Roger Nam is Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies. I have taken seven classes with Roger: Old Testament I & II, Hebrew Readings (4x), and Spirituality and the Mind. It was in Old Testament that I was introduced to modern biblical studies and theological methods and systems, like form-, source-, and redaction-criticism, Sitz im Leben, liberation theology, etc. These were classes that I also learned to readjust my reading of Tanak in terms of theology rather than history.

Aside from being a well-versed academic and theologian, Roger is also very practical. There’s one saying that has particularly stayed with me: In reference to more conservative and fundamentalist groups theologically who would reject those more moderate and liberal, he commented, “They can reject me but I won’t reject them.” I have found myself coming back to this saying often, reminding me to love even those who might not return that love. Other points Roger made that have stuck with me are

  • Read Hebrew for 20 minutes a day—make it part of your life
  • Don’t neglect math on the GRE
  • Read Gadamer and Ricœur
  • Make a goal of a number of pages per day and don’t finish the day until you’ve written that much (in reference to the thesis)

Except for the last, I’m still working at them, but I’ve found these points to be helpful guides into entering the life of an academic. Not does Roger have great advice, but at every major point in my life at the seminary, Roger has been there to recognize the good and to encourage me to keep on doing well.

Thank you, Roger, for being a leader, guide, and friend and for inspiring me to be the same for others.