Newport suffers serious stroke, listed in critical condition

FORT WORTH, Texas (BP)--John P. Newport, distinguished professor of philosophy of religion emeritus at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, is in a coma at a Fort Worth hospital following a stroke he suffered June 14.

Newport was taken to Harris Methodist Hospital, and at first the stroke was thought to be mild. That night, however, he was taken to emergency surgery where doctors operated on him to stem a brain hemorrhage. The following day doctors operated again to stem the hemorrhage.

Eddie Belle, Newport's wife, said doctors are not optimistic about his condition.

Newport, who turned 83 Friday, has been in a coma since Thursday.

Newport has served at Southwestern both as a professor and as vice president for academic affairs. He taught at the seminary from 1952-76 and again from 1979-90. In addition to his duties at Southwestern, he has taught at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Rice University and Princeton Theological Seminary.

Newport is regarded as one of the leading Southern Baptist experts on the New Age, cults and philosophy of religion. He has authored numerous books, one of the most recent being "The New Age Movement and the Biblical Worldview."

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