Dr. Vincent Bacote - Wheaton College. Wheaton, IL, US

Dr. Vincent Bacote Dr. Vincent Bacote

Associate Professor of Theology, Director of Center for Applied Christian Ethics | Wheaton College

Wheaton, IL, US

Dr. Vincent Bacote's research focuses on the intersection of Christian faith and public life.




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Dr. Vincent Bacote believes that doctrine is central to the life of the church. He is the author of The Political Disciple: A Theology of Public Life and The Spirit in Public Theology: Appropriating the Legacy of Abraham Kuyper. Dr. Bacote has contributed to books including Black Scholars in White Space: New Vistas in African American Studies from the Christian Academy; On Kuyper; Aliens in the Promised Land: Why Minority Leadership Is Overlooked in White Christian Churches and Institutions; Keep Your Head Up; and Prophetic Evangelicals. He is a regular columnist for Comment and has also had articles appear in magazines such as Books and Culture, Christianity Today, Think Christian and re:generation quarterly and journals such as Christian Scholars Review, Urban Mission and the Journal for Christian Theological Research.

Areas of Expertise (14)

Christian Thought Political Theology Theology and Culture Doctrine of the Church Doctrine of the Holy Spirit Theology Evangelicalism Faith and Politics Abraham Kuyper Calvinism NeoCalvinism Race Doctrine Doctrine of Humanity

Education (3)

Drew University: Ph.D., Theological and Religious Studies 2002

Trinity Evangelical Divinity School: M.Div., Urban Ministry 1994

The Citadel: B.S., Biology 1987

Affiliations (4)

  • Society of Christian Ethics
  • Evangelical Theological Society
  • American Academy of Religion
  • Christian Theological Research Fellowship

Media Appearances (6)

New group of evangelicals seeks a more Christian approach to politics

Religion News Service  online


Vincent Bacote, associate professor of theology at Wheaton College and co-founder of Public Faith, hopes voters will go to the polls and cast a ballot — if not in the presidential race, then for the down-ballot options. “There’s more on the ballot,” Bacote said. “And often, those are the more important choices.”

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Contending With the Long Shadow

Q Ideas  online


Very often the conversation about discrimination related to sexual orientation evokes comparisons with the laws such as those that outlawed interracial marriage or the legalized forms of discrimination associated with Jim Crow laws. These laws related to race were also linked to forms of religious justification, as some Christians firmly believed that the Bible mandated a separation of races. Although this justification was based on faulty biblical interpretation, the deep wounds in our country’s history related to race has an unfortunate effect on other attempts to make biblical arguments about prohibitions against same-sex relationships.

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Is It Worthwhile for Christians to Be Ambitious?

The Institute for Faith, Work & Economics  online


Whether it is professional athletics, executive leadership, politics, investment banking, serial entrepreneurship, or any other ambition, the reality is a less gilded version of what we had in mind when we said “I wish.” Should our churches make sure they teach believers that the Christian life is one where dreams and wishes are set aside because they are guaranteed to disappoint us? Not at all. Instead, our recognition that difficulty, failure, stress, and loss may attend the pursuit of our dreams is actually a great opportunity.

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Faith, Work, and #Ferguson: An Opportunity for Us?

Patheos  online


The problems magnified by Ferguson show we have not escaped the reverberations of a society where racial discrimination was part of the structure of society, including ways that such discrimination impeded the path to full flourishing in the world of work for African-Americans. We are not in the same situation as the era of Jim Crow, but the effects still haunt us, especially those African-Americans who are in contexts of poverty....Legislation alone cannot undo the momentum of over 200 years of problems with race in the same way that a few years of psychological peace does not eliminate the impact of decades of abuse. We are getting better but our healing is a slow process.

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Wheaton College tackles the death penalty with Jesus in mind

The Washington Post  online


In addition to Wheaton’s own ethicist Vincent Bacote and Mercer University scholar David Gushee, the panelists include Kirk Bloodsworth, who spent eight years on death row for a crime he didn’t commit. Also on the panel is Frank Thompson, former superintendent of the Oregon State Penitentiary who witnessed executions...

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Human Flourishing and the Moral Complexity of the Public Square

Institute for Faith, Work & Economics  online


One of the great challenges presented by public discourse is giving equal attention to our passion for the issue at hand as well as the moral dimensions of all persons involved (including ourselves)....any position I take about Christian attempts to engage public life involves more than arguments I can make about why Christians have an opportunity (or even an obligation) to pursue transformation in society.

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Event Appearances (6)

Surge Network Pastor's Lunch

First Wednesday  Redemption Church, Phoenix, Ariz.


The Political Disciple

Faith and Public Life Series  Progressive Baptist Church, Chicago, Ill.


Princeton Faith and Action

Princeton Faith and Action  Princeton University, Princeton, N.J.


Jochum Symposium

Valparaiso University  Valparaiso, Ind.


Spring Conference Lectures

Dallas Baptist University  Dallas, TX


Kuyper Lectures

Covenant College  Lookout Mountain, Ga.


Academics and Research (2)

Courses Taught

- BITH 315/316 Christian Thought
- BITH 376 Theologies of Transformation
- BITH 384 Political Theology
- BITH 489 Doctrine of the Holy Spirit
- BITH 489 Politics and Culture: Kuyper


- Theology and Culture
- Doctrine of the Church
- Theological Anthropology

Articles (4)

Review of "The Challenges of Cultural Discipleship: Essays in the Line of Abraham Kuyper" by Richard Mouw Journal of Markets and Morality


This volume is a collection of thirteen articles and chapters that Richard Mouw regards as the “back story” of his more popular presentation of ideas stemming from the work of Abraham Kuyper, the Dutch Calvinist theologian, journalist, and politician. The phrase “in ...

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Beyond 'Faithful Presence': Abraham Kuyper's Legacy for Common Grace and Cultural Development Journal of Markets and Morality


While James Davidson Hunter's concept of faithful presence is a good starting point for Reformed Christian cultural engagement, his fear of Christian triumphalism from the Right and Left leaves his vision disappointingly subdued. Building upon Abraham ...

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Abraham Kuyper's Rhetorical Public Theology with Implications for Faith and Learning Christian Scholars Review


Abraham Kuyper's approach to public engagement (his public theology) emphasizes both a “common” element as well as distinctive Christian identity. In this essay Vincent Bacote considers the contrasting approaches to public theology of Max Stackhouse and Ronald ...

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Church as a Lifestyle: Distinctive or Typical? This Side of Heaven: Race, Ethnicity, and Christian Faith


What immediately comes to mind if you are asked to define church? The doctrine of the church (ecclesiology) has been a weakness in evangelicalism. Any attempt to arrive at an explicitly evangelical ecclesiology is destined to be an arduous challenge due to the ...

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