The Warrior

I’ve posted on Dr. John Hannah before. He had a profound influence on my while I was at DTS. Now that I’ve figured out how to do single spacing (shift then enter), I’m posting this poem that was inspired by his teaching.

The Warrior

Inspired by Distinguished Professor
Reverend Doctor John D. Hannah

Proud generals do plot and plan
Deployments and stratagems,
But wise men know that wars depend
Not upon the diagrams.
No, battles shift when in the fray
Stalwart strong the men do stay.

When all seems lost and death most sure,
When sheer fear retreat would cure,
There and then momentum is turned
When the dreadful lie is spurned:
That there’s no cause worth more than life;
And bold men stand and face the scythe.

A name is given to such men,
It means more than “soldier” can,
We dub the resolute and pure
With the firm title, “Warrior.”
The warrior knows love and truth,
And he will die for their worth.

Like a warrior my teacher stands;
With the Sword his post he mans.
Proud generals do come and go;
Fighting men are more than show.
And when their clever tricks won’t do
Men fit for the task are few.

There’s nothing new that’s needed here,
Call forth courage, drive out fear,
Wave the banner, and bang the drum,
With loud hurrahs let them come
And they will meet a reckless charge
Of the wise whose hearts are large.

Aye, large, and filled with holy dread
—all other fears by it dead—
Of God so great and pure and true
Gracious, loving, and just too;
Indeed, courage that comes from fear
Is just the thing that’s needed here.

Where? Where? Pray-tell can this be found?
You won’t find it gazing round
At nifty tricks and strategies,
Nor in the new psychologies.
What drum to bang, what flag to wave
To swell hearts bold and make them brave?

Just hear the warrior-teacher’s charge;
Feel what makes your own heart large.
Hear him speak of the Lord most high,
Find that you don’t fear to die,
For such a God and such a Name
Gladly you’ll be put to shame.

Yes hear the warrior prophet preach;
Depths of soul his words do reach.
Hands on hips and his head held high,
Love to Christ beams in his eyes,
As valiantly he speaks again
Of the great offense of sin

Which God so hates that evermore
Wrath ‘gainst it He has in store.
This wrath does vindicate His name,
Shows His worth and spreads His fame.
While many think that sin is slight
God loathes it with all His might.

To spurn the Lord is no small thing—
That’s the song my teacher sings.
And in the music’s melody
If you listen you will see
The worth of Christ made clear and plain,
For His death takes all sin’s claim

And makes it null and sets us free
Righteous now in Him to be.
The banner’s waving in the strife;
Here is truth worth more than life.
So let us join the warrior’s song,
Voices loud, clear, and long

Will raise anew the Gospel’s tones,
Its truth like fire in the bones.
Hear now the warrior teacher’s word,
“None love I more than the Lord,
For He loved me when loved me none
And my life bought with His Son.

My debt all paid, His wrath all spent
—meant for me, to Christ it went—
Here by His grace I’ll stand and fight,
Christ to serve with all my might.
And I will wait for that Great Day
When knees will bow and tongues say,

‘Praise and glory to God most high!’
O Lord Jesus, draw Thou nigh.”

James Merrill Hamilton Jr.
December 25, 2000

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  1. Just a question, were the people you were referring to in your previous post about John Hannah (the one’s who claimed they were “just interpreting the Bible” and seemingly straying from “orthodox Christianity”) were those people some of your professors at DTS. The reason I ask is because I just perceive from your words “exegete” and “just interpreting the Bible” that they were probably NT or OT profs there at DTS.

    If this is the case, I am somewhat surprised given your area of expertise (biblical theology). I have not encountered many exegetes or biblical theologians who speak so highly of systematics (rightly in my opinion). As you know, the divide is becoming even more intense in recent years, usually with the systematic guys holding the trump card over those who are “just interpreting the Bible.” The you not think that the views and beliefs of those who have gone before us (even those we agree with) and the creeds and councils are always subject to our critique?

    I’d like to hear your thoughts on this. Thanks

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