10 August 2006

Geoff Adams: The Chariot of Israel Ascends

In the darkness of our day and the faltering fortunes of God's people, one could easily despair at the departure of the chariot of Israel with a latter-day Elijah(2 Kings 2:12). But God has not left us without hope or enabling. Even as Dr. Geoff Adams has passed into the presence of his Lord Christ, the material legacy of God's work though this man remains.

Simply put---Dr. Adams was a godly man. His prayers were marked by the vocabulary of the Scriptures and the grammar of heaven. To be in his presence as he approached the throne of grace was to enjoy illumination of the things of God and breathings of the Spirit of God. Such communion with God naturally overflowed from Dr. Adams in his gushing enthusiasm for the advance of Christ's kingdom.

No one admitted to Dr. Adams' classes or company would fail to be impressed with his deep appreciation and regard for the Holy Scriptures. Like a mariner sorting through knots and hitches, he relished untying and re-tying the cords of redemptive-history in order to come to grips with the cohesion and strength of the whole. Though his seamanship ended with his stint in the British Navy, his fascination with God's progressive revelation never did.

The predominant ministry which Geoff Adams engaged in was the training of pastors at Toronto Baptist Seminary. The academic rigor which he demanded reflected directly his view of the high calling of the pastor. Though challenging and tough, he did not treat students inflexibly. In this he bore the imprint of Christ-likeness far more than even his students gave him credit for.

The departure of Geoff Adams from this world to the next signals the end of an age. The world of today is much different than that of post-WWII Toronto. And yet the call of God upon the lives of men remains the same. How may those who are left behind respond to such a call? The ancient example gives us the answer. Just as Elijah was taken upon the chariot of Israel, so too we must be like Elisha with prayers for a double portion of Elijah's blessing (2 Kings 2:9). Although our request may also be a hard thing (v.10), let us not neglect to pray it and take up the mantle left behind by God's servant(v.14). In such a manner, the legacy of Dr. Geoff Adams will continue to flourish even though his chariot has breached the skies.

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