Recipient of the Timothy Phillips Memorial Fellowship
D. James Kennedy Associate Professor of Systematic Theology
Knox Theological Seminary; Fort Lauderdale, FL
My dissertation was entitled "The Faithful One: A Dogmatic Account of the Coherence and Necessity of the Christ's Faith" (Bloombury)--supervised by Dr. Stephen Spencer. I argued that an adequate account of the person and work of Christ will affirm that Jesus exercised faith, relating this oft-ignored facet of Christology to anthropology, soteriology, and ethics. I showed that the practice of human faith is both coherent with the theological metaphysics of orthodox Christology and necessary within the parameters of Reformation soteriology. My primary conversation partners were Thomas Aquinas, the federal theologians of the Reformed tradition, and Karl Barth. My hope is that a careful dogmatic account of this issue will serve the church's reflection upon and witness to Jesus, to be sure, but also will aid continuing conversations within New Testament studies regarding the debated phrase occurring several times in the Pauline corpus: "the faith of Christ." The dissertation will be published shortly under the title The Christ's Faith: A Dogmatic Account, in the new series T. & T. Clark Studies in Systematic Theology.
Why choose Wheaton for Ph.D. studies in theology and biblical studies? The interdisciplinary nature of the Wheaton Ph.D. is its raison d'être, and I have found that this emphasis will forever shape my approach to theological studies. As a theologian, I am glad to have been trained by fine systematicians and historians, to be sure, but also by theologically-bent biblical scholars. Even greater is the interaction with fellow students who share passion and concern for theological education and biblical faithfulness, and whose talents and backgrounds enrich one's own formation. Also, to finish a high-caliber Ph.D. in three years and to do so debt-free is a phenomenal opportunity not to be overlooked. For these and many other blessings, I am grateful for my own training here at Wheaton.