Directors' Bicentennial Professor of Theology
Year started at PTS: 2009
The Rev. Dr. Edwin Chr. van Driel occupies the Directors’ Bicentennial Chair 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). 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 a member of the International Research Consortium, which researches missional congregations.
Incarnation Anyway: Arguments for Supralapsarian Christology (Oxford University Press, 2008)
“For God’s Own Sake: Eccentric Existence and the Theological Education Debate,” in The Theological Anthropology of David Kelsey: Responses to Eccentric Existence (co-author; Eerdmans, 2016)
“Outside the (United) Church Is No Salvation,” in Liturgical-Missional: Perspectives on a Reformed Ecclesiology (Pickwick, 2016)
“‘To know nothing except Jesus Christ, and him crucified’: Supralapsarian Christology and a Theology of the Cross,” in The Wisdom and Foolishness of God: First Corinthians 1-2 in Theological Exploration (Fortress, 2015)
“Online Theological Education: Three Undertheorized Issues Edwin Chr. van Driel,” Theological Education 50/1 (2015)
“’Sir, we wish to see Jesus’: Christ in a Pluralistic Age,” The Presbyterian Outlook 197/5 (March 2015)
“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.
Ordination: PC(USA), 2010 as Minister of Word and Sacrament
A couple of years ago Van Driel published an article in Theology Today about the unity of the church. As many in our culture think about the church as a voluntary organization, he proposed to think about the church as grounded in God's covenant of baptism. Van Driel then applied this to the manifold conflicts in the mainline churches: If our unity is not a voluntary unity based on our common convictions, but we are united because we are called together by God in our baptism, what does this mean for how we deal with disagreements in the church? He further developed his argument in the manuscript below.
Chapter 1 - Church and Covenant
Chapter 2 - Outside the (United) Church Is No Salvation
Chapter 3 - Bearing With One Another in Love
Chapter 4 - The Household of God (Rooted in the Future)
Chapter 5 - The Household of God (Living As God's New People)
In the December 2014 issue of Presbyterians Today, Professor van Driel argues that our biggest issue is not conflict in the church but what it means to belong to a church. Read the full article. Used with permission.