Dan Block


Dr. Dan Block

E-mail
Address501 College Avenue
Wheaton, IL 60187
Phone630-752-5195
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Professor of Old Testament, Wheaton College Graduate School

My interest in the Old Testament was sparked by the ministry of a pastor during my days as a university student. This man had left a seminary professorship in Old Testament in California to pastor our church of about 300 members in northern Saskatchewan. He was God’s instrument inspiring me to devote my life to the study of the Scriptures for the glory of God and for the advance of biblical knowledge.

For the past thirty years I have had the supreme delight of sharing with students the word of God, seeking to challenge them to fulfill in their own lives the motto of Wheaton College: “For Christ and His Kingdom.” It has been a special joy to watch as students, who often take introductory courses in Old Testament only because they are required to do so by the curriculum, suddenly awaken to the fact that the Old Testament is understandable and that its message is both life-giving and relevant to for everyday life, even in the 21st century.

The paradigm for my own research and ministry is set by Ezra, as described in Ezra 7:10: “He committed himself to the study the Torah of Yahweh, to put it into practice, and to teach his revealed will in Israel.” This means constantly asking serious questions of the Scriptures: What does the text say? Why does the text say it like that? What did the text mean to the original audience? What does the text have to say to me today? In order to answer these questions we need to understand both the worlds out of which the biblical texts arose and the worlds in which we moderns live.

Although I was nurtured in the faith in a Mennonite Brethren context, for the last four decades my wife Ellen and I have had the joy of fellowship and ministry in Evangelical Free, Plymouth Brethren, Baptist General Conference, Evangelical Covenant, and Southern Baptist congregations. We have learned that everywhere there are people eager to please God and serious about integrating their faith with their daily lives. We are honored now to have been invited to join the faculty of Wheaton College to train young people for this very purpose.

In addition to teaching in formal classroom situations, we have had the delight of preaching and teaching in many churches across the country and around the world. Weekend seminars on “Recovering a Biblical Theology of Worship” or “Resurrecting the Old Testament” have been particularly satisfying. Ellen and I are also concerned about the broader world. In recent years I have lectured and preached in Russia, England, Denmark, China, and of course, my home country, Canada.

When I need a break from my studies or the pressures of teaching, I visit my children and grandchildren in British Columbia and Washington State, and do home improvement projects around the house. But nothing is more therapeutic than gardening, creating a miniature paradise in the little corner of the world in which we live. This too is an expression of worship and devotion to God.

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