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Flemming Wins Wesleyan Theological Society Book Award

The Wesleyan Theological Society announced last month that its 2012 Smith/Wynkoop Book Award goes to Dean Flemming, PhD, MNU professor of New Testament and missions, for his New Beacon Bible Commentary volume on Philippians.

Explaining their choice of Flemming’s work published by Beacon Hill Press, the WTS said, “Conversant with recent Pauline scholarship, he [Flemming] makes it easily accessible to average readers. ‘Pastors and students who want to take Philippians seriously will do themselves a favor by looking at his commentary first. It may not be the last commentary they will consult, but it is the best place to begin,’ notes New Testament scholar George Lyons. ‘Wesleyans do not expect biblical scholars artificially to impose their perspective on the text and Flemming certainly does not. But he demonstrates his acquaintance with and respect for the Wesleyan-Holiness tradition throughout the commentary.’”

The Wesleyan Theological Society presents a book award annually in honor of the outstanding scholarly contributions of historian Timothy L. Smith and theologian Mildred Bangs Wynkoop. The award recognizes a recent publication of distinction in a research area related to the Wesleyan/Holiness tradition. Each book honored is judged to have helped the Wesleyan/Holiness tradition to be better understood and/or promoted.

            Notably, this is the first time they have awarded a Biblical studies book the Smith/Wynkoop award. In his review of the book, Lyons emphasizes that Flemming’s unique perspective makes this volume particularly valuable to contemporary scholars. 

“Perhaps the most distinguishing asset of Flemming's commentary is his persistent concern to address the contemporary relevance of the ancient text…. His international experience, New Testament scholarship, and unapologetic Christian faith make this an invaluable resource for all who would preach and teach from this letter to the most beloved of the churches Paul founded.”

            Founded in 1965, the 600-member WTS encourages an exchange of ideas among Wesleyan/Holiness theologians, stimulates scholarship among young theologians and pastors, and publishes a journal containing significant contributions to Holiness movement scholarship.

Flemming accepted the book award at the WTS conference held March 2-3 at Trevecca Nazarene University, Nashville, Tenn.


Author’s Bio

Dean Flemming, PhD, is professor of New Testament and missions at MidAmerica Nazarene University in Olathe, Kan. A missionary educator for more than twenty years, he formerly taught at Asia-Pacific Nazarene Theological Seminary in the Philippines and European Nazarene College in Busingen, Germany. He received a B.A. from MidAmerica Nazarene University, a Master of Divinity from Nazarene Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. in New Testament Exegesis from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. In addition to writing articles for scholarly and popular journals and multi-author works, he is the author of Contextualization in the New Testament: Patterns for Theology and Mission (InterVarsity Press, 2005), which received a Christianity Today book award. His most recent book is Philippians: A Commentary in the Wesleyan Tradition (Beacon Hill, 2009) which won the 2012 Smith/Wynkoop Book Award. He is an ordained minister in the Church of the Nazarene and has pastored churches in Ohio and Japan.

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