Douglas K. Blount, the collector: New philosophy prof aims for students ‘to think Christianly’

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  • Douglas K. Blount, the collector: New philosophy prof aims for students ‘to think Christianly’

    The first thing most people will notice in Douglas K. Blount’s office is a big, stuffed Eeyore. A gift several years ago from his two kids, Eeyore sits snugly on a table in his office — one of the many things Blount collects.

    “I drove up to Louisville in a U-Haul, and he rode shotgun with me,” Blount said. “Eeyore is my favorite character because of his personality. My kids got a big kick out of that about 10 years ago when they found out that dad likes Eeyore, and that gave them several gift ideas for awhile.” His office collection also features two smaller figurines of Eeyore and one of Winnie the Pooh. To complete the scene, he has a Winnie the Pooh book that was published in Latin.

    Blount, professor of Christian philosophy and ethics, joined the Southern Seminary faculty July 1 after the board of trustees elected him at the spring meeting. Coming from Dallas Theological Seminary in Dallas, Texas, Blount brings over 20 years of experience, including teaching at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and Criswell College.

    Blount earned degrees from Baylor University in Waco, Texas, and the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. He completed his Ph.D. in 1998 at Notre Dame, where he studied under a faculty that included noted philosopher and theologian Alvin Plantinga.

    Blount’s journey to Southern began when his former student Adam W. Greenway, now dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Ministry, recommended him to Gregory A. Wills, dean of the School of Theology.

    Greenway is a “very close friend and former student of mine,”* Blount said. Greenway completed his master’s work at Southwestern and studied under Blount, later becoming Blount’s assistant.

    Slightly joking, Blount explained he played a tiny role in introducing Greenway to his wife, Carla. When Blount took Greenway with him to visit a friend in the hospital, Greenway met a close friend of Carla’s who then arranged for them to meet. Blount, however, does not consider himself a matchmaker.

    Blount was born at White Sands Missile Range, which is a military base in New Mexico, and his birth cost his parents $5. He jokes his dad was certain he was overcharged. Blount grew up in a Christian family and professed faith in Christ when he was 7 years old. Although he said it may not be a dramatic salvation experience, he attributes his salvation to the grace of God through the faithfulness of his Christian parents.

    In junior high, he felt a strong sense of calling to ministry but was not excited about it. Blount’s understanding of ministry was limited to the pastorate and missions, and he didn’t have a desire to do either. His prayer became, “Lord, I want to do what you want me to do, but could you at least help me like it.”

    The Lord answered his prayer when he received his first taste of apologetics soon after his call to ministry. Blount realized in college that apologetics provided an avenue for ministry and later realized his passion was to teach at a seminary. As he collected over 20 years of experience, Blount’s students and colleagues began serving in ministry all over the nation.

    Apart from his studies in philosophy and theology, Blount has several other hobbies, including a “deep and abiding interest in military history” and being “an avid sports fan.”

    Blount also collects strategy war games, what he calls old-fashioned board games. Specifically, he enjoys traditional, British-American war games. His favorite all-time game is Advanced Squad Leader, which simulates tactical-level World War II strategies, but he does not play it as much because with a complex game comes a complex, thick rulebook.

    In the classroom, Blount is a collector of ideas.

    “Teaching on the graduate level is going to require certain amount of lecture, that just comes with the territory, but my classes tend to be fairly heavy in conversation and back and forth,” Blount said.

    “I think of my classes as primarily aimed at helping students develop their critical thinking skills. I want to teach them to learn to think Christianly and to do that well, but you can’t learn to think Christianly if you can’t think well. You help people learn to think by engaging in conversation with them. Plus I get tired of listening to myself,” he quipped.

    By provoking conversation, Blount is able to be a thought collector of his students.

    Blount said he is delighted to be back in an environment he is comfortable in, one that has a doctrinally Baptist community.

    “Southern in particular has a strong reputation for two things that I find very appealing: one is a very strong reputation for excellence; and the second, which is even more important from my point of view, is a really deep commitment to the confession of the institution. So frankly, what I find particularly attractive is the integrity of the institution with respect to its confession first and foremost and, in addition to that, integrity with respect to doing things well.”

    Blount is joined at Southern Seminary by his wife, Andrea, their son, Andrew, and their five dogs. Their daughter, Katie, married in May of this year and remains with her husband in Texas. Blount hopes to continue to collect new memories while he faithfully serves at Southern Seminary.



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