Dr. Charles E. Hill, New Testament professor at Reformed Theological Seminary Orlando, has received the prestigious Henry Luce III Fellowship in Theology, funded by the Luce Foundation and administered by the Association of Theological Schools. He is the first RTS professor in the 17 year history of the fellowship to receive such an award. This fellowship, which is open to faculty members at any of the over 250 ATS member schools and is awarded as a grant of up to $75,000, provides for the recipients to work for a year on an approved research project that will benefit the academy and the church.
The title of Hill’s project, “Many Antichrists Have Come”: Dissent and the Beginnings of the Johannine Corpus, refers to the schism mentioned in the New Testament book of 1 John. He believes his research could benefit the academy and the church in the following ways: “First, I hope it will help scholars in the academy who are seeking a better understanding of the historical origins of the Johannine books of the New Testament. Second, I think a study of this primitive schism in the church can be useful to the church today as it continues to negotiate the boundaries of acceptable theological and ethical diversity.”
Dr. Donald Sweeting, president of RTS Orlando, said, “In a day when certain scholars are saying that there were “many Christianities,” that the Gnostic gospels are normative, and that Christian orthodoxy came late, Chuck Hill’s recent book and his proposed Luce Fellowship study have a timely relevance for knowing and understanding the gospel that the early Christians proclaimed. We are proud of Professor Hill’s achievement.”
Hill joined the faculty of RTS Orlando in 1994 after teaching at Northwestern College in Iowa. He received his doctorate in divinity from Cambridge University. He also has earned degrees from Westminster Theological Seminary in California (M.A.R.; M.Div.) and from the University of Nebraska (B.F.A.).
D.A. Carson had this to say about Hill’s just published work, Who Chose the Gospels? Probing the Great Gospel Conspiracy: “For those willing to examine the documentary evidence, there is no better guide than this book by Charles E. Hill. Hill is meticulous, even-handed, careful to distinguish between historical datum and speculation—and a good writer to boot. Not many books that are so informed are such a pleasure to read.”
Other works authored by Hill include The Johannine Corpus in the Early Church, published by Oxford University Press, and Regnum Caelorum: Patterns of Millennial Thought in Early Christianity (Erdmann’s), which is in its second edition. Hill was a contributor to the New Geneva Study Bible and to the ESV Study Bible, and is a member of the Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas.
The Luce Fellows in Theology program seeks to support projects that 1) offer significant and innovative contributions to theological studies, meeting high scholarly standards, 2) enhance the theological understanding of people of faith and enrich the experience of church life in North America, and 3) develop ways for scholarship to inform contemporary culture.
In the fall of 2012, the 2011-12 Fellows will present their conclusions and engage in discussion about their findings and the relation of their work to issues of theology, faith and church life. The conference offers a venue for continuing interaction among the Fellows as a growing corps of leaders in theological scholarship.
RTS was founded in 1966 and is now one of the largest seminaries in the United States. RTS campuses are located in Atlanta, Charlotte, Washington D.C., Houston, Orlando, Jackson, Memphis and a Virtual campus that offers an online Master of Arts degree.