HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Leaving a Mark: The Lectures of Phil Roberts
Author: Nathan Ward, Editor
Publisher: Florida College Bookstore, 2013
Related website: http://bookstore.floridacollege.edu/store/ (publisher)
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: Teens and adults
Rating: ***** 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Ward, Nathan, Editor. Leaving a Mark: The Lectures of Phil Roberts (published in 2013 by Florida College Press, 119 N. Glen Arven Ave., Temple Terrace, FL 33617). Dr. Donald Philip (Phil) Roberts (1947-2005) was a professor of Biblical Studies at Florida College in Temple Terrace, FL, for more than two decades and a respected scholar par excellence. Though familiar in my youth with his name through his writings in church bulletins and religious magazines, I did not have him as a teacher at Florida College simply because I graduated from the school in 1974 and he did not start his tenure there until 1978. However, at some point while I was in college, Phil and Dan King, who also later served as a professor at the school, came and held a seminar for us “preacher students,” and that is where I first got to know him. Phil died of cancer in 2005.
This book contains six lectures delivered by Phil during the annual Florida College lecture series (1977, 1986, 1988, 1989, 2001, and 2003), and three essays written by him for festschrifsts honoring other Florida College professors, Homer Hailey (1973), Melvin Curry (1997), and Ferrell Jenkins (2002). The editor, Nathan Ward, is currently a professor of Biblical Studies at Florida College. Both of Nathan’s parents were fellow students with me at the school when I was there. The last time I ever heard Phil was probably at the lectures in 2004 when, though suffering even then from the cancer that eventually took his life, he was given an award and made a stirring impromptu speech on the vital importance of seeking an education in which all subjects are firmly rooted in a sound, Biblical worldview. That same commitment to God’s word is seen in these lectures and essays which cover a broad range of topics related to academic Bible study.
While I deeply respect the scholarship achieved by Dr. Roberts and make no claim to be anywhere near his intellectual abilities, I will have to admit that I do not fully concur with all of his conclusions in the essay “Shall We Return to the Text of the King James Version?” However, his observations still deserve serious consideration. At the same time, I especially appreciate some of Phil’s comments in his lecture on “The Temptation of Jesus.” He said, “If every time Jesus was tired, or thirsty, or sick, or threatened by His enemies, or otherwise enduring the ordinary burdens of being human He could just perform a little miracle and escape for a few hours, then what would it really mean to say that He was tempted in all points like as we are? And how could He be held up to us as an example of obedience? How could we possibly be expected to follow Him when He could just turn on that divine power like the afterburners on a jet while we are struggling to peddle our little human tricycles?…His public obedience unto death began with His private obedience in the wilderness.” AMEN!