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Theologians and emergent church leaders across North America are mourning the passing of prolific author and professor Stanley Grenz, 55, who died March 12 after a brain hemorrhage.

"Stan wrote with a gracious style and spirit that invited people into the conversation rather than throwing down gauntlets and pushing people away," said Maryland pastor Brian McLaren, a leading figure in the emergent movement. "I think that gave him wide influence."

The author or coauthor of 25 books—including Theology for the Community of God and Rediscovering the Triune God—and hundreds of articles, at his death Grenz was dividing his time between Carey Theological College in Vancouver, British Columbia, and Mars Hill Graduate School, near Seattle.

Mars Hill, which invited Grenz to redesign its master of divinity program before he joined its faculty last fall, quickly established a memorial scholarship fund.

The divinity school also plans to establish a chair of theology in Grenz's name, president Dan Allender told Christianity Today.

"I think anyone attempting to engage a postmodern culture has been influenced by Stan," said Allender, one of more than 1,000 mourners who attended his funeral. "I don't know of a theologian who had a more irenic spirit. He was a deep-hearted, passionate believer."

Ward Gasque, president of the Pacific Association for Theological Studies in Stanwood, Washington, said Grenz was a good listener. "I believe he was listening both to the questions asked by the younger, emerging leaders and also to the contemporary culture," Gasque said. "Being secure in his faith, he was not troubled by asking or responding to difficult questions."

Survived by his wife, Edna, and two children, Grenz was the youngest son of a Conservative ...

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Theologian Stan Grenz Dies
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In the Magazine

May 2005

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