.

Prior to coming to RTS-Orlando, I had been reading Warfield on Calvin’s doctrine of the Trinity.  So, having received the green light from Dr. Ferguson to write on Calvin and the Trinity, I returned home to Nashville, fired up my electric typewriter, and went to work.

When I received my paper back, I reveled in the little comment on the title page from Dr. Ferguson:

“A good, clear paper, David – I am glad you felt this topic important enough to study – we badly need a good dose of trinitarian theology for our theological and spiritual health!  Keep studying it!”

As you can see, I took an A- for the course.  That was great by me!  It meant I did well, but still had so much to learn.  I have a certain appreciation for receiving and giving A minuses that way.  Hence, the last many years of research and writing in my seminary and doctoral studies has had this simple comment on this novice term paper fueling it.  I would have the privilege, years later, of having Dr. Ferguson as a professor in some of my Ph.D. courses at Westminster Seminary.  I always learned so much; he always prayed so much.  I know I am blessed to have been able to pursue a course of theological studies all these years.

So, I thought you might find this interesting.  I pray my preaching and teaching has been and will always be dosed with trinitarian theology.  And, I pray I will learn to pray humbly, Bibline, with a rhythm of reverence, to the Father, through the Son, by the animation of the Holy Spirit.


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