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Stephen R. Holmes

Senior Lecturer in Systematic Theology

Stephen HolmesSteve Holmes teaches in the areas of historical and systematic theology, and also on homiletics.

His research is broadly focused on Christian theology in its classic forms, including both its history and contemporary expression. Within this wide field, he presently has three main areas of interest:

He studies Evangelical Christianity, particularly its theological commitments. He has written on such central topics as the doctrine of Scripture and the atonement. His concerns are often with the historical and geographical variety of Evangelical theology, and with patterns of contemporary renewal. He was a member of the core group of the AHRC-funded Evangelicalism and Fundamentalism in Britain project.

He is also interested in Baptist theology, again in both historical and contemporary expressions. He has written on Baptist accounts of church and ministry, and represented Baptist denominations on ecumenical bodies. He was selected to write the volume on Baptist theology in T&T Clark's international Doing Theology series.

Both these traditions can trace roots to English Puritanism, and this tradition also interests him.

Finally, he works on constructive theology. At the moment he is particularly interested in the doctrine of God, and how the Trinity relates to philosophical ideas of God in history (particularly the church fathers) and in recent theological reformulation. He is also interested in the doctrine of salvation, particularly the atonement.

He supervises research students in all these areas. Recently completed doctorates under his supervision have looked at: 18th century Evangelicalism; Karl Barth; Robert Jenson; Scriptural inerrancy in contemporary American Evangelicalism; Jonathan Edwards; Stanley Grenz; and the De auxiliis controversy.

Steve is also involved in a number of knowledge transfer activities, seeking to bridge the gap between the academy, church, and culture, particularly in the context of the evangelical churches. He speaks regularly at Christian conferences, and at ministers' meetings, leads church retreats, and so on. He publishes at a popular as well as an academic level, and often offers theological consultancy to Christian organisations engaged in public policy work. He has written for several national newspapers. He chairs the Theology and Public Policy Advisory Commission for the Evangelical Alliance, and his report, The Politics of Christmas, commissioned by the Westminster think-tank Theos was discussed in mainstream media in the UK (The Telegraph; Times Online; Huffington Post), Australia, and the USA.


  • Editor of the International Journal of Systematic Theology (
  • Chair of the Theology and Public Policy Advisory Commission of the Evangelical Alliance UK
  • Council member, Evangelical Alliance UK
  • Council of Reference member, Scottish Bible Society
  • Member of Research Committee, Rutherford House
  • Commissioning editor for Paternoster Press's Studies in Baptist History and Thought series
  • Theological consultant and editorial board for The Bible in TransMission (theological/missiological journal for Christian ministers published by Bible Society with a circulation of 20 000+)
  • Editorial board of Baptistic Theologies

Education and career

B.A., M.A. Peterhouse, Cambridge

M.Th. Spurgeon's College, London

Ph.D. King's College London

1996-1999 Research Fellow, Spurgeon's College

1998-2005 Lecturer in Christian Doctrine, King's College London

1999-2009 Associate Lecturer, Spurgeon's College

2005- Lecturer in Theology, University of St Andrews

Selected Publications

  • God of Grace and God of Glory: An Account of the Theology of Jonathan Edwards (Edinburgh and Grand Rapids, MI: T&T Clark and Eerdmans, 2000)
  • The Practice of Theology (with Colin Gunton and Murray Rae) (London: SCM Press, 2001).
  • Listening to the Past: The Place of Tradition in Theology (Carlisle and Grand Rapids, MI: Paternoster Press and Baker Academic, 2002).
  • The Person of Christ (ed. with Murray Rae) (T&T Clark International, 2005)
  • The Use of the Bible in Pastoral Practice: A Reader (ed., with Paul Ballard) (DLT; 2005).
  • The Wondrous Cross: Atonement and Penal Substitution in the Bible and History (Paternoster, 2007)
  • What are we waiting for? Christian hope and contemporary culture (ed. with Russell Rook) (Paternoster, 2008)
  • Public Theology in Cultural Engagement (Paternoster, 2008)
  • The Holy Trinity (Paternoster/ IVP USA, 2012)
  • Baptist Theology (T&T Clark, 2012)


  •  'Something Much to Plain to Say: Towards a Defence of the Doctrine of Divine Simplicity' Neue Zeitschrift für Systematische Theologie und Religionsphilosophie 43 Bd. (2001) S. 137-54.
  • 'The Upholding of Beauty: A Reading of Anselm's Cur Deus Homo¿ Scottish Journal of Theology, 54/2 (2001) pp. 189-203.
  • 'Meeting Scotus: On Scholasticism and its Ghosts' (jointly written with Mike Higton) International Journal of Systematic Theology 4/1 (2002) pp. 67-81.
  • 'Can Punishment Bring Peace? A Reconsideration of Penal Substitution' Scottish Journal of Theology 58.1 (2005).
  • 'Trinitarian Missiology: Can we speak of God as "missionary"?' (International Journal of Systematic Theology 2006).
  • 'Three verses one? Some problems of social trinitarianism' Journal of Reformed Theology (2009).'Evangelical Doctrines of Scripture in Transatlantic Perspective: the 2008 Laing Lecture' Evangelical Quarterly (2009).
  • 'Baptists and the Bible' Baptist Quarterly (2010).
  • 'Kings, Professors, and Ploughboys: On the Accessibility of Scripture' International Journal of Systematic Theology (2011).
  • 'Listening for the Lex Orandi: The Constructed Theology of Contemporary Worship Events' Scottish Journal of Theology (forthcoming 2013).
  • 'Shapers of Protestantism: Jonathan Edwards' chapter for The Blackwell Companion to Protestantism (ed. McGrath and Marks) (Oxford: Blackwell, 2003).
  • 'The Attributes of God' chapter for The Oxford Handbook of Systematic Theology (ed. Webster, Tanner & Torrance) (Oxford: OUP, 2007).
  • 'British (and European) Evangelical Theologies' chapter for The Cambridge Companion to Evangelical Theology (ed. Trier and Larsen) (Cambridge: CUP, 2007)

Contact details

Dr Stephen R. Holmes
Lecturer in Systematic Theology

St Mary's College
The School of Divinity
University of St Andrews
South Street
St Andrews
Fife KY16 9JU
Scotland, United Kingdom

Tel: + 44 (0)1334 462838
Fax: + 44 (0)1334 462852