Chris A. Vlachos, Ph.D. 2006
Recipient of the Clarence and Ruth Sallberg Fellowship
Visiting Professor New Testament
Director of Wheaton in the Holy Lands
Wheaton College; Wheaton, IL
My dissertation was entitled "Law and Sin: An Edenic Nexus? A Study with Reference to 1 Corinthians 15:56 and the Catalytic Operation of the Law" (Pickwick)--supervised by Dr. Douglas Moo. In it I argue that the Genesis Fall narrative, where the serpent plied his seductions by way of the garden commandment, provides the theological substructure to Paul's axiom in 1 Cor 15:56: "the power of sin is the law." By locating a law-sin nexus as far back as Eden, Paul, I contend, reaches the historical high water mark of his polemic against the salvific efficacy of the law. Even in Paradise the law did not promote life. To the contrary, the prohibition against eating from the tree of life became the occasion through which sin and death gained entry into the world.
I entered the Ph.D. program at Wheaton after serving for almost twenty years in the pastorate in Utah. It wasn't easy after all those years of frontier ministry to move from a place where I had learned much to face new perspectives and paradigm shifts about which I knew little. Yet, the decision to exchange the pulpit for the classroom and to commit myself to what I knew would be a rigorous upgrade was motivated by the recognition that with the front-line experiences granted me by God, I could best serve at this season of life by stepping off the pastoral field to help instruct those who are about to take the field. For this I would need further education, and for the sake of those whom I would teach, I would seek the best education. I found this education at Wheaton College.