Saturday, July 26, 2008

Eish, Professor!

On Friday morning I took my doctoral supervisor, Professor Wethmar, for coffee.

What an incredible man! He is one of those people whom you can listen to for hours, because he knows everything... a real library on legs!

We haven't seen each other for a couple of months now. We haven't had a good conversation for just over a year. But I decided to phone him and spend some quality time with this giant in theological circles.

As we were sipping away, talking about Barth, Calvin, the relationship between Fundamentalism and social conditioning (...the hours whizzing past unnoticed) and all kinds of other things, he looked down, and just before taking another sip of coffee said something that knocked me right in the gut: "Wessel, I'm retiring."

I know how to deal with news that shocks, but this was different. I just cannot imagine Tukkies without Prof. Wethmar! Hell, I'm selfish!

I wish Professor Wethmar well with his retirement. Knowing him, he will not use this time to sit idly doing nothing. Perhaps this will give him the opportunity to write the equivalent of Church Dogmatics for our time. Thank you Professor, you have shaped the lives and ministries of many people by expressing your gift of teaching, sharing your deep spirituality and always saying "You're welcome".