Meet the Speakers: Madison PierceJanuary 11, 2022
Today, we're sitting down to talk with Dr. Madison Pierce.
Dr. Pierce is one of the speakers for our 2022 Spring Theology Conference on the Trinity. If you haven't registered yet, make sure you do so by clicking this link—it's free!
It was a joy to get to Zoom with Dr. Pierce to talk about her background, her research, and her family. I hold a deep respect for her work, and she has always been generous with her time and kindness toward me, particularly as I have navigated being an early doctoral student. She has made an impact on the way I read Scripture, and I hope that when you hear her talk at the conference you'll be able to say the same!
Dr. Pierce! It’s great to get to talk. I know you are a professor at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and you went to Durham, but tell us a little more about yourself. How did you get into doing theological work?
I felt called to teach when I was really young. I realized as a teenager that I loved teaching people—and I loved theology—so I thought, “I have to find a way to keep doing this.” I went to Trinity for my Masters program, where they encouraged me to look overseas, and I ended up at Durham.
Durham is a really special place because it’s very comfortable for those who are confessional but also very open for those studying theology without a faith commitment. There, I also met Lewis Ayres and Francis Watson, who taught me to read Scripture with a Trinitarian lens.
Your dissertation, which was later published as a book, offered something of a Trinitarian reading of the book of Hebrews. Could you explain a little bit about what your research area is and how you read Hebrews?
My research primarily has two different focal points.
The first is the Book of Hebrews—"all Hebrews, all the time!" I’ve done a range of work on themes in Hebrews or theology in Hebrews.
The second could be thought of as “the use of scripture”—either texts that different communities saw as sacred or, of course, how we would typically understand Scripture as the Word of God.
My book really lies at the intersection of the two. The author of Hebrews frames and presents quotations of scripture as the speech of God. But what’s really interesting is that, by doing that, the author of Hebrews helps us understand that these quotations are the speech of God.
So, obviously our conference at FBA is focused on the Trinity and the local church. The topic you’re dealing with is the Trinity and Scripture. How do you see those two topics interacting?
All Scripture is Trinitarian because it points to a Triune God, but not all Scripture teaches the Trinity in the same way. Sometimes, if we don’t see a specific Trinitarian formula in the text—if it doesn’t mention Father, Son, Spirit or have a threefold structure—we assume a text isn’t Trinitarian. And, relatedly, we need to be sure to ask what a text is teaching about the Trinity instead of being content to just affirm that it is a Christian teaching.
Something I’m really thrilled to do is bring some of my favorite people to Tennessee and let them meet the people at our church. What’s something that people might want to know about you and your family?
I don’t remember if I told you this, but my husband Curtis really loves Nashville!
As a family, we love to be outdoors—we kayak, go on walks. Curtis and I love to play board games. Isla (our child) technically thinks she plays board games, but . . . she does not. We do have a dog, Izzy, too, who is important to us.
Last question: what is most encouraging or exciting about being part of the conference at FBA?
I’m super excited to hang out with Brandon and Fred—they are some of my favorite theologians. But, aside from that, it’s always exciting to me to be able to teach doctrine in the local church. All theology is practical, so I think going into a church and teaching the Trinity is showing how it’s practical. I’m really excited about that.
You can register for our Spring Theology Conference for free via our Church Center registrations page. Hope to see you there!