About Jake Griesel

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Born in 1989 in Durban, South Africa, I was raised in a godly Dutch Reformed Christian home, but fell away from the Christian faith during my teenage years, being actively rebellious and opposed to Christianity. In my first year (2008) at the University of the Free State (UFS) in Bloemfontein, I was saved by the sovereign grace and redeeming love of Jesus Christ after a car accident which changed my life forever. My life has revolved around theology ever since.

In my third year at university (2010), I left my B.Com Marketing course and started studying theology with the conviction of being called to the ministry, but later also started wrestling with the possibility of being called to the academy (not that the ministry and academy are mutually exclusive!), specializing in historical theology of the Post-Reformation period (late 16th to early 18th centuries). More particularly, my academic (and recreational) interests are Dutch Reformed High Orthodoxy, English Puritanism, the Reformed tradition within the Church of England, and 17th-century Reformed theological links between the Netherlands and England/Scotland.

In 2015 I completed my M.Th in historical theology at the Jonathan Edwards Centre Africa at UFS, under the supervision of Prof. Adriaan C. Neele of the Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale University. My thesis focused on the African ex-slave, Leiden University graduate, and Dutch Reformed pastor and missionary, Jacobus Elisa Johannes Capitein (c. 1717-1747), analyzing his work Dissertatio Politico-Theologica de Servitute, Libertati Christianae Non Contraria (Leiden, 1742) in its historical-intellectual context. In 2016 I completed my B.A. Honours in Latin at UFS, as well as the Davenant Latin Institute’s Advanced Early Modern Theological Latin Course. For my Honours degree I did a research project on the Dutch Reformed theologian and longtime Leiden professor Johannes à Marck (1656-1731), which focused on his discussion of the definition and nature of theology.

In October 2016 I started my PhD in historical theology at Peterhouse, University of Cambridge, where I am supervised by Rev. Dr. Stephen Hampton. My research at Cambridge focuses on John Edwards (1637-1716), a champion of Reformed Orthodoxy within the Church of England during the late Stuart period.

I am what I am by the grace of God (1 Cor. 15:10a).

Soli Deo Gloria!

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3 thoughts on “About Jake Griesel

  1. Douglas Moore says:

    GOD Bless you Brother! Keep allowing the LORD to use you. The harvest is plenty but the laborers are few. But you know that already. Stay encouraged. Best wishes on your PhD!

  2. John Paul Marr says:

    I think I took that picture of you at the “John Knox” house in Edinburgh back in October 2015… and I have a great picture of you near the castle as well. I still tell the story of our meeting to the various churches where I present my PhD “research adventures.” We had prayer right in the middle of High Street while crowds passed.

    I came across your “humble online” collection searching for materials on John Brown of Wamphray. Looking forward to your next season beyond the PhD (maybe coming USA way?).Glad to hear of your continuing academic pursuits for His Glory Alone. Press on!

    • Jake Griesel says:

      John Paul, I fondly remember our providential encounter in John Knox House in Edinburgh – it was September 2015. I’ve also shared the story with others several times. At the time I was considering doing a PhD on John Brown of Wamphray, and you (as I recall) on the Burgher Thomas Clark, and from being complete strangers we spent the next hour and a half conversing as if we had known each other for years, and finally praying for one another. I don’t know what is in store for me after the PhD, but if I happen to come to South Carolina, or you come to the UK, we should definitely meet up again. I’m glad you came across my blog – it seems like the Lord has a way of providentially having our paths cross!

      May the Lord bless you and your ministry, and may he grant you grace to endure in the race set before you (Heb. 12:1).

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