Alumnus Grudem Receiving Doctorate

May 31, 2011

President Lillback is pleased to announce that Alumnus, Wayne Grudem (MDiv '73), is receiving an honorary doctorate at Westminster's 82nd commencement.

An Interview with Dr. Grudem:

1. Please tell us your testimony (and that of your family as far as how it impacted you spiritually) – how did the Lord bring you to salvation? "I prayed with my mother to trust in Christ as my Savior at age 12. But now, looking back, I remember multiple things in earlier childhood such as frequent prayer, a love for reading the Bible, a love for singing praise to God and daily trust in him, that I would now count as evidence of genuine conversion at a much earlier age, perhaps from 4 or 5."

2. Throughout your career, would you please share some highlights of what God did at certain stages through chosen people or circumstances to grow you in the grace and the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ?  "My parents, Arden and Jean Grudem, brought me up in a Bible-believing home. I have always believed the Bible, for as far back as I can remember.

"The Rev. A. K. Ham, my pastor in a Baptist church in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, was a great encouragement during elementary and junior high years. Pastor Ham showed me a faithful model of believing the Bible completely in whatever it taught.  And he first introduced me to the idea of systematic theology – that someone could actually learn what the whole Bible taught about different topics!

"Harold John Ockenga’s faithful preaching of 45-minute, expository sermons week after week at Park Street Church in Boston when I was an undergraduate (Ockenga was a WTS graduate). The example of Ockenga’s preaching was the most significant influence that the Lord used to change my career plans from law school to seminary.

"Vern Poythress’s friendship and counsel from 1966 right up until today. I think Vern has affected my thinking about the Bible and theology more than any other person in my life. We first met at Harvard in 1966 (he as a first-year Ph.D. student in math, and I as a freshman). We were both actively involved in the leadership of the Harvard-Radcliffe Christian Fellowship and of the Collegiate Club at Park Street Church). We were also students together at Westminster for two years. We continue to serve together on the Translation Oversight Committee for the English Standard Version.

"Serving as a summer intern for the Rev. Harald Bredesen at the First Christian Reformed Church in Mt. Vernon, New York, between my sophomore and junior years in college. Harald taught me by example to believe more strongly in the power and presence of the Holy Spirit in ministry."

"Edmund Clowney’s ministry of speaking at the Harvard-Radcliffe Christian Fellowship while I was an undergraduate, and then all of his classes at WTS, which were so filled with deep knowledge and love of Scripture and joyful praise for all that God has done. I took several classes from him!

"John Frame’s classes in theology and ethics, which taught me a deeper, fuller understanding of the teaching of the whole Bible on many topics.

"Through John Wimber’s friendship (from 1988-1997), I grew in my faith and my understanding of the present power of the Holy Spirit at work in everyday prayer and ministry.
"Finally, my wife Margaret has been a continual encouragement in my faith, a faithful helper in marriage and parenting, a wise counselor and a great source of joy for me for nearly 42 years of marriage."

3. How did God use Westminster to prepare you to serve Him as you have?  "My MDiv training at Westminster Seminary had a greater impact on my understanding of the Bible and my overall understanding of theology and ethics – in fact, of all academic study! – than any other single factor in my life."

4. In what ways have you continued to benefit from what was provided via your Westminster education?  "My WTS education provided the biblical-theological framework on which all of my subsequent academic work has been built."

5. What is a favorite memory from your days at Westminster – perhaps relating to a particular professor or student friend?  "Just sitting in classes and learning more about God’s Word each day."

6. What would you say to a prospective student about Westminster?  "You will learn here how to understand the Bible deeply and well, and how to continue growing in your understanding throughout your life and ministry."

7. What else, if anything, would you like to share about Westminster, our alumni, the professors, etc?  "I thank God that Westminster continues to this day to uphold the orthodox theological heritage which God has entrusted it to protect and proclaim."

A Snapshot of Dr. Grudem's Career:

He was born in 1948 in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. Academically, he received a Bachelor of Arts from Harvard University in 1970 (cum laude) in Economics. A Master of Divinity from Westminster in 1973 and a Doctorate of Philosophy from the University of Cambridge, England in 1979 (New Testament) – your dissertation titled, "The Gift of Prophecy in 1 Corinthians" with Professor C. F. D. Moule as your supervisor.

He was Assistant Professor of Theological Studies, Bethel College, St. Paul, Minnesota from 1977-81 and from 1981-2001 he taught at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, Illinois.  From 1981-84 he was Assistant professor of New Testament, and then advanced from Assistant to Associate Professor.  He then became Associate Professor of Biblical and Systematic Theology from 1987-91.  In 1991-2001 he was Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies and 1998-2000 Chairman, Department of Biblical and Systematic Theology.

In 2001 until present he has served as Research Professor of Theology and Biblical Studies, Phoenix Seminary, Phoenix, Arizona. In this time, you have served various churches as an elder and were ordained Dec. 12, 1974 (Baptist General Conference).

He has published a plethora of books and articles, to name just a few books, there are The Gift of Prophecy in the New Testament and Today (1988); Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: A Response to Evangelical Feminism (1991); Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine (1994); The Gender-Neutral Bible Controversy: Muting the Masculinity of God's Words (2000); Business for the Glory of God: The Bible’s Teaching on the Moral Goodness of Business (2003); Evangelical Feminism and Biblical Truth: An Analysis of Over 100 Disputed Questions (2004); ESV Study Bible, general editor (2008) – Winner of “Book of the Year” award from Evangelical Christian Publishers Association and from World Magazine.