BISMARCK, ND - Dr. James R. Edwards, the Bruner-Welch Professor of Theology at Whitworth University in Spokane, WA, will lead a two-day April event at the University of Mary's Christian Leadership Center.
Edwards will speak on "The Most Important Thing About Christianity" on Thursday, April 11, at 7 PM, in Butler Hall, at the Gary Tharaldson School of Business on the University of Mary's campus. This event is free and open to the public.
Edwards will also lead a daylong seminar for clergy and lay leaders, "Navigating the Gospel of Luke: Preaching and Teaching the Third Gospel," on Friday, April 12, from 9 AM to 3:30 PM, in the Harold Schafer Leadership Center. There is a $20 fee for this event. Contact Dr. Leroy Huizenga at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to register.
"We're very honored to have Dr. Edwards speak at the University of Mary, for he's a scholar and churchman of great depth, international repute, and Christian passion, whose talks and teaching transform lives," stated Dr. Leroy Huizenga, chair of the Department of Theology and director of the Christian Leadership Center at the University of Mary. "His Thursday presentation, 'The Most Important Thing About Christianity,' will deal with the relevance of the Incarnation for modern men and women, how the Christian claim that God became human in Jesus Christ matters for us all. On Friday, Edwards, who is writing a major commentary on the Gospel of St. Luke, the Gospel for the current lectionary year, also will lead clergy and lay leaders in a seminar geared towards preaching and teaching Luke. An evangelical Presbyterian, his presence with us represents another wonderful ecumenical opportunity presented by the Christian Leadership Center. The CLC which strives to be a center of inter-Christian fellowship and exchange, especially in this Year of Faith, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council, which has done so much to further mutual Christian understanding and cooperation."
In 2006, with consultation and the unanimous recommendation of the Whitworth Department of Theology and Philosophy, Vice President for Academic Affairs Michael Le Roy hand-picked Edwards to be the first Bruner-Welch endowed chair. "Jim Edwards is ideally qualified to be the first occupant of the Bruner-Welch Chair, which connects his well-known strengths in research, writing and teaching to issues facing our campus, the community and the church. I expect that the work Jim will be able to do in this role will further strengthen the theology department and Whitworth's profile nationally," commented Le Roy in a 2006 press release announcing the endowment at Whitworth.
Edwards is currently writing a commentary on the Gospel of Luke for the Pillar New Testament Commentary Series (Eerdmans). His books include a commentary on Mark in the same series; The Hebrew Gospel and the Development of the Synoptic Tradition (Eerdmans, 2009); Is Jesus the Only Savior? (Eerdmans, 2005); and The Divine Intruder (NavPress, 2000). Dr. Edwards has also published numerous articles in scholarly and popular journals, is a contributing editor to Christianity Today, and is a frequent speaker at churches, conferences and lectureships.
Edwards was named by the Presbyterian Church (USA), in which he serves as a minister of word and sacrament, to the task force for the revision of the Heidelberg Catechism (2009 - 2010). He has engaged in research at the Center of Theological Inquiry, in Princeton, NJ (2007), and is the recipient of several teaching awards, including Outstanding Professor at Jamestown College and Whitworth University. He is former scholar of the North Dakota Humanities Council, a recipient of a Templeton Grant in Science and Religion (1996), and a recipient of Deutsche Akademische Austausch Dienst Award (1993).
Edwards also leads study programs to Germany to study Luther and the church struggle in the former Communist East Germany, ancient Christian sites in Turkey, Israel and Palestine.
Edwards' other areas of specialization and interest include: Old and New Testament; the Gospels and life of Jesus; Biblical Hebrew; Koine Greek; history of early Christianity; Reformation; and the Holocaust.