I joined the Navy in 1962. My educational journey began in 1966 and I've never had a "real" job! After college and graduate school, I began my teaching career in Greek, Jewish and Christian studies of the period from the second century B.C.E. (= Before the Common Era, which is the new phrase for the old Latin B.C.) to 100 C.E. (Common Era, replaces A.D.).
I view myself as a "reasonable evangelical." John Stott commented in a book I required my students to read, Your Mind Matters, that "anti-intellectualism is worldliness not godliness". Biblical literature is some of the most artful and challenging literature in existence. Few Christians really read the Bible for what it is; many, rather, read into it what they want it to say. My passion is to discover what the original authors intended to say in their own terms, literary conventions and historical-cultural context. Without this foundation, there is little hope of a legitimate transfer of meaning to our current culture.
I have taught biblical studies for over 30 years. In 2011, I begin transitioning into a pre-retirement stage by shifting to online teaching and conferences so I can escape the cold north for the sunny south. Please visit other parts of this website to view my activities and availability. Please contact me if you desire to further your education, secure a conference or pulpit supply speaker, or do some musical jammin’!
I am heavily involved in the development and teaching of a number of online courses for Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. I am also an adjunct professor for Liberty Baptist Online-Seminary. GRTS offers (launching in 2010-2011), in consort with Cornerstone University, an online MA in Biblical Studies. GRTS has been a resident only institution. We still believe that an in-residence program is the best course of study. Online distance education, however, is becoming a major part of educational institutional culture. Persons needing education are often unable to relocate geographically (adult learners, family and job obligations, military, prisons). The computer has also created an entirely new culture; a culture that demands that goods and services be accessed by computer rather than in traditional ways. There has also been a shift in educational learning theory from teacher to learner. The online programs focus heavily on learner-centered theory and therefore fit our current culture.
Although I’m a very traditional professor, I am learning how to advance students in their critical thinking and research skills via online learning. "While I have been slow to buy into this medium, I am pleased with the way it motivates student learning and I am finding new ways to influence that learning process without just being a ‘talking head’."
The courses that I created and teach for GRTS include:
BBL501 Biblical Hermeneutics
BBL503 New Testament Biblical Theology
BBL553 The Acts of the Apostles
BBLxxx The Epistle of James
BBL651 First Corinthians
BBL612 A Biblical Theology of the Will of God
Please consult the GRTS website/catalog for further information, found in the links tab of the menu above. I have also provided sample syllabi and course schedules in the download tab of the menu above.
I also am an adjunct professor in the Liberty online program. I teach various parts of the New Testament in that system. See the links tab of the menu above.
2011 brings a new phase in my professional life: RETIREMENT! My love of education and passion for the gospel will continue on as I find new ways to stay active as a teacher and preacher of the gospel. Check this website for updates on my efforts and activities.
I was recently honored to be the recipient of a video that my current students and fellow staff members assembled in honor of my retirement, and I thought I'd share that with you here:
Although my career has been devoted to the academic teaching of the Bible, I’ve enjoyed a wide range of public speaking and "preaching" opportunities. I have also served as an interim pastor on numerous occasions. I currently operate in the Southwest Florida region and I’m available for pulpit supply and other speaking venues. Please visit the contact page if you would like to communicate with me to discuss opportunities you have for visiting speakers.
One of the activities I hope my pre-retirement phase will provide is the opportunity to do conferences on a range of biblical topics. Busy pastors often do not have time to research and prepare sermons or lectures on topics of perennial or current interest. "I have often thought that I would enjoy doing "customized" conferences in response to church needs." If your church is struggling with an issue that needs definition and analysis, please consider contacting me about leading your group through a study and discussion of the subject so that you can bring definition and clarity for your decision-making.
When you review my resume, found under the ABOUT tab of the menu above, as well as the PUBLICATIONS information in the section below this one, you may see a subject that interests you. My work on "knowing God’s will" is a topic of perennial interest for Christians. This subject makes for a lively conference or retreat. My model also provides a paradigm for church leaders to process issues with a congregation.
My career has focused more on teaching than writing. However, I do have a number of books and articles that you may find useful, listed on my resume which can be found under the ABOUT tab in the menu above. Your local bookstore can obtain any title. If not, please contact me.
• Meadors, Gary T. Decision Making God’s Way: A New Model for Knowing God’s Will. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2003.
• Meadors, Gary T. Knowing God’s Will. Biblical Theology for Life series. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, forthcoming 2012.
• The Baker volume on God’s will is also available in Spanish and Indonesian. There are some lectures on this subject available on CDs. Please inquire for availability.
• Meadors, Gary T., General Editor. Four Views on Moving from the Bible to Theology. Counterpoints. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2009.
The Four Views volume is an advanced reflection by prominent scholars about how Scripture is relevant in the modern world. Views are presented and each author responds to the other authors. Three additional scholars also contribute ideas and critique.