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Dallas Professor’s Dream Remade

by Shannon Lauer on June 1, 2009 in Profiles
A young Reg Grant, with his new bride, Lauren, packed their meager possessions and moved from Lubbock, Texas to Dallas. For Reg, the path to seminary required an “Isaac on the alter” moment. Since the age of nine, he had crafted his own stage make-up kit. The total value of the kit couldn’t have exceeded $35—a widow’s mite. But stage acting and joining the 1977 entering class at Dallas Theological Seminary didn’t blend. 

The day he arrived in Dallas, he gave his kit to a friend. He reflects on that day. “I severed the emotional umbilical chord that tied me to my old world. When I gave that up, I gave up everything that tied me to theater.” Not long after, another incoming student mentioned to him that Dr. John Reed, a professor at the seminary, was doing something new called Christian theater. He adds, “That was my ram in the thicket.” 

Reg partnered with Dr. Reed on several projects and began a course entitled Dramatizing Scripture, a class he continues to teach. In the class, he teaches a Christian view of acting, “The goal of an actor in a seminary context is the same as any Christian artist in any social or academic context. Whether it is secular or ‘sacred,’ it is our job to understand Christ as he is revealed through the Word, embody that, and reveal him to the world in our particular discipline.” Many great acting teachers define acting as the process of unmasking our personal inhibitions to reveal truth. Reg adds, “To embody and reveal the word is the whole concept behind Christian transparency, honesty, and the pursuit of truth as revealed in the person of Christ. A Christian actor uses his or her craft to attract people to him and draw them into a personal relationship with him.”

This spring, Dr. Reg Grant, has returned to his favorite mission field, a movie set. He has been cast as Hank, the Texas farmer, in the feature length film, Heart Land, to be released later this year. As he prepares for his character, he shares a few thoughts on Hank, “One of the key truths I’m trying to reveal in [Hank] is that it’s important to try to understand and accept people for who they can become rather than who we think they are based on our preconceived notions of what makes a man or a woman. You can’t judge people by what you believe they can or can’t do. Who they are and what they can become, that is part of the Christian vision, seeing potential in people and developing and encouraging that potential.”

The choice to sever himself from his dream to follow wholly after the Lord, though painful at the time, afforded Dr. Reg Grant a new dream—to wait for new rams in the thicket and obey.
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