Opening Remarks by Robert B. Gregory

Opening Remarks

Joseph and Alice McKeen Study Center

September 27, 2014

Robert B. Gregory, Director


The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone-- this is the LORD's doing it is marvelous in our eyes. Psalm 118.22,23

These are suitable words for us to consider as we lay the cornerstone of sorts for the Joseph and knowledge McKeen Christian Study Center.  They come from the pen of David,  King of Israel, and are either quoted or mentioned by Isaiah, by Jesus in all of the synoptic gospels, by Peter and his sermon in the fourth chapter of Acts, again by Peter in his letter to the Asian church, and by the Apostle Paul in his letter to the Ephesians.

Preaching from this text in 1 Peter 2.7 the Joseph McKeen whose name is on this building said that the Kingdom built on this stone met with disappointed expectations. He offered these four reasons:

  1. Because the only enemies [Christ] proposed to deliver them from were their sins;
  2. Because the yoke of slavery, which he offered to break off from their necks, was the tyranny of their lusts;
  3. Because the kingdom which he was about to set up in the world was a kingdom that consisted in righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost;
  4. and the because honors and benefits which he would bestow on his followers were in the invisible world. 

McKeen added further that this stone was rejected because in this Kingdom:

  • humility was the way to advancement; and
  • that poverty in spirit, that mourning for sin, that meekness, that hungering and thirsting after righteousness, that love of mercy, that purity of heart, that a peaceable and charitable temper, that patience under affliction were true characteristics of those who would be honored and rewarded in his kingdom.

He then concluded that knowing how contrary these doctrines and precepts are to the corruptions of the human heart. . .  this stone ever has been, and ever will be, precious to them that believe.

It is for both for a place and for an opportunity that Bowdoin students, faculty and community members might be able to freely consider this stone that the builders rejected that we inaugurate this Christian Study Center today.