From the Dean

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

Page 3 of 147

Former Archbishop of Canterbury to Speak at Beeson Divinity School’s Opening Convocation

By Kristen Padilla
January 19, 2016


Samford University’s Beeson Divinity School is to welcome The Most Rev. and Rt. Honorable Dr. George Carey, the 103rd Archbishop of Canterbury, to speak at opening convocation on Jan. 26 at 11 a.m. in Andrew Gerow Hodges Chapel.

Also known as the Lord Carey of Clifton, Carey served on behalf of about 80 worldwide million Anglicans as the most senior bishop from 1991-2002. After his retirement in 2004, he became the first former archbishop to publish his memoirs, titled Know the Truth.

Carey continues an active ministry of writing and lecturing around the world. He has received 12 honorary doctorates and has authored 14 books.

Carey is also presentation fellow of King’s College London, fellow of Christ’s University College in Canterbury, and fellow of the Library of Congress. Together with his wife of more than 50 years, Eileen, Carey serves as vice president of Tearfund, a Christian charity that works to end worldwide poverty.

“We are honored to have Lord Carey to preach at Beeson's opening convocation,” said Timothy George, founding dean of Beeson Divinity. “He is one of the most respected and beloved leaders in world Christianity, and his ministry here will boost our newly founded Anglican Institute headed by Professor Gerald R. McDermott.”

In addition to Beeson’s opening convocation, Carey will be giving lectures Jan. 26-27 and preaching Jan. 31 at the Cathedral Church of the Advent in Birmingham.

For more information concerning the spring 2016 chapel schedule, click here.

Posted by Kristen Padilla at Tuesday, January 19, 2016
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The Dean Recommends: When God Hits Below the Belt

By Mark Gignilliat

November 23, 2015


I'm not sure how to tell my children that God is dangerous. No doubt, I want them to nestle up to Aslan’s furry mane, safe and warm. But with enough life lived, disappointment felt, and loss endured, they will soon find out that he has teeth—big, sharp ones. He is good, but he is not safe, as C. S. Lewis said. And sometimes snuggling turns into a brawl.

My understanding of the Christian life has been rewired since the spirituality of my youth, which promised that every day with Jesus would grow sweeter than the day before. Yesterday’s sweetness has become today’s bitterness. A dear friend of mine is battling pancreatic cancer in its final stages. He understands that life with God is not always easy, that sometimes we wrestle with him.

The force of these thoughts hit me while reading Marilynne Robinson’s new novel. Lila narrates a heroine who has no misgivings about life’s sweetness. Lila is angular and awkward. She’s new to the faith. Her life was hard and will remain hard because she cannot forget her past. And she’s pursuing something.

Or maybe Lila is becoming aware that she is the one being pursued. Her stolen Bible (yes, stolen) maps her pursuit with unconventional texts like Ezekiel 16—which describes Jerusalem as an adulterous wife—lighting her path. Lila likes to camp in the hard corners of Scripture, which make one thing clear: The Bible knows nothing of saccharine piety. Like my friend, Lila knows that God can be dangerous. That at times we come to blows with him. Read the rest at Christianity Today.

Mark Gignilliat is associate professor at Beeson Divnity School, where he teaches Old Testament and Hebrew.



Posted by Kristen Padilla at Tuesday, January 19, 2016
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In Honor of David Steinmetz

By Timothy George
January 11, 2016

David Curtis Steinmetz, one of the leading church historians of our time, died this past November at age 79 on Thanksgiving evening. He spent most of his distinguished academic career at Duke Divinity School, where he was the Ragan Kerns Distinguished Professor Emeritus of the History of Christianity. Steinmetz was a brilliant scholar who shaped much of the way study of late medieval and early modern Christianity is conducted today, and many of his former students are now leaders in their respective fields. A native of Ohio, he studied at Wheaton College, where he majored in English and graduated with highest honors in 1958. He completed seminary studies at Drew University, where he came to know Franz Hildebrandt, a refugee from Nazi Germany and a close personal friend of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. From Drew, he moved to Harvard to study with the Dutch scholar Heiko A. Oberman, whose groundbreaking work on the late medieval context of the Reformation Steinmetz would deepen and extend. In 1967, Steinmetz received the Th.D. for a brilliant dissertation he had written on the Augustinian theologian Johannes von Staupitz, Luther’s mentor and father in God.

I first met Steinmetz a decade later when he returned to Harvard as a visiting professor. I took his class on “Calvin and the Reformed Tradition,” the same course he himself had once taken with Oberman. Steinmetz also served on my doctoral examination committee.

Patrick Collinson, the great historian of Puritanism, once said that it is better to be wrong than to be boring, but that to be neither is best. Steinmetz was seldom wrong, and he was far from boring. He was simply the best classroom teacher I have ever had. Blessed with a brilliant mind, he taught with passion and insight and never lost sight of the larger context of the texts and traditions he was so adept at bringing to life. I shall never forget his early morning lectures in Andover Hall as he presented Calvin’s life and thought like a great actor commanding the stage. He never took roll; no one dared miss his lively lectures—replete with chalk-drawn diagrams on the blackboard, lively interrogations of sixteenth-century texts, and dramatic reenactments of Reformation debates. You were there with Luther and Zwingli at Marburg, with Calvin and Bolsec in Geneva. Read the rest at First Things.

Posted by Kristen Padilla at Monday, January 11, 2016
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