Preaching Day 2018

Workshop 1 - Rev. Dr. Emily Bisset: Preserving the mystery of God in an age of information

We live in an age that is defined by quick access to information.  We have come to expect multiple answers to any given question with the click of a button, complete with an image index.  In the church, we have witnessed a trend toward the practice of how-to lists, answers, and help with simplifying one’s life.  However, among the many things that we are called to be, a preacher’s mandate is to be a “servant of Christ and a steward of God’s mysteries” (1 Corinthians 4:1). When people try to define God too narrowly, use God as a player on their side of a debate, or even tame God, it is the preacher’s job to be a steward of the mystery of God. Moreover, Paul continues, “it is required of stewards that they should be found trustworthy” (1 Cor. 4:2).  In every season, God is faithful and God is a mystery.  The workshop will explore this concept, and provide some practical tools for preachers in the task of being a steward of God’s mysteries, often in the midst of great pressure to do otherwise. 

Emily Bisset

The Rev. Dr. Emily Bisset (Th.D in homiletics) is minister of Calvin Presbyterian Church in Toronto.  Calvin worships and serves in ecumenical shared ministry with Deer Park United Church. Emily is a preacher and teacher, as well as being married to a preacher and sharing the joys and challenges of parenting a young child.  Ordained in the Presbyterian Church (USA) in 2000, she has been a minister in The Presbyterian Church in Canada since 2007.  She teaches a preaching course at Knox College, provides leadership and writes resource material for the national Presbyterian church, works with students preparing for ministry, and enjoys the challenge and inspiration of ecumenical ministry.


Workshop 2 -  Rev. Dr. Glen Taylor: The Messianic Shape of the Psalms

This purpose of this workshop is to heighten awareness of a wide range of interpretive avenues—pre-critical, critical, and especially canonical—for preaching the psalms with reference to Jesus Christ.  The precritical will include a comparison of both Luther and Calvin and the canonical will include insights of my own.  The focus will be practical (with reference to actual preaching) and devotional (with reference to edifying oneself as well as the congregation). 

Glen Taylor

Rev. Dr. Glen Taylor  was born and raised in an evangelical Christian home in Calgary, Alberta. As a youngster he enjoyed downhill skiing and mountaineering in the Rocky Mountains, as well as horseback riding in the foothills. His home church, Bethany Chapel, and InterVarsity Christian Fellowship (including Pioneer Camp) played a formative role in his youth. Two mentors influenced his career aspirations, a skilled Bible expositor and pastor named Gary Inrig, and an Old Testament scholar named Peter Craigie. Glen attended Inrig’s alma mater (Dallas Seminary), known for its rigorous instruction in biblical languages and preaching, but otherwise followed Craigie’s advice on where to train for a career as an Old Testament scholar. This included study of the Old Testament with John Gray at the University of Aberdeen, and study of Ugaritic (a semitic language) and Old Testament with Marvin Pope at Yale University.  At Yale Glen was also mentored by Brevard Childs, under whom Glen served as a teaching assistant.

Shortly before being hired at Wycliffe College to teach Old Testament, Glen married a Canadian classmate at Yale, Marion Finlayson Taylor, with whom he has taught at Wycliffe since 1987. They have three children: David (b. 1988), Catherine (b. 1989) and Peter (b. 1991). Marion and Glen joined the Anglican Church (St George’s Cathedral, Jerusalem) in 1986, and Glen has since become ordained as an Anglican priest (2000).

Although Glen has taught mostly at Wycliffe, as a graduate student he taught Syriac at Yale and Religious Studies (Western Religions) at the University of Calgary. More recently Glen has taught Old Testament at Nanjing Union Theological Seminary in China (2012) and biblical Aramaic at Kosin University in Busan, South Korea (2014).

Glen enjoys the outdoors, especially the Rocky Mountains. Other hobbies include western horsemanship, collecting antiques, home decorating, travel, and a fascination with cars from the 1960s and 70s.

Glen and Marion raised their children on the Wycliffe campus, where they lived and mentored students from 1987 to 1999. Since then they have lived in an old Victorian house much like Wycliffe in style.  They often live in community with student boarders and Christian couples who reside in an apartment in their home. Along with Marion, Glen owns a cottage near South River Ontario, where they assist the Anglican parish of Almaguin Highlands in the summers by leading worship and preaching.

Since 2010, Glen has taught overseas for a few months every two years in order to learn from and serve the church abroad, as well as to learn more about global Christianity, an emphasis at Wycliffe. His visits have included Israel (where he loves to help lead educational pilgrimages—contact him!), Colombia, where his sister serves as a Bible teacher, and The Gambia, where he teaches occasionally for the ad-hoc Gambia Theological Institute.  He has also served as a consultant for the new Christian Studies program at the University of The Gambia.