Dr. Dean’s work is motivated by the question of exploring what it means for the church to be a faithful community of disciples in our contemporary post-Christendom Canadian context. Although formally trained as a systematic theologian, both his experience as a pastor and his dissertation work on the theologies of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Stanley Hauerwas, have left him convinced that theology is properly a practical discipline. As a result, his writing and interests have traversed the fields of systematic theology, theological ethics, pastoral theology, homiletics, worship and liturgy, and missional leadership – all in the interest of seeing theological reflection brought to bear on the concrete realities facing the church.
Doctor of Theology (Th.D.), Theology
Master of Divinity (M.Div.), Pastoral Studies
Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.), Intermediate-Senior
Honours Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.), Kinesiology
2018, Minding the Web: Making Theological Connections. Stanley Hauerwas with Robert J. Dean. Cascade Books.
2017, Leaps of Faith: Sermons from the Edge. Foreword by Fleming Rutledge. Resource Publications.
2016, For the Life of the World: Jesus Christ and the Church in the Theologies of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Stanley Hauerwas, Pickwick Publications.
2018, “On the Mountain with Jesus.” The Word is Near You: Seeds of Reformation. Edited by Peter Robinson. Wycliffe Studies in Gospel, Church and Culture. Wipf and Stock.
(Forthcoming), “The Heresy of Relevance: Bonhoeffer’s Warning to Preachers,” Pro Ecclesia: A Journal of Catholic and Evangelical Theology (Feb. 2022).
(Forthcoming), “Reclaiming an Eschatological Imagination: A Dogmatic Sketch.” Cultural Encounters: A Journal for the Theology of Culture.
2019-2020, “In the Presence of Poppies: Remembrance Day and Christian Worship.” Didaskalia, 29, 20-39.
2018, “Ecclesiological Developments in Canadian Evangelical Theology.” Canadian-American Theological Review, 6, no. 2, 1-14.
2018, “A Matter of Mission: Bonhoeffer, the Bible, and Ecclesial Formation.” Didaskalia, 28, 49-74.
2015, “Unapologetically (A)Political: Stanley Hauerwas and the Practice of Preaching.” Didaskalia, 25, 131-160.
2014, “Tolkien and the Adventure of Discipleship: Imaginative Resources for a Missional Ecclesiology.” Canadian Theological Review, 3, 2, 84-96.
2021, Review of Silje Kvamme Bjørndal, The Church in a Secular Age: A Pneumatological Reconstruction of Stanley Hauerwas’s Ecclesiology, Reading Religion, https://readingreligion.org/books/church-secular-age
2019-2020, Review of Evangelical vs. Liturgical: Defying a Dichotomy, by Melanie C. Ross. Didaskalia, 29: 102-104
2018, Review of Victor Lee Austin, Losing Susan: Brain Disease, the Priest’s Wife, and the God Who Gives and Takes Away in Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith, 70, no. 3: 200-201.
2016, Review of Fritz de Lange, Loving Later Life: An Ethics of Aging in Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith 68, 3, 199-201.
2015, Review of Ian A. McFarland, From Nothing: A Theology of Creation in Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith 67, 2, 151-152.
2014, Review of Mark Thiessen Nation, Anthony G. Siegrist, and Daniel P. Umbrel, Bonhoeffer the Assassin? Challenging the Myth, Recovering His Call to Peacemaking in Conrad Grebel Review, 32, 2, 215-216.
2012, Review of John Howard Yoder, A Pacifist Way of Knowing: John Howard Yoder’s Nonviolent Epistemology in Conrad Grebel Review, 30, 2, 211-212.
2021, Panelist for “Vaccines, Restrictions, and the Church,” Zoom Forum, hosted by Providence University College and Theological Seminary, Otterburne, MB.
2021, Series: “Theological Resistance in Troubled Times: The Compelling Witness of Dietrich Bonhoeffer [scheduled for 6 lectures]” Xplore Lecture Series at Canadian Mennonite University, Winnipeg, MB.
2020, “All that Is Hidden Shall Be Revealed,” and Panelist, The Church Post-Pandemic, Zoom Forum hosted by Providence Theological Seminary, Otterburne, MB.
2020, Series: “Theological Resistance in Troubled Times: The Compelling Witness of Dietrich Bonhoeffer [scheduled for 6 lectures; only 2 due to COVID]” Xplore Lecture Series at Canadian Mennonite University, Winnipeg, MB.
2019, Series: “Living Well, Dying Well: A Christian Response to Medical Assistance in Dying [3 lectures],” Niverville Community Fellowship, Niverville, MB.
2019, “‘It’s the End of the World as We Know It’: Reclaiming an Eschatological Imagination,” Providence Public Lecture Series, Winnipeg and Steinbach, MB.
2019, “A Plea for Pointless Preaching: Renewing the Pulpit through Theological Reflection,” Presbytery of Winnipeg, Winnipeg, MB.
2018, “Parsing the Grammar of Atonement.” Providence Theological Seminary, Otterburne, MB.
2018, “Confessing Christ in Troubled Times: Bonhoeffer as a Resource for Preachers.” Tyndale Preaching Conference, Tyndale Seminary, Toronto, ON.
2018, “Bonhoeffer: Following Jesus in a Fragmented World [4 lectures].” Whitby Christian Assembly, Whitby, ON.
2017, “Confessing Christ in Troubled Times: Bonhoeffer as a Resource for Preachers.” Preaching Day, Wycliffe College, Toronto, ON.
2016, “‘It’s the End of the World as We Know It’: Paul, the Kingdom and Living between the Times.” Kingdom Come: Awakening to a Gospel-Centred Life, Bayview Glen Alliance Church, Toronto, ON.
2016, “Author’s Response” at Book Launch Celebration for For the Life of the World by Robert J. Dean. Good Shepherd Community Church, Scarborough, ON.
2016, “Reading Faithfully: Approaching the Bible as Holy Scripture.” Knox Presbyterian Church, Toronto, ON.
2015, “Trinitarian-Shaped Church and Mission.” Knox Presbyterian Church, Toronto, ON.
2015, “Trinitarian Renewal: What’s Happening? Why it Matters?” Knox Presbyterian Church, Toronto, ON.
2014, “Discipling Dietrich: Exploring the Radical Christian Life and Vision of Dietrich Bonhoeffer [5 lectures].” Knox Presbyterian Church, Toronto, ON.
2014, “The Adventure of Discipleship.” National Conference of Congregational Christian Churches in Canada, Toronto, ON.