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Friday, April 16, 2010

He Flew Into The Presence Of The Lord

Last week, the soul of Dr. Albert E. Greene took flight from his 93-year-old body and he flew into the presence of the Lord.
Apart from the influence of Dr. Albert Greene on my life, it is safe to say I would not be doing what I am doing today, helping people to grasp the meaning and significance of a biblical worldview.

Apart from Dr. Greene, I doubt if I would have come to understand the breadth and depth of that treasure myself.

I first came to know this gentle giant of a man in 1959, as a 5th grade student at Bellevue Christian School, which Dr. Greene founded in 1950, and where he served as Principal and then Superintendent for many years.

In 1979, I took the role of Principal in a Christian school myself. To sharpen my understanding of what Christian education is supposed to be, I took graduate level courses in the philosophy of Christian education from Dr. Greene, who was then teaching part-time at Seattle Pacific University.

It was during this time that he asked me to stop calling him "Dr. Greene," and to just call him "Al." It was something I found extremely difficult, and never did feel comfortable doing.

It was through Al that the "worldview puzzle" fell together for me. I can tell you what room I was in on the day Al talked about the myth of the "secular world." I remember coming up to him after his talk, and sheepishly asking, "Are you saying the 'secular world' doesn't exist?"

I can still hear the inflection of his voice, as he simply stated, "It really doesn't." You could have knocked me over with a puff.

Al was one of the most intelligent men I have ever known. Yet, at the same time, he was one of the most humble men I have ever known. I was mentored as much by his kind spirit as by his brilliant mind.

The last visit my wife and I had with Al was a year and a half ago. His mind was sharp. As always, he suggested more books for me to read, as was captured in the photo that accompanies today's post below. Al's care-giver, Michelle Taylor, snapped this picture on that day.

Thank you, Dr. Greene, for mentoring me, and for your priceless encouragement and faithful support over these many years.

We'll talk again, my friend.

My wife, Kathy, and I, with Al about a year before he passed through the veil.