Rev. Dr. Cornelius “Neal” Plantinga Jr
Rev. Dr. Cornelius “Neal” Plantinga Jr. led the Bangor Pastor Theologians in the March 2012 meeting. He presented a “preview” of what would later by the Warfield Lectures at Princeton (named for Annie Kinkead Warfield, wife of Benjamin Breckenridge Warfield, a professor of theology at Princeton seminary, 1887-1921). Dr. Plantinga is recently retired from the presidency of Calvin Theological Seminary where he remains a professor emeritus of theology.
Plantinga, in his presentations, emphasized the importance for pastors of being keen observers of everyday interactions, life-long learners, and reading widely in journalism, novels, and non-fiction books. His lectures will become a book very soon. The lectures themselves are titled, “Reading for Preaching: the Preacher in Conversation with Storytellers, Biographers, Poets and Journalists.”
“Preachers stand in the world with a book in their hand,” says Plantinga. “For us Christians, the Bible is our community book. So, in a way, the preacher's job is only to say in other words what a text says — dressing it up or down, coloring and amplifying it in such a way that when people hear the preached text they hear God's word to them.” [from CRC Communications and a piece written by Chris Meehan].
At Calvin, Plantinga served as President and as Charles W. Colson Professor of Systematic Theology. He earned an A.B from Calvin College, a Bachelor of Divinity from Calvin Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. from Princeton Theological Seminary. He is an ordained minister in the Christian Reformed Church and has served as a pastor in Webster, NY and supply preacher in Cliffwood Beach, NJ. Before joining the faculty at Calvin Theological Seminary, Plantinga taught at Princeton Theological Seminary (1976 - 78), Fuller Theological Seminary (1985, 1987) and Regent College (1997). From 1996 to 2002 he served as the first ever Dean of the Chapel at Calvin College.