A Reformation & Revival Journal Interview with Frank Farrell -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Reformation and Revival
Volume: RAR 11:4 (Fall 2002)
Article: A Reformation & Revival Journal Interview with Frank Farrell
Author: Anonymous

A Reformation & Revival Journal
Interview with Frank Farrell

For this quarter’s interview, our editor-in-chief, John Armstrong, visited with Dr. Frank Farrell, professor of church history at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida. Dr. Farrell might not be well known to most of our readers but his life includes some very instructive lessons for all leaders, as the interview demonstrates.

R R J—Tell us a little bit about your own background. How did you come to faith in Christ? And tell our readers about your family and about God’s call on your life.

F F—I can’t specify a distinct time in which I came to faith but I do remember during the depression that I was in a church where all I got in Sunday School were airplane stories. This was the early days of flight and the teacher had a friend tell us stories about the experience of flying. There was absolutely nothing about the gospel in this class. Eventually my family moved back to where I was born—Portland, Oregon. We attended a well-known Baptist Church where a Sunday School teacher got very specific about making a clear profession of faith. I was

about twelve years old at that time. I was baptized in that church the next year and the pastor’s son became my best pal. In time I was struck by the fact that between grammar school and high school we lost nearly all of a rather large Sunday School class. We had an evening youth group that was solid and later the pastor’s son suggested that we go to college together. Until then I had not contemplated further academic work. My friend and I went to Wheaton College where I was led to embrace the Reformed faith. We had a several shades of theology at Wheaton then. I majored in history and minored in philosophy. It was my history teacher, Gregg Singer, who promoted Calvinism strongly.

R R J—Was Gordon Clark still at Wheaton in those days?

F F—No, he had left a few years before. But Cornelius Jaarsma, a philosopher who had come to Wheaton from Calvin College, was a professor of mine. He and Singer were the two that persuaded me of the Reformed faith.

R R J—Was Earle Cairns, who later served as the chairman of the history department and was a personal advisor and mentor to me in the 1960s, there yet?

F F—Yes, Earle Cairns was there. As you may know he was a Presbyterian and he also exercised a good influence on me. As a history major, I had Cairns and Singer. With my philosophy minor I had several classes with Jaarsma. When it came time to look for further education my choice was Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, California. It had just opened the...

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