Thursday, January 13, 2011

Remembering Roger Nicole

Here are John Frame's reflections on the passing of Roger Nicole (posted with permission):

Remembering Roger Nicole

This morning, the email announcement came that Roger Nicole had passed away, yesterday, Dec. 11, one day after his 95th birthday. He was a great man. A Swiss Baptist, he studied at Gordon-Conwell (I think before they added Conwell) and doctored at Harvard. He taught at GCTS for many years, leaving there maybe twenty years ago to teach at RTS. He was unhappy with the administration of GCTS. When I met him in 2000, he greeted me very warmly, said that his years at RTS were the best years of his career. I would say the same about my ten years here.

            He taught and wrote about all theological topics. The atonement and biblical inerrancy were his particular specializations. He also had some neat lectures on the five points of Calvinism. He always thought of great ways of illustrating theological topics. Some years ago he spoke at CPC, comparing the fall of man to the fall of the two towers of the World Trade Center.

After I arrived at RTS, when he was in his eighties, he fought one more battle, to rid the ETS of Open Theists. He liked my work on that and visited my office often to share his thoughts and writings on the subject.

            Annette, his wife, died maybe five years ago. He lived at an assisted living place in Altamonte. This past year he recovered from a fall and surgery. His mind was often sharp even in his last week, but he went in and out of mental coherence. Dan Wright, our former reference librarian, was Roger’s best friend, stayed with him constantly at times.

            Roger loved the Lord, was uncommonly gracious to all. Everyone was his “dear brother.” We loved him dearly and will miss his kind presence. 

My statement on Roger Nicole’s Passing

December 16, 2010
I am so thankful for Roger's ministry. For many years I had read his works and heard of his great teaching, but I did not meet him until 2000, when I became his colleague. He greeted me warmly on my arrival at RTS, said that his years at RTS were the happiest of his professional life, a sentiment that is now mine as well. Though he was well into his 80s when I met him, he was engaged in a full-scale project, the elimination of open theism from the Evangelical Theological Society, a project I supported. He came by often during those years, and we had many discussions of his writings and mine on the subject. Though this was indeed a theological battle, both his friends and opponents commended his graciousness and kindness. Roger always listened, tried to find common ground, tried to express love and respect to his opponents. Though I was in my sixties, I looked to him as a father in the faith and as a model for my own spiritual walk. We did not always agree, but Roger was always my chief example of how to disagree without being disagreeable.

May God comfort his family, all our colleagues and friends with the sure hope of the resurrection. Indeed, Jesus lives, and so shall we.
John Frame,
Oviedo, Florida 

1 comment:

  1. Not to judge this man, but it should be noted that he was a member (or supporter) of Christians for Biblical Equality, a feminist outfit that proudly displays the endorsements of Tony Campolo and Brian McLaren on its page.

    -Steve Jackson