A Reformation & Revival Journal Interview with Michael J. McClymond -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Reformation and Revival
Volume: RAR 12:3 (Summer 2003)
Article: A Reformation & Revival Journal Interview with Michael J. McClymond
Author: Anonymous


A Reformation & Revival Journal
Interview with Michael J. McClymond

During the summer we sat down with Michael J. McClymond to conduct an extensive interview. Michael was our first choice for this issue because of his deep interest in Jonathan Edwards and his wealth of writing and research on the life and thought of Edwards. Dr. McClymond is presently professor of theology at Saint Louis University, where he holds a tenured position and an endowed chair. Dr. McClymond previously held appointments at Wheaton College, Westmont College, Emory University and the University of California in San Diego.

Dr. McClymond completed his B. A. degree at Northwestern University (1980) and his M. Div. at Yale University (1984). He then completed and M. A. (1987) and Ph. D. (1992) at the University of Chicago. A gifted teacher and research professor, Mike is the author of Encounters with God: An Approach to the Theology of Jonathan Edwards (Oxford, 1998). A forthcoming book is titled Familiar Stranger: An Introduction to Jesus of Nazareth (Eerdmans, 2003).

Michael is also a widely read student of revival movements, the history of Jesus, and American Church history. He regularly writes for journals, magazines and scholarly periodicals.

R R J — Michael, tell us about your personal background. Where were you born and reared?

M J M — I was born in Washington, D.C. and my family moved, at about the age of five, to Omaha, Nebraska. My father was a business executive who ended up becoming the vice-president of the company that became Enron. In fact, there was some possibility that my father, rather than the now notorious Ken Lay, might have become CEO. Instead he ended up as head of a spin-off company. I think that was all for the better in light of the history of Enron. My mother, who is now with the Lord, was an artist. I also have a younger sister who lives in the San Francisco area with my brother-in-law and nephew.

R R J — Your religious background was in the Methodist Church. How did you come to personal faith in Christ?

M J M — I was raised in the oldest Methodist church in Nebraska, First United Methodist of Omaha, which was founded in 1854. For whatever reason, I did not hear a clear message of repentance growing up in the church. I remember the minister saying, “Be caught up in something greater than yourself.” The message had a general moral and spiritual uplift to it, but it was not specifically centered on Christ crucified and risen again. So the person who eventually shared the basic Christian message with me was the janitor at the church. He was a fervent Pentecostal, who would jump ...

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