I cannot believe that I am just now hearing this news. Ted was to stay with me this November while he spoke at a conference here in Philadelphia. I am now deeply grieved.
I have known Ted for almost 30 years. He was a close friend and mentor over the years, though we only spoke two or three times a year recently.
Ted brought me into the Reformation and I have always maintained that love of history and always looked forward to our discussions and what our latest interest in books was.
I remember the first time Ted visited me in my apartment in Springfield, MO, around 1977, during our undergraduate days together, as he stopped his greeting in mid-sentence to rush past me when he saw Phillip Schaff's 8 volume history on my shelf. Pulling volumes down, he launched into almost interoggatories of me about my knowledge of Martin Luther and the Reformation. I knew at that point we would remain long time friends.
After undergraduate school, in 1981, I returned home to Philadelphia to start a Master's program at Temple.
I was greatly surprised and pleased when Ted called me that summer to tell me that he and Susan had moved to Philadelphia and that he was there to attend Westminster.
Ted worked as a night clerk at an apartment complex and many times I would just drop in on him to discuss theology. He would put down his book or his notes and unselfishly take hours to carefully walk me through my difficult sojourn past depravity, election, the atonement, reprobation, and
God's sovereignty. I ended up a Calvinist but also fully appreciative of Ted's Lutheranism.
We also had many great times such as when we saw Bob Dylan in Philly. I still remember how excited Susan was to see him for the first time!
Or, when Ted and Susan would come over to our house for movie night as I showed the old reeled films like, Yellow Submarine. Mostly, I loved to visit Ted at his home office and pick his brain - he actually despised that he had to take courses about people like Herbert Hoover.
Ted wandered down to Emory and then over to Concordia and our comunication became less frequent. But I still remember being surprized, around 1988, to recieve a letter from him in Edinburgh, inviting me over.
I met him in London in July 1989, and we took three days to get back to Edinburgh. He took me to the Devonshire Arms pub near Picadilly, where we unapologetically had far too much Guinness. We wore plastic Bobby helmets back to our lodgings, barking out threatening orders to
the hotel staff and staring them down in John Cleese fashion with our fingers pointing at them. Realizing how pissed we were, they convulsed in laughter.
Next night we pursued similar follies at the Turf in Oxford. It was the fourth of July and we were in England. Life was good.
My second time in Scotland with Ted, in 1991, we journeyed to St. Andrews. Every hour with Ted was a living history lecture. Ted was energized, and he made me so, as we strolled those streets and visited the castle and cathedral remains there. Ted was intense. He showed me the spot of the first Protestant martyr, talked about John Knox and some of his actual writings he reviewed at New College. He stopped to buy another book on the Reformation, and at lunch became excited as he pointed out to me the art work and contributions that one of his New College teachers made to the book.
Ted impressed me as well with his love for his children. I recall that same evening his taking them to a park to play with them and I saw a warmth that made me wish I had had a father so attentive.
The next morning, I told Ted that in the middle of the night I watched the Stones' Concert in the Park. He almost chided me for not waking him up to see it. Indeed, a man of many interests.
I last saw Ted when he came to my house in Philadelphia with his daughter a few years ago. My address is the Philadelphia address for his Institute; a lot of your mail has passed through me on it's way to Ted. I was having some difficulty with my teenage son at the time and I was amazed at Ted's quick and penetrating insight into my son's personality from such a short observation. I knew that here was a brillant mind, of which it is difficult find comparisons. Such an ability to see a comprehensive picture as well as the critical details reminds me of, I don't why, but a mind like an Alexander Hamilton's seems to emerge.
Ted confirmed with me in June that he would be staying with me in Philadelphia for a week in November and we would find time to have those pints of Guinness again and catch up on the last year or so in a decent fashion. Well, Ted is now in glory. And I know I will never find quite an equal to replace this wonderful, pastoral, wise, scholarly, and godly man. I will miss you my dear friend. But I will also be joining you again someday.