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Andrew Purves

Andrew Purves is a Christian theologian in the tradition of the Presbyterian Church USA. He holds the Hugh Thomson Kerr Chair in Pastoral Theology at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.

A native of Edinburgh, Scotland, Purves earned degrees in philosophy and divinity from the University of Edinburgh, and a Th. M. degree from Duke Divinity School in North Carolina. His Ph. D. is from the University of Edinburgh. In Scotland, he studied under Thomas F. Torrance. Torrance, his brother James Torrance, and Karl Barth were all important influences in Purves' theological development.

Originally licensed as a clergyman by the Church of Scotland, Purves relocated to the United States in 1978. He was ordained in 1979. He served as pastor of the Hebron Presbyterian Church in Clinton, PA until 1983, when he began teaching at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.

Purves' primary concerns are Church renewal and practical theology. Among his more important works are:

  • The Search for Compassion: Spirituality and Ministry ISBN 0664250653
  • Pastoral Theology in the Classical Tradition ISBN 0664222412
  • Union in Christ (with Mark Achtemeier) ISBN 1571530193
  • Encountering God: Christian Faith in the Turbulent Times (with Charles Partee) ISBN 0664222420
  • "The Trinitarian Basis of a Christian Practical Theology" in The International Journal of Practical Theology

Much of Purves' work is a call to reclaim the classical tradition of the Church, renewing the Church through traditional doctrine and the wisdom of the patristic writers. As such, he can be associated with the paleo-orthodox movement. He has become a leader of evangelical renewal in the Presbyterian Church USA and has become known in that denomination for his support of traditional Christian views on sexuality and a rejection of the homosexual lifestyle as a legitimate Christian lifestyle choice. He also emphasizes the absolute Lordship of Christ, as opposed to other denominational voices which have sought to diminish the uniqueness of Christ's Lordship, and the importance of the Reformed/Calvinist view of Christ's priestly role.

He is married to Catherine Purves, a Presbyterian clergywoman. They have three children: Brendan, Gordon, and Laura.

References & External Links

  • Purves, Andrew (2001). Pastoral Theology in the Classical Tradition. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press. ISBN 0664222412.
Last updated: 10-26-2005 13:21:06
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