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Whitworth Theology Department Annual Newsletter 2018

Keith Beebe (2001-present), Theology Department Chair, Professor of Theology and Chair of Core 150

Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ! I hope you are well.

Here are some personal highlights since our last newsletter:

  • Summer 2017: I spent the summer working on two related writing projects, the first of which is an article for a popular Christian readership titled, "A Mighty Fortress: Timely Truths for a Troubled Age," funded by a research fellowship from the university. Material from this article was the basis of several keynote lectures I presented at events celebrating the quincentennial anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. As I have done for five summers now, I also enjoyed the process of planting, tending, harvesting, sharing and cooking produce from my vegetable garden.
  • Fall 2017: This was the first semester in 14 years that I was not Core 150 chair — having passed the baton to Visiting Assistant Professor Josh Leim (in the hopes of securing a regular faculty position for him… which happened). With the newly opened space in my schedule, I developed and taught a new Biblical literature course titled Angels, Demons, Heaven and Hell, which was well received by the student "guinea pigs" who took the first-time course. I also had a mini-sabbatical to work on my conference lectures, and spent the rest of my time with department chair responsibilities.

I spent the weekend of Oct. 13-15 with Walla Walla Presbyterian Church as the featured speaker at "The Church Renewed, Always Being Renewed" Reformation-Anniversary Conference, followed by another conference over Oct. 27-29 (Reformation Weekend) with San Joaquin Presbytery on the same topic. My lectures for these conferences focused upon the theology of Martin Luther’s great hymn, "A Mighty Fortress." In November, I helped Knox Presbyterian Church, Spokane (where I had served as pastor from 1995 to 2001) celebrate its 100th anniversary in its present building, delivering a presentation titled, "The Movement That John Knox Started."

  • Jan Term 2018: With the newly opened space in my schedule following my Core 150 retirement, I was also able resume teaching my favorite course, Jesus and the Kingdom of God, which I had not taught for four years. It was so good to be teaching my signature course once again!
  • Spring 2018: On top of my department chair responsibilities — which included preparing for our NWCCU re-accreditation team visit, hosting four guest lecturers, and planning for our departmental move into newly constructed the Beeksma Family Theology Center — I taught two sections of History of Christianity II, one for our M.A. in theology program, and the other for our theology undergraduates. (Several of the research articles produced by the undergrad class may be found on the Christian Movements Project class website: christianmovementsproject.org). Other spring activities involved interviewing and selecting 20 students to travel with me in January 2019 on my Christianity in Britain study program. In April, I was also glad to present a program and discussion on "Scottish Communion and Presbyterian Revival" for Shadle Park Presbyterian Church in Spokane.

This summer I will be working on an 8,000-word chapter on "Scottish Presbyterians" for the Oxford Handbook of Early Evangelicalism, which will be published in late 2019 or early 2020. As time permits, I will also continue work on my Scottish Evangelical Revival book project, tend to my garden and enjoy the glorious Spokane summer climate! I’ll grab some weekend getaways along the way, until it comes time for our department to move into our new digs in the center of campus. I hope you’ll stop by for a visit!

Blessings to you and your loved ones!

Keith