on Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Two New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary professors drew top honors from The Gospel Coalition and from the Southwestern Journal of Theology for books published in 2022.

Tyler Wittman, NOBTS assistant professor of theology, garnered The Gospel Coalition’s top award in the category Academic Theology for his work, “Biblical Reasoning: Christological and Trinitarian Rules for Exegesis,” co-authored with Robert B. (Bobby) Jamieson.

Adam Harwood, NOBTS professor of theology, received the Book of the Year award for “Christian Theology: Biblical, Historical, and Systematic” marking it as the top pick overall in 12 categories. The annual award is presented by Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s academic journal, the Southwestern Journal of Theology (SWJT).  

"These works are the result of the highest quality of research and will serve as a resource for the kingdom for years to come,” said Norris Grubbs, NOBTS provost. "We are pleased that others have recognized the fine quality of research Drs. Harwood and Wittman have produced. I know that our students and many others will benefit from their labor."

Wittman’s book, published by Baker Academic, brings together principles and rules to help readers build sound theology through exegeting scripture properly while at the same time interpreting scripture correctly by starting from sound theology, or dogma.

The Gospel Coalition announcement described Wittman’s book as providing clear categories and examples “that connect the work of historical-grammatical exegesis to dogmatic reasoning” and combining academics and worship.

"I'm honored and thankful that the book would receive any attention, let alone an award,” Wittman said. “That's not why Bobby and I wrote it, but we welcome this recognition in hopes that it will prompt more readers to pick up the book and engage its arguments.”

An inside cover endorsement by theologian Fred Sanders, Torrey Honors College, Biola University, calls Wittman’s book “a master class in how to read the Bible directly and accurately.”

Wittman said that at the heart of the book is a vision for the “union of exegesis, theology, and the Christian life” that centers on the “greater unions” of “Christ’s humanity and divinity in one person” and the unity of the Trinity in “one divine essence.”

“If the book can make its real impact by encouraging folks to share that vision, or to improve it, our prayers will have been answered,” Wittman said.  

Harwood’s book, published by Lexham Academic, examines the essential doctrines of the Christian faith: revelation, God, humanity, Christ, the Holy Spirit, salvation, the church, and last things. Endorsements on the book cover praise its readability, balance, and scholarship.

Rhyne Putman, NOBTS associate professor of theology, endorsed the book calling it “a succinct, remarkably clear text that will have great use both in and outside the classroom.”

“My hope is that Christian Theology will help readers grow in their love for the Lord and others as they consider God, His Word, and His ways,” Harwood said.  

Harwood, an SWBTS alum, was honored also with the James Leo Garrett Jr. Award for Contribution to Christian Thought, an SWBTS award that honors an individual for contributions to research, scholarship, teaching and service.

Harwood, who studied under Garrett in the doctoral program, praised Garrett for his “sharp mind and humble heart” and his commitment to treat others’ views fairly.

“In the seven years of writing ‘Christian Theology,’ one of my aims was to practice what has been called the Garrett Rule—to present such a strong case for an opposing viewpoint that one who affirms the view would read the presentation and say, ‘Yes, that’s what I believe,’” Harwood said.

Wittman’s book drew Honorable Mention in the SWJT category of Hermeneutics, Bible Reference, and Biblical Backgrounds. A winner and an Honorable Mention was named in each category.