PAUL WOLFE: Asst Dean for Biblical Studies at SWBTS
Written by Kevin L. Howard   
Dr. Paul Wolfe was one of my Greek professors during my undergraduate work, which now seems like so long ago.  We've stayed in touch through the years, and he presently serves as Assistant Dean for Biblical Studies at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

 

(1). You studied under I. Howard Marshall.  What is he like as a scholar and as a person?

 

Prof. Marshall is a very pious and careful man with a pastoral concern for his students.  He is very active in his local church; in fact, he regularly plays the organ for his local church.  His scholarship is also very sober and judicious, carried out with a high view of scripture and a deep conviction that good history and orthodox theology are not mutually exclusive, to say the least.  At the PhD level, he is very careful to make sure a student's interests and research are the student's, and not his.  He forces students to do their own thinking and come to their own conclusions.  He is full of practical guidance and wisdom, exemplifying the graces of that rare combination of scholarship and godliness.

 

(2). What subject do you most love to teach?

 

At this stage of my ministry I most enjoy teaching hermeneutics and NT theology.  There are many positive developments within both areas, but there is much more to be done in both areas, especially in certain traditions.

 

(3). What writing projects are you working on?

 

My primary current project is the New American Commentary on Ephesians.  I hope also to make a contribution within the area of NT theology within a few years.

 

(4). Tell me about your radio program?  How did you get that opportunity?

 

Laus Deo (http://www.lausdeoradio.net/) is a one hour live call-in program of provocative perspective and discussion promoting orthodox Christianity.  It is broadcast every Sunday afternoon on Sirius satellite radio 161, and it is rebroadcast in the early morning hours on Mondays.  Each program is dedicated to a specific topic.  I usually have a guest, but sometimes I am on my own.  

I was talking with a local business man and his wife about various Christian ministries and projects worthy of support.  I mentioned my desire to begin something like Laus Deo ["Praise be unto God"].  Little did I know at that time that they would find the vision of a radio program which I shared with them as worthy of support.  After a year of work toward raising other support, working with various networks to find an affordable and appropriate venue, and working with the administration of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary on the logistics of broadcasting from our campus studio, the program was launched Sept. 10, 2006.      

 

(5). What hopeful traits are you seeing in the generation of young pastors and missionaries that come through SWBTS?

 

At the risk of engaging in wishful thinking or of seeing what I want to see, I would point to traits like being more globally minded, open to listening to the Fathers of the early church, and better able to distinguish secondary from primary issues in faith and practice.  On the flip side, there is unfortunately still far too much influence from cultural trends and fads (within and outside of the church) and pragmatism upon how ministers go about seeking to lead the church.  The priority must be the grand vision of the Kingdom of God and our appropriate participation within it here and now.    

 

(6). If you could only go to one conference a year, which one would it be?  Why?

 

There is no single annual conference which I would prefer year in and year out.  I would choose venues which have an important focus and substantive presenters.  This, of course, requires that one read the appropriate media regularly so as to be aware of what gatherings are planned and who is involved, media such as CT, First Things, Touchstone, etc.

 

(7). When and where do you get most of your reading and grading done?  At school in the office or at home?

 

This is probably evenly divided between the office and home.  As an administrator, I have more interruptions at the office than the average faculty member.  Also, my wife and I are now "empty nesters," so the answer to this question may shift a bit more to the home than has been the case in previous years.

 

(8). Feel free to plug your favorite websites here.

 

This is where my old school mentality hinders me a bit.  I really do virtually nothing on the web, thus I do not have any favorite sites.  It is encouraging though to see young leaders using the format for worthy purposes, much like you do at http://www.neednotfret.com/.

 

(Sept 2007)

Also see NNF articles:

Open Letter to My Daughter on Modesty

In Honor of Pastors: Learning How to Follow Your Leader