About Me

Fort Worth / Burleson, Texas
I am happily married and the proud father of two sons. I serve as professor of New Testament at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. I served for three years as academic acquisitions editor for B&H Academic in Nashville, Tennessee, and 13 years as a professor of New Testament and Greek at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Missouri.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

"The Church, Academy and Calling: Interview"

I was interviewed last year by Joshua Mann, a former student of mine at Midwestern Seminary, who is now studying for the PhD at Edinburgh University. The interview was on the subject of "The Church, Academy and Calling" and originally appeared at http://www.joshualmann.com/the-church-academy-and-calling-interview-with-terry-wilder/. Below are the questions that were asked of me along with my answers. I am asked such questions from time to time by students so I thought it prudent to run the interview again here. For Josh's full blog post (and others like it), please visit the Web site mentioned above.

1. How would you describe the relationship between your “scholarly” endeavors and your involvement in the ministry of the local church?

First of all, let me say that I do not think that scholarship should be divorced from local church ministry. I teach New Testament, so most of my involvement in ministry is in teaching or preaching. I also visit people to share the gospel and try to be an encourager and help for my pastor. Further, since much of my academic work is on pseudonymity, the NT, and ancient authorship, I have spoken in ministry venues on ethical issues and the trustworthiness of Scripture.

2. What led you to decide on the vocation (of pastor, scholar, or scholar/pastor) you now find yourself in?

I think God decided for me. After he called me into ministry, I went to university first planning on becoming a vocational evangelist, and then a pastor, but as time went on realized that my spiritual giftedness was in teaching. So, following the Lord’s leading, I began preparing for that vocation.

3. How would you describe any sense of “calling” you feel to do what you do?

Any sense of calling I have stems from Christ’s Great Commission to “go and make disciples” (Matt 28:19-20). I am concerned that the word of God be properly interpreted and faithfully taught to future generations (cf. 2 Tim 2:2). So, given that, I am particularly burdened for the training of pastors and others, especially in the biblical languages and in hermeneutics.

4. How might the chasm often present between the church and academy be more effectively bridged?

Academicians need to make it a point to get involved in the ministry of the local church, perhaps teaching Sunday School or something. Also, they should never forget their roots and learn to communicate difficult concepts in simpler terms. On the flip side, pastors and churches need to realize that eventually academic trends and challenges filter down to the churches, and thus it is important to take advantage of any help the academy may have to offer.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Regulative principle of worship or normative?

Does your church practice in worship only those things found in Scripture, or whatever is not prohibited in the Bible as long as the church agrees? In other words, does your church exercise the regulative principle of worship or carefully hold to the normative one? Why? Thoughts?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A Brief Response to the Idea That Life is Not Fair

Recently, a Christian teenager very dear to me posted on his Facebook "Sometimes life is so unfair that it deserves a pause button." Of course, I will make it a point to talk with him in person, but the following is my response to him.

I understand what you mean. From a biblical perspective, we are never promised success or that life will be fair. To the contrary, we will undergo suffering in this life because of the fall when sin entered the world. However, Jesus promised us peace to deal with anything that may come our way. Plus, believers in Jesus have eternal life; this life is not all there is. Please feel free to talk with me if you need to do so.

More on this deep subject . . . And though life doesn't always seem fair, our Lord is more than fair. As difficult as it is, we need to view the things that come our way in life as "Father-filtered." In other words, he allows those things/events that come into our life. God is "sovereign"; he is in control of all things; he is not surprised or unaware of our circumstances. Now, that doesn't mean that all things that come our way are good (and God is definitely not the author of evil), or that we will even like them, but God uses them for his purposes and for our good, to make us more like Christ (Rom 8:28). Sorry for the long comment! I hope that it is helpful.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sola Scriptura or Sola Cultura?

On April 14-15, 2011, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary will host the conference, Sola Scriptura or Sola Cultura? Reasserting the Biblical Paradigm for the Great Commission in the 21st Century http://www.swbts.edu/index.cfm?pageid=1836.

If humans are fallen, how does that impact human cultures? What are the legitimate roles of culture, the biblical text, and contexts? What challenges, limits, and constructive guidelines should determine practices that result in biblically critical contextualization? This conference will address these questions and more as we seek to proclaim the Gospel in changing cultures.

Early registration for the conference is $25 for students and $50 for non-students through March 31, 2011. After March 31, registration fees increase to $50 for students and $75 for non-students.

For overnight accommodations, contact Guest Housing at the Riley Center at 817.921.8800 or guests@swbts.edu

You can register for the conference online.


* Norman Geisler
* Paige Patterson
* John Massey
* Malcolm Yarnell
* Keith Eitel
* Terry Wilder

Top 10 Religion Stories of 2010

Copy and paste this link to what the Tulsa World considers the top 10 religion stories of 2010: http://bit.ly/gnwmfD .

What do you think? Comments?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Nashville Billboards Proclaim Jesus Will Return on May 21, 2011

Recently, some billboards have been seen in Nashville, TN, that proclaim the message that Jesus Christ will return on May 21, 2011. Similar billboards also appear in eight other US cities. http://bit.ly/haPJKV

Reports say that supporters of Family Radio, a national Christian network, paid for the billboards, and that Harold Camping, the network's founder, predicted May 21, 2011, as the date for the rapture.

These billboards remind me of a similar claim made in the 1980s by Edgar C. Whisenant in his booklet: "88 Reasons Why the Rapture Will Be in 1988." Then, when the predicted rapture failed to occur, he indicated that he had miscalculated and it was really 1989, then 1993, then 1994. Wrong again and again. Now, of course he has no credibility whatsoever.

I am glad that Camping acknowledges that Jesus is coming again, for indeed the Bible teaches that is true. But, if Camping is wrong about the date he predicts, he will, of course, likewise lose any credibility he may have had. (BTW, purported prophets in the OT whose predictions didn't come true were killed!)

The truth of the matter is no one knows when Christ will come, but only the Father (Matt 24:36-44). But, we should be ready and live as though Christ might return at any moment.

What are your thoughts?

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Top 10 Religion Stories of 2009

At this link are the top 10 religion stories of 2009: http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?subjectid=11&articleid=20091226_18_A9_USPres23686&archive=yes

What do you think? Comments?