The New Testament letters are full of shout outs. Guys like Paul and Peter and John are consistently calling out people, usually to hold them up as loved ones and even examples of the faith. It is a reminder that those letters are for real – Paul is talking about real theology, real churches, real lives. He is talking to people about people he loves and for whom Jesus is at work. I want to take a blog to do that. I want to make a shout out to Andrew Ginsberg. Brother Andrew (no, not that one) and his dear family have been called by God to serve with InterVarsity in Wisconsin. Yep, you have to know it’s God’s will if you are going to move from North Carolina to Wisconsin. He may be back after January (wink).
Here are some things that make me impressed with God as I think about Andrew. Put another way, here are evidences of grace in Andrew’s life for which I am thankful for, proud of Andrew about, and draw my attention to the gospel:
1. Andrew is an illustration and fulfillment of Romans 9-11. That theologically deep passage is Paul responding to the possible frustration by ethnically Jewish people that while God was being faithful to the Gentiles by offering them the gospel of faith alone in Christ alone, what was the deal with Jewish people? Paul answers: God is still at work and he is in fact saving Jews by this same gospel and will do so until the fulness of the Gentiles and the Jews has come to faith (Romans 11). Andrew is a Jewish man for whom God has worked by revealing the gospel to his heart, giving him the eyes of faith, radically regenerating him by the power of the Holy Spirit. Andrew is a Jew who loves Jesus as the Messiah.
2. Andrew is very smart and has a huge heart. That is a great combo and both will serve Jesus as they are combined, in humility, to promote Jesus.
3. Andrew is a wonderful husband and father. Christian workers must start with their own homes. The gospel must rule the inner sphere of a spiritual leader’s life. This is true for Andrew.
4. Andrew is infectiously joyful. He has a ready smile and laugh. He is realistic optimist. He really believes that God is unfathomably huge in his power and his love and that reality, well, rocks!
5. Andrew loves the Word of God. He loves it, wants to study it, knows that it ultimately studies him, and wants to see it central in the mission of InterVarsity.
6. Andrew loves the message of the Word, which is the gospel. He knows the treasure of the fact that Jesus died for sinners. He loves when the gospel is not just believed, but made explicit, all the time.
7. Andrew is sensitive to the Holy Spirit. I know this personally and am here at this church because of it. Andrew senses when the Spirit is working. The Spirit prompted him, and the rest of the search committee, with his leadership, to take a visionary risk. They took a risk on an unheard of half-Indian, college pastor, from a pretty stylistically different church, from the midwest, and led the church to take him seriously as a pastoral candidate. Andrew would be the first to say the Lord did it above and beyond human agency, but it took a man sensitive to God’s desire to use human instruments.
8. Andrew loves the joy and success of others. He loves blessing people. It shows.
9. Andrew is brown, short, cerebral, humorous, and loves people. God uses people like this (wink).
10. Andrew is a dear brother in Christ. I am so glad to be in the fellowship of the Gospel with him, shoulder to shoulder even though the miles will separate.
I love Andrew Ginsberg. So does the Chapel Hill Bible Church. Andrew, give me a call when your tires freeze to the asphalt…