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Smedes, Lewis B. (1921-2002) | Heritage Hall, Hekman Library

Name: Smedes, Lewis B. (1921-2002)

Historical Note:

Lewis Benedictus Smedes was born in Muskegon, Michigan on August 20, 1921. Smedes attended Calvin College and Seminary, earning his Th.B. in 1950.  He went on to earn his Th.D. from the Free University of Amsterdam in 1954. Also in 1954, Smedes accepted the call from Madison Ave. CRC in Paterson, New Jersey where he was ordained. Smedes served the church until 1957, when he accepted a faculty position from his alma mater, Calvin College. He would serve the college as professor of Bible until 1970. He had a brief stint teaching at the Free University from 1968 to 1969.

In 1970 Smedes accepted a teaching position at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. He taught in the Seminary's Department of Theology and Ethics until 1989. He went on to serve the Seminary as a professor of Psychology until his retirement in 1995.

Outside the classroom, Smedes was also known as an acclaimed writer. He had published 15 books, including Forgive and Forget: Healing the Hurts We Don't Deserve and The Art of Forgiving. The professor and author, Smedes was named a Distinguished Alumni from Calvin College in 1985. In 2002 Smedes suffered from a fatal head injury. He was survived by his wife of 54 years, Doris (Dekker) and 3 children.

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