Leading Charismatic Theologian's Library for Sale

The personal library of late charismatic theologian J. Rodman Williams is to be auctioned online, with an opening bid of $950,000.

The collection of 2,976 books includes Bible commentaries and classic works by writers such as Thomas a Kempis, Frank Bartleman and Martyn Lloyd-Jones. The volumes date back to Willliams' college days, and were accumulated over his 42 years as a theology professor, most recently at Regent University School of Divinity.

An announcement on Williams' Web site said many of the books in the library are rare or out-of-print.

"It is not that he agreed with each of the authors, but that he wanted to know and understand other viewpoints," the announcement said. "The Bible and much prayer, plus his books and long hours of study, were basic to his life-long search to know the pure truths of God."

None of the books will be sold separately.

Williams, who died in October at age 90, is the author of Renewal Theology, which was the first exhaustive examination of systematic theology from a charismatic-Pentecostal perspective. He is also the author of at least 10 other works and numerous articles, many of which relate to Pentecostal-charismatic renewal.

Educated at Davidson College, Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University and Union Theological Seminary, Williams was an ordained Presbyterian minister before he entered academia. After being filled with the baptism of the Holy Spirit in 1965, he became president of the International Presbyterian Charismatic Communion, participated in Vatican-Pentecostal dialogue, and was a member of the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches, according to Regent.

He also was a founding president of the Melodyland School of Theology in California before joining the faculty of Regent in 1982. He became a professor emeritus in Regent's Divinity School in 2001.

Williams said on his Web site that Renewal Theology was an effort to "reclaim" neglected biblical truths. "Since it is my conviction that church tradition and theology have generally failed to treat adequately the aspect of the work of the Holy Spirit that may be called 'pentecostal' and 'charismatic,' Renewal Theology is an earnest attempt to bring these matters to light," he wrote.

Regent founder Pat Robertson calls Renewal Theology "a milestone in biblical scholarship" and Jack Hayford, president of the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, said Williams' "work and workmanship are helping secure the moorings of solid theology, bringing doctrinal perspective to and fresh biblical accountability upon the charismatic movement."

The profit from the library sale will be used to translate the three volumes of Renewal Theology into other languages. The book is currently available in Korean and German, and has been partially translated into Italian.

A complete list of the books in the library can be found here.

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