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500 years ago this year was the Reformation. Those who don’t learn from history are often condemned to repeat it. Today, there are many who still look at this as one of the most important moments in church history. Some today say it definitely still matters.
Two such ones are my guests today. They contend that there is still a divide between the churches and want to explain why they think that is. I would like the audience to know that while this show is about the Reformation and Roman Catholicism, I happily fellowship with Catholics and others. We had originally arranged a debate that would have a Catholic and an Eastern Orthodox scholar on as well. They backed out a week before and there was not enough time then to get some other scholars on. I still wanted to do this show so please understand I wanted to have both sides on to talk about the matter.
So on my special interview for today, I’ll be talking to a couple of Protestant scholars about why they take the stance that they do. They have recently released a book called Roman, But Not Catholic. If possible, we will also be giving away some copies of the book. My guests today are Kenneth Collins and Jerry Walls. So who are they?
First, Jerry Walls
According to his bio:
Jerry L. Walls is Scholar in Residence and Professor of Philosophy at Houston Baptist University. He has authored or edited over a dozen books and over eighty articles and reviews. Among his books are: Hell: The Logic of Damnation (University of Notre Dame Press, 1992); Heaven: The Logic of Eternal Joy (Oxford University Press, 2002); Purgatory: The Logic of Total Transformation (Oxford University Press, 2012); and The Oxford Handbook of Eschatology, ed. (Oxford University Press, 2008). His co-authored book with David Baggett, Good God: The Theistic Foundations of Morality (Oxford University Press, 2011) was named the best book in apologetics and evangelism by Christianity Today in their annual book awards in 2012. He is also a big sports fan, and has done two books about basketball: Basketball and Philosophy: Thinking outside the Paint (coedited with Greg Bassham, University of Kentucky Press, 2007); and Wisdom from the Hardwood: Defining a Success Worth Shooting For(Gray Matter Books, 2012).
And Kenneth Collins:
According to his bio:
Kenneth J. Collins is an internationally recognized scholar in the field of Historical Theology and Wesley studies. He has given lectures in England, South Korea, Russia, Estonia, Finland, Costa Rica and elsewhere.
Dr. Collins is a graduate of Asbury (M.Div.) and Princeton (Th.M.) seminaries, and he did his doctoral work in Wesley studies at Drew University. Collins taught philosophy and religion at Methodist College (now a university) for over a decade before his was appointed a professor Historical Theology and Wesley Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary, the position that he currently holds.
The author and editor of fifteen books, Professor Collins has produced scores of articles and numerous reviews. His books have been translated into Russian and Korean—and soon Chinese. His Wesley titles included the following:
- The Works of John Wesley: Doctrinal and Controversial Treatises II. Vol. 13. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2013.
- The Sermons of John Wesley: A Collection for the Christian Journey. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2013.
- The Theology of John Wesley: Holy Love and the Shape of Grace. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2007.
- John Wesley: A Theological Journey. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2003.
- Conversion in the Wesleyan Tradition. Primary editor along with John Tyson, assistant editor. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2001
- A Real Christian: The Life of John Wesley. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1999.
- The Scripture Way of Salvation: The Heart of John Wesley’s Theology. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1997.
Beyond this, Dr. Collins has written numerous articles in the field of Wesley studies too numerous to mention here.
As a researcher in American religion, especially in terms of evangelicalism, Collins has written two important works: The Evangelical Moment: The Promise of an American Religion and Power, Politics and the Fragmentation of Evangelicalism: From the Scopes Trial to the Obama Administration.
His most recent book (released October, 2017), along with co-author Dr. Jerry L. Walls, is Roman But Not Catholic: What Remains at Stake 500 Years After the Reformation.
He is currently working on a One Volume Wesley Bible Commentary that is being prepared along with Dr. Joel Green. It will be published by Abingdon Press.
Having received numerous teaching awards, Dr. Collins is a dynamic lecturer and is the former president of the Wesleyan Theological Society. In addition, he has been on the steering committee of both the Wesleyan Studies Group of the American Academy of Religion and the Oxford Institute of Methodist Theological Studies. His is the Director of the Wesley Studies Summer Seminar and The Wesleyan Holiness Pentecostal Studies Center. He is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church.
I hope you’ll be listening to this episode and whether you agree or disagree, may we all be better informed. Please also go on iTunes and leave a positive review of the Deeper Waters Podcast.