Sunday, March 17, 2013
This morning I received word of the passing of another long-time DTS professor, Dr. Roy B. Zuck.
Dr. Zuck worked in the office next to mine, and whenever I was there, he always popped in to say "hello" in his deep voice. He offered many words of encouragement through the years. For the past thirteen, I have depended on him to find all my comma and grammatical and Bible-text errors as he's served as theological and copy editor for Kindred Spirit, DTS's magazine for which I serve as editor in chief.
At the time of his death, Dr. Zuck was senior professor emeritus of Bible Exposition, having taught at DTS for twenty-three years, including seven as Vice President for Academic Affairs. He taught me most of what I know about the major prophets and Job—an education that I drew on many times to sustain me during our decade of infertility and pregnancy loss.
Dr. Zuck was also editor of the scholarly journal Bibliotheca Sacra and coeditor of the widely acclaimed two-volume Bible Knowledge Commentary. In all he wrote or edited more than seventy books, mostly on Christian education and biblical and theological topics. Six years ago, he received a distinguished Educator Award for outstanding contributions to the field of Christian Education.
Along with his late wife, Dottie, Dr. Zuck attended the same church we did for about twenty years before he and I ended up working together. So he has been my professor, my Sunday School teacher, my grammar-fixer, my co-congregant, my office mate, my brother.
One of the things I love about working at DTS is the multi-generational atmosphere. A number of wise elders in their eighties and nineties continue to contribute to many lives rather than going off and watching TV all day. On days like today they also remind us that life is short.
About four years ago, as Dr. Zuck was grieving the loss of his wife, he wrote these words that serve today to encourage me once again:
Death is inevitable. The Bible repeatedly mentions the brevity of life, comparing it to a flower (Job 14:2a), a shadow (Job 8:9b), and grass that withers (Ps 90:5). The number of our days is determined by God (Job 14:5). For us the death of a loved one is disquieting and distasteful, but for the Lord it is a delight because He has another trophy of His grace in His presence forever. That’s why “precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints” (Ps. 116:15). Though our days are few (Job 14:1) and death is inexorable, God will release us “from the power of the grave” (Hos. 13:14). We can rejoice as we look forward to that day when we will be with our loved ones again—and with the Lord—for all eternity!
"Even so..." (Rev. 22:20).