As we continued in our ID: in Christ chapel series yesterday, we came to Ephesians 4. At this point in the book, the Apostle Paul transitions from the first part of the book, where he affirmed our identity in Christ, to practical application of how our identity should influence the way we live our lives.
For those who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior, it is not an effort to check off boxes of do’s and don’ts; that is legalism. Rather, for those who are in Christ, it is a process of allowing the Holy Spirit to mature us into Christlikeness.
Join us as we walk through Ephesians 4:1-16 and discover what a spiritually mature life should look like for a follower of Jesus Christ.
Please see below to watch a video and read a press release with a very special announcement. Then, join me in expressing thankfulness to God for His continued blessings upon Cedarville University. We are honored to receive such an incredible gift from two of the Lord’s chosen servants. Join me in praying that God uses this gift to continue to help us equip young people who will boldly stand for the Word of God and the Testimony of Jesus Christ.
Personal Library of One of America’s Foremost Bible Teachers Coming to Cedarville
by Clem Boyd, Communication Content Manager
CEDARVILLE OHIO – Dr. Warren Wiersbe, one of the foremost Bible teachers, professors and authors of the 20th century, a man known as the pastor’s pastor, has gifted his vast personal library to Cedarville University. Cedarville President Dr. Thomas White made the announcement during chapel December 3.
Wiersbe, 89, began his ministry in 1951 at Central Baptist Church in East Chicago, Indiana, where he served till 1957. Next, he spent four years at Youth for Christ as director of the literature division. He then pastored Calvary Baptist Church of Covington, Kentucky, from 1961 to 1971, which grew from 800 to several thousand members and where his messages were broadcast on radio for the first time.
After this, he was called to pastor Moody Church, located in the heart of Chicago and named for 19th-century American evangelist Dwight L. Moody, until 1978. Wiersbe has ministered over the radio through his “Songs in the Night” program while at Moody, and with Back to the Bible radio network from 1980 to 1993. He had an active conference speaking ministry till 2004.
Wiersbe is a prolific author, having written more than 170 books, with his most recent title, “Delights & Disciplines of Bible Study: A Guidebook for Studying God’s Word,” released earlier this year by David C. Cook. Wiersbe was a regular contributor to Christianity Today magazine from 1979 to 1982. He taught practical theology classes at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois, from 1978 to 1982 and is a former distinguished professor of preaching at Grand Rapids (Michigan) Theological Seminary.
Cedarville University will become the repository for Wiersbe’s immense personal library of books, estimated somewhere between 13,000 and 14,000 titles. This impressive collection of commentaries, nonfiction publications and works of literature will be housed in the Warren and Betty Wiersbe Library and Reading Room, to be located in Cedarville’s Center for Biblical and Theological Studies.
“I’m a bookworm, and I used to live at the public library,” Wiersbe shared. “I got saved at a Youth for Christ rally where Billy Graham was preaching when I was just a few days short of my 16th birthday. I went down to the library to see if they had any books to help me grow and, lo and behold, I found a Scofield Bible on the shelf that had never been taken out, so I took it out. I was amazed at what there was to learn from the Bible and, ever since then, I’ve been a student of the Bible.”
The sizable and priceless contribution of Wiersbe’s personal library has been eight years in the making. Nancy Voorhies, Cedarville senior regional director of development, first saw the collection in 2010 during a visit to the Wiersbes’ home in Lincoln, Nebraska.
But, the Wiersbes had been connected with Cedarville long before Voorhies made her first visit. Wiersbe and his wife, Betty, became familiar with Cedarville shortly after its merger with the Baptist Bible Institute in 1953 and supported the school with their gifts and prayers.
“I owe a lot to Cedarville,” Wiersbe noted. “I used to preach in Cedarville chapel occasionally and when I was preaching away from Calvary Baptist, your president, Dr. Jeremiah, would graciously come and preach in my pulpit. Now I turn on the TV and see David (Jeremiah) preaching. I remember David when he was playing basketball.”
Wiersbe also enjoyed a close relationship with former president Dr. Paul Dixon. To honor his long-term friendship with Cedarville and his commitment to the cause of Christ, Wiersbe was awarded an honorary doctor of letters degree on January 26, 1987 as part of the university’s Centennial Celebration.
While the Wiersbes were reluctant to transfer ownership of the books to a university in 2010, Voorhies took time to understand their concerns and earlier this year, offered a solution, with the full support of the university. She first suggested the plan to the Wiersbes’ son Dave, a classmate of hers from Moody Bible Institute and now the power of attorney for his parents.
“I called Dave two days before I met with Warren and Betty,” Voorhies recalled. “I told him I’d like to have a serious conversation about the library, and here’s what we’d like to do. Dave heard me out and then said, ‘A lot of organizations would like to have dad’s library, but as far as I’m concerned, this is the best solution I’ve heard; you have my support.’”
With that word of encouragement, Voorhies set the proposal before Warren and Betty Wiersbe: Cedarville would house all of the books in one location, not to be commingled with the university’s existing collection. Students could come read through his books, see his notes in the margins, and follow his cross-referencing, but the books would remain in the space, like a reference library. However, people could sit and read them and return to use them as needed.
Voorhies suggested the plan while they all were together in Betty Wiersbe’s assisted living apartment. “I told them, ‘I present this opportunity for your prayerful consideration,’” she said. “Fifteen minutes later, Betty took my arm and said, ‘I like your idea for the library.’”
White and Dr. Jason Lee, dean of the school of biblical and theological studies, visited with the Wiersbes on September 11 to thank them for the gift and spend time with one of the most respected teachers and Bible scholars in the last 50 years.
“I’ve appreciated his teaching ministry for years,” noted Lee, “but to meet him and hear his character and his heart for the Scriptures and for the church, it was just so encouraging. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting him. He’s such a tender-hearted man and humble. He kept asking Dr. White and me about our ministry students – people preparing to preach the Word. He wanted to know how they were doing.”
Because of this gift, which may also include some of Wiersbe’s personal notebooks, including sermon outlines, his influence will now extend to future generations of preachers.
“Dr. Wiersbe loves the Word,” Lee said. “He takes a strong stand on the authority of Scripture. And now our students can be shaped by the same resources that shaped him. He has spent decades investing in the church through his teaching of the Word, and now he’ll be able to continue that through students picking up the same resources for the same purposes.
“When we were with him, he said to Dr. White and me, ‘Preaching is loving people through the Word.’ We hope our students catch that spirit.”
“Dr. Wiersbe’s life and ministry has been committed to the right handling of the Scriptures, and pouring into others who would do likewise,” White said. “Cedarville has been blessed to steward this considerable collection, which is more than books on shelves, but because of the marginal notes and observations, is the accumulated wisdom and insight of one of the great servants of the church in the 20th century. We thank God for this amazing privilege.”
“When I thought about the students at Cedarville, and they perhaps would not be able to get some of these books, the Lord convinced me this was the thing to do,” Wiersbe said. “I pray God will continue to use Cedarville to turn out balanced, evangelical preachers and missionaries. Just keep up what you’re doing because you’re turning out some wonderful people.”
Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 4,193 undergraduate, graduate and online students in more than 150 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and leading student satisfaction ratings. For more information about the University, visit www.cedarville.edu.
Cedarville University Discipleship Ministries has initiated a new ministry this year for married student couples called Tied and True, which is a spinoff of our very successful Fit to be Tied program that matches mentoring couples with students who are dating or engaged. The new ministry provides a small-group setting for young married couples to meet, study Scripture, build friendships, and encourage each other to love the Lord and each other. Once a month these young men and women gather for a panel discussion with faculty couples to discuss topics that have come up in the small group. This new discipling ministry combines support and mentorship to address very practical challenges these young married students face as they pursue their education at Cedarville and prepare for what God has next. You can read more about this new ministry in a recent news release.
Join us live or online on Sunday, December 2, at 6 p.m. for our annual Community Christmas Celebration. This concert has become a tradition for the more than 3,000 who attend every year and begin their Christmas season enjoying choral and instrumental music worshiping through inspiring renditions of classic carols.
Please join us for this musical celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. If you’re not able to join us in person, view the concert via livestream.
Today, November 27, faculty, staff, students, and friends are being encouraged to give thanks, give back, and give joyfully. Having received the benefits of Cedarville scholarships herself, Allie Hundley ’13 is now stewarding her resources to ensure others receive a biblically centered education that prepares them for a lifetime of vocational distinction and godly service. Listen to more of Allies’ story in a short video.
Join Allie and alumni like her who are making a difference for the next generation of Cedarville students and give a gift today. #GivingTuesday #CUGiveThanks
I love to introduce you to Cedarville students, and this story is particularly special. Hitesh Kewalramani ’21 was raised as a Hindu in India. When he reached college age, he came to the United States to study, beginning at a community college in the Chicago area where he met Ethan Hand ’21. The two began a friendship that led Hitesh to eventually ask, “Why are you different?” That question began a journey for Hitesh that led him to a saving relationship with Jesus and then to Cedarville University for professional training and biblical grounding in his new relationship with God. What a privilege for Cedarville University to have a part in equipping students for a lifetime of ministry! Watch the video below to hear Hitesh’s powerful testimony.
This season of the year provides another opportunity to thank the Lord Jesus for His gracious hand upon Cedarville University. With the Apostle Paul, I also thank God for each of you who stand with us in prayer, in giving, and in faithful support. Parents, partners, students, alumni, faculty, staff, donors, and friends, thank you for being part of God’s work at Cedarville University and for standing with us for the Word of God and the Testimony of Jesus Christ.
At Cedarville University, we are committed to equipping Christian young people for Gospel impact and Kingdom service. Nowhere is this more evident than our Accelerated B.A.+M.Div. dual degree program. This unique program allows students to earn a B.A. in biblical studies and a Master of Divinity in just five years, creating a faster pathway to ministry and saving them thousands of dollars in tuition over a traditional M.Div. approach.
Watch this short video to hear Dr. Jason Lee, Dean of the School of Biblical and Theological Studies, explain how this innovative, accelerated program works and effectively equips students for full-time vocational ministry. (Don’t forget to share this resource with any students who may be considering a ministry path, too.)
If you are aware of students who are interested in being equipped for full-time Gospel service, please encourage them to consider Cedarville University.
Last Friday it was our privilege to welcome 500+ guests to chapel as part of our #CUFriday visit event. Together we continued our ID: In Christ series, studying Ephesians 3:14-21 — Paul’s prayer for the church in Ephesus. The apostle in these verses prayed for what he was most concerned about, and despite his own difficult circumstances, his prayer was not for his own well-being. Instead, in humility, Paul prayed that the Ephesian believers would be strengthened through the Spirit so they might comprehend the love of Christ in order to live in the fullness of God. Those words are rich with power and meaning. Listen in as we examine Paul’s prayer for the Ephesian believers and for us as well.