Posted by Darin Williams on November 19, 2003 at 12:23:27:
I met Bob Passantino in 1992 during a period in my life where I had a lot of questions about the faith. It was at the 9 week course on "Atheism" at Mars Hill Club that Bob inspired me to pursue Apologetics. You might say that I am a special needs person, because I needed Bob over the years to help me understand better the Gospel of God's Kindom. I remember those days at Christ Lutheran where Bob would stay up until 3 or 4am with me when everyone else had left, to talk about anything and everything.
Over the years we spent talking, Calvinism was a topic that was of great importance, primarily because I was presuppositionally a "closet" Calvinist and also because Bob saw Calvinism as a threat to the Gospel. I say "closet Calvinist" because I accepted certain theological beliefs unwittingly in my noetic structure. Bob would always emphasize to me the nature and meaning of freedom, always very graciously. Bob would always tell me that the unbounded love of God was the key to any rational view of reality. If God does not love "all" (each and every) person to ever live, what good is God?
And what hope could I have? Bob saw better than anyone that Sovereignty, Omnipotence, Omniscience and so forth are held together by God's love. God's grace and love were the starting points of his philosophy. I think Bob would agree that "If God doesn't love all, He doesn't love at all."
For those that knew Bob best, know that love was the key to his life. Bob really loved people. And I am sad to see him gone. Who am I going to talk to now about the books I am reading? Who is going to have the sense of humor to say "Here is your assignment, Mr. Phelps, if you choose to take it", and then have me read a list of books that Bob would want to talk about. Who is crazy enough to spend the time talking about Hackett, Buswell and Felt's "Making Sense of Your Freedom." I might have to wait until heaven before I meet someone as friendly, loving and intense about books as Bob.
There is much to reminisce about. As Walter Martin was Bob's mentor and friend, so Bob has been my mentor and friend. Now it's my turn to talk about my mentor and friend as Bob talked about Walter. I love you Bob, more than you know. Until we see each other in heaven, good-bye. I miss you!!!
Your biggest admirer,
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