Four Wesley Biblical Seminary professors recently showcased their research at the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) and the Institute for Biblical Research (IBR) annual meetings. Dr. Matt Friedeman, Dr. Rick Boyd, Dr. David Schreiner, and Dr. Carey Vinzant all presented papers or participated in panels at these meetings.
“We are proud of our faculty at WBS who are engaged in the academy and in the church,” said Dr. Chris Lohrstorfer, vice president for academic affairs. “This combination of scholarship and ministry practice is rare in seminaries, but our faculty members continue to demonstrate their tremendous capacity for insightful scholarship and effective application.”
WBS faculty played a significant role in the group of scholars at ETS who study John Wesley, known as the “Wesley Group.” Dr. Matt Friedeman, professor of evangelism and discipleship, and Dr. Rick Boyd, associate professor of biblical studies, gave two of the three papers presented in the Wesley Group.
Dr. Friedeman presented a paper at ETS on John Wesley’s appreciation for “works of mercy” and what that emphasis ought to mean for evangelical professors today. Dr. Boyd presented research at ETS about John Wesley’s use of Scripture in his sermons and writings.
Dr. Boyd also presented his research on the use of Psalms in the book of Matthew at the IBR’s study group on the relationship between the Old Testament and the New Testament.
The presence of WBS professors at these conferences is important, because they represent a Wesleyan voice largely missing from these conferences which primarily feature theologically Reformed perspectives.
“ETS is theologically evangelical but leans Baptistic and Calvinistic,” Friedeman observed. “We get the opportunity to add our Wesleyan flavor to the mix.”
Boyd agreed, adding, “Although much scholarly work in biblical studies comes from the Reformed tradition, our participation in this type of activity helps supply a Wesleyan voice.”
Dr. David Schreiner, assistant professor of Old Testament at WBS, presented at the IBR about his research in 1 Kings. The title of his research was “Now Rehoboam, Son of Solomon, Reigned in Judah’: Pondering the Semantic and Structural Significance of 1 Kgs 14:21.” This particular project is part of Schreiner’s efforts to produce a commentary on 1 and 2 Kings.
Schreiner believes that WBS has a unique role to serve in the scholarly discussions at these theological conferences. “WBS offers a conservative voice rooted in a particular theological tradition, valuing a commitment to Scriptural coherence and integrity,” Schreiner said. “We value critical study, but not to the extent that it undermines the coherence of Scripture. We can show how critical study can enhance spiritual maturity and growth.”
At these conferences, and in the classroom, these WBS professors represent the Wesleyan vision of “knowledge and vital piety” being combined for the sake of God’s kingdom.