Johnson, Galen K. 1970-

views updated

Johnson, Galen K. 1970-


Born August 18, 1970; married; wife's name Lori; children: Caroline. Education: Wake Forest University, B.A. (summa cum laude), 1992; Princeton Theological Seminary, M.Div., 1995; Baylor University, Ph.D., 2002. Hobbies and other interests: Reading, sports, history.


Home—Siloam Springs, AR. Office—John Brown University, 2000 W. University St., Siloam Springs, AR 72761. E-mail—[email protected].


Writer, theologian, pastor, administrator, and educator. Davidson County Community College, Lexington, NC, adjunct instructor, 1996-98; McLennan Community College, Waco, TX, adjunct instructor, 2000-02; Baylor University, Waco, instructor in religion and coordinator of teaching fellows program, 2001-02; John Brown University, Siloam Springs, AR, assistant professor of theology and assistant director of honors and faculty development, 2002—. Grace Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Fayetteville, AR, preacher, 2004—; Victory Baptist Church, Thomasville, NC, pastor; Blue Ridge Baptist Church, Marlin, TX, pastor. Presenter at scholarly meetings, conferences, and symposia.


Conference on Christianity and Literature (secretary), Phi Beta Kappa.


Emo F.J. Van Halsema Fellowship, Calvin College, 1998; National Organization for Staff Organizational Development Teaching Excellence Medallion, McLennan Community College, 2001; Alpha Chi Honors Society Teacher of the Year Award, John Brown University, 2004-05; Faculty Excellence Award, John Brown University, 2005-06; Teacher of the Year, John Brown University, 2005-06.


Prisoner of Conscience: John Bunyan on Self, Community, and Christian Faith, Paternoster Press (Carlisle, England), 2003.

(With Charles S. Pastoor) Historical Dictionary of the Puritans, Scarecrow Press (Lanham, MD), 2007.

Contributor to periodicals, including Recorder, Christianity and Literature, Baptist Quarterly, Baptist History and Heritage, Quodlibet, Fides et Historia, Bunyan Studies, Perspectives in Religious Studies, Mission Studies, Journal of Church and State, Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations, Koinonia Journal, Mennonite Quarterly Review, and Calvin Theological Journal.


Galen K. Johnson is a writer, theologian, and educator based at John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Arkansas, where he is an assistant professor of theology and assistant direc- tor of honors and faculty development. He holds a B.A. from Wake Forest University, where he graduated summa cum laude; an M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary; and a Ph.D. from Baylor University. Johnson teaches Christian church history, theology, philosophy, and evangelical theory. A regular contributor of articles and reviews to journals, Johnson also presents papers and lectures at academic conferences throughout the United States. An active member of the religious community, Johnson has served as a preacher at Grace Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Fayetteville, Arkansas, since 2004. He has also been a pastor at churches in North Carolina and Texas.

In Prisoner of Conscience: John Bunyan on Self, Community, and Christian Faith, Johnson analyzes the writings and theology of John Bunyan. David J. Leigh, writing in Christianity and Literature, noted that in this book "[Johnson] joins the ongoing argument about the place of John Bunyan in the history of the rise of individualism from the Reformation to contemporary notions of the autonomously constructed ‘self.’" Leigh further noted that Johnson "finds Bunyan to be somewhat individualistic in his early writing and in Grace Abounding. However, his developing faith in Luther's doctrine of salvation by faith in an objective Christ and his work as a pastor within a community led him to a later theology that is more ecclesial and sacramental." Thus, as Leigh pointed out, Johnson finds Bunyan's attitudes to be in opposition to major sources of English religion of the time, including the Quakers and John Milton.

Leigh further observed: "The strengths of Johnson's book for teachers of Bunyan's literary works are many." The reviewer praised Johnson's explanations of Bunyan's use of Luther's doctrine of salvation in his works Grace Abounding and Pilgrim's Progress. Leigh also noted that Johnson is willing to consider many authors and texts that disagree with his attitudes toward Bunyan. Leigh concluded that Johnson "makes a convincing case that Bunyan as a theologian was not the radical source of modern ideas of autonomy, political liberty, and self-construction."

With Charles S. Pastoor, Johnson is the author of Historical Dictionary of the Puritans. In this work, Johnson and Pastoor provide a comprehensive look at the Puritans in England and America. With several hundred concise entries, the authors cover the origins of Puritanism in England to its spread and eventual dissolution in America in the mid-1700s. Pastoor and Johnson include entries on Puritan customs and concepts, significant events throughout Puritan history, and biographies of movement luminaries, including William Penn, John Bunyan, and John Milton. Some 240 other notable personalities and influential thinkers, writers, and theologians, many of them obscure and not thoroughly covered in other reference works, also make an appearance. The authors provide details on a number of Puritan subgroups, including the Quakers, Diggers, Levellers, Brownists, Muggletonians, and Ranters.

Library Journal reviewer Savannah Schroll Guz praised Historical Dictionary of the Puritans as the "most extensive, carefully charted one-volume dictionary of Puritan life to date." The work is "especially useful as a first-contact resource," commented a reviewer in Reference & Research Book News. Booklist contributor Wade Osburn remarked that the book is "well focused and concise," and noted the book's "thorough introduction," "very readable chronology" of Puritan history, and "impressive bibliography."



Booklist, November 15, 2007, Wade Osburn, review of Historical Dictionary of the Puritans, p. 70.

Christianity and Literature, autumn, 2006, David J. Leigh, review of Prisoner of Conscience: John Bunyan on Self, Community, and Christian Faith, p. 178.

Library Journal, September 15, 2007, Savannah Schroll Guz, review of Historical Dictionary of the Puritans, p. 86.

Reference & Research Book News, November, 2007, review of Historical Dictionary of the Puritans.


Galen K. Johnson Home Page, (August 11, 2008).

John Brown University Web site, (August 11, 2008), author profile.

About this article

Johnson, Galen K. 1970-

Updated About content Print Article