In my view, Des Ford was the star performer at Avondale, the one man who attempted to rescue us from the terror of shut doors, secret Investigative Judgments, and the world’s end. Des was an ice-cool bloke in his forties with a genius for phrasing. Positive thinking cascaded out of him in waves. Des influenced our collective imaginations. His vision was as fresh as Adam’s on the first day. His short, exegetical studies were like mind-altering crystals, each one a miniature masterpiece of the sub-conscious, a hedge maze that toyed with our apocalyptic fantasies. He could summarise a thousand years of theological thought in fifteen minutes. His words could undo words. Nobody could arrange the twenty-six letters of the alphabet like Des.
Des had a reputation for being productive — one of those scholars who didn't misuse a second of his God-given time. You could see dedication and purpose in his every step. His life was suffused with higher-order excellence. Where the rest of us heard a full-bodied, triumphant affirmation of Adventist prophecy, he sensed a void behind the boisterous positivity. His focus was on Christ’s death and resurrection. In his view, Adventists had overlooked the focal point of scripture as articulated by Luther, Wesley, Calvin, and Zwingli and the big-ticket preachers of the nineteenth century such as Charles Spurgeon. To my way of thinking, he was the most morally dignified and inspiring lecturer of the time.
Des - Students - Energy - Knowledge - Kind
Des worked the students with overpowering energy and unimpeachable knowledge. He was a kind of divine intervention. Students lionised him. He stood at the centre of an experiment in “Righteousness by Faith.” He broke through the harsh and unyielding constraints of a culture of earning salvation through merit. His emphasis led to the flowering of a spiritual renaissance at the College. The success of...
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