All of us recently celebrated Memorial Day. It was a reminder to us of the meaningfulness of the past, our memories of it, and how examples of courage and faithfulness become significant traditions to remember and reflect upon as they inspire us in the present and carry us along into the future. The Scriptures likewise emphasize the importance of tradition, whether it’s the acts of God contained within Scripture that must be remembered and reflected upon, the teachings of Christ, the gospel itself, or the ethical teachings that are part and parcel of living for Christ in this present age of moral, spiritual, and political decline. Christian traditions are vital and must be retained if we are to sustain our culture.
A source of hope and one of the central promises of Scripture emphasized in the great prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel, is that one day God will-based upon the traditions of the past- make all things new (see, for example, Isaiah 42:9; 43:19; 48:6; 62:2; 65:17; 66:22; Jeremiah 31:22; Ezekiel 11:19; 18:31; 36:26). These prophecies declare that God will establish a new covenant with his people and that with this covenant will come the forgiveness of sins and eventually even a new creation inhabited by his people, whose hearts have been renewed by the Spirit so that they are then enabled to keep the laws of God faithfully.
The New Testament continues this emphasis upon the renewal of the great traditions: the newness of life that we find in Christ (see Romans 6:4; 7:6), the new covenant that he inaugurated by his death and resurrection (Luke 22:20; 1 Corinthians 11:25; 2 Corinthians 3:6; Hebrews 8:8ff.), and the new heaven and new earth that God will establish at the return of Christ (2 Peter 3:12-13; Revelation 21:1–2). And until those days happen, even now by his Spirit, we are a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17), enabled to walk in newness of life.
The work of God, based on his historic deeds of salvation, whether the creation, the Exodus, or the death, resurrection, and ascension of Christ, reflects his ancient promise to “make all things new.”
This issue of The Pillars is full of new and refreshing signs of God’s blessing upon HBU. There is much that is new—highlighted in the articles that follow with reference to the many “firsts” (in engineering, theology, and education, among others) recently accomplished.
As with all new things, they are grounded in the deeds of the past, including the faithfulness of God and the faithfulness of his people who have gone before us. We remember great teachers and leaders like Doris Warren and so many others throughout the 60-plus years of our history. We stand on their shoulders, and we continue to experience the faithfulness of God to make all things new, to allow us to be part of his ongoing work, his refreshing of this fallen world by his gracious acts of restoration in Christ. We are blessed to be part of that work.
Thank you for the many ways—by prayer, word of mouth, financial contributions, and influence—that you allow all of us to be part of God’s work in this world. We believe a university like HBU is more important now than ever before.