JACKSON, Tenn. – March 18, 2009 – Church historian John Woodbridge lectured on the vitality of the Christian faith during the European Enlightenment during his time as scholar-in-residence at Union University March 1-10.
Woodbridge serves as research professor of church history and the history of Christian thought at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Ill. He is the author of such books as “The History of Biblical Authority” and “The Evangelicals” and has co-written and edited several other works.
Woodbridge lectured four times during his stay at Union and challenged the notion that the Enlightenment was as pervasive in England, France and Germany as is commonly believed.
“I really enjoyed Dr Woodbridge’s series of lectures,” said David Conway, a freshman history major. “He was a very interesting man to speak to one-on-one. He truly takes interest in students and what they are studying and thinking about.”
Union history professor Stephen Carls considered Woodbridge’s lecture series one of the best scholar-in-residence programs that Union has hosted.
“I thought he did a terrific job of relating to his audience,” Carls said. “There was a lot of interaction that took place that I think was of interest to his students. He presented his material in a way that we could all readily understand. He’s a very effective lecturer. I didn’t have to take notes, and I can still relate many of the things he told us.”
Woodbridge said he enjoyed his time on campus, and was especially pleased to see how Union had recovered from the Feb. 5, 2008, tornado that caused heavy damage.
“I had heard much of Union and knew it was an excellent school but never had visited before,” Woodbridge said. “Part of the joy and delight of being at Union was to see the campus and meet students and chat with faculty.
“To see how the Lord so graciously helped in the restoration process that took place so rapidly and wonderfully, that was a genuine thrill.”
Woodbridge also said he appreciated the opportunity to interact with the Union faculty, many of whom helped him to think through some of the issues he is working on for a book project.
“Finally, there was just a sense of genuine encouragement that one received from encountering firsthand a school where the program is genuinely Christ-centered,” Woodbridge added.