Ken Turner: Humor and humanity in apocalyptic theology
There are many kinds of teachers in this world. Some will take you by the hand, to guide you gently through the mires and mazes of this world. Some will ask the elegant questions to lead you to the summit yourself, as the great Socrates himself established. Some will simply provide the knowledge necessary for a life to be well-lived.
Ken Turner takes an alternate tack, staving your head in with a mallet, and then piecing the bits back together with the hand of a surgeon. He starts his classes with guns ablaze and does not slow his onslaught of reason and revelation until every word has been studied and subjugated.
He confronts the Western Church’s methods of reading the Bible, approaching the needy, and teaching about sexuality. He weaves tapestries from Genesis 1 to Revelation 22; Song of Solomon well included. He pushes our minds through the most esoteric vistas of Christian reality. Then, most incongruously, he exits the classroom and takes on the most potentially offensive of all his traits, a simple Christian. Dr. Turner is, as the eminent C.S. Lewis put it, merely Christian. Through spending time at the dinner table and sitting on couches after class, he reveals a quite genuine and true pursuit of our Lord and Savior and a matching love for his fellow man.
He is also completely and utterly insane, and I love him greatly for both.
As I hope that Dr. Turner will read this, I would be amiss if I did not mention another facet of his unique person: his humor. One of my first longer interactions talking outside of the classroom with him was about Libertarianism and how to approach governmental reform. He listened quietly, dipping his paddle here and there to steer the conversation. Every minute with him was a new experience, whether it would be another lesson aimed well to blow our understanding of Christianity out of the water, or a wry comment to send the room to torrents of laughter.
His teaching itself is not unworthy of comment either, as it is both wonderfully clear and easy to follow, and yet deep and rich enough to turn your world well onto its head. We covered issues of Cosmology, Hebrew, and Greek as it relates to English, the Divine Council, and all of it starting with a verbal assault on the subject “How to read your Bible.”
Needless to say, the discussion did not stop in the classroom.
Far from it, it carried on often into the depths of night, before we awoke bleary-eyed and needing coffee, ready for another round. If you do read this, Dr. Turner, this is my message to you. Thank you. For both the laughs and the logic. For both the madness and the mastery. For both the Mere Christian and the basket case that you are. Thank you.
By Micah Miller: Micah has been gifted by God with a vast, all-encompassing curiosity and hunger. The son of missionaries for Wycliffe Bible Translators, Micah is no stranger to the power of the Word in the lives of men. He seeks to become a Professor and teach apologetics through philosophy, natural sciences, and the joy of thinking well. Micah enjoys community, arguments, literature, and experiencing all of life that he can.