This lecture series is named for John Williamson Nevin, a nineteenth-century American theologian and educator who, along with the church historian Philip Schaff, developed what came to be known as the “Mercersburg Theology.”
In an 1844 sermon on Ephesian 4, Nevin declared that “unity of the church... is a cardinal truth in the Christian system,” involved in the very “conception of Christian salvation itself.” When we lose sight of the unity of the church, we “make shipwreck of the gospel.” This unity cannot remain “inward and invisible” but “must appear externally, in the world.” If the church is one in essence then she should be unified also in “an outward and visible way.”
One of the world’s leading evangelical theologians, Dr. George is the founding Dean of Beeson Divinity School here in Birmingham, where he also teaches church history and doctrine. Dr. George’s commitment to Christian unity stands out. He has created a uniquely ecumenical atmosphere at Beeson Divinity School, and has long been a leader in Evangelical-Catholic dialogue.
Timothy George exemplifies the spirit of Nevin’s vision, and it was a great pleasure and privilege to welcome him as our first Nevin Lecturer.