From the Dean

News items, published articles, and reading recommendations from Dean Timothy George

The Dean Recommends: Bonhoeffer’s Dirty Hands and the 2016 Presidential Election

By Mark DeVine
October 27, 2016

Wayne Grudem’s defense of a vote for Trump evoked an avalanche of repudiation, a veritable beat down by an array of theologically likeminded, #NeverTrump “friends.” A vote for Trump would be “wicked,” they said. It would violate Christian conscience and stain one’s reputation. We’ll come back to Grudem and his critics, but first let’s revisit a few chapters from the extraordinary life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, pastor, theologian, and conspirator to assassinate Adolf Hitler.

A few days before his departure from New York City Bonhoeffer wrote to Reinhold Niebuhr:

“. . . I have had time to think and to pray about my situation and that of my nation and to have God’s will for me clarified. I have come to the conclusion that I have made a mistake in coming to America. I must live through this difficult period of our national history with the Christian people of Germany. I will have no right to participate in the reconstruction of Christian life in Germany after the war if I do not share the trials of this time with my people. . . .  Christians in Germany will face the terrible alternative of either willing the defeat of their nation in order that Christian civilization may survive, or willing the victory of their nation and thereby destroying our civilization. I know which of these alternatives I must choose; but I cannot make that choice in security . . .”[1]

Key features of Bonhoeffer’s thinking would survive all the way to the gallows of Flossenburg concentration camp: that the will of God is discerned for a Christian, particularly in what he called “boundary situations,” only through intense, sustained prayer and reflection upon the word of God; that obedience in such situations more often leads disciples into, not away from, suffering—“When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.”[2] His realization that, however global one’s human and Christian identity, one’s national identity also counts and must impinge upon pursuit of the will of God and discernment of “true patriotism.” Read the rest at Hillbilly Politics.

D. Mark DeVine is associate professor of divinity at Beeson Divinity School.

Posted by Kristen Padilla at Thursday, October 27, 2016
Share |

Archbishop of Nigeria to Present Beeson Divinity’s Reformation Heritage Lectures

By Kristen Padilla
October 27, 2016

Archbishop Benjamin Kwashi of Jos, Nigeria, who was once almost killed by the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram, will give three lectures for Beeson Divinity School’s annual Reformation Heritage Lectures, Nov. 1-3 at Samford University.

Twice Kwashi escaped death at the hands of Boko Haram in 2006 and 2007. In 2006 more than 40 men came to his home to kill him, but when they didn’t find him home they brutalized his wife, Gloria, and left her for dead. Since then, Kwashi and Gloria have been very outspoken about the cruelty of Boko Haram, even making global news in 2014 for criticizing those in the British media who said Boko Haram was caused by poverty, not religion.

In addition to his role as archbishop, Kwashi is chairman of the international Anglican mission agency SOMA (Sharing of Ministries Abroad). In 2003, he was given the national honor of Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON).

Kwashi will lecture on the impact of the Reformation on Africa, African preaching, and persecution.

On Tuesday, Nov. 1, Beeson also will welcome world-renown vocal artist Wintley Phipps, founder of the U.S. Dream Academy, to present special music during the first day of the lectures.

All lectures will take place in Andrew Gerow Hodges Chapel at 11 a.m. and are free and open to the public.

For more information, click here.

The lectures will also be available on live stream at

Posted by Kristen Padilla at Thursday, October 27, 2016
Share |

“Reformation Celebration” Featuring Composer K. Lee Scott Set for Nov. 1

By Kristen Padilla
October 26, 2016

Samford University’s Beeson Divinity School will present “A Reformation Celebration of Hymns and Art” featuring one of America’s premier composers, K. Lee Scott, on Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. in Andrew Gerow Hodges Chapel.

This special service will feature hymns written by Scott, including “To God We Come in Prayer and Praise,” a hymn commissioned in honor of the late Andrew Gerow Hodges by his family for the dedication of Hodges Chapel in 1995. Scott will be accompanied by Mountain Brook Baptist Church’s choir, a brass quintet, timpani, and organ.

The Reformation celebration will conclude with a special presentation from Scott of a print of a 19th century painting called, “The Noble Army of Martyrs and Great Champions of the Protestant Reformation,” by Thomas Jones Barker, to Timothy George, founding dean of Beeson Divinity School, as a gift to the school.

This service, which takes place on All Saints’ Day, is free and open to the public. It also comes during the divinity school’s annual Reformation Heritage Lectures.

For more information about the service, click here.

For more information about the Reformation Heritage Lectures, click here.

Posted by Kristen Padilla at Wednesday, October 26, 2016
Share |