Honors Program to host professor for three-part series

Scholar, professor, activist, speaker, author, husband, father, friend – Dr. David Gushee wears many different hats.

The distinguished university professor of Christian ethics is the director of the Center for Theology and Public Life at Mercer University in Georgia.

Gushee will deliver part one of his three-part lecture series in chapel Wednesday titled “Sanctifying Every Life.”  Sponsored by The Honors Program and the Center for Baptist Studies, Gushee will be discussing the sanctity of human life.

“I am talking in three different ways about the ancient and beautiful Christian belief that every human life is infinitely sacred in the sight of God and should be treated accordingly by us,” Gushee said. “I believe this is the most important theological and moral belief in Christianity.”

Dr. David Gushee

Dr. David Gushee

Gushee has written 12 books including Righteous Gentiles of the Holocaust and Religious Faith, Torture, and Our National Soul.  His next book project  will be finished this summer and will explore the theological and ethical conviction that human life is sacred, which is the topic he will be discussing on campus.

He was educated at the College of William and Mary, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Union Theological Seminary in New York, where he earned a Ph.D. in Christian ethics.  He has continued in his vision for his life, offering service through scholarship, teaching and activism in Christian ethics.

In addition to the chapel presentations Wednesday at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m.,  Gushee will cover “Sanctifying Life in Early Christianity”  at 3:30 p.m. in Manning Chapel. To conclude his series, Gushee will finish with “Christian Rescuers and the Sanctity of Life” Thursday at 11 a.m. in Manning.

“My talks will include an overview of the theme in chapel then a talk on how the early church lived this belief out and finally a discussion of Christians who lived this by rescuing Jews during the Holocaust,” Gushee said.

Dr. David Holcomb, associate professor of history and political science and director of the Honors Program, thinks students will enjoy the lectures.

Gushee is a “leading evangelical spokesperson on many important ethical issues. He also has the reputation as an engaging and student-friendly speaker,” he said.
In 2010, Gushee helped found the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good which is just one of the many organizations he is a part of. Other groups include Evangelicals for Human Rights, Climate Change and Peacemaking.

The lectures are inspired by Gushee’s publications, especially his most recent project.

Holcomb said, “Dr. Gushee’s lectures will draw from his forthcoming book entitled Sanctifying Life. He will challenge the audience to think about the sanctity of life more holistically, rather than trying to boil it down to one or two issues.”

Freshman biblical studies major and honors student Jack O’Briant is looking forward to hearing Gushee speak on the sanctity of life, the holiness of life.

“I think that his topics will be interesting, and when we have an opportunity to hear a speaker with as much credibility as Gushee on campus, I want to go listen to what they have to say,” O’Briant said.

The campus bookstore will be selling copies of Gushee’s books and he will sign books following each lecture.

“Students should come because I am a passionate and understandable speaker,” Gushee said. “This moral vision can change (your) life if (you) let it.”

Author: Lindsay Schaefer

Lindsay Schaefer is a junior Mass Communication, Public Relations major at UMHB. She is the Entertainment Page editor for The Bells Newspaper. Growing up in the small town of Nacogdoches, Texas taught her to enjoy the simple things in life such as local cuisine, an afternoon at grandma’s house, and getting to know her “neighbors”. If she’s not hunting for the latest pair of shoes, she can most likely be found eating chocolate cake with her closest friends. She enjoys making copies for the Bells newspaper and taking on many other random assignments!

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