Dr. Matthew Arbo, the Jewell and Joe Huitt Professor of Religious Education and associate professor of biblical and theological studies at OBU, delivered a special Blitz Week chapel message Monday, April 12. The service took place in Raley Chapel’s Potter Auditorium.
Blitz Week is an annual week of activities on the OBU campus each spring, designed to raise support for a local service or charitable organization. This year’s events are raising awareness and support for Legacy Parenting Center in Shawnee, an organization that offers help to parents and families in need by providing education, resources and mentoring.
Arbo shared from Luke 10:25-37, discussing the parable of the good Samaritan and how we are to both love God and love our neighbor.
“Love seems always to involve some kind of self-sacrifice,” he said. “It isn’t convenient. It’s important to return to the basic idea of love on a pretty routine basis because of how we tend to gloss over it or find ways of excusing ourselves from really what substantively it claims about us.”
He also discussed mercy and how important the concept is for us as Christians as we show love to others.
“Mercy, in this particular context, has to do with showing kindness and benevolence toward the afflicted, and the grounding for that mercy is God’s own mercy towards us. God is merciful towards his creatures. He shows kindness and leniency, clemency, and benevolence towards his creatures, towards humankind, who routinely do wrong and who do not respond to him in love in the way that He has invited and commanded us to.
“And yet, He shows mercy, and his mercy is abounding. And what we want from God every day is mercy. And what God asks of us in response is mercy.”
He noted that we are called to show the same mercy to others that we ourselves have been shown. He stated that as Christians, we are meant to not only receive mercy, but then in turn to be a channel for showing that same mercy to others.
Arbo is the Jewell and Joe Huitt Assistant Professor of Theological Studies and the director of the Center for Faith and Public Life at OBU. He earned both a B.A. and M.A. from Liberty University. He then earned both a Master of Theology and Ph.D. from the University of Edinburgh. Prior to his arrival at OBU, he served for three years as assistant professor of Christian ethics at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Missouri.
He is the author of “The Virtues: An Introduction and Outline,” “Walking Through Infertility: Biblical, Theological, and Moral Counsel for those who are Struggling,” and “Political Vanity: Adam Ferguson on the Moral Tensions of Early Capitalism.” His essays and articles on wide-ranging moral and political questions appear in several edited volumes and top-tier journals, including “Political Theology,” “Studies in Christian Ethics” and the “Evangelical Review of Society and Politics.”
Arbo is active in the scholarly community, contributing as an invited panelist or presenter for conferences at Princeton University, University of Notre Dame, and Tyndale House (Cambridge), among others. He is a member of the American Academy of Religion, Society of Christian Ethics and Evangelical Theological Society. He is also an appointed research fellow in Christian ethics for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.
In addition to Blitz Week events for students, OBU Student Life is hosting a diaper and wipes drive for Legacy Parenting Center. Everyone who brings a package of diapers or wipes (of any size) to the Blitz Week table in the GC or to any event will be entered to win a Blitz Week prize basket.
For more information about Blitz Week events, follow @OBUBlitzWeek on Instagram or stop by the Blitz Week table in the GC. Find out more about Legacy Parenting Center.