Published on September 14, 2016 by Philip Poole  
Kenton Sparks

by Olivia Williams 

Samford University’s 12th annual Holley-Hull Lectures will feature Kenton L. Sparks Oct. 4–5. His lecture theme is “The Evolution of Jesus: How Science Makes Us Better Christians.” 

The series begins Oct. 4 at 3 p.m. in Samford’s Brock Forum with “The Natural History of Theology.” A reception will follow in Ben Brown Plaza. 

Sparks will lead a convocation lecture titled “Two Biblical Religions” at 3 p.m. Oct. 5 in Reid Chapel. That evening, he will conclude the series with a lecture titled “The Priority of Affection in Biblical Interpretation” at 6 p.m. at Mountain Brook Baptist Church. 

All of the lectures are free and open to the public. 

Sparks is a professor of biblical studies at Eastern University in St. Davids, Pennsylvania. He has also served as provost at Eastern. He is the author of several books, including Ancient Texts for the Study of the Hebrew Bible, God’s Word in Human Words and Sacred Word, Broken Word

As an ordained pastor, Sparks came to Eastern after serving on the pastoral staff of Providence Baptist Church in Raleigh, North Carolina. He earned his doctor of philosophy degree in religious studies from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. 

Hosted by the Samford Department of Religion and directed by Samford religion professor James Barnette, the Howard L. and Martha H. Holley Lectures — New Testament Voices for a Contemporary World honor the late William E. Hull, former Samford provost, university professor and research professor. Hull wrote widely on Christian theme and was author of more than 20 books. 

Olivia Williams is a journalism and mass communication major and a news and feature writer in the Division of Marketing and Communication.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.