Below is a brief devotional I was asked to compose for the Stillwater News Press. Further down, after the devotion, I will provide some analysis on how I came up with my four points, specifically focusing on verse thirteen of the passage.
People search for answers during tough times. There is no doubt that things are getting tougher for many. But, how can the community of faith navigate through difficult times? The Apostle Peter (1 Peter 1:13-25) offers us four checkpoints to follow. First, while in this world, we are to look beyond our present situation to the grace we will fully realize when Jesus returns for His church. While things may be unstable here, we can be assured of our hope in Jesus when he returns to set this fallen world straight. Second, while in this world, we are to live our lives in a manner that reflects a growing holiness in our actions that stems from a relationship with Jesus. The old ways that was conducted in worldly ignorance must not be our habit as Jesus is now our new example. Third, we are to do all things with reverence, not with sloppy aimlessness. The Father gave the most precious thing He could, His Son, and the lives of those who call upon the name of the Lord should reflect the price that was paid to redeem them from their iniquity. Finally, we are to love one another in the community of faith. Not superficially, but in such a way that the true believer displays passion and finds pleasure in loving his fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Our closest friends and confidants should be found in the household of God and it is where we should find our greatest encouragement. Ultimately, our love comes from God and we are able to love during difficulty because God has brought us to a new birth that was supernaturally seeded by His Word. The answer to these tough days is Jesus as told to us in the scriptures. May all who are being transformed by His Holy Writ search for Him, live in Him, honor Him, and love each other through Him.
We at SBC Today would like to congratulate Dr. Emir Caner for his recent move to his new position as President of Truett-McConnell College. May the Lord continue to use Dr. Caner in ways that will strengthen and expand His Kingdom. Below is a news release from the college.
Dr. Emir Caner Called As President
In a meeting held on August 8, 2008, the Board of Trustees of Truett-McConnell College in Cleveland, Georgia, voted to call Dr. Emir Caner as the eighth president of the college.
Born and reared a Sunni Muslim, Caner converted to Christianity in 1982 and was subsequently disowned by his family. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies from The Criswell College in Dallas, TX; his Master of Divinity from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC; and his Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Texas at Arlington.
He served previously in faculty and administrative positions at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and in 2005 became the founding Dean of the College at Southwestern, a division of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, TX. He was named to Who’s Who Among American Teachers and Educators in the 2006-2007 edition.
A highly respected scholar, the 37-year-old Caner has authored or contributed to 16 books, including Unveiling Islam, which won the Gold Medallion Award by the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association, and More Than a Prophet, a finalist for Book of the Year in Evangelism by Outreach magazine. In total, his books have sold more than 300,000 copies and been translated into eight languages.
Caner becomes the first former Muslim to be elected as president of a Southern Baptist college or university. His brother, Ergun, was the first former Muslim to be elected president of a seminary, Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary in Lynchburg, VA.
According to Terrell J. Williams, chairman of the Truett-McConnell Board of Trustees: “It’s a great day in the life of Truett-McConnell College and Georgia Baptists! The TMC Board of Trustees is extremely excited about the future of our school under the leadership of Dr. Emir Caner. We proudly welcome Dr. Caner and his family and look forward to working with him in the fall semester.” Rev. Bucky Kennedy, current president of the Georgia Baptist Convention, comments: “Dr. Emir Caner will bring to Truett-McConnell a level of Christian education that will raise the bar academically but also manifest itself in the life of the students.”
Dr. J. Robert White, Executive Director/CEO of the Georgia Baptist Convention, writes: “Dr. Caner is a scholar, a professor, a writer, a preacher and an experienced administrator-a powerful combination of gifts. At the same time, he has a vibrant personality and is easy to know. He has a contagious warmth, is enjoyable to be with and is an excellent conversationalist.” And in the words of Dr. Mike Simoneaux, who has served Truett-McConnell as its interim president for the past year: “God’s leading is evident in the calling of Dr. Emir Caner as the new president of Truett-McConnell College. I sincerely believe that Dr. Caner’s presidency will be characterized by unprecedented expansion of our student body, by strengthening our readiness to serve the Lord through Christian education, and by rapid growth of our financial resources.”
Caner is married to the former Hana Titerova, daughter of the General Secretary of the Czech Baptist Union. They have three children: John Mark (5), Daniela (3), and Anna (1).
Caner is expected to begin his duties at Truett-McConnell College at the beginning of the fall semester.
Union University in Jackson, Tennessee was struck by a tornado last evening. No life-threatening injuries are reported, but the school’s dormitories and academic buildings sustained heavy damage. Details can be found by clicking here.
We’ll continue with our current series of interviews this afternoon. This morning, please take some time to pray for the school. Give thanks to God for his protection of human life, and pray that the school’s president, Dr. David Dockery, be given wisdom in the days ahead as they begin to recover.