Seven scholars from across the United States, representing five institutions and three disciplines, have been awarded the 2018-2019 Henry Resident Fellowship.

We are pleased to announce the recipients for the upcoming academic year: James Hoffmeier, Fred Sanders, Dru Johnson, Ryan Peterson, Mary VandenBerg, Ralph Stearley, and Joshua Farris. These scholars will be undertaking research on theological anthropology—the field of study that engages questions of the origin, nature, and ultimate purposes of human life—in a manner faithful to Scripture and informed by modern science.

“Relating science and the Bible is important and inescapable;” said Fred Sanders, professor of theology at the Torrey Honors Institute and incoming Henry Fellow. “For most educated people, this connection is pretty much an index of whether your faith is real or imaginary.” While there are numerous ancillary disputes in the science and faith discussions, both the theological and pastoral issues are most acute when the nature of humanity is under discussion. Has neuroscience ruled out rational belief in an immaterial soul? How should the claims of paleoanthropology about the cognitive capacitiesHas neuroscience ruled out rational belief in an immaterial soul? How should the claims of paleoanthropology influence our understanding of the imago Dei? of ancient hominins influence our understanding of the imago Dei? And how do conclusions reached in theological anthropology impinge on other Christian doctrines—beliefs about sin, salvation, Christ, or the age to come?

Benefitting from the fruits of the first two years of the Creation Project, these fellows will move forward with clarification about what Genesis teaches about such questions (year one), and a greater understanding of the basic contours of the doctrine of creation (year two).

The Henry Fellowship is the centerpiece of the $3.4 million grant from the Templeton Religion Trust awarded to the Henry Center in 2015, which has funded the Creation Project for these past two years. It is a scholar-in-residence program which supports new approaches to theological inquiry that address basic questions of reality, with a special focus on the relationship between theology and science. The Henry Fellowship is designed to support and stimulate evangelical scholarship that examines various biblical and theological elements in theological anthropology and their interaction with modern, scientific developments.

This new class of fellows will leave their home communities and reside on Trinity’s Deerfield campus, creating a collaborative learning environment throughout the academic year while working on their research projects. This year’s fellows represent an even more interdisciplinary make-up than previous years, with experts from the various fields of Old Testament, systematic theology, and geology represented. They hope to continue the good work begun by the previous fellows of the past two years as they continue to move the conversation about theological anthropology forward within the evangelical academy.

Stories which introduce each fellow and his or her project will run on Sapientia—the online periodical of the Henry Center—in the coming weeks.

2018-2019 Henry Resident Fellows

20x113 James Hoffmeier
Professor of Old Testament and Near Eastern Archaeology, TEDS
Project: “Why We Believe in Creation & Evolution: A Discussion between an Evolutionary Biologist & an Old Testament Scholar” | Learn More

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Fred Sanders
Professor, Torrey Honors Institute at Biola University
Project: “The Doctrine of Humanity in Systematic Perspective” | Learn More

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Dru Johnson
Assoc. Prof. of Biblical & Theological Studies, The King’s College
Project: “Man Made: If Biblical Texts Could Speak to Modern Origins Stories” | Learn More (4/24)

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Ryan Peterson
Assistant Professor of Theology, Biola University
Project: “Human Identity in Theological Anthropology” | Learn More (4/26)

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Mary VandenBerg
Professor of Systematic Theology, Calvin Theological Seminary
Project: “Retrieving a Substantialist Understanding of the Image of God” | Learn More (5/1)

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Ralph Stearley
Professor of Geology, Calvin College
Project: “Assessing Evidences for Cognitive Capacities in Ancient Hominins, with Reference to their Perception of God” | Learn More (5/3)

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Joshua Farris
Assistant Professor of Theology, Houston Baptist University
Project: “The Soul of Science and Religion: Theological Anthropology, Substance Dualism, and Origins” | Learn More (5/8)

The Creation Project

The Creation Project is a three-year, six-program initiative intended to bring greater clarity, openness, and understanding about the doctrine of creation within the evangelical theological community in light of modern scientific discovery. In addition to providing wider guidance to the evangelical public, the project is also intended to stimulate interdisciplinary scholarship and engagement on the controversial issues at the intersection of Scripture, theology, and science. Visit henrycenter.org/creation-project to learn more about the project, or to stay updated on events, resources, and other announcements.

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The Carl F. H. Henry Center for Theological Understanding is dedicated to the advancement of Christian wisdom in all areas of life and thought for the glory of God, the good of his church, and the welfare of the world. As an outreach ministry of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois, the Center embodies the vision of Carl F. H. Henry (1913-2003), a long-time faculty member at Trinity, which promotes the need for evangelical collaboration and commitment to God’s Word, where scholars with expertise in the relevant areas can work together to engage the pressing challenges of the day.