There is an interesting conversation in Exodus 32. I have read the story over and again. The familiar story of Aaron “the artisan idol maker” offers some funny elements. For example, in the first part of the story the narrator tells us Aaron crafted a golden calf from the golden ear rings given by the people. Once confronted about this disastrous move, Aaron tells Moses something like, “I threw the gold in the fire and wa la out came a golden calf.” Too funny for me. We do run when confronted with our leadership (in)abilities.
On the other hand, there is an interesting conversation that takes place between Moses and YHWH. While conveying to Moses in the giving of the law what kind of life followers of YHWH would demonstrate ethically, YHWH informs Moses the people he lead out of Egypt had made idols to worship. In reply Moses says, “You (YHWH) let these people out of Egypt.” Now that is courage. If God wants to narrate the story with Moses in charge we would generally say, “OK.” Moses on the other hand pointed out he was simply God’s representative. He (Moses) could not lead this people out of Egypt – it was an act of God!
Moses continued to demonstrate courage. He challenged YHWH not to make him the new hero but instead to remember His words to Abraham, Isaac and Israel. The songwriter (Psalm 106) re-tells the story lyrically and notes that Moses stood in the gap for the people – stood there talking to God Himself. Courage in leadership is invaluable. Courage to connect a move with the mission of God to have a people is indispensable.
Dave Dunbar exhibited and exhibits courageous leadership. In a day when large is touted, Dave has led a small seminary in Hatfield, PA to consider the mission of God and how to train leaders for participation in God’s mission through the faithful witness of local churches, church planters and a variety of ministry vocations. This has not been without a price.
Too many who have claimed Christ have abandoned the embodied ethic of Jesus forsaking truth telling when it comes to Biblical’s position on any number of orthodox Christian positions.
I met Dave about four years ago. His commitment to orthodox Christian faith is unwavering. Rather than denigrate those who have chosen him as an enemy rather than a friend, Dave looks ahead. Hope is in the air – hope in the Spirit’s work. Hope that Biblical will continue to strive to be a place where men and women may be trained and prepared for serving with the church in a post-Christendom context participating in the mission of God. I am glad to know Dave and those at Biblical.
Were I looking for a Seminary to study with/in, I would likely choose Biblical. If you are looking today, you should consider Biblical too.