Ph. (346) 336-5010 | Hours: 9 - 5 M - F, Tues 9 - 9

John P. Newport and His Collection


John P. Newport (1917 – 2000)

John Newport was a trusted Baptist statesman, theologian, and churchman. Countless Baptist laypersons and institutions relied on Newport to advise them in denominational matters, in securing pastors and professors, and in articulating responses to questions in matters of theology and culture.

After earning his BA at William Jewell College (1938), Newport declined a scholarship to Harvard Law School to study theology. He received a Th.M. (1942) and Th.D. (1946) in New Testament from Southern Seminary in Louisville Kentucky. Additionally, he earned a MA. in Philosophy at Texas Christian University and a Ph.D. from the University of Edinburgh.

Newport pastored before teaching at Baylor University (1949-51) and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (1951). In 1952 he joined Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary where he would spend much of his career. In 1976-79, Newport held the Harry and Hazel Chavanne Chair of Religious Studies at Rice University. He returned to Southwestern in 1979 and served until his retirement in 1990. Newport served as Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost and received the title of Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Philosophy of Religion. Newport also was visiting professor at Princeton Theological Seminary and the University of Houston. He also pursued additional study at Harvard, Harvard Divinity, Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University, Basel, Zurich, Tulane University and Tulsa University. Newport was director of the North American Paul Tillich Society in 1984-5.

Newport wrote numerous articles, distributed short booklets, and published 11 books:

Theology and Contemporary Art Forms. 1971.

Demons, Demons, Demons: A Christian Guide through the Murky Maze of the Occult. 1972.

Why Christians Fight Over the Bible. 1974.

Christ and the New Consciousness. 1978.

Christianity and Contemporary Art Forms, a Christian’s Guide to Understanding and Interpreting Recent  Developments in Literature, Drama and Painting. 1979.

Nineteenth Century Devotional Thought. 1981.

What Is Christian Doctrine? 1983.

Paul Tillich. 1984.

Life’s Ultimate Questions: A Contemporary Philosophy of Religion. 1989.

The New Age Movement and the Biblical Worldview: Conflict and Dialogue. 1997.

The Lion and the Lamb. 1998.

Numerous themes prove central to his work. Newport believed that a Christian worldview emerged from the Bible. He articulated a dialogical approach to Philosophy of Religion. The method of correlation seen in Tillich provided a frame for essential human questions to be answered by the distinctive Christian answers. His magnum opus, Life’s Ultimate Questions, provides biblical, theological, and apologetic responses to a wide-ranging set of issues. His work also helped believers face important boundary topics (occult, new age, art, and alternative religions) with theological discernment.

His family and churchmanship were crucial to Newport’s person and vibrancy. His marriage to Eddie Belle (1941) forged a lifelong love and partnership in raising a family, travel, and ministry. Also, Newport was a bold evangelist and preacher. He held countless revival meetings and spoke to student groups across the country. He served approximately 20 churches as interim pastor. A bold confidence in the Gospel marked his every endeavor.