Reason for Existence
Reason for Existence
London Bible Institution & London College of Bible & Missions:
1935 - 1968
“I graduated from Tyndale (LCBM) with two things indelibly burned into my soul. One was the authority of the Scriptures, and the other was the Lordship of Jesus Christ.”
These two truths have guided Dr. Bob Morris [BTh 1966, Hon. DD 2011] ever since he graduated over 30 years ago.
What attracted him to Tyndale was his appreciation of its strong balance between faith and academics. “Even back then, it wasn’t a Bible college, it was a liberal arts college striving for official recognition.”
Tyndale’s “ethos” has always been strongly set on “being in the world.” When Tyndale was granted the official University College designation in 2003, Dr. Morris saw this as the fruition of what it had been striving for since he could remember.
After teaching in Toronto for a few years after graduating, he was placed at a Christian boarding school in India through the organization Interserve. Over the next 25 years, Dr. Morris would serve in a variety of capacities there, including the roles of acting Director of Interserve International and Director of Interserve Canada.
Dr. Morris is a co-founder of the Tyndale Intercultural Ministries (TIM) Centre. Raised by missionary parents in Nigeria, his passion for overseas mission is rooted in a history of crosscultural experiences. “It’s always mission. If you ask me to preach…I’ll preach on mission.” But for him, the term “mission” has evolved beyond what the church has traditionally understood it to be. He admits that it does still include overseas work but it is also how the church engages with culture right here in Canada.
He sees Tyndale’s mission to be a place where students are equipped to “speak and understand the vocabulary of the world,” giving them a “common ground” with people outside the church and thus an opportunity for engaging our culture.
Tyndale shaped Dr. Morris into the “mission-focused” person that he is today. “It shaped how I view God, how I view the world, and how I view myself in the world.” Not only was Dr. Morris equipped at Tyndale to “think critically about God,” but through taking arts courses in philosophy and economics, he was also given the tools to “think critically about the world.”
At the age of 72, Dr. Morris still has the same passion for mission that he had when he was first called by God. At a conference in Bethlehem with Palestinian Christians, the worship leader asked Dr. Morris how he stayed so passionate at his age. His answer was simple yet profound: mission. “Mission has been driving me all these years. It is the ‘raison d’être’ (French for ‘reason of existence’) of the church, of the kingdom and of Jesus’ ministry. It’s what makes the world go around and the kingdom come.”
Although he is retired and does not travel overseas nearly as much, Dr. Morris manages to stay busy engaging culture at home. This is a reason why he stays so passionate. From teaching at the TIM Centre, to serving as Vice President of his local Electoral Association, to being an itinerant preacher, Dr. Morris continues to faithfully and passionately serve God and he hopes to continue to “explore new ways to make an impact on culture.”
As Tyndale transitions to Bayview on its 120th anniversary, Dr. Morris sees the value of having a campus that “resembles a university located in the middle of the city.” His hope is that Tyndale will continue to refine its focus on mission and strive to be a community that “spends itself on others beyond the walls of the church.” For him, this also means inviting people from the outside world to Tyndale for meaningful dialogue and debate. “I think we have to invite the world here. We have to engage people right in our home. We have to open the gate and open the doors, and not be afraid of people’s questions – however hostile they may be – and we have to have the courage and the capacity to answer them!”