Regents gets ready to welcome new lecturer in theology
We are excited to announce that we have a new member of the Faculty team arriving on site at Regents Theological College. Rev Dr Jonathan Black will be starting as a theology lecturer in September and Dave Newton thought it would be good to get to know the newest member of the team.
First question Jonathan: Why Regents?
I’m a convinced Pentecostal, and I care about the future of Pentecostal people and Pentecostal churches. And the people at Regents care about that too. Not only is Regents one of the most significant institutions for Pentecostal training in Europe, but it has a wonderful team of people as well.
I first visited the college a year ago for a completely different purpose. I met quite a few of the lecturers at that time and was immediately impressed by the team.
As you would expect, the people who work here are knowledgeable, approachable, welcoming and inspiring, but as well as that, they have a great desire to see people equipped to serve the Lord and his Church.
The college doesn’t exist for its own benefit, but for the benefit of the churches. And that means it exists to contribute to the outworking of God’s purpose in this country and around the world. And that’s something I want to be part of!
What’s your story so far…
Well, I became a Christian when I was very young, having been born and raised in a Pentecostal family. I remember coming home from church one Sunday night as a child and my mum and dad praying with me in the kitchen to accept Christ as my Saviour, because I had realised that when the preacher spoke about Jesus dying for our sins on the cross it was for me he died.
After school, I went off to the University of Cambridge where I studied theology and led the Christian Union group in my college. I was baptised in the Holy Spirit while I was studying for my Master’s degree in theology at a Pentecostal seminary in Belgium.
Then I went on to spend a few years as an apprentice to a pastor in a Pentecostal church in Brussels, before going back to teach at the seminary. For the last eight years I’ve been the pastor of a church in Leeds, and during that time I’ve also completed my PhD in systematic and historical theology and written a book on Pentecostal doctrine (Apostolic Theology: A Trinitarian Evangelical Pentecostal Introduction to Christian Doctrine).
So, hopefully, God has used all of that to get me ready for this next step at Regents.
What are your hopes and plans for the future?
I’m incredibly excited about this new role at Regents Theological College. My hope is that I’ll get to inspire future pastors and church leaders with the wonder of who our God is and what he has done for us and for our salvation, as that’s what the study of theology is all about. Teaching is about much more than just information transfer, so I’d love to see people growing to love the Lord and his Word more deeply, and developing in their ability to inspire others with the glory of our triune God.
Jesus tells us that eternal life is all about knowing the Father and Jesus Christ whom he sent (John 17:3), so I really hope that growing in knowledge about the Lord will lead to my students – and those they serve in the future – knowing the Lord himself more and more.
Many of my greatest inspirations come from Church history. From the Early Church, Athanasius the Great constantly reminds me that it is far better to suffer for the truth of God’s Word and the glory of Jesus than to win the praise of people.
From the Reformation, Martin Luther inspires me with his absolute confidence in Scripture and in the gospel of free justification by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. The early Pentecostals, (like the Welsh Apostolic pioneer DP Williams) inspire me with their willingness to step out in faith on God’s Word, flowing from a confidence in the Cross of Christ, and a close fellowship with Christ in the Spirit.
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