Oxford: The Fingerprint of God

The Oxford Report
 
As the oldest university in the English-speaking world, Oxford has a mystic atmosphere.  There is no clear date of a beginning, however, it existed in some form in 1096, and developed swiftly from 1167, when Henry II banned English students from attending the University of Paris.
 
Alums 
 
Oxford’s alumni produced 27 British Prime Ministers, at least 30 international leaders, 50 Nobel Prize winners, and 120 Olympic medal winners. A few of the alumni include, John Wycliffe, William Tyndale, Sir Walter Raleigh, T.S. Eliot, Stephen Hawking, Edwin Hubble, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and in 1931-33, Einstein lectured on relativity in Oxford and received an honorary degree.
 
1341
 
The city itself is full of old churches and schools with a history of Protestant and Catholic martyrs.  The university is the heartbeat of the city, in which a myriad of colleges comprise the umbrella called Oxford University.  The Queens College (1341) is where the Oxford Symposium on Religious Studies was held, where 26 scholars from around the world met to present their lectures on various religious themes – I was one of them.
 
26
 
Of the 26 scholars presenting, only a few embraced some form of orthodox Christian doctrine. The diverse list of scholars included a rabbi, a Swami (Hindu), a Buddhist, psychologist, scientist, lawyer, Liberation theologian, philosopher, Orthodox, ethicist, Protestant, and Muslim.
 
Stunned
 
The benefit for ITM was in the fact that I was given a platform to discuss God’s creation, specifically, Adam being created in the image of God. Thus, bringing focus to ITM’s mission in the world.  Two sessions before I spoke that morning a scholar presented a question regarding whether Neanderthals were created in the image of God. In contrast, when I spoke with absolute certainty on the authority of the words of Moses, the group became silent, and a little stunned with my hutzpah. 
 
Clearly
 
Each speaker was given 20 minutes to present, and 10 minutes for questions.  After my lecture, several attending gave affirming remarks.  A rabbi complimented me on my Hebrew.  An ethicist stated, she “envied” those under my teaching and wished she could sit in on more of my lectures, and another scholar was impressed with my conviction and ability to “draw people’s attention” into what I was saying. 
 
Self-aggrandizement is not my objective here. Yes, it was encouraging to hear these words, and yet, humbling, as I realized – “everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked” (Lk. 12:48). “If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God… they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen” (I Pet. 4:10-11).
 
Clearly, I can do nothing without Messiah Jesus (Jn. 15:5), therefore, I give Him all the glory for this opportunity to speak at Oxford. 
 
We will see!
 
Because of this moment, I met a rabbi from the Negev Hanegev Regional Council (south of Be’er Sheva), who is involved in providing food for needy families. We discussed the possibly of pulling our resources together to bless Israel in the south.  Perhaps, in God’s plan, this was one of the reasons for Oxford. We will see what God is doing – thank you for your prayers and support as we continue to bless Israel’s needy with food, education, and the Gospel. 
 
L’Shalom,
Until He comes, we are
Together Under His Wings,
 
Dr. Jeff
 
**To listen to Dr. Jeff’s lecture, click here:  http://drjeff.libsyn.com to listen to the podcast. 
  

 Time is short, Life is precious and Jesus is coming soon!