I knew myself called to the ministry of Word, Sacrament and Pastoral Care when I was 14. Having long wanted to be a lawyer, however, I enrolled in philosophy at the University of Toronto as preparation for law. Enthralled by philosophy, I moved on to a Ph.D programme in philosophy, only to find I could not submerge my vocation and remain Christ’s follower. I concluded my M.A. in philosophy and began studying theology. Ordination followed—and ever since 13th May 1970 I have repeated my ordination vows daily.
Having acquired a Th.D in Reformation Studies, I added occasional teaching to my lifelong work as a pastor. While immersed in congregational life, I was appointed in 1993 to Tyndale University’s Chair of Wesley Studies, and moved to fulltime employment there in 2000. In the course of my academic work I have published academic monographs in Luther, Calvin, Wesley, and Existentialist Philosophy—together with several books of sermons and church-related matters, as well as over 400 articles.
From 2002 to 2016 I was Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Divinity, Trinity College, U of T, where I taught courses in my theological specialties and supervised graduate students. I have taught courses at Emmanuel College (TST), McMaster University, and Memorial University of Newfoundland. I am also appointed to the Graduate Theological Union (University of Oxford, U.K.), as well as to Acadia Divinity College. Most recently I was made an associate of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, U.K.
Areas of Expertise
- Luther, Calvin, Reformation History (Magisterial, Radical, Elizabethan, Counter-).
- John and Charles Wesley, Eighteenth-Century English History, History of Methodism.
- Karl Barth
- Theological Anthropology
- Jewish-Christian Relations
- Philosophy of Existentialism
Select Publications and Media:
- The Committed Self: An Introduction to Existentialism for Christians, ( 2015)
- Mercy Immense and Free: Essays on Wesley and Wesleyan Theology (Tyndale Series in Wesleyan History and Theology, (2016)
- A Ministry Dearer Than Life: The Pastoral Legacy of John Calvin, (2009)
- Interpreting Martin Luther: An Introduction to His Life and Thought (2008)
- The Nature and Function of Faith in the Theology of John Calvin (1983), ISBN: 0-86554-066-7
Popular and Professional Books
- 信仰深度行 (2012)
- Do You Love Me? – And Other Questions Jesus Asks, (2007)
- Our Evangelical Faith (2006)
- Ponder and Pray (2002), ISBN: 0-88622-177-3
- Witnesses to the Word (2001)
- Soz’un Taniklari [Turkish translation of Witnesses to the Word: Istanbul, 2004.]
- Seasons of Grace (2001)
- Making Sense of Christian Faith: Understood, Challenged and Lived (1987)
- “The ‘Charge’ We Have to ‘Keep’”: Enhancing Gospel-Integrity in Christian Higher Education”, Christian Higher Education in Canada, (2020) [forthcoming]
- “Divine Pathos and the Church: The Cruciform Vulnerability of God”, Divine Suffering: Theology, History and Church Mission, , (2020), [forthcoming]
- “Anti-Semitism in the Reformation Era”, Reformation Then and Now, (2020), [forthcoming]
- “Martin Luther and the Origins of the Reformation”, Reformation Then and Now, (2020), [forthcoming]
- “The Understanding of the Human in Christian Higher Education”, McMaster Divinity College Journal of Theology and Ministry, (2019)
- “Emil L. Fackenheim: Gratitude for the Gift that He Was”, The Reform Jewish Quarterly, (2019
- “Canadian Methodism”, Melton’s Encyclopedia of American Religions (9th Edition); (Farmington Hills, Mich., Gale Group. 2016)
- “The Pastoral Function of Calvin’s Doctrine of Election”, Evangelical Calvinism II, (2016)
- “The Story of Our Life: Written by the God Who Suffers for Us and with Us”, Canadian Theological Review, (2016)