William Edgar


Apologetics

Rev. Dr. William Edgar (DThéol, Université de Genève) holds the John Boyer Chair of Evangelism and Culture and is professor of apologetics at Westminster Theological Seminary. He is also associate professor at the Faculté Jean Calvin.

Dr. Edgar’s primary teaching and research interest is apologetics. He has spent much of his career developing and applying the tradition of covenantal apologetics stemming from the pioneering work of Cornelius Van Til to several specific research interests. These include cultural studies, the art of persuasion, Huguenot history, African American music and culture, Islam, nineteenth century French Protestant apologetics, medical ethics, the question of theodicy, and aesthetics.

For those who are new to Dr. Edgar’s writing and teaching on his research interests, he recommends several resources as places to start. On apologetics and persuasion, consider beginning with Reasons of the Heart: Recovering Christian Persuasion, or with his commentary and notes on Van Til’s Christian Apologetics. Also consider his Introduction to Apologetics course available free online from Westminster. He also writes regularly on social issues for Capital Commentary sponsored by the Center for Public Justice, for example, consider reading “My People: Properly Subversive Theology.”

On music, consider beginning with a recent study on Johannes Brahms’ sacred choral music, “Why Is Light Given to the Miserable?” in It Was Good: Making Art to the Glory of God, or consider his course Music and Christian Aesthetics, also available online from Westminster. Dr. Edgar also runs a jazz band which specializes in Gospel music. His group travels around the globe, helping to bring the Gospel through song to university students. Consider beginning with his popular concert presentation Heaven in a Nightclub, a compelling history of jazz alternating between lecture and piano performance.

Education

  • DThéol, Université de Genève, 1993
  • MDiv, Westminster Theological Seminary, 1969
  • Honors BA, Music, Harvard University, 1966

Church Ministry

Dr. Edgar is an ordained teaching elder in the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA).

Teaching and Professional History

  • Professor, Westminster Theological Seminary, 1989–present
  • Professor of Apologetics, Faculté Libre de Théologie Réformée, Aix-en-Provence (today called Faculté Jean Calvin), France, 1979–1989
  • Faculty, Brunswick School, Greenwich, Connecticut, 1970–1978

Courses

  • Introduction to Apologetics (AP101)
  • Christianity in Conflict I (AP713)
  • Christianity and the Arts (AP733)
  • Christianity in Conflict II (AP743)
  • Christianity in Conflict III (AP753)
  • Christianity in Conflict IV (AP763)
  • Christianity in Conflict V (AP773)
  • Apologetics in a Global Setting (AP771)
  • Secularization Theory (AP 541/841)
  • Theodicy (AP861)
  • Jacques Ellul as an Apologist (AP891)
  • Cultural Analysis (AP903)
  • The Challenge of Islam (AP953)
  • Topics in Medical Ethics (ST701)

Memberships

  • Senior Fellow, The Trinity Forum
  • Senior Faculty, The Trinity Forum Academy
  • China Christian Scholars Association
  • Jazz Band, Renewal (leader, piano)
  • American Musicological Society
  • Society for Ethnomusicology
  • Forum on Christians in Musical Scholarship
  • Evangelical Theological Society
  • The Historical Society
  • Editorial board, La Revue Réformée
  • Center for Public Justice
  • The Huguenot Fellowship, President
  • Wilberforce Fellow
  • Edmund P. Clowney Legacy Project
  • The Duke Ellington Society

Other Online Resources