Today is April 11, 2016, and Jim Hamilton turns 42 years old. Eleven years ago in 2005, a month before I turned 22, I began my first semester of seminary and met him through taking his course on the book of Isaiah. In God’s kind providence, that course and subsequent interactions with Jim impacted my mind and heart in ways that still reverberate to this day.
I praise God for Jim’s example and service for Christ, for I know he’s impacted so many thousands of people over the years. In 2010 our family moved to Louisville so that I could pursue a PhD in Biblical Studies under Jim’s supervision, and in 2013 I was honored to be his first doctoral student to walk the stage.
I’ve learned so much from Jim. He has been a source of encouragement and counsel. At different times he has served as my professor, doctoral supervisor, and pastor. And I’m glad to call him a friend.
As I think about how Jim has been a blessing in my life, there are numerous lessons he’s taught me, either out loud or with his example. Since I’ve known him for eleven years, here are eleven things, in no particular order, that have affected the way I think about my faith, my family, my studies, and my ministry.
On Writing: Make the most of your time, writing during your most productive days/hours.
On Parenting: Be a fun dad, because the kids aren’t young for long.
On Reading the Bible: Read the Bible over and over again, and memorize as much as you can.
On Manhood: Be a man who pursues purity in heart and life.
On Marriage: Be unashamed at how much you love your wife.
On Fiction: Read Harry Potter.
On Reading the Old Testament: We should read the Old Testament like the apostles did.
On Languages: In biblical languages, as in sports, fundamentals matter.
On the Academic Life: Keep your head down and be faithful in your work.
On Preaching: Help the congregation see and feel their need for the passage.
On the Point of It All: What matters most is God’s glory–in salvation through judgment, of course.