McClendon Lectures 2020


On November 13th, 2020 the second McClendon lecture will be held. Key note speaker is Ryan Andrew Newson, theologian and ethicist from Campbell University and co-editor of the Collected works of James Wm. McClendon. The theme of the lecture will be Inhabiting the City: Envisioning Baptist Ways of Doing Theology in a Pluralist Urban World.

The McClendon Lecture is an academic lecture on a topic close to the mind-set of Jim McClendon, in critical conversation with keen experts and the audience. The lecture is organised by the McClendon Chair for Baptistic and Evangelical Theology. In 2018, Reggie Williams was the first to hold the lectures on the theme of Lived Leadership: Lessions from M.L. King, Bonhoeffer and Tubman. In 2020 Ryan Andrew Newson will be the keynote speaker.

Next to the McClendonlectures, a morning session will be held on the theme of Baptist theology and the city, involving students of the Dutch Baptist Seminary and hopefully two or three other seminaries spanning across Europe. This will be organised in close cooperation with IBTSC, in particular with its director Mike Pears. The seminaries will then have the possibilities to interactively join the academic lectures in the afternoon.


Keynote speaker will be Ryan Andrew Newson, author of Inhabiting the World: Identity, Politics, and Theology in Radical Baptist Perspective (2018). Ryan teaches theology and ethics at Campbell University. He holds degrees from Fuller Theological Seminary (PhD), Wake Forest University (MDiv), and Elon University (BA). Additionally, he is the co-editor of The Collected Works of James Wm. McClendon and author of Radical Friendship: The Politics of Communal Discernment (2017).

Date:  Nov 13th, 2020
Time: 13.00-16.30
Location: Baptist House, Postjesweg 150, Amsterdam


The theme of the day will be: Inhabiting the City: Envisioning Baptist Ways of Doing Theology in a pluralist urban world. Newson highlights the main elements of the lecture:

“For the 2020 McClendon lectures, my aim is to name some of the theological narratives that might enable baptist churches to inhabit the city courageously and faithfully, or to describe the inhabitation they are already doing in more theologically robust ways. Drawing on resources provided by theologian Jim McClendon, I aim to provide an empowering language by which baptists can understand the task of receptive witness to which we are called. By “receptive witness,” I mean the struggle to speak words of truth and grace in each of our particular contexts, as well as to remain discerningly open to those we work with and among—to listen and learn as well as speak and proclaim. Of particular help in envisioning baptist ways of doing theology in the city will be McClendon’s attention to embodied experience, his understanding that multiple narratives can inhabit (and compete within) the same space, and a cruciform sense of power that controls which narratives we ought to pay attention to and which we should resist. My hope is that these reflections may spark a wider conversation about baptist theology and the city, whereby pastors, scholars, and students extend or push back against my initial thoughts.”