Note from Theron: This post is the second in a three-part series giving tribute to professors whose teachings and lives have been a godly example to my life and ministry. (The first post honored Dr. Nicholas Piotrowski and can be found here). This second post gives tribute to Dr. Mark Eckel.
The teacher who taught me how to think, not what to think. The instructor who impressed upon me the importance of incarnational ministry. The moviegoer who ruined watching movies for me, in the best kind of way. The practitioner, always connecting truth and wisdom to life. This is how I would describe Dr. Mark Eckel and the impact he and his teaching has had on my life.
My first Bible college course was taught by Mark Eckel. My second favorite course during my undergraduate, Introduction to Philosophy, was led by Mark Eckel (for the curious, my favorite course was Hermeneutics!). In this course on philosophy, God used Dr. Eckel’s teaching to stir in me a passion for thinking deeply and sharing the truth. However, that semester in his class was only the beginning. In the Lord’s providence, I would receive the blessing to learn under Mark Eckel again in seminary. His personal style allowed for much discussion in thinking through cultural analysis and engagement. These discussions were not abstract for Dr. Eckel. He was living out the truth on a public university campus he was teaching us in a seminary course.
He has been my professor. I am grateful to call him my friend. Dr. Mark Eckel now serves as the president of Comenius Institute, interacting with students on the IUPUI campus to discuss where Christian wisdom and college life meet. I can assure you the students who come in contact with this man are blessed. In his life, Dr. Mark Eckel’s own words ring true: Legacy is not what you leave behind; legacy is who you leave behind.