Directors' Bicentennial Professor of Theology
Year started at PTS: 2009
The Rev. Dr. Edwin Chr. van Driel is the Directors’ Bicentennial Professor in Theology at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. He teaches mainly in Christology, ecclesiology, and the interaction between biblical studies and theology. Van Driel is deeply invested in helping the church think about its existence and calling as it moves into an increasingly post-Christian world.
Van Driel is the author of Incarnation Anyway: Arguments for Supralapsarian Christology (Oxford University Press, 2008) and Rethinking Paul: Protestant Theology and Contemporary Exegesis (Cambridge University Press, 2021), which won the 2021 Senior Alberigo Award of the European Academy of Religion. He also edited What Is Jesus Doing? Divine Agency in the Life of the Church and the Work of the Pastor (IVP Academic, 2019) and the T&T Clark Handbook of Election (forthcoming from Continuum). His work has been published in academic journals such as Modern Theology, The International Journal of Systematic Theology, Worship, and The Scottish Journal of Theology, but also in popular magazines such as Christian Century, Call to Worship, and The Presbyterian Outlook.
Van Driel’s first book deals with the divine motivation for the incarnation: is it contingent upon sin, or does God have deeper motives to become human? Van Driel suggests the latter, arguing that in friendship and love God wants to come as close to creation as God can—by coming among us as a human being. His second book offers a theological reading of contemporary Pauline exegesis and gleans what Protestant theologians can learn from the New Perspective on Paul and an apocalyptic reading of the apostle. He currently researches an ecclesiology for a post-Christian world.
Van Driel is an ordained Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and served on the church’s committee that produced the denomination’s new hymnal, Glory to God. He was the primary writer of the committee’s “Theological Vision Statement” and “A Statement on Language,” and also served on the Editorial Advisory Board of the Book of Common Worship. He is the chair of the International Consultation on Ecclesial Futures, an invited group of practitioners, church consultations, denominational leaders, and academics from four continents which gathers yearly to consult on the church’s contextual missional challenges.
The T&T Clark Companion to Election. Forthcoming from Continuum (2023).
Rethinking Paul: Protestant Theology and Pauline Exegesis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2021.
What Is Jesus Doing? Divine Agency in the Life of the Church and the Ministry of the Pastor. Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2020.
Incarnation Anyway: Arguments for Supralapsarian Christology. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008.
“Sharing in Nature or Encountering a Person: A Tale of Two Different Supralapsarian Strategies.” Scottish Journal of Theology 75.3 (2022) 193-206.
“‘His death manifested its power and efficacy in us’: The role of Christ’s resurrection in John Calvin’s theology.” Journal of Reformed Theology 12 (2018) 217-234.
“What Are We Doing When We Bless?” Call to Worship 52.2 (2018) 2-9.
“‘Ministering to the grandchildren of the lost son’: Being Church in a Post-Christian Society.” The Presbyterian Outlook 200.13 (September 13, 2018), 29-35.
“Preparing Students to Discern the Presence of God in a Post-Christian Age.” Panorama 55 (Spring 2018) 2-5.
“A Theology of Seminary Worship.” Worship 91 (May 2017) 251-267.
“The End of Denominationalism.” The Presbyterian Outlook 199.3 (February 2017), 22-24.
“‘Too lowly to reach God without a Mediator’: John Calvin’s Supralapsarian Eschatological Narrative.” Modern Theology 33:2 (2017) 275-292.
“Online Theological Education: Three Under-Theorized Issues,” Theological Education 50 (2016) 69-79.
Ordination: PC(USA), 2010 as Minister of Word and Sacrament
Watch this PTS BookTalk "An Interdisciplinary Conversation with Drs. Jerome Creach and Edwin van Driel" in which van Driel details the interdisciplinary research that led to his recent publication "Rethinking Paul: Protestant Theology and Pauline Exegesis".