“This is what civility comes to, finally: an openness to God’s surprises. When that openness marks our lives, we have learned patience—along with the flexibility and tentativeness and humility and awe and modesty that will inevitably come to the patient heart. And since none of this is possible without a clear sense of who we are, and to whom we belong, the patient heart will also be a place where convictedness has found its home.”
Dr. Mouw, from his book Uncommon Decency: Christian Civility in an Uncivil World. Click here to explore more voices on the topic of convicted civility.
Richard J. Mouw returned to teaching in the position of professor of faith and public life after 20 years as president of Fuller Theological Seminary (1993–2013). A philosopher, scholar, and author, he served as Fuller’s provost and senior vice president for four years prior to his presidency, and as professor of Christian philosophy and ethics beginning in 1985. Before coming to Fuller he served for 17 years as professor of philosophy at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He has also served as a visiting professor at the Free University in Amsterdam.
A graduate of Houghton College, Dr. Mouw studied at Western Theological Seminary and earned a master’s degree in philosophy at the University of Alberta. His PhD in philosophy is from the University of Chicago.
Mouw has a broad record of publication. He has been an editor of the Reformed Journal and has served on many editorial boards, including currently Books and Culture. He is the author of more than 20 books, including The God Who Commands, The Smell of Sawdust, He Shines in All That’s Fair, Culture and Common Grace, Uncommon Decency: Christian Civility in an Uncivil World, The Challenges of Cultural Discipleship, Talking with Mormons: An Invitation to Evangelicals, and, most recently, Adventures in Evangelical Civility: A Lifelong Quest for Common Ground.
Mouw served for many years as a panelist in the online forum “On Faith” offered by the Washington Post. In 2007, Princeton Theological Seminary awarded him the Abraham Kuyper Prize for Excellence in Reformed Theology and Public Life. Mouw has also participated on many councils and boards, serving a term as president of the Association of Theological Schools. He served for six years as cochair of the official Reformed-Catholic Dialogue, and is a leader in interfaith theological conversations, particularly with Mormons and Jewish groups.
Mouw’s wife, Phyllis, is an art historian who is involved in seminary and community programs. Their son, Dirk, daughter-in-law, Christine, and grandsons, Willem and Peter, live in Arkansas.