Soli Deo Gloria

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Todd J. Williams, Ph.D.[dropcap3]I[/dropcap3]f you drive up the main entrance at PBU these days you will notice the banners along the way that make it clear we are calling our community to ”Walk a Different Path.” The verses that are displayed on those banners are intended to remind us that this is what God in His Word calls all of us to as followers of His Son. I sometimes drive the long way around to my parking space just so I can pass under that beautiful oak canopy along the pond and start the day remembering that what we expect from one another here is what God expects from all of us. The idea that we are to think and live in a way that is not like the wide way of the world will require us to make sacrifices. It will require us to live a life in service to Christ, and require us to see that all that we have and do and become is by God’s grace and ultimately for His glory. This year we have been highlighting these same themes in the PBU Today. And as we conclude the year, we want to share some insight into the ways in which we are striving to live out our commitment to do all things to the Glory of God, because this is the Christian way.

It is well known that J.S. Bach marked all his musical manuscripts, from The St. Matthew Passion to the Coffee Cantata, with the initials SDG as a way of dedicating his work to “God alone, the glory.” How striking and inspiring it is that one of the most gifted composers in the history of the world would do such a thing. How great an example to all of us, regardless of our own trades and professions, that we should dedicate ourselves and our work thusly. We all have gifts and abilities granted us by God and are called to use them to serve His ends. There are few things that encourage me more than to hear our own students testify that this is what they want for their own lives and work, and to hear them pray for that to come to pass. It is a great source of inspiration to see God working in them this way. I also draw strength from alumni, who have been given great opportunities for influence not only in society but in the lives of those entrusted to their care and instruction. They have been shaped by a solid grounding in God’s Word and the integrated education afforded them at our alma mater. It has elevated their vision for their work and kept them pointed in the right direction amid the distractions and circumstances of life.

What we do is in response to His glory as an act of worship.

This is the vision I received as a result of my time at PBU. My teachers, including Dr. John Master who spoke at the commencement ceremony on May 21, held before us in their words and by their example the truth that we are His workmanship, created for good works in Christ. They taught us and showed us that what God does in and through us in Christ is for His Glory, that He may ultimately be praised. What we do is in response to His glory as an act of worship. You will see in the In Depth column that we still teach that very thing to our students. And you will also see that we expect them to be ready to give an answer for the Gospel, and stand in this world knowing what they believe. Even in a secular society where Christianity is questioned, even attacked, we are called to faithfully and excellently testify to God’s greatness with passion and grace because what we say and how we say it can be to the praise of His glory.

As you read this issue of PBU Today, you will notice an announcement for Homecoming 2011, which we have already begun planning and which promises to be something special. You will also notice that we have renamed the Worldview Conference. The Agora Conference will take place next fall and we have selected a very important topic for discussion. There are events, and concerts, and plays, and athletic competitions on campus all year long. If you cannot attend personally, keep reading PBU Today, keep visiting us online, and stay current on all that God is doing here. But if you can make a trip to campus, please do so. I think you will be encouraged by your time here.

And take the long way around – up the lane, under the trees, along the pond – and walk the grounds. You will see what we who are privileged to work here see every day: that there are no monuments to men here, that God is at work, and that what He is doing in and through PBU and our students is serving His purposes.

[framed_box]Todd J. Williams, Ph.D., has been the President of Philadelphia Biblical University since January 2008. He served as faculty and an administrator from 1996 to 2001, and then returned as Provost in 2005. He can be reached by emailing Also, interact with Dr. Williams at PBU’s blogsite.