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Saturday, September 21, 2013

Robert L. Reymond, R.I.P, and alov hasholom

Ligonier ministries has recently announced that Dr. Robert L. Reymond, a minister of the Orthodox Presbyterian and Presbyterian Church in America denominations, has gone to be with the Lord. 

Uncle Cephas cannot claim to be either a close friend or a family member of the deceased, but nonetheless feels blessed to have been a student of Dr. Reymond's at Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis during the years 1975-79.  Dr. Reymond passed on a deep appreciation for the study of systematic theology, while his exegetical skills profoundly impressed me that systematic theology is both an exercise in the logical ordering of Christian belief and profoundly rooted in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament.  He was very truly a theologian of the Word.

Dr. Reymond also had a large, warm pastoral and evangelistic heart, seeking that men everywhere and in all stations of life might know the surpassing greatness of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the praise of God's glorious grace.  While he encouraged deep and thorough study, and probably helped shape not a few academic theologians, he never lost sight of the task of educating pastors and others whose work would be to communicate the Gospel to a dying world. Further, he cared deeply about the younger men whom he taught.  To this day, I will always think of his rich, warm baritone voice, so impressive in either pulpit or lecture hall, addressing us as "brothers".  We all chuckled at the tone in which it was delivered, but I think few doubted that he was sincere in seeing us as his brethren in the Saviour.

Uncle Cephas was glad and remains glad to have learned the outline of Reformed theology from such a brother. True, I lean more towards the classic Reformed position that the man of Romans 7 covers even the best of Christians (such as Paul, as he penned those lines "Wretched man that I am") rather than the man under conviction (a position Dr. Reymond shared with Martin Lloyd-Jones), and perhaps am sometimes more postmil than amil.  Noting Dr. Reymond's liberal use of the NIV for the scriptural quotes in his Systematic Theology, he perhaps had a broader view of what Scripture translation should and could be (Uncle Cephas prefers a Bible that does not leave out such words as "propitiation").  I will always remember Dr. Reymond as a teacher who was incisive, thorough, and sympathetic.

May God comfort his family, friends, associates, and former students in this time of mourning.  Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord (Rev. 14:13).

Had to add that.  Dr. Reymond seldom conversed without the words of Scripture somewhere near at hand.  At the risk of the flippancy of which Dr. Reymond disapproved--see you when the dead in Christ arise (I Thes. 4:16), Brother Bob.

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