A Shining Light

I wrote this article for The Herald-News as a thank you to retiring columnist, Dr. Charles Robinson.

“He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light.
But the testimony that I [Jesus] have is greater than that of John…” John 5:35-36

It is time to say thank you to a special servant of Christ who is stepping aside after decades of service to our community and The Herald-News.

While I do not know Dr. Robinson deeply he has made a mark on me. No doubt, he has for many in our community.

Early on I learned of Dr. Robinson when I moved to Dayton and heard about Dayton Bible Institute. There was Dr. Robinson for my first night of classes, his devoted wife by his side, digging deep into Scripture. He had a tangy edge to his teaching, pushing us to think deeply toward what the passages actually said. Truth-thirsty folks traveled from neighboring counties to take in his classes. The Scriptures were and are clearly his passion.

In those days I also joined other pastors for monthly prayer and fellowship at Ministerial Fellowship meetings. Dr. Robinson was faithfully there. Humble in his influence, I remember he had a presence among his peers that oozed with respect.

What are the things you would add to Dr. Robinson’s story? How he pastored you or your family? The truth he unfolded through his teaching and writing? Perhaps, the way he displayed the Christ he believed and taught?

And what can we say about his column in The Herald-News? Did you know he has been writing his column since 1983? Thirty—three decades—ten times three years! He is an amazing display of a faithful communicator and teacher, with a heart for the Word of God he loves so much.

It is a humbling and a daily gift to remember God uses imperfect people like you and me as part of a long chain to accomplish His kingdom purposes. No doubt, the devil himself continually works hard to erase that truth in us. Consider Philippians 2:13: “for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” This is true for plumbers and professors, moms, kids, dads, students, young, and not-so-young. And it is true for a writer-teacher-pastor-servant. Like Dr. Robinson.

In our culture we often speak of advancing in years and finishing well. Dr. Robinson’s contributions to our community and The Herald-News model a mission field finished well.

Thank you Dr. Robinson, for your God-centered, passionate teaching, and for the hundreds—no doubt thousands— of lives you have touched and served. It is an honor to have shared this page with you. Jesus described John the Baptizer in a way that speaks of you Dr. Robinson: a “burning and shining lamp.” We have rejoiced in the light you brought.

Most importantly, you have pointed us to the One who is the greatest light.

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