Posted by: Petros | March 6, 2009

A Panegyric to Daniel B. Pecota (1929-1997) Introduction to the Series “Seeking the Face of God”

A Panegyric to Pecota

Introduction to the Series “Seeking the Face of God”

by Peter W. Dunn

Friday, May 17, 2002

This week I have busied myself by editing a series of taped messages by Dr. Daniel B. Pecota, entitled “Seeking the Face of God”. At my invitation, Dr. Pecota delivered this series on January 6-9, 1989, at a retreat of the University Christian Ministries of British Columbia, Canada.

Daniel Bruce Pecota, DMin, was my favorite professor at Northwest College of the Assemblies of God in Kirkland, Washington, where I attended from 1982-85. He taught Greek, Systematic Theology, and Principles of Interpretation. I was profoundly marked by his commitment both to academic excellence and to deep Christian piety. At the age of eighteen, I took with him “Basic Christian Doctrine”. Before this course, I had been exposed to both flaky and sound theology, and I was not always sure how to sort out the difference between the two. Pecota’s teaching presented a much needed plumb line of biblical truth, sorting through most of the bad doctrine ever so present in the church, especially in the Pentecostal churches that I had attended. Not only so, but “Doc”—as we affectionately called him—demonstrated to us that Christianity was also a religion that made sense to the mind—it was not something that had to be accepted by blind faith, but it could be investigated and shown to be reasonable to an open mind. Thus, through this one course, he formed in me a foundation for both theology and apologetics. Dr. Pecota so impressed me with the need to study that I later attended Regent College (1986-91) and then University of Cambridge, England (1991-96).

Doc Pecota used to joke by asking, “What is the definition of a theologian?  Someone who can take a drop of simple truth and make of it a dense fog.” But in contrast to many theologians whose writings make you shake your head in bewilderment, Dr. Pecota taught his courses clearly and effectively. He was like the Gospel of John, about which it has been said that its truths are simple enough that a child could wade in them yet so profound that an elephant could drown in them. Christian theology in his courses was always highly practical for church and family life. Doctrine affected behavior. So if you want to have good behavior, you have to have good theology.

I have gone back to Dr. Pecota in these last few days because the church today falls so short of what God calls it to be. Recently, a Christian asked me quite seriously, “Why do we need theology?” Although she had been in the church several years, nobody had taught her the importance of theology. I had another conversation in which a Christian treated “theology” as a bad word. Dr. Pecota taught rightly that we are all theologians—some of us are good ones, and others are bad. For our theology is our view of God, of Christ, of the Bible and of truth. Thus, I affirm that we can no more dispense with theology as Christians than we could stop breathing. And we have a choice. We can have good, true and pure theology based upon a sound interpretation of the Scriptures, or we can have faulty or heretical theology based upon an ignorance or misinterpretation of the Bible. But we cannot have no theology at all. Good theology is product of serious work, through seeking God’s face, through acts of brotherly love, and through committed study of God’s revelation; it is the narrow road that leads to life. On the other hand, bad theology is often facile and easily obtained; it is the broad road that leads to destruction.

The series, “Seeking the Face of God”, is the pièce de résistance of Dr. Pecota’s teaching, culminating over thirty-five years of studying and teaching theology. Dr. Pecota explains that the title “Seeking the Face of God” could have two possible accents. The first would be on the “seeking”, in which case we would be focusing on what we must do in order to seek God. Such an accent would be anthropocentric. The second would be to focus on the “face of God”, in which case we fix our eyes on God himself, and thus, the accent would be theocentric. Dr. Pecota chooses the second option. He expounds upon various emotional aspects of God’s face as revealed in Scripture. The Bible says that God winks, weeps, scowls, blushes and laughs. These emotions of God reveal much about His nature and character.

I am sad to say that Dr. Daniel Pecota died July 1, 1997, shortly after his retirement from Northwest College in 1996. I will miss him greatly.

External Links:

Daniel Pecota Was An Institution At Kirkland’s Northwest College, by Carole Beers (Seattle Times)

Esther Pecota Remembered, Northwest News

Tyler James Pecota Memorial Scholarship (If this teaching series is a blessing to you, please make a donation to this scholarship fund at Northwest University)

Now may I present to you Daniel Pecota’s series, “Seeking the Face of God”, in five messages.  This is in three parts that can each fit onto a single audio CD or downloaded into an MP3 plaer.

SEEKING THE FACE OF GOD, Dr. Daniel Pecota, January 6-9, 1989 (all rights reserved; used with permission)

Audio CD 1 (74 minutes)

Introduction to Series

01 Seeking the Face of God

02 Intellectual Pursuit of Truth

03 Beyond the Intellect

04 John Stott

05 Philip Yancey

06 Safe God

07 God’s Face 2 Cor 4,1-6

The God who Winks

08 Definition of Wink

09 Winking at Human Ignorance

10 Winking at Human Weakness

11 Winking at Human Sin

12 Call to Repentance

The God who Scowls, part 1

01 Prologue

02 Sleepers in the Hands of an Angry God

03 Wrath of God in the Bible

04 Anger as a Combative Emotion

05 Word,Will, Way Ps 78

06 Desecration of his Temple

07 Hypocrisy

Audio CD 2 (70 minutes)

The God who Scowls, part 2

08 Slavish Duty to Manmade Rules

09 Misrepresentation of His Nature

10 Example from Richard Dobson

11 Conclusion

12 Prayer

The God who Weeps

01 Introduction

02 Over the lost

03 Over judgment

04 Over Human Hurts

05 Over Sin

06 Over Shepherdless Sheep

07 Over Shepherdless Sheep II

08 When taking the sins of the World

09 Conclusion, a note of joy

Audio CD 3 (80 minutes)

The God who Blushes

01 Introduction citing Jeremiah

02 Non-blushing and non-Christian

03 Non-Blushing Christians, Kenneth Kantzer I

04 An aside, Steve and Karen Pecota

05 Kenneth Kantzer II

06 A Feeling of Shame

07 My Shame led to His Shame

08 For the Joy

09 Conclusion and prayer

The God who Laughs

01 Introduction to a Laughing God

02 Laughter of Retribution

03 Jonah and Hosea

04 Laughter of Restoration

05 Laughter of Relationship

06 Gifts from his Sons

07 Grandchildren

08 Conclusion and prayer


Responses

  1. I was delighted to find today the recordings by Dr. Pecota posted on your website. I attended Northwest College as a 18- and 19-year old in 1978-9. I had taken his Christian Doctrine and a New Testament Greek class. What a great, and godly influence this man was!

  2. I too took Greek from Doc Pecota in 1980. I highly respected him. I asked him once what his take was on the pretribulation rapture issue. He told me, “After reading George Eldon Ladd’s book ‘The Blessed Hope’ I don’t see how anyone can believe in it.”
    I read the book and I can totally agree with him.

  3. Wanted to let you know, people are finding this info simply by searching “Daniel Pecota”.

    Thanks for putting these recordings up.

    Fred Stevens

  4. I just checked out several of the links for audio and the only one that appears to be complete in the introduction. Any chance I am doing something wrong?

  5. I lost access to the website to which I uploaded those audio files about a year ago. I think the audio links are still working. If I had this to do again, I’d make it into a youtube audio and not broken into small bits. I’ve never used youtube, but perhaps it is time to get an account. Thanks for appreciating the recordings and I hope your technical issues can be resolved. Peter W. Dunn (Northwest class of 85)

  6. Do you know the dates of this retreat or wjho hosted/sponsored it? Perhaps I can track the audio down that way.

  7. Fred: Read the first paragraph of the post. I don’t need to track down the audio, I am the editor. Of course, I’ve kept a copy on my own computer.

    It’s the officelive.com website that I lost access to, and the technicians at officelive.com could not help me regain access. Fortunately, they have not yet erased the site and it is still operational.

  8. If you can’t access it with one browser try another. I’m having no trouble with Firefox.
    Take it back. It’s only playing the first few seconds of each track.

  9. Internet Explorer works better. Using version 9.

  10. did anyone figure out how to access these?

  11. it appears that after my office live account is closed. Sorry. I’ll see what I can do to find a more permanent solution.

  12. Petros…I’d be more than happy to assist, or possibly even host. There’s a bunch of us missing Doc these days… feel free to drop me a line at scotters@gmail.com

  13. Hi, the audio links are not working. I would really love to download. Doc Pecota, was a great influence on me.

  14. I was also a student of Dr. Pecota in 1975, what a great man of God he was. I’m having trouble accessing any of the above links, I click on them and nothing happens. Are they dead links? Please help.
    Thanks,
    John


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