Wayne Grudem, a Prominent Evangelical Theologian, Has Parkinson's Disease

Wayne Grudem

Wayne A. Grudem is a prominent evangelical theologian, seminary professor, and author. His book on systematic theology is the go-to-book for seminary students and pastors all across the nation. Grudem co-founded the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood and served as the general editor of the ESV Study Bible. 

On the DesiringGod website, Grudem reveals that he has Parkinson's disease. "Last Wednesday I saw my family doctor with some puzzling symptoms, and he suspected Parkinson's disease. He referred me to a neurologist, and on Friday, she confirmed that I definitely have Parkinson's disease.

This is a progressive neurological disorder for which there is no known cure, but there are medicines that alleviate the symptoms and may slow the progress of the disease. The doctor started me on one medicine that helps some patients, but not others. She did not think my symptoms were severe enough to start me on the most common medicine (dopamine), because its effectiveness diminishes over time and she did not want to start it too early."

One of Grudem's concerns is that the illness will affect the way he writes, a ministry that is close to the professor's heart.  "The symptoms that I have now include a diminishing of fine-motor control, so that my handwriting is less legible and more crowded together; and in typing, I sometimes hit a key twice or not at all; and my mouse control is not as precise with the computer. It's also harder to button my shirts, and I sometimes feel a tiny tremor when I reach for things. I can still do all these things, but they are a bit slower and take more concentration. In addition, I seem to be moving my arms and legs more slowly in ordinary daily activities. And my wife, Margaret, says that sometimes my facial expression seems a bit "fallen," and I notice that it's harder to smile. In recent photos, my smile has not seemed as genuine or natural, but more forced."

This doesn't mean Grudem is retiring.  In fact, he will continue to teach at Phoenix Seminary. The seminary will be moving in July, 2017 to a new location to be built just twelve minutes from their house.  And Grudem is not planning to give up his writing projects.  He is continuing working on writing a textbook for Christian ethics which he hopes will be published in 2017.  And he's also doing an update on his magnum opus book of Systematic Theology.

All in all, Grudem is at peace.  "How are we doing? Margaret has been a wonderful help and encouragement, and she keeps reminding me that "we're in this together." She is an amazing, most wonderful wife.

We both feel a deep peace from the Lord about this. King David said to the Lord, "My times are in your hand" (Psalm 31:15), and I truly feel that way.

Parkinson's usually does not shorten a person's life expectancy very much, but in any case, I'm happy to live as long as the Lord wills that I live, and to keep on being productive for as long as he enables me to do so. "In your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them" (Psalm 139:16)."

Continue to lift Wayne and Margaret Grudem up in prayer.





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