A Justice that Touched the Lives of All People
A Tribute to Glen Stassen by Student Nick Palacios
Bounding into the classroom, awkwardly oblivious to the
bicycle helmet still strapped to his head, Glen was like a cagey panther ready
to pounce on new students' fresh and eager minds. Glen had a contagious zeal
for learning and the academy was his playground. This passion was so dynamic
that one could never anticipate the sort of visceral response they might get.
During one of the last lectures of his career, tears streamed from Glen’s eyes
as he read from Bonhoeffer’s Letters
and Papers from Prison. Glen didn’t just teach, he inspired his students to
action through sharing his own emotional connection with his work and his Lord.
Glen believed in a justice that touched the lives of all
people. When so many Christians allow their religious platitudes to relegate their
“other” to the margins of the Church, culture, and society, Glen used his
ethical scaffolding as a means to widen the embrace of the Church. His passion
and commitment to achieving justice for all people was evidently seen in his
advocacy for the rights and dignity of all, and most recently those of gender
and sexual minorities. As faculty advisor for Fuller’s student group OneTable,
Glen worked directly with students and faculty to navigate a tenuous
conversation while creating safe spaces for all to come together. When most
people are more comfortable sitting on the sidelines of such an emotionally
charged conversation, offering criticism from the bench (or pew), Glen always
chose to roll up his sleeves and get in the game. Glen’s love for people mimicked
that of Christ’s. He saw past people’s constructed identities to their basic
humanity as impetus for relationship.
To a man above many men – thank you, Dr. Glen Stassen, aka
Horse, for your indelible contribution to the academy, ethics, global church,
and the lives of your many many students. You leave a legacy of profound
insight into what it means to live incarnationally in response to the life of
Christ. Your friendship and personal support of OneTable will have lasting
effects for years to come. Thank you, Glen, thank you! We will mourn now, but
celebrate your life for years to come.
Nicholaus Palacios is
a Fuller student and president of OneTable, a student discussion group
which included Dr. Glen Stassen as a faculty advisor.