Deerfield, IL — The Henry Center for Theological Understanding is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2020–2021 Henry Resident Fellowship. This year’s recipients are Joshua Jipp, Kevin Kinghorn, Max Lee, and Alexander Stewart.

The Resident Fellowship program is the centerpiece of the Henry Center’s Creation Project, a multi-million dollar grant funded by the John Templeton Foundation. The Fellowship is a scholar-in-residence program designed to support and stimulate evangelical scholarship on the doctrine of creation, in dialogue with modern science, for the welfare of the church.

This year’s 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 own research projects. These Fellows are experts in Old Testament, New Testament, and philosophy. They hope to continue the good work begun by the previous Fellows of the past four years as they continue to move the conversation about the doctrine of creation forward within the evangelical academy.

Uniting the Natural and Moral Order

Their research projects will specifically address questions related to the goodness of creation. Discussion on the doctrine of creation has commonly centered on specific empirical questions in Genesis (e.g., age of the earth, diversity of animals, physical continuity of species). So much so that the author’s recurring refrain, “God saw that it was good,” is often overlooked. The goodness of creation is a central assertion of Genesis 1 and the whole of Scripture. On the one hand, it is directly tied to the goodness of God; on the other hand, it is set against sin and evil. But what does it mean to call creation good? Can the moral claim of goodness say anything about the natural order? Might it challenge the seemingly artificial dichotomy that our age has set up between the “natural” and “moral” order? And, if so, what alternative might we find for re-uniting these currently divided “orders”?

This year will bring biblical and theological considerations into constructive dialogue with insights from disciplines such as social and moral psychology, biology, sociology, and cognitive science. These Fellows will turn their attention to the goodness of creation as they work on various projects related to uniting the natural and moral order.

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

2020–2021 Henry Resident Fellows

Joshua W. Jipp
Associate Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
Project: “Paul and the Pursuit of Happiness”
Kevin Kinghorn
Professor of Philosophy and Religion, Asbury Theological Seminary
Project: “Rethinking Our Moral Intuitions”
Max Lee
Associate Professor of New Testament, North Park Theological Seminary
Project: “Natural Desire as a Moral Index of What Is Good”
Alexander C. Stewart
PhD, McMaster Divinity College
Project: “Wired for Wonder: Natural Awe in the Sciences and Scriptures”

 


The Creation Project will span three years—each covering a distinct theme and set of issues—and five programs, directed toward academic and ecclesial engagement with the doctrine of creation in all of its historical, theological, and scientific complexity. The project’s academic engagement is committed to making progress in understanding about where the conflict between the current state of scientific inquiry and classic theological positions is real and where it is illusory. The ecclesially oriented programs aim to revive the importance and breadth of the doctrine of creation beyond the narrow set of questions to which it has too often been reduced, to promote biblical fidelity and thoughtful interpretation, and to demonstrate a form of Christian intellectual hospitality that approaches the difficult questions of our age with a posture of humility and in pursuit of greater understanding.

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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.