Gospel-Centered Scholarship: Talking Points Plenary Speaker, Dr. Douglas MooBy Kris Rolls on September 23, 2015
The upcoming Talking Points event on October 7, Thy Kingdom Come, is generating a lot of excitement around the seminary. I am particularly excited about hearing New Testament scholar, Dr. Douglas Moo, who will present on New Creation in the New Testament with a talk provocatively entitled, "Your Redemption is too Small."
Dr. Moo is the Kenneth T. Wessner Professor of New Testament at Wheaton College and Graduate School, serves as co-director of their Ph.D. in Biblical Studies and chair of the Committee on Bible Translation (responsible for the popular New International Version). He is an influential writer, authoring several books, commentaries and academic journal articles spanning multiple genres of New Testament literature. His primary areas of research include Pauline theology, creation theology, Galatians, Romans and Hebrews.
Dr. Moo has always tried to use his academic work on behalf of the Church. When asked about his role in serving the Church he replied,
As a biblical scholar, I seek to explore Scripture using all the appropriate methods of the academy. But most of my writing, and virtually all of my teaching, has been focused on bringing this study into the realm of the church. I am especially passionate about assisting pastors and Christian leaders in understanding and applying "the whole counsel of God."
Dr. Moo's resume certainly reflects this statement. He consistently relates his work to the everyday aspects of theology and practice.
Dr. Moo has been a significant resource for me as I've studied the New Testament. He is thoughtful, charitable and typically brings a sense of clarity to biblical texts and the field of biblical scholarship. I first encountered his work during an undergraduate seminar on Romans. His commentary on Romans proved to be faithful guide through a deluge of complex and difficult interpretive questions. He was a helpful conversation partner and highly skilled exegete to learn from. In one particular passage, I was struck by Moo's summary of the gospel-centric theme of Paul's letter to the Romans:
What then, is the theme of the letter? The gospel. The word "gospel" and the cognate verb "evangelize" are particularly prominent in the introduction (Cf. 1:1, 2, 9, 15) and conclusion (15:16, 19) of Romans—its epistolary "frame." And this is the word that has pride of place in Paul's statement of the theme of the letter: 1:16-17. "For I am not ashamed of the gospel...." True, Paul goes on to speak of the interplay of salvation, the interplay of Jew and Gentile, and justification by faith; and each has been advanced as the theme of the letter. But they are all elaborations of the main topic of these verses, the gospel. (Moo, 1996, pp. 29-30)
Dr. Moo is able to acknowledge nuanced exegetical concerns while keeping the gospel central, which was a wonderful model for me as a young student. It also displays that the heart of his scholarship exists to point people to the gospel.
We are excited to host such a prolific New Testament scholar for Talking Points this October. I hope that you will join us on Oct. 7 for Talking Points: Thy Kingdom Come to welcome Dr. Moo and other speakers on our campus.
To register for the conference: https://www.itickets.com/register/new/343193.