My name is Brett Burrowes and I am an evangelical Christian biblical scholar and theologian. I was born in central Massachusetts, and have lived most of my life in Massachusetts and New York, except for a year in Kentucky. My family was not religious, and I never attended church as a child until I was in high school, and even then, not with my family. Jesus Christ found me when I was a child of seven and I simply received Him. I believed the gospels about him as well as any seven year old could. It was not until after ninth grade that I decided to attend a church, when I began going to a Pentecostal church with a neighbor.
When I began reading the Bible, the Spirit confirmed in my spirit that I was reading the Word of Life, and that He was speaking to me personally through this book. My love for the Bible and for God’s revelation in the Bible has only increased over the years since then, and even in high school I knew that God had called me to be a teacher of His Word and a pastor, though perhaps not in the traditional sense I imagined at the time.
After graduating with a degree in psychology from Vassar College, I decided to attend Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where I obtained a M.A. in Biblical Studies and a Master of Theology in Biblical Theology. In my master’s thesis I constructed a biblical theology around the concept of the mountain of God, culminating in the contrast of Mount Sinai and the heavenly Mount Zion in Hebrews 12:18-24. From there I spent a year at Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, and went on to complete a doctorate in New Testament Theology at Durham University in England. My dissertation focused on the letter-Spirit contrast in Romans 7 and 8, specifically on how Paul transformed Old Testament Law from an external written Torah into the indwelling Spirit of Christ as living law within believers.
My goal as a teacher/undershepherd of God’s people is best expressed by Paul’s words in Colossians 1:25-29:
“I became the servant [of this gospel] according to God’s commission … to make known the word of God fully known, the mystery that has been hidden throughout the ages and generations but has now been revealed to his saints … which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. It is he whom we proclaim, warning and teaching everyone in all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. To this end I labor and struggle with all the energy that he powerfully works within me.”
My aim and desire is to see Christ formed in every believer (Gal 4:19), so that we are transformed from glory to glory into His image (2 Cor 3:17-18), and so that it is truly Christ living His life in us, through us, and as us. I want to see every believer delivered from the Satanic lie of an independent, autonomous self, so that we may see ourselves as His earthen vessels through whom He expresses His cruciform character and life (2 Cor 4:7-12).
My theology and spirituality have their roots in a variety of Christian traditions. Broadly speaking, I stand within the Evangelical tradition, in that I believe that salvation is by God’s grace alone and received through faith alone, and that the Scriptures are the divinely breathed and inspired (2 Tim 3:16), so that they infallibly communicate the Word of God to humanity. The Scriptures form a theological unity that witnesses to God’s actions to redeem a people for Himself, a people who will both worship and express His glory.
Others who have influenced me deeply include the missionary Norman Grubb, through whom the Spirit revealed to me the meaning of our spiritual union with Christ (Gal 2:20). The cosmic/apocalyptic interpretation of Paul by Wilhelm Wrede, Albert Schweitzer, and Ernst Kasemann (and ultimately Martin Luther in his book, Bondage of the Will) has also shaped my thinking, especially with regard to my views of sin, Satan, and spiritual conflict. Finally I am indebted to Dr. Scott Hafemann, Dr. Gregory Beale, and Dr. Meredith Kline for my redemptive-historical approach to and understanding of the Bible.