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SCP Member Adam Pelzer Wins the Annual Martin Institute Research Award

Justin McBrayer | Published on 7/16/2020

Announcement:  MIDWC Book and Research Award 2020


Dallas Willard (1935-2013) was a thinker, pastor and author of such books as The Spirit of the Disciplines and The Divine Conspiracy.  Now regarded as modern spiritual classics, these works have inspired thousands of ordinary Christians to become extraordinary Christ-followers, and have influenced an entire generation of writers and teachers, especially on Christian spiritual disciplines and formation.  The MIDWC Annual Book and Research Award Program was created in 2015 to help place an enduring emphasis on the intellectual legacy of Dallas Willard by recognizing original written work that shares his vision that invisible things such as soul, spirit and the Kingdom of God are part of reality and can be known via experiential interaction.

The award program seeks to promote the intellectual and spiritual legacy of Dallas Willard through the recognition of books, articles and authors who are advancing one or more of Dallas’ four key concerns, especially in relation to spiritual formation:

1.     Robust metaphysical realism

2.     Epistemological realism

3.     The development of comprehensive, sophisticated, integrative models of the human person

4.     The development of objective tests for different Christian formative practices that, in principle, can place these efforts in the domain of publicly assessable knowledge.

2020 Research Award Winner

The winner of the MIDWC 2020 Research Award is Adam C. Pelser, for his paper, “Temptation, Virtue, and the Character of Christ” in Faith and Philosophy Vol. 36, No. 1, 2019. 

Dr. Pelser’s paper was selected out of a field of nominated articles by a panel of judges who praised it in particular for touching on concerns (1) – (3), but especially for demonstrating the relevance of sophisticated philosophical thought to a matter of great interest and import to all Christians.  Prof. Mark Nelson, Director & Faculty Liaison to the DWRC described it as “an excellent example of how careful philosophical reflection on virtue can shed light on Christian theology and scripture interpretation in ways that have potential to build up individual believers.”

Dr. Pelser (PhD, Baylor University) is associate professor of philosophy at the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO. Congratulations to this year’s winner!