For decades Howard Payne University Professor Nat Tracy inspired students with his unique interpretation of biblical scripture and one Dallas author felt those views needed to be immortalized.
As part of his newest book, “Nat Tracy - Spiritual Genius: His Life, Ministry, Philosophy and an Introduction to his Theology,” author Robert A. Williams explores the lessons Tracy taught at Howard Payne University and how his life before coming to Brownwood shaped many of his ideas.
“It covers four chapters on his life, two chapters on his philosophy and Christian world view and about 16 chapters on his Christian doctrines,” Williams said. “It’s a glossy, paperback book that has about 460 pages. I was a student of his … He had a Christian world view, as he called it, that just astounded the students and they never got tired of hearing it over and over again. Of course, many students that started taking him took every course they could get under him. He was a favorite professor for all of the years I spent under him. I spent four years under him, then came back after I went into the seminary and took another course that I missed from him. That is the kind of person he was.”
Williams said much of the views Tracy developed came during Tracy’s time as a military chaplain in World War II. After the war Tracy pastored at four churches before coming to HPU to teach. After retiring from HPU in 1975, Tracy stayed in Brownwood and became an associate minister at the Brownwood First Baptist Church until his death in 1979.
“This is kind of an idea about the man, his wife and what they did while they were there at Howard Payne,” Williams said. “It will do very well, especially regionally … I’ve sent out about 100 books to his former students and I’ve gotten really good responses from them. I think the response will be pretty good, especially in the Brownwood area. I know the people at the First Baptist Church who hear about it will want a copy of it because they certainly remember all of those years.”
Williams said those unfamiliar with Tracy from his time at HPU will still enjoy the book because of its local ties and outlining of what he considers a never-before-seen take on Christianity.
“He had an overall perspective on the Christian world view that is not in any theology book that I’ve ever found and I have read many of them. He is unique in a special way of presenting what he called ‘What God has come to do with Christ.’ … [Tracy] defined genius one time as one who can see the pattern of things in his field of endeavor. He was a genius then because he could see the pattern in his endeavor, which was the field of theology — invisible truth. That is the reason for the title of the book.”
Williams added he would autograph any copy of the novel and ship it free of charge to anyone who learned about it after reading this article. Those interested in purchasing the book can do it by going to amazon.com, purchase it through a book store or personally purchase it through Williams, who can be reached at (214) 683-6061.