Professor of Biblical Studies
JWW Institute for Septuagint Studies Fellow
Northwest Baptist Seminary
Since 1978 Dr. Perkins has taught biblical studies at undergraduate and graduate level. His primary focus is New Testament, particularly exegetical and hermeneutical issues related to the Gospel of Mark, 1 Peter and Galatians. He also teaches New Testament Theology, Exposition of Romans, Jesus and the Kingdom, Greek Exegesis and a Doctor of Ministry Course entitled “Spiritual Leadership in the New Testament."
How does the Bible inform your life and teaching?
As the authoritative, revealed word of God, this divinely provided worldview gives us the wisest way to live, the blessed way that God intended his human creatures to live. To the best of my ability I seek to centre my life within its worldview and teach in ways that are compatible with this truth. While God has revealed himself in natural creation, it is his prophetic word expressed essentially in Jesus and his teaching that enables us to make sense of our lives and our world. The implications of this for my teaching include a humble approach to discerning truth, a desire to bring God glory in my teaching, a discipling attitude towards student interactions, and a commitment to serve God by serving others.
Why do you value a theological education?
What I primarily value is the theological/biblical worldview that God provides for humans in the Bible. It is this worldview that enables humans to make sense of life and discern how to live the best possible life as God's creations. Theological education has value because it leads people to a deeper appreciation of this worldview and its benefits for humanity, if it is embraced and lived. Developing Christian leaders who understand this worldview and can guide others to accept and understand it is one of the most important human activities within Canadian society. With this grid in place, students will have the capacity to evaluate all other 'truth-claims' that they will encounter. How else will people discern the wisdom that comes from God and learn to love God fully?
What are some of the diverse voices you incorporate into your teaching?
I desire my students to learn how to interpret the Bible competently. To this end I seek mentors for them who with a personal, theological commitment will guide them expertly into God's truth. Some of these mentors include Jesus; the authors of Scripture such as Paul, Matthew, Peter, and Mark; historic voices such as Augustine and Calvin; more modern scholars who have demonstrated excellence in their scholarship and evangelical commitment in their personal beliefs (e.g., Howard Marshal, Carl Henry, N. T. Wright, C. Blomberg, M. Erickson, D. Carson, and B. Waltke). I also include scholarly voices who propose different perspectives, so that students can discern for themselves which voices will lead them aright.
What do you hope your students get out of your classes?
My goal in the courses I teach is to help students develop the competence to interpret the Bible truthfully. As this process occurs, I expect the Holy Spirit to be working in the lives of students to enliven their commitment to Christ, to help them grasp their Christian vocation more clearly, and to encourage their life-time involvement in Christ's mission. Of course, they should gain competence in the specific subject matter that is the focus for each course, discern the big questions that the subject raises, and evaluate various responses. In this process I hope they will discern why and how it is important to deal with issues of biblical interpretation in ways that are coherent with the claims of the biblical text. I want them to appreciate that we do have reasonable, articulate, and intellectually robust answers for those who question the validity of the Christian worldview.
Why are you at ACTS Seminaries?
I had the privilege of being involved in the discussions that resulted in the formation of the ACTS Consortium of seminaries. The vision we developed for a cluster of denominational seminaries, all committed to Believers Church Principles, but operated in a collaborative, financially sustainable way through shared costs, was compelling for me. It offers a model by which the diverse parts of the Evangelical Christian Family in Canada can work cooperatively for the advancement of the Kingdom.
MA - University of Toronto
MA - Oxford University
MEd - University of British Columbia
PhD - University of Toronto
Spiritual Leadership in the NT
Society of Biblical Literature
Institute for Biblical Research
International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies