Many of us are familiar with the name George Eldon Ladd, a leading evangelical scholar of his times and professor at Fuller seminary for some 25 years—the guy who taught so many of us about the kingdom of God and eschatology, himself a Historic Premillennialist.
But he lived to please people, not God, in the end:
A Place at the Table is an educational look at Ladd’s life and accomplishments – the good, bad, and the ugly. D’Elia does not shy away from describing Ladd’s personal failures. Ladd lived many years with a crumbling marriage, a neglected family, and a heavy drinking problem. Obsessed with his desire to make a splash in the broader academic world, Ladd is crushed by another theologian’s negative review of his work. In the last decade of his life, Ladd came to see his attempts at engaging scholarship outside of evangelicalism as a “fool’s dream,” and he entered a period of depression from which he never fully recovered. (taken from blogger Trevin Wax’s review of A Place at the Table: George Eldon Ladd and the Rehabilitation of Evangelical Scholarship in America)
We were never called to be people-pleasers.
As fine a scholar as George Eldon Ladd was, he never quite learned that lesson.
Consider the domino effect.
Be careful, my friends.