In his 1993 award-winning book, The Contemporary Christian, John Stott writes:
Millions of people do not know who they are, nor that they have any significance or worth. Hence the urgent challenge to us to tell them who they are, to enlighten them about their identity; that is, to teach without compromise the full biblical doctrine of our human being—its depravity, yes, but also its dignity.
Though this was written 25 years ago, the challenge remains today—perhaps even in a heightened sense: What does it mean to be created in the image of God? What sets humans apart from animals? How should we think of the constitution of the human person? These and other questions present an urgent challenge to the church. And now, just as then, it is pastors who are laboring to teach their congregations the biblical doctrine of humanity.
The Stott Award for Pastoral Engagement is the program of the Creation Project that is designed to support pastors and their congregations as they seek to live faithfully as Christians in an age of science. This year’s recipients and their congregations will be seeking to better understand the Christian doctrine of anthropology with the courage and humility that Stott himself modeled and encouraged. We are pleased to announce the recipients of this year’s Stott award.
The award is given to six pastors and congregations each year, and the award recipients are determined on a competitive basis. This year’s recipients are: Paul Daniel Anderson (Grace Valley Fellowship), Jeff W. Boldt (Trinity Church Streetsville), Christopher R. Bechtel (Evergreen Church of Salem), Wesley Peter Vander Lugt (Warehouse 242), James Scott Martin Jr. (Hope Community Church), and Joey Sherrard (Signal Mountain Presbyterian Church).
|Grace Valley Fellowship is a nondenominational church in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania.
Paul Anderson is the Lead Pastor at Grace Valley Fellowship, where he has served since 2010. He received his ThM form Dallas Theological Seminary.
|Trinity Church is an evangelical Anglican church located in Mississauga, Ontario.
Jeff Boldt is a Curate at Trinity Church Streetsville. He holds a ThD in Historical Theology from Wycliffe College, University of Toronto, where he studied with Ephraim Radner.
|Evergreen Church of Salem is a Presbyterian (PCA) church located in Salem, Oregon.
Christopher Bechtel is a Minister at Evergreen Church of Salem, where he has served since 2012. He holds a PhD in Hebrew Bible from New College, University of Edinburgh.
|Warehouse 242 is an Evangelical Presbyterian (EPC) church in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Wesley Vander Lugt has been the Lead Pastor of Warehouse 242 for five years. He holds a PhD in Theology, the Imagination, and the Arts from the University of St. Andrews.
|Hope Community Church is a Reformed (RCA) church located in Lincoln, Nebraska.
James Martin is the Lead Pastor of Hope Community Church. He holds a MA in Theological Studies form Asbury Theological Seminary.
|Signal Mountain Presbyterian Church is an Evangelical Presbyterian (EPC) church in Signal Mountain, Tennessee.
Joey Sherrard is the Associate Pastor of Discipleship at Signal Mountain Presbyterian Church. He holds a PhD in Systematic Theology from the University of St. Andrews, where he studied with Alan Torrance.
Evangelical Theology and the Doctrine of Creation (“the Creation Project”) is a three-year, six-program initiative, directed by the Henry Center for Theological Understanding at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and funded by a generous grant from the Templeton Religion Trust. The project seeks to recover the meaning and importance of the grand themes of the doctrine of creation, and to articulate the doctrine in a way that is faithful to revealed truth and in open and earnest dialogue with the insights of modern science.
The Stott Award is one of the Creation Project’s three major programs, and the one most directly related to pastors and congregations. Through the provision of financial resources and year-long institutional support, the Stott Award supports pastoral and congregational engagement with the doctrine of creation in conversation with modern scientific understanding. If you wish to learn more about the award, visit the Stott Award webpage, or contact us at [email protected]