Phil Roberts on the campus
of Florida College,
April 30, 2004.
Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Phil Roberts. April 30, 2004. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins,

A Tribute to Phil Roberts

Published in Biblical Insights, June, 2005

He Loved God With All His Mind

by Ferrell Jenkins

He Loved God With All His Mind By Ferrell Jenkins The Lord said, "You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might" (Deut. 6:5). Jesus quoted this as the great commandment of the Law. Mark (12:37) and Luke (10:27) use four terms: heart, soul, mind, and might (strength). Matthew uses only three: heart, soul, and mind.

The three (or four) terms likely indicate that man is to love the Lord with all of his being. It means to love wholly, or totally. We do think, however, of the separate elements. Many say they love God with all their heart, thinking of an emotional attachment to Him. Others put their whole effort (strength) into their service. Perhaps fewer love the Lord with all their minds. Louw-Nida describes the mind (Greek dianoia) as "the psychological faculty of understanding, reasoning, thinking, and deciding - mind." Soon after Phil knew how sick he was, I determined that this was the way I wanted to remember him - a man who loved God with all his mind.

Many of us lost a good friend in the death of Phil Roberts. It was my privilege to work with Phil in the Biblical Studies department at Florida College for many years. Phil prepared himself well for the work of teaching and preaching the Word. I sometimes suggested to Phil that he should put his class materials in some written format for the benefit of brethren. Even after he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer we talked about this. I think he never thought he had the material in good enough shape to present it as a finalized work. He was not one to provide simplified answers to those who inquired about various biblical issues. He did provide several good essays in the annual Florida College lecture books.

Phil thought that his main work had been in the classes he taught and in the students who completed those courses. These students now have big shoes to fill and I trust that some of them will imitate his good example. When we think of Phil we think of academic excellence, but many may not be aware that Phil was one of the most practical preachers among us. He knew what he was talking about but he never became pedantic in his presentation.

When we made arrangements in 1980 to participate in the archaeological expedition at Lachish, Phil joined James Hodges, Harold Tabor, and me in that project. He continued to work at Lachish and then at Jezreel for several seasons. Phil, Melvin Curry, and I made a study tour in Turkey and Greece in 1984. Phil and I roomed together several times when attending professional educational meetings. I will miss the spiritual and intellectual stimulus he provided.

Our deepest sympathy is extended to Eileen and his two young sons, his parents, his brother and sister, and to the extended family. The photo of Phil was made April 30, 2004, on the campus of Florida College where he gave of himself for 27 years.

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