In Memoriam: James Leo Garrett Jr.

From Christianity Today (Wyman Richardson):

James Leo Garrett Jr. was Distinguished Professor of Theology, Emeritus, at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, until his death several days ago.


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He was a graduate of Baylor University (BA in English, 1945), Southwestern Seminary (BD, 1948, and ThD, 1954), Princeton Theological Seminary (ThM, 1949), and Harvard University (PhD, 1966). Dr. Garrett is beloved and revered by countless students and faculty members at the institutions at which he taught—Southwestern Seminary (1949–59, 1979–97), Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (1959–73), and Baylor University (1973–79)—as well as by many others who benefited from his scholarship and Christian devotion.

Dr. Garrett was a fascinating mixture of Southern Baptist loyalty and ecumenical fervor.

While perhaps few theologians and churchmen have thought, written, and engaged so carefully with the inner-workings and trajectory of the Southern Baptist Convention, Dr. Garrett was equally active in his engagements with the wider Christian world.

He was very involved in the Baptist World Alliance, for instance, and was, from 1968–1975 part of the Study Commission on Cooperative Christianity, a commission for which he served as chair. He also contributed substantial pieces to BWA publications.

In 1965, Dr. Garrett attended the final session of the Second Vatican Council in Rome as a guest of the Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity. Furthermore, he engaged Christians of other traditions in substantial ways, as when, for instance, he presented papers before the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Instanbul, Turkey, in 1994 and 1996.

His voluminous writings include his two-volume Systematic Theology (originally published by Eerdmans and currently published by Wipf & Stock), his monumental Baptist Theology: A Four-Century Study (Mercer University Press), and numerous other authored or edited books and articles.

Dr. Garrett was married to his beloved Myrta Ann Latimer Garrett for 67 years before her passing in 2015. He is survived by three sons and a number of grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Dr. Garret passed died Feb. 5 in Nacogdoches, Texas. He was 94.

[Image from: Baptist Press ]

 

 

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