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Faculty Q and A with Ant Greenham

09/25/2014

goingAntGBy CHRIS MARTIN

Q: Tell us about yourself.

A: I was born in South Africa, converting to Christ at age 18. I had a career in the South African Foreign Service (the equivalent to the U.S. State Department). After four years in Israel, I moved to Dallas, Texas where I studied at Criswell College for five years and served as Dr. Paige Patterson’s intern.

I’ve been married to Eva for 36 years. We have two children who are both married.

Q: How did you come to SEBTS?

A: After my time at Criswell with Dr. Patterson, I returned to South Africa to continue my old job and set up the first South African embassy in Amman, Jordan. After finishing that, Dr. Patterson invited me to teach and pursue a Ph.D. at Southeastern, where he was then president. I accepted his offer and came back to the U.S. to study at Southeastern.

Q: When people ask you, "What do you do at Southeastern," what is your response?

A: Simply, I teach missions and Islamic studies. When I have a bit more time to talk about it, I like to say I teach global cultures and world religions because this can spark a conversation, which leads to witnessing opportunities.

Q: On what are you currently working?

A: I’m in the middle of publishing a couple of blog posts on the Southeastern blog “Between the Times.” I also do some editing for the “Southeastern Theological Review” for which I am the book review editor.

Q: What have you been reading recently?

A: It is the centenary of the start of World War I. This war had a huge impact on the way our world is shaped today, so I’ve been reading a couple of books on the subject. I just finished T. G. Otte’s “July Crisis,” which describes the unwise assumptions and arrogance of key European players before war broke out in August 1914. Otte lost a great-grandfather on each side of the war.

Q: When you get home from work, what do you look forward to doing?

A: In some ways, what I do at work and what I do at home are closely linked. I enjoy studying at home the same things I study at work: different cultures, worldviews, religions and other topics.

I pastor a small church, so I enjoy studying the Scriptures and teaching there. I also look forward to having dinner with my wife each night. Family mealtime is incredibly important and I protect that.

Q: Who are your role models?

A: The first pastor I had after becoming a believer was very influential in my life. Ron Naude was in love with the Word and he conveyed that to me. Many of the attitudes and loves that I have were conveyed to me by him.

The other person I’d like to mention is Dr. Patterson. One of his strengths is the ability to keep quite diverse people together, without sacrificing his theological and moral values.

Q: What has God been teaching you lately?

A: I need to pursue integrity and keep doing the right thing regardless of what’s going on around me.

Q: Where are some of your former students?

A: A number of my former students are missionaries in Japan, China, India and other countries. A few are pastors in local churches and serving the Lord in other ways.

Q: When a student completes your class, what do you want him or her to walk away with at the end of the semester?

A: I really hope to change how my students think over the course of my class. This is difficult to measure in tests and the like, but some students realize their thinking has changed once they are out in the mission field and serving people of other cultures.

I also encourage my students to think of themselves as missionaries right out of the chute. Then I tell them they need to figure out how and where the Lord wants them to serve. They’re all missionaries—it’s just a matter of how and where they’ll serve.

Q: We always say that every classroom at SEBTS is a Great Commission classroom. What does that look like for your class?

A: In my world religions class, I try to share stories of how people of other religions have turned to Christ, showing that it can happen and it has happened. I also get people who have turned to Christ from other religions to share their testimonies to show that it is possible.


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