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A Man for All Evangelicals
Image: Courtesy of Denver Seminary

The life of Vernon Grounds, who died September 12 at age 96, spanned the birth, growth, and maturation of the evangelical movement in North America. During his seven decades of ministry, he helped shape contemporary evangelicalism in significant ways: by building a key institution, Denver Seminary; by challenging evangelicals to wed social action to evangelism; and by pointing the way to a new and thoroughly Christian approach to psychology. But before he did those things, Grounds gave himself to preaching a reasoned and reasonable faith.

While a student at the newly formed Faith Theological Seminary in Delaware, Grounds became part of a group that included such later evangelical luminaries as Arthur Glasser, Kenneth Kantzer, Joseph Bayly, and Francis Schaeffer. The Faith Seminary community, like its theological guru Carl McIntire, was committed to defending the intellectual foundations of our supernatural faith.

While a young pastor in Paterson, New Jersey, Grounds produced his first book, The Reason for Our Hope, based on a series of radio talks. He ably made the case for faith in the supernatural Christ and the credibility of his Word. With this book, Grounds began his ongoing emphasis on apologetics. Over the next few years, in tandem with Edward John Carnell of the newly formed Fuller Theological Seminary, he was at the forefront of an intellectual renaissance among American evangelicals.

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Grounds's intellectual star power attracted a wider audience, leading him out of the pastorate to the newly formed Baptist Bible Seminary in New York, where, in the fall of 1945, he began as dean and professor of theology and apologetics. In 1951 he accepted a call to serve as dean and then president of Conservative ...

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A Man for All Evangelicals
hide thisNovember November

In the Magazine

November 2010

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