August 20, 2012
Prolific Author of The Singer Popular Theology Trilogy, Calvin Miller, Dies At 75
Beeson Divinity School professor authored more than 40 books, "harnessed the power of imagination" like C.S. Lewis.
Following complications from open-heart surgery, Beeson Divinity School professor Calvin Miller died on Sunday, August 19. He was 75.
Miller was currently serving as writer-in-residence at Beeson, having retired from his duties as a professor at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary five years ago. He previously pastored Plattsmouth Baptist Church and Westside Church in Nebraska.
However, Miller may have been best known within the evangelical community for his writing. In Beeson dean Timothy George's estimation: "Like C. S. Lewis, [Miller] harnessed the power of imagination in the service of the Gospel."
Miller authored more than 40 books of popular theology, including the best-selling The Singer trilogy, a fictional “tale of incarnation and redemption.”
“Dr. Miller knew the importance of story as well,” wrote LifeWay president Ed Stetzer. “A wonderful wordsmith, he would use the element of story in such a way that cold facts and dry doctrine came to life in ways rarely seen.”
George offers this reflection:
Born on the edge of the Oklahoma prairie in the era of the dust bowl, Calvin Miller was as original as Will Rogers and Woody Guthrie. He brought to his work at Beeson Divinity School a lifetime of experience as a pastor, poet, evangelist, apologist, artist and writer of renown. He was the pastor of a church in Omaha that grew from 10 to 2,500 members under his leadership and was elected as a vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention. He was a devoted Baptist but not a narrow denominationalist. Like C. S. Lewis, he harnessed the power of imagination in the service of the Gospel. As a reviewer wrote of The Singer, Miller’s best-selling trilogy of 1975, ‘Calvin Miller is himself a Troubadour, singing a love song to his Lord.’ Calvin Miller had a palpable love for Jesus Christ and his church and he will be greatly missed both here at Beeson and throughout the Body of Christ. But heaven now shines brighter because he is there.
CT has reviewed Miller’s book Poetry, Parables, and Prose and interviewed him regarding his views on Advent.