J. Rodman Williams
J. Rodman Williams

J. Rodman Williams

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Dr. J. Rodman Williams (1918–2008), regarded as the father of modern Renewal Theology, was a charismatic theologian and Professor of Renewal Theology at Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia.[1]

Born on August 21, 1918, in Clyde, North Carolina, Williams earned an A.B. (1939) from Davidson College, a B.D. (1943) and Th.M. (1944) from Union Theological Seminary in Virginia, and a Ph.D. in philosophy of religion and ethics at Union Theological Seminary in New York, taking time in between to serve as a chaplain in the United States Marine Corps (1944-1946).[2] He was ordained in the Presbyterian Church in the United States in 1943[3] and served as a pastor for several years before becoming a full-time educator. From 1959-1972, he served as professor of systematic theology at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary.[2] As a key figure in the burgeoning charismatic movement of the 1960s, he was president of the International Presbyterian Charismatic Communion, and later a participant in the International Roman Catholic-Pentecostal Dialogue. In 1972, he became the founding president of the Melodyland School of Theology in Anaheim, California, and in 1985 he served as president of the Society for Pentecostal Studies.[4] He joined the faculty of Regent University in the mid-1980s and holds the title of Emeritus Professor of Renewal Theology.

Important works include the three-volume systematic theology entitled Renewal Theology (1988–92, published as a single volume in 1996), the first complete systematic theology written from a charismatic perspective. It included chapters on the supernatural gifts of the Spirit and a chapter on the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, arguing for the traditional Pentecostal interpretation.