Orthodoxy Leads to Doxology
March 31, 2012
Meet Andrew Kim, an M.Div. student at Westminster
Andrew Kim grew up in Baltimore, MD, and went to Johns Hopkins University. While attending university, he felt the call to go into the ministry, and shortly after graduation, he came to Westminster to pursue a Masters of Divinity degree. He heard about Westminster through some of the pastors he knew, but Westminster’s distinctives attracted him to become a student. “There were some things I really didn’t know and couldn’t place my finger on, things that I didn’t have terminology to describe until I got to Westminster, for example, presuppositional apologetics and redemptive history. When I visited Westminster, they specifically talk about those two things in their admissions booklet. When I saw that, I figured that this is exactly what I want to be trained in, and how I want to be trained.”
During his orientation as a student, Dr. Vern Poythress described seminary as being a “house model” where each class builds upon the previous one. Andrew remembers this description, and in the final year of his M.Div. coursework, he found that to be true. “I really see it, and it helps me to appreciate how the professors are teaching and how I know what they’re building upon.”
His time at seminary has helped him as he has become more and more involved in his church, whether teaching children, youth, or adults. It has been easy for him to make the connection between his study at Westminster and his ministry to the church. “Service to the Church is done in love for Christ. You love the Church, but you love the Church because Christ loved the Church and laid his life down for her. As great an intellectual exercise the past 4 years have been, it’s been very spiritually uplifting as well. It does have its dry moments, but I think, as Dr. Garner says, ‘orthodoxy leads to doxology.’”
Two classes that have stood out for Andrew were “Doctrine of God” with Dr. Oliphint and “Hermeneutics” with Dr. Poythress. Reflecting on the Doctrine of God class, he says, “I learned some of the things from that class growing up, but the class as a whole really made me worship. I remember reading Herman Bavinck, his second volume [of Reformed Dogmatics], for that class, and if you take a look at my copy, I’m not writing notes, I’m writing things like ‘Amen! This is Awesome!’ That whole class is great.”
In the Hermeneutics class, Andrew was especially impressed with Dr. Poythress’ love for the Lord. During one of the classes, Dr. Poythress stopped mid-lecture and said a word of prayer. “That was an ‘ah-ha’ moment for me. ‘Wow, this man loves the Lord!’ He doesn’t just love the theology or the hermeneutics or the exercise itself, but he actually loves the Lord.” He was also impressed in this class by the emphasis on humility and love while doing hermeneutics. Those elements are necessary so that “when you enter into dialogue or discussion with others you’re not so theologically arrogant that you ignore other people."
The courses that Westminster offers not only prepare students for ministry, but they also train them in how to feed themselves. Andrew finds this particularly important, “because you’re only here for 3-4 years, or however long, before you start ministry. [It is important to learn] those tools to feed yourself in the Word, in your fellowship and communion with the Lord so that when you meet others everything is an overflow. Otherwise, it’s just self-generated love.”
Andrew will graduate, Lord-willing, with the M.Div. degree in 2012, but he wants to stay at Westminster to also get an MA in Biblical Counseling. After completing that degree, he is open to God’s plan for his life, wherever that may lead. Please continue to pray for Andrew and the rest of the student body as they train to proclaim the whole counsel of God to a changing world.