Faculty Profile: Dr. John Hannah

"Those who have confidence in God’s work in the future understand His work in the past. The heroes of our faith are dead but they still speak today," says Dr. John Hannah, who has taught historical theology at Dallas Seminary for 27 years and has served as department chairman since 1980.

"The proper study of man is to study God. Today, the pursuit of self has replaced God. Instead of falling on our faces before God, we’ve whittled Him down to our size. The early church stood against culture; the church today affirms it."

Dr. Hannah describes himself as a loner who loves people. "I know my calling, and I love my students. Teaching is about being honest with students at the emotional, moral, spiritual, and intellectual level. If students don’t see me portraying the real virtues, they won’t hear me when I talk about them. Character is far more important than knowledge and skill. " Though he is sure that God has called him to teach, he says, "I’d be happy doing anything if I sensed that was what God wanted me to do. If I were a farmer or a pianist, my calling still would be to serve the people of God."

What is a calling? "A calling is doing what you do regardless of what people think about it. What you really want to do is probably what God has called you to do. But most people think God wants us to be miserable and that life must have a misery quotient," he says.

Dr. Hannah and his wife Carolyn have two grown daughters. He spends about 30 weekends out of the year teaching or preaching in churches and at Bible conferences, and has led several tours of Israel and Europe.

When asked about his favorite books, Dr. Hannah said, "The Autobiography of Charles Spurgeon will teach you how to walk as a servant of God, Jonathan Edwards’s The Religious Affections will test your motives, and John Owen’s volumes on sin and sanctification in The Works of John Owen will drive you to Christ and His sufficiency."

– "Faculty Profile" from Dallas Theological Seminary’s Kindred Spirit Autumn 1998 (Vol. 22 No. 3)