on faculty since 2013
Ph.D., Wheaton College Graduate School, Wheaton, Illinois, 2013
Th. M., Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2009
M. Div., Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2008
B.A., Dordt College, Sioux Center, Iowa, 2005
As a theology professor, Dr. Benjamin Ribbens believes “theology is the very foundation upon which a liberal arts education rests and is the framework through which we understand the place of all disciplines in God’s world. Redemption means that sin does not invalidate all pursuits of knowledge, liberal arts, and cultural engagement.”
His view of theology developed over the course of many years studying and learning in the Christian Reformed tradition. Of his personal faith journey, Ribbens said, “Though there have been times of struggle and distance in my relationship with God, I have been continually comforted knowing that I am not my own, but belong wholly to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ.”
Before beginning graduate school, Ribbens experienced several service trips that inspired an interest in ministry. Attending three trips to Mexico with International Discipleship and Evangelization Associates (IDEA) ministries, and assisting a group of medical professionals in Romania with Romania Evangelical Medical Mission (REMM) impacted Ribbens in a deep way. He said, “Each experience allowed me to witness the unity and commonality of the church across the world, while also seeing distinctive, cultural expressions of faith and devotion.”
After discovering the beauty of the global church through these trips, Ribbens continues to think about the issues in and approaches to global theological education. Ribbens said, “In thinking about how the North American church relates to the global church, one of the resources that we have an abundance of, but which the global church desperately needs, is theological education.”
The Reformed theology with its theme of creation, fall, redemption, and new creation has played a large role in Ribbens’s educational and vocational choices. His college years and study of theology sharpened his knowledge and deepened his faith.
Ribbens believes that the doctrine of redemption creates hope for cultural engagement and establishes a mission for believers. His attempts to play an active role in that mission materialize in his participation in church life at Elmhurst CRC in Elmhurst, Illinois.
Before coming to Elmhurst, Ribbens served as pulpit supply for the areas of west Michigan, the western suburbs of Chicago, and Pella, Iowa.
During his time at Wheaton College, Ribbens served as a preceptor teaching Biblical and Theological Studies. On this experience Ribbens comments, “Teaching students and leading discussion groups helped me grow to appreciate the variety of backgrounds students come from. Discussion groups challenge me and my students to speak intelligently and respectfully about the beliefs of various Christian traditions.”
“Forensic-Retributive Justification in Romans 3:21–26: Paul’s Doctrine of Justification in Dialogue with Hebrews.” Catholic Biblical Quarterly 74 (2012): 548–67.
“A Typology of Types: Typology in Dialogue.” Journal of Theological Interpretation 5 (2011): 81–96.
“The Positive Functions of Levitical Sacrifice in Hebrews?” Paper delivered at International Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature, St. Andrews, Scotland, July 10, 2013.
“Levitical Sacrifices in Hebrews: Does Hebrews Violate the Literal Sense of Leviticus?” Paper delivered at Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature, Chicago, IL, November 19, 2012.
“Philo’s Sacrifice Theology: Spec. Laws 1.269–72 as a Test Case.” Paper delivered at Annual Midwest Regional Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature, Bourbonnais, IL, February 12, 2012.
“Conceptual Backgrounds and Sacrifice Theology in Hebrews.” Paper delivered at Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society, San Francisco, CA, November 18, 2011.
“Daniel 3:17, ‘If Our God Exists’: A Syntactical and Theological Examination.” Paper delivered at Annual Midwest Regional Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature, Bourbonnais, IL, February 13, 2011.
“The Eschatological Origin of the Ἄτακτοι in Thessalonica.” Paper delivered at Annual Midwest Regional Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature, Bourbonnais, IL, February 12, 2011.
“Forensic-Retributive Justification in Romans 3:21-26: Paul’s Doctrine of Justification in Dialogue with Hebrews.” Paper delivered at Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society, Atlanta, GA, November 19, 2010.