Michael McClymond (Saint Louis University) in “New Directions in Edwards Studies.”

February 21st, 2013 at 1:00 pm

Title: “Between Rome, Geneva, Moscow, and the Azusa Street Mission: Jonathan Edwards and the Future of Global Christianity”

Where: Hinkson Hall on the campus of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.

Between Rome, Geneva, Moscow, and the Azusa Street Mission: Jonathan Edwards and the Future of Global Christianity

World Christianity today is quite different than a century ago. It now seems increasingly likely that Roman Catholics, Evangelicals, and Pentecostals in Africa, Asia, and Latin America will play a major role in shaping the twenty-first-century theological agenda. A new agenda for the new century needs to be scripturally based, open to vibrant, Spirit-led experience, engaged with non-Christian religions, and ecumenically fruitful. Surprising as it may sound, the writings of eighteenth-century thinker Jonathan Edwards offer an excellent point of departure for such a theological agenda. As Professors McClymond and McDermott have exhaustively demonstrated in their major book, The Theology of Jonathan Edwards(Oxford University Press, 2012; 784 pp.), Jonathan Edwarsds’s thought functions as a bridge figure in four ways—between Catholics and Protestants, the Christian East and West, Charismatics and Non-Charismatics, and Liberals and Conservatives. His ideas can therefore be helpful in connecting the theological discussions that have taken place within separated Christian communities that have not tended to communicate or discuss their ideas with one another.

Biographical note on the speaker: Michael McClymond is Professor in Theological Studies at Saint Louis University. He was educated at Northwestern University (B.A. in chemistry), Yale University (M.Div.), and the University of Chicago (M.A. in religion; Ph.D. in theology), and has held teaching or research appointments at Wheaton College (IL), Westmont College, the University of California–San Diego, and Emory University. He is an author or editor of eight volumes that treat Evangelicalism, Pentecostalism, comparative religions, and biblical studies. Reviewers have referred to his two-volume, 700,000-word Encyclopedia of Religious Revivals in America (Greenwood Press, 2007) as the definitive reference work on its topic. His books have won the Brewer Prize from the American Society of Church History and Christianity Today’s Award of Merit. His latest publication is the co-authored work The Theology of Jonathan Edwards (Oxford University Press, 2012; 784 pp.). With Candy Gunther Brown of Indiana University, he was the recipient of a $150,000 grant from the Flame of Love Project to study divine healing in Brazil, Mozambique, and North America during 2009-2011. He has served as Co-Chair for the Evangelical Studies Group in the American Academy of Religion (AAR) and is currently the Co-Chair (with Kathryn Attanasi of Regent University) of the Pentecostal-Charismatic Studies Group in the AAR. In Fall 2012, he was Senior Scholar-in-Residence at the Overseas Ministries Study Center in New Haven, Connecticut, and completed his manuscript for the book The Great Convergence: Controversy, Heresy, and Ambiguity in the Christian Debate Over Universal Salvation. With Lamin Sanneh of Yale University, McClymond is co-editing the Blackwell-Wiley Companion to World Christianity (Basil Blackwell, 2013). An Anglican layman, McClymond has been a leader in Global Day of Prayer – St. Louis, Habitat for Humanity – St. Louis, Stepping Into the Light (a substance abuse recovery ministry), and he is currently involved in an initiative to address the crime of human trafficking in his city and region. McClymond began his theological education in 1981-82 at TEDS, where he studied exegesis with D. A. Carson, New Testament with Wayne Grudem and Grant Osbourne, and theology with Kenneth Kantzer.