An Israelite, indeed, in whom is no guile (John 1:47 KJV).
It is with sadness that we received news of the death of our good friend and treasured colleague, Corneliu Constantineanu.
He was a faithful friend and co-worker, and a constant supporter of our seminary in Osijek, where he studied, taught, contributed to seminars, served as a dean, and later as a board member.
Corneliu’s heart was to be and to develop others to be “believing and practicing scholars.” This was a watchword with him early in his career as a theologian. He led by example. His faith was important to him and he was not ashamed to allow his faith to motivate and inform his scholarship. He inspired others to do the same.
Corneliu first came into the life of our seminary community as a student at the extension center at Elim Church in Timisoara, where courses were taught in the basement of that large and beautiful church. As a teacher I was immediately impressed by his cheerful spirit and guileless manner. In all the years of service Corneliu maintained a positive spirit and never allowed the normal setbacks and challenges of ministry to dampen his zeal or allow a cynical spirit to take root.
Corneliu loved his family. We can honor our colleague’s memory by praying for and encouraging his beloved wife Iona, and daughters Anna Maria and Carmen as well as his extended family. We can also intentionally pursue the worthy goal to which he devoted his professional life: to inspire and develop believing and practicing scholars who will serve church and society.
We are confident that our brother is in the presence of the living God, that he experiences a joy unspeakable and full of glory. While we mourn the loss to ourselves, we are confident that we who remain and trust in the crucified and resurrected Christ, will share in that beautiful vision of our savior who dwells in light inapproachable.
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this momentary light affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal (II Corinthians 4:17-18).
P. Steven Paulus, March 17, 2021