Book of the Month

December 2023
Humility Illuminated
Dennis R. Edwards

About Humility Illuminated

A Conversation with Dennis Edwards

Every Voice: What led you to write this book? What problem or issue(s) are you seeking to address?

Dennis Edwards: I was approached by IVP about addressing the topic, but humility is something I’ve been intrigued with for most of my life. I was especially eager to explore the topic in light of the current polarization among Christians largely due to culture wars in the USA.

EV: What is the thesis of your book?

DE: Humility begins as submission to God and develops into a way of life that pursues peacemaking. Humility ought not be rare but should be a Christian identity marker (as it was in the early years of the Jesus movement). It is also not episodic but is meant to be a basic characteristic of the Christian’s daily life.

EV: Who’s your target audience, and what are you most hoping they hear from it?

DE: Pastors, active church members, seminary students. I believe those people have a call to model healthy Christian beliefs and behaviors. I hope these people will embrace the message of humility and help call others to do the same.

EV: Did you have any “aha” moments while writing the book?

DE: Hmm…The biggest was considering the Num 12:3 comment about Moses being humbler than anyone else on earth. How so? According to whom? Studying that passage helped me think about humility as starting with intimacy with God.

EV: What was the most challenging part of the book to write?

DE: Trying to explain how biblical invitations to practice humility and kenosis (self-emptying) might sound to people already on the bottom of society. How did (and how do) Christians who have been oppressed and humiliated by people with privilege think about the notion of humility? I don’t think humiliated people are called to go lower, but I still think there is a way that humility is for everyone.

EV: If your book was made into a movie, what actor/actress would play the lead role?

DE: Ha ha! I’m not sure there is a lead role when it comes to humility, or rather the lead role is always Jesus. But there are many stories in the book that I would love to have dramatized. 

EV: What kind of seminary/church classes should assign your book?

DE: I’m a NT instructor who has been a pastor for decades, so I think of my book as helpful for any class that provides practical instruction for Christian leaders or Christian community. So, I think pastoral duties classes, church leadership, any classes related to church ministry or community life, and ethics courses. 

About the Author

Dennis Edwards (PhD, The Catholic University of America) is Vice President for Church Relations and Dean of North Park Theological Seminary.