DBU Welcomes Dr. Paul Haidostian for 2022 Gallup Distinguished Lecture Series

Dr. Haidostain speaking in chapel

This year, the DBU family welcomed Dr. Paul Haidostian all the way from Beirut, Lebanon, to speak at the 2022 Gallup Distinguished Lecture Series, beginning with his lesson shared with students in the morning Chapel service. Through telling his story, Dr. Haidostian beautifully articulated the battle between earthly pain and heavenly fulfillment.

"I was 13 in 1975 when the war started and I started seeing things as I traveled on my way and back to and from school: killings, explosions, our apartment was shelled twice, and so much more. And after all this, I am here dear friends to tell you that our story as a people, as Armenians, is not a story of pain," says Dr. Haidostian. "Pain is part of our past, but we move on with grace. That's why in Romans 5:20 it says 'where sin increases, grace abounds all the more.' The story of grace is a victorious story. But remember: pain is part of our understanding of what grace means."

Dr. Haidostian continued by saying "I am here from Beirut to tell you that looking for an easy life does not bring fulfillment. Looking for fulfillment in Christ alone does. The Apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians that 'You are not your own. You were bought at a price.' Our faith fails when we live our Christian life as if we are our own. But you are not your own. Go and glorify Him, for in Him, you will find abundant grace, even after pain."

At the noon luncheon with faculty and staff, Dr. Haidostian continued this theme and spoke of four dynamics of spirituality he learned growing up in Lebanon amid the crises of civil war, enduring the struggle between the harsh realities of pain in a fallen world and finding fulfillment in fellowship with Christ.

"If pain is an experience of life, then fulfillment will be the purpose of life. If pain is a worldly limitation or loss of extreme or manageable proportions, then fulfillment would be the freeing outcome," shared Dr. Haidostian.

To be lost and be restored; to fall and rise; to receive and share; to recognize the past and embrace the future. Pain teaches us these deeper lessons that "large gates and wide roads" of life would never do. We must find fulfillment in fellowship with Christ not in a path of ease, comfort, and plenty, but on the narrow road of suffering through self-giving, service, humility, and favoring the weak. Through the realities of sin and death, our hope is in the power of His grace and resurrection.

Dr. Haidostian became President of Haigazian University in Beirut in 2002, which was founded in 1955 as a joint endeavor of the Armenian Missionary Association of America and the Union of Armenian Evangelical Churches in the Near East. He earned a bachelor of arts in psychology from Haigazian, an MDiv from the Near East School of Theology in Beirut, and a Ph.D. from Princeton Theological Seminary. He serves as the Chair of the Central Committee of the Union of Armenian Evangelical Churches in the Near East.

The Gallup Distinguished Lecture Series was established at DBU in the spring of 2003 by George Gallup, Jr. Mr. Gallup, who passed away in 2011, was internationally recognized as a foremost expert on survey research and scientific polling. His career was dedicated to helping society better understand the contemporary context, and as a dedicated Christian, his lifetime of service has been particularly important to people of faith.

Written by Dr. Michael Whiting

Dr. Michael Whiting is the Director of Written Content in University Communications at Dallas Baptist University.