Vincent Bacote

​​Vincent Bacote (PhD, Drew University) is professor of theology and the director of the Center for Applied Christian Ethics at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois.  Publications include the books Reckoning with Race and Performing the Good News: In Search of a Better of a Evangelical Theology (2020) and The Political Disciple: A Theology of Public Life. His articles have appeared in magazines such as Comment, Books and Culture, and Christianity Today and journals such as the Journal of Markets and Morality, Christian Scholar’s Review, and the Journal for Christian Theological Research. An avid tennis player, occasional bass guitarist, and incessantly curious person, he lives in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, with his family.

In Search of a Truly Good News Faith

What will it take to renew evangelicalism?


More From This Contributor

A Perennial Moment of Opportunity

Yes, we want faithful participation in art, business, politics, education, and every other sphere. But how do we arrive at a worldview? Intuition may get the conversation started, but biblical knowledge will win the day.

Surprised by the Spirit

How might an openness to the Spirit’s work in the entirety of the created order lead us to have eyes that look for surprising and unpredictable developments in cultural and political realms?

Letter to a Young Black Scholar

The scholarly life is not contrary to faithful discipleship. Indeed, in your case, it may be one of the most significant elements of a fully-devoted life as you steward the tremendous intellectual gifts God has given you.

The Poison Cup

What is it about the pursuit of ambition that can become poisonous when it meets admiration and recognition?

Dilemma and opportunity

Amidst expectations of racial and ethnic reconciliation, how hopeful should we be? How much understanding, harmony and cooperation can we expect to achieve?

Faux authenticity?

There are many, especially in the church, who have seen their heroes exposed as flawed, fakes, or failures. The traumatic result is that a vision for upward Christian life is shattered, replaced by the resolute determination to simply be real. You can even open the closet so others can see all the skeletons in their disarray. It beats pleading guilty to the charge of hypocrisy.

Racism: Does the struggle continue?

Can we seriously talk about fulfilling the cultural mandate if we sit around and allow the legacy of racism to be perpetuated, even in the church? Vincent Bacote is Assistant Professor of Theology at Wheaton College, and director of the Center for Applied Christian Ethics.

Reading the Bible . . . and listening for the Spirit

How can discerning readers of the Bible know that they are properly interpreting Biblical texts? With so many interpretative approaches out there, it’s important to be taught some of the common mistakes of private Scripture reading . . . and then to remember both the basic clarity of Scripture, and the Spirit’s work in helping understand divine things.

What is to be done… in Theology?

Two millennia of Christian theology does not mean there is no work left to be done. Starting out from the beginning—the doctrine of creation—Vincent Bacote identifies priorities for theology in the early years of the 21st century.

The Spirit and institution-building

To be sure, the Spirit’s transforming work among the people of God is vital to considering human organizations, and I will not neglect it here. Before entering familiar territory, however, we must begin elsewhere. There is more to the Spirit’s work than regeneration and sanctification. The Spirit fulfills an unacknowledged, foundational role in the arduous task of institution-building.

Gifts from “Father Abraham”

It's entirely possible that someone would look at the title of this column and think, "Is this a discussion of the many benefits of the Abrahamic covenant?" While it is indeed more than worthwhile to mine the riches of faith that we have because of Abraham's obedience...

A Call for Thought Police

The church needs more well-trained Christians, clergy and lay, who are willing to play the role of doctrine cop in a way that protects the church from errant ideas that may cause greater long-term harm to the church even as they seem to be practically helpful. The church needs doctrine cops who don’t mind being theological thought police.

Of Presidents and Public Faith

The recent death of Ronald Reagan and the publication of Bill Clinton’s memoirs provide occasion to consider the relationship between faith and public life. Both of these men, though vastly different, had notable similarities. Perhaps the most interesting similarity with contrast is the fact that both men had a very private, interior faith.

An Alternative to Victory

Martin Marty argues that evangelicals have won the culture wars by contributing to a new ecumenical movement that emphasizes witness and activity while minimizing confessional or denominational differences, moving to greater public visibility and influence in politics, and adapting to the prevailing currents of American life. The last of these leads me to question whether evangelicals have really won anything at all.