In no certain order:
My mother: Although she is much different today (due to her state of mind after the stroke), she stood as rock for the faith all my life, never losing her passion for the lost and showing me this by example everyday.
Dan Wallace: Beyond the brilliance, Dan’s commitment to the truth above all other things has set so much of the tone of my thought that I cannot overstate his influence. As well, I don’t know of any scholar whom I have met that combines such a pastoral, down to earth tone, with unmatched academics. My favorite quote: “We follow the truth, not prejudice.”
Chuck Swindoll: Grace. He taught me about grace and it saved my and set the course for all of my thoughts, hopes, and aspirations in ministry. I want to have a passion for grace the way he does. My favorite quote: “Don’t take yourself too seriously . . . no one else does.”
Mark Hitchcock: Steadfast and committed to the preaching of the word. I have never heard a better Bible teacher nor someone so loyal to people. He and his church sent me to seminary and paid all the tuition. He has been an encourager to me from the day I started ministry until now and always serves as an anchor for my attitude.
R.C. Sproul: Though I have never met him, it seems as if I know him. He gave me a love and passion for theology very early on. To me, there is no better teacher of theology out there, who is fair and balanced, yet overflowing with infective passion.
Paul Copan: Even though we are different on some points of theology (him being a committed Arminian and I a Calvinist), I don’t know of anyone that I have ever seen all the fruits of the Spirit come through in such an evident way. (Besides the fact that he is brilliant!)
Chet Lackey: He died in the mid nineties, but he was my first real pastor who took me under his wing. He did not simply teach me, but he took it upon himself to mentor me and encourage me even though I was so far from one that any would think had potential.
Ed Kosmoszewski: Besides being a top rate scholar and communicator of theology, Ed is a good friend and valued counselor. He is the first person I call when there are big decisions that need to be made. He has a great deal of wisdom. But more than this, he gives encouragement and counsel as if you were the only person in his life even though his illness is such a personal daily burden for him. He shows me that one can look beyond their circumstances to focus on others even while staring at their own problems.
How about you?