Lebanon (MNN) — Kees van der Knijff always had an interest in theology. Growing up in the Netherlands, he felt the call to minister to the global Church.
At first, van der Knijff studied econometrics, which is the mathematical side of economics. But he eventually left that line of study to attend a seminary in Amsterdam. There, he obtained a Ph.D. in Systematic Theology.
In the spring of 2021, he and his family moved to Lebanon, where he began teaching at the Arab Baptist Theological Seminary. He says, “I’ve been teaching a course on providence and prayer, the relationship between God’s plans, God’s care for creation, and our influence when we pray. That has been a joy to do. In the future, I will be mainly teaching systematic theology and historical theology.”
What is the difference between historical and systematic theology? van der Knijff says, “Historical theology is mainly where we study the development of Christian thought throughout history and the worldwide church.” Meanwhile, systematic theology looks at different doctrinal topics and expresses what the Church believes and why.
Challenges in Lebanon
Right now, van der Knijff spends a lot of his time learning Arabic. He intends to stay in the country, despite the financial crisis and unstable political situation. “Prayer for Lebanon and for the people who are suffering is much needed. For the region, I would say in almost all the countries where students from ABTS live, the church is in a difficult situation. It takes great courage and great wisdom to be a pastor and to be a church in those circumstances.”
ABTS students work in churches across the Middle East and North Africa. The seminary gives them affordable education they can use right away in their ministries. Ask God to strengthen these churches.
And pray that God will equip van der Knijff and his family as they adjust to life and ministry in Lebanon.
The header photo shows Kees van der Knijff. (Photo courtesy of ABTS)