RBC Spotlight: Dr. Matthew Dudreck, Associate Professor of New Testament
Posted On April 21, 2021
We recently sat down with Dr. Dudreck to ask him about his life, faith, and work at RBC.
When and how did you come to faith in Christ?
I was raised in a nominally Roman Catholic home, but came to faith in Christ the summer before my senior year of high school at a youth camp.
What’s your favorite book of the Bible or favorite author?
Have you traveled overseas for missions? If so, where?
I have participated in evangelistic TESL (Teaching English as Second Language) camps in Czechia (formerly Czech Republic), and on one occasion served as a visiting instructor at a small theological school north of Yerevan, Armenia.
What do you have a passion for?
Helping God’s people grow in their understanding of Scripture and training the next generation of Reformed ministers and lay leaders for the building up of Christ’s church.
Why do you enjoy teaching at RBC?
RBC exhibits both a passion for confessional fidelity to the classical Reformed tradition and a warm piety that puts that confession into practice. It is a pleasure to serve here.
What aspect of working with students do you find rewarding?
Helping students grasp a better understanding of the unified narrative of God’s purposes in creation and redemption as organically revealed in Scripture.
How would you describe the community or culture at RBC?
Desirous of truth, devoted to one another, and determined to serve Christ’s church.
If you weren’t a professor at RBC, what would you be doing?
If I received a call, I would love to serve as a minister of the Word and sacrament in a Presbyterian church.
What are your favorite hobbies or pastimes?
Following Chicago sports teams; playing with my kids outside.
Do you have a favorite sports team or athlete?
Chicago Bulls, and Michael Jordan.
Do you have children?
My wife, Jamie, and I have two children who are seven and three years old.
How long have you lived in Florida?
I have lived in Florida since June 2019.
What activities do you enjoy doing in Florida?
Going to DisneyWorld parks with my wife and children, and spending time outside by our pool.
How were you first introduced to Dr. Sproul’s teaching?
My first interaction with Dr. Sproul, like many people, was coming across a little copy of The Holiness of God in a very crucial, very early time in my Christian life. It affected my understanding of the importance of God’s being, who God is, and how that shapes one’s own individual Christian life and how one is to reflect that same image in every aspect of their life. If indeed we’ve been created in God’s image, we must have an understanding of the true nature of God’s holiness and what a weight that is upon our lives. That very early on impacted my life with respect to Dr. Sproul’s legacy.
What books would you recommend to students starting at RBC?
There are two books I could recommend. One is from the classic texts that we use here at RBC in our biblical theology courses. Especially for the students who are looking at our Foundation Year program, it’s a very important text: Geerhardus Vos’ Biblical Theology. It gives us a good framework for the organic nature of Scripture, showing how there is one unified story from beginning to end. And then there is another book I think is very helpful and may be a little bit more accessible. It’s From Adam and Israel to the Church by Benjamin Gladd—a very good book that gives you a concise biblical theology.
Why is it important for students to learn a biblical language?
I think there’s a helpful analogy to be found when you visit a foreign country whose primary language is different from your own. Although you may be able to get by without knowing the language and adequately accomplish whatever purpose your visit may have been using a translator, you will lack the depth of understanding that comes from navigating the history and people of that country in their native tongue. I think the same can be said of the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek Scriptures, which were written by people spanning a variety of both times and places. You can get by as a regular visitor, but is that all you want to be?
What are some basic words in Greek that Christians should familiarize themselves with?
Just like any language, a particular word in Koine Greek will have a range of meanings based on how speakers used it in various contexts. For any particular use of a word, we must examine its use in context to determine what specific meaning of that word an author is conveying. Even so, for those curious, charis (χάρις) is used often by New Testament authors to refer to “favor” or “grace,” and dikaiosynē (δικαιοσύνη) is used often to refer to “righteousness.”
What is something you wish you knew before going into seminary?
Before any of my formal biblical education, I wish I would have been taught and memorized any of the historic Reformed catechisms. They provide such a helpful theological framework to build upon. Also, I wish I had kept up with my childhood and high school German classes, so I didn’t have to cut my teeth later on in graduate school!
How and when did you know you wanted to be a professor?
Growing up, I had a very distorted understanding of Scripture and the gospel from the church to which my family nominally belonged. Very soon after my conversion, a great desire developed within me to study the Bible and to help others understand it. I wanted family, friends, and others to have the same joy that I had found and avoid the distortions and falsehoods that I had been taught as a child. That developed and matured over time into an academic call to teach and train others in the Bible and the historic Christian faith of the Reformed tradition.