Perichoresis 9.2 (2011)
VELI-MATTI KÄRKKÄINEN, Is the Spirit Still the Dividing Line Between the Christian East and West? Revisiting an Ancient Problem of Filioque with a Hope for an Ecumenical Rapprochement
Fuller Theological Seminary
ABSTRACT. This essay seeks to offer new perspectives on an ancient problem, namely how Christian West (Roman Catholics and Protestants) and East (Orthodox Churches) may confess the common trinitarian faith. In order to address that issue, the essay will first take a closer look at key postpatristic developments in the West, focusing particularly on the theology of St. Augustine. His theological work in general and Trinitarian reflection in particular has played critical role in the Latin-speaking church. Second, based on that discussion, the essay will focus on the question of the derivation of the Spirit.
KEY WORDS: Trinity, filioque, ecumenism, St. Augustine, Holy Spirit
PIRJO MARKKOLA, Women’s Spirituality, Lived Religion, and Social Reform in Finland, 1860-1920
University of Jyväskylä
ABSTRACT. In the 19th century, women contributed to social work based on revivalist religious values. They founded orphanages, deaconess institutes and shelters for “fallen women.” Even in the Lutheran, very homogenous context of Finland, the question of gender and religion was a multi-faceted issue. Religious reform movements both empowered women and defined proper fields of activity for both sexes. The Christian framework fostered several understandings of women’s calling. The Deaconess Institute of Helsinki, founded in 1867, offered one interpretation of a woman’s calling. Emma Mäkinen, who founded a shelter for “fallen women” in 1880, represented an alternative interpretation of a woman’s calling. The third understanding can be found in the women’s rights movement and in the White Ribbon. Both movements consisted of middle-class women who worked on a broad program ranging from moral reform to political participation.
KEY WORDS: Gender, calling, deaconate, revivalism, social reform
OLLI-PEKKA VAINIO, Re-Emergence of Practice in Contemporary Theology. Aspects and Prospects
University of Helsinki
ABSTRACT. When positivist philosophies started to falter and pragmatism gained momentum in Anglo-American philosophy, it was natural for theology to follow the path as well. The emphasis started to move from theories to practices. This highlighting of practice can be seen in at least three rather recent―distinct, yet over-lapping―philosophical and theological movements: liberation theology, postliberal theology, and virtue-ethics and virtue-epistemology. In this article, I will shortly describe the role of practice in these movements, and then examine the current debates and their possible future prospects. As a conclusion, I suggest that although the rise of pragmatism offers a tool for beneficial internal criticism, theology should not abandon the epistemic nature of its claims.
KEY WORDS: practice, postliberalism, liberation theology, virtue ethics, pragmatism
RADU BANDOL, Diligite homines, interficite errores. The Ethics of Saint Augustine (354-430) in Approaching the Donatist Issue
Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iaşi
ABSTRACT. This study addresses Augustin’s position, as the exponent of Catholicity in the West, from an ethical perspective in relation to the Donatist schism which in 401-411 was a serious blow to the Church. The Church was facing a crisis caused by the bishops who had succumbed to the persecution and thus became traditores (traitors). The Donatists were a particular group within the Church who contended that in order for the Curch to be holy, united and truly full of grace it ought to remove those who had compromised. Augustin’s intervention in this delicate problem was rooted in an orderly distribution of love: first God and then one’s neighbor. Augustin assumed the role of mediator between the Donatists and the Church with the intention of winning the Donatists to Catholicity. To ascertain this he appealed to ethical values rooted in the concept of Absolute Good, founded in love as the motivation of any action (dilige, et quod uis fac―love and do what you will), which, on the one hand, elicits the love of people and destroys the errors, and on the other hand, when necessary, imposes the juridico-political correction of civil nature (coercitio).
KEY WORDS: traditores, coercitio, ethics, diligite homines interficite errores (love the people, while you destroy errors), dilige, et quod uis fac (love and do what you will)
NATANAEL MLADINA, Remythologized Theology? An Appraisal of Kevin J. Vanhoozer’s Communicative Theism
Queen’s University of Belfast
ABSTRACT: After “procrastinating in the prolegomenal” fields long enough, where, to our benefit, he has cultivated a robust theological methodology and a sophisticated evangelical hermeneutic, in Remythologizing Theology: Divine Action, Passion, and Authorship Kevin J. Vanhoozer unpacks the ontology implicit in his previous works. The book is an ambitious attempt to, one the one hand, reclaim the biblical mythos, or plot line, as the starting point and source of one’s theological ontology, and, subsequently, to flesh out a communicative ontology attuned to the polyphonic nature of Scripture. In the first half of the paper I seek to present a detailed summary of Vanhoozer’s development of the doctrine of God as articulated in RT, while in the second half I offer a series of critical reflections on key areas in Vanhoozer’s “communicative theism,” focusing particularly on his “authorial analogy” (analogia auctoris) and its use in discussing the relation between divine sovereignty and human freedom.
KEY WORDS: mythos, ontology, communicative theism, remythologizing, authorship
Perichoresis 9.1 (2011)
GORDON L. HEATH “Prepared to do, prepared to die.” Evangelicalism, Imperialism, and Late-Victorian Canadian Children’s Publications
ABSTRACT. Canadian churches took seriously their commitment to nation and empire-building in the welter of late-Victorian imperial commitments. This particular study explores one unique and little-known expression of Canadian Methodist and Presbyterian imperialism: the infusing of children with imperial virtues. What is striking for the purposes of this essay is the conflation of family values, evangelicalism and imperialism. The lived experience is decidedly imperial in these children’s publications. Evangelicalism’s emphasis on family was an important motivating factor in nurturing young imperialists, and the editors of these publications believed that imperial values were synonymous with Christian values, and that girls and boys who embodied the ideals of their papers would become good mothers, fathers, citizens, as well as defenders of empire. While it is difficult to determine how many children took the imperial message to heart, the fusion of family values and imperialism reveals just how enmeshed evangelicalism had become with late-Victorian imperialism.
KEY WORDS: imperialism, evangelicalism, children, newspapers, war
JOHN E. MCKINLEY Four Patristic Models of Jesus Christ’s Impeccability and Temptation
ABSTRACT. Early Christian theology focused on the identity of Jesus Christ according to the New Testament, and faced an apparent dilemma in Jesus’ deity (which entails his impeccability) and Jesus’ humanity (marked by his true temptations to sin). While no church council addressed the topic of Jesus’ impeccability and temptation directly, patristic theologians did explain the relationship of Jesus’ divine impeccability (considered as an a priori), his human temptation, and perfect sinlessness. The explanations vary in four types or models of dealing with the question. The description of each of the four models and a brief presentation of evidence from three patristic representatives for each model will provide the case that patristic theology shows developing sophistication in explaining the topic. In brief, these models are that Jesus was (1) sinless by his inherent impeccability, (2) sinless by deification, (3) sinless by divine hegemony, and (4) sinless by empowering grace. A brief evaluation of each of the models weighs their theological adequacy for contemporary Christological formulation.
KEY WORDS: impeccability, sinlessness, Christology, pneumatology, temptation
LEONARDO DE CHIRICO, GIUSEPPE RIZZA Calvino (ri)formatore di un ethos per la città
ASTRATTO. L’azione di Giovanni Calvino (1509-1564) ha contribuito fort- emente al rinnovamento e alla trasformazione di Ginevra, con effetti straor- dinari per tutta la storia successiva della città e dell’Occidente. Annunciata dal pulpito giorno dopo giorno, la Parola si è incarnata nella vita e nei com- portamenti delle persone, creando una comunità nuova e alternativa. Calvino interpreta una visione del mondo che abbraccia la totalità dell’esis- tenza, pur essendo radicata in un progetto di chiesa riformata dall’Evangelo, e rimane ancora oggi un riferimento imprescindibile per l’attuale dibattito sul ruolo della religione sulla scena pubblica in un quadro pluralista e seco- larizzato, al di là di modelli clericali e pulsioni laiciste.
PAROLE CHIAVE: Calvino, teologia della città, visione del mondo, calvinismo
AURELIAN BOTICA A Brief History of the Phenomenon of the “Reinterpretation” or “Spiritualization” of the Physical Cult
ABSTRACT. This study makes the assertation that the tendency of New Testament authors to “spiritualize” or “reinterpret” certain Old Testamental cultic categories was not necessarily an innovation. Rather, one will observe that a number of Old Testament authors already looked beyond the “physical” requirements of the cult, into the “spiritual” and “moral” condition of the worshippers. Driven by this tendencey, some authors appear to have reinterpreted the physical dimension of the Temple and the offerings, looking for alternative way to fulfill the requirements that God expected from the worshipper. This study briefly summarizes the developments of this phenomenon in the Greek and Hellenistic world, including Philo of Alexandria, lists the key passages of the New Testament, and analyzes several of the key passages from the Old Testament that reflect the tendency toward spiritualization and the reinterpretation of the cult.
KEY WORDS: Philo, New Testament, Old Testament, Spiritualization, Spiritual Sacrifices, Temple
Perichoresis 8.2 (2010)
BRETT J. MUHLHAN, The Polemical-Historical and Theological Context of Luther’s 1520 “On the Freedom of a Christian”
ABSTRACT. Luther wrote his On the Freedom of a Christian at the end of a very turbulent and polemical period of the reformation. In it he puts forward his early, yet sophisticated understanding of justification by faith and contrasts it with the Romanist penitential system. In the accompanying letter to Leo X, Luther states the nature and purpose of his writing and names several of the theological opponents he has in mind during the Freedom Tractate’s composition. This essay argues that Luther’s Freedom Tractate is a refined implicit attack on the works-righteousness of papal scholasticism and at the same time a positive exposition of his reforming views on the nature of genuine Christian freedom. This essay also contends that Luther’s views on baptism under gird the whole work as a presuppositional framework. The lack of explicit reference to his understanding of baptism in the Freedom Tractate, in our view, is a conscious decision on his part due to the polemical genius of this piece of work. The development of a historical-polemical and theological background to Luther’s Freedom Tractate provides the necessary material for a felicitous understanding of the many nuances that exist throughout the work and places reasonable emphasis on Luther’s use of theological dialectic.
KEY WORDS: freedom, faith, works, baptism, justification
ROBERT KOLB, David: King, Prophet, Repentant Sinner. Martin Luther’s Image of the Son of Jesse
ABSTRACT. In his preaching and exegetical lectures Martin Luther frequently employed biblical figures as examples of God’s action of calling people to repentance and showing them his mercy, and he also used these figures as models for Christian living. In his writings King David appears as the author of psalms that proclaim God’s Word and lead his people in praise; an ancestor of Messiah; a classical example of repentance in 2 Samuel 11-12 and Psalm 51; a model for Christian living as a ruler (Psalm 82); an instructor in how to read the Bible (especially in Psalm 119). Luther aimed at cultivating the Christian life of repentance, trust in Christ, David’s descendent, and obedience to God’s commands and calling by retelling in summary form elements of David’s life.
KEY WORDS: Martin Luther, David, narrative, use of repentance (David as example), mirror of princes (David as model ruler)
T. H. M. AKERBOOM, Erasmus and Luther on the Freedom of the Will in Their Correspondence
ABSTRACT. In the first part of this essay is underlined the common interest of Erasmus of Rotterdam and Martin Luther. The items in common are successively another interpretation of the Holy Scripture, another kind of theology, another piety, another Church. The first part closes with bringing to the fore the differences between the two. In the second part of the essay the correspondence between Erasmus and Luther is submitted to a close examination. After a short introduction on writing letters in the 16th century, Erasmus’ first acquaintance with Luther through mutual friends is brought up. Formally Luther made the first step. In succession is analyzed the correspondence in the years 1519-1520 (before the condemnation of Luther), from 1521 till the publication of Erasmus’ De libero arbitrio (September 1524), from September 1524 till the publication of Luther’s De servo arbitrio (December 1525), and the aftermath from the publication of Erasmus’ Hyperaspistes I (March 1526) and II (September 1527) till his death. In this last phase Luther did not think it necessary to write again to or against Erasmus. Luther was finished with him.
KEY WORDS: correspondence as a genre in the sixteenth century, Bonae litterae (humanism), Erasmus and reform, Luther and the Reformation, Free will or bound will?
DAN AURELIAN BOTICA, The Eucharist in the Theology of Martin Luther and John Calvin
ABSTRACT. Several, divergent interpretations of the Eucharist had been circulating even before the Reformation. Yet, it was with the advent of the writings of Martin Luther, John Calvin and other reformers that the subject of the Eucharist―and of Sacraments in general―was given a special attention. The following study reviews the main aspects of the theology of the Eucharist in the writings of Luther and Calvin. The study attempts to analyze the degree to which their writings were grounded in the Scriptures and/or influenced by other theologians. It also sets the two authors in the context of their time, by analyzing the different sources that influenced the two and helped shape their theology of the Eucharist. In this sense, the study also takes into account the views of Thomas Aquinas and Zwingli, two of the main actors whose views must be taken into account if one wishes to understand the views of Luther and Calvin.
KEY WORDS: Lord’s Supper, Scholasticism, Eucharistic Controversy, Martin Luther, John Calvin
Perichoresis 8.1 (2010)
RUDOLPH P. ALMASY, Richard Hooker and Righteous Rhetorical Display. Book 1 Of the Lawes of Ecclesiasticall Politie
ABSTRACT. This essay, which focuses mainly on Book 1 of Richard Hooker’s Of the Lawes of Ecclesiasticall Politie, traces how Hooker’s preoccupation with the potential and the problems of persuasion influences his rhetorical performance. The argument examines how Hooker translates the Pauline sense of a renewed, spiritual mind (from Ephesians) into a rhetorical performance which emphasizes knowledge, understanding, logic, patience, and judgment through the art of the rhetor as well as in the mind of the reader. In contrast to this good persuasion is the sense that Hooker’s opponents because of their hysterical rhetorical display not only are dangerous to church and state but also hard-hearted and without the virtue of regenerated spiritual minds. It is for this reason that the Presbyterian way of proceeding does not lead to peace and order. Hooker’s display suggests that good persuasion, in the Reformation’s broad culture of persuasion, comes from a divinely renovated mind and heart which contributes to building community and which leads to service to others.
KEY WORDS: Richard Hooker, Of the Lawes of Ecclesiasticall Politie, rhetoric, reason, polemic
JOHN K. STAFFORD, Sitting among Richard Hooker’s Sermons. Notes on the Three Fragments
ABSTRACT. This paper revisits the extant sermon fragments of Richard Hooker (1554-1600). The sermons exhibit Hooker’s characteristic rhetorical and homiletical style. Each sermon is notable for its extensive range of Scripture quotations and allusions which assumes congregations able to interact with their themes. The tight reasoning employed by Hooker is typical of his hermeneutic and homiletical method. Hooker held that pastoral and practical problems of Christian experience were primarily the result of error in reasoning or theology. The remedy for this situation was correct thinking such that right reason will place pastoral problems in correct relation to each other. As in Remedie and Pride, the Fragments consistently exhibit this method. Similarly, Hooker always has Puritan theological sensibilities in view. The Fragments reveal Hooker’s response to the key Puritan themes of election, grace, assurance, and divine forbearance.
KEY WORDS: Richard Hooker, 16th century, sermons, hermeneutic, Early Modern period
MAURICE DOWLING, Proverbs 8:22-31 in the Christology of the Early Fathers
ABSTRACT. The relationship between Word and Wisdom, and the relationship of both to Christ is an important aspect of New Testament studies. This article looks at how Patristic Christology makes use of the personification of Wisdom found particularly in Proverbs 8, with some discussion of the background to this theme in Judaism as well as the New Testament. The focus is on how Proverbs 8, notably verse 22, figured in the Arian controversy of the fourth century, and especially in the extant fragments of the works of Marcellus of Ancyra, a fierce opponent of Arius, but one who was widely rejected himself because of his alleged Sabellianism. The Proverbs passage was divorced from the context of a meditation on the nature of Wisdom and was given almost exclusively a Christological significance. It became a text which different sides of the fourth-century debates tried to capture in order to strengthen their own position.
KEY WORDS: Word, Wisdom, Patristic Christology, Proverbs, Arianism
JAMES MCMAHON, Thoughts about Eternity. A Review Article
ABSTRACT. This article is based upon a recent book written by retired Episcopal Bishop, John Shelby Spong, Eternal Life. A New Vision, published by Harper Collins, New York, 2009. The present writer summarized some of Spong’s background presented in the text and from limited sources outside the text. The presentation thereafter looked at Spong’s major premises of how he undertoods anthropology, human consciousness, the role of religion, and declarative statements about the former which served as leap-off points for Spong, and an examination of his conclusions. All the while, Spong reminded his readers that his purpose was to deal with matters concerning death, heaven, hell, and eternity. Agree with his conclusions or not, Spong achieved his goals based upon the way he cast his arguments.
KEY WORDS: fundamentalism, anthropology, consciousness, self consciousness, Christianity
CORNELIU C. SIMUŢ, Myth, Intermediacy, and Transcendence in Paul Ricoeur’s Concept of Fallibility
ABSTRACT. This article presents Ricoeur’s attempt to pass from a theoretical understanding of human fallibility to a more pragmatic approach which is supposed to explain the reality of man’s capacity to choose evil. Man is fallible because he lives as a finite being in contrast with the infinitude of God. As God’s infinitude and ontology cannot be grasped by man, it seems more logical to discuss the existence of man’s fallibility as intermediacy between various levels of human finitude rather than making reference to God’s infinitude. Thus, the infinitude of god should actually be conceived in terms of man’s finitude, which also leads to the dramatic redefinition of the idea of transcendence. Ricoeur can work with the concept of transcendence for as long as transcendence points to human realities, which can be properly assessed and comprehended only by philosophy. Religion and theology cannot explain man’s reality as a fallible being in a global way; this is why, resorting to philosophy should fix this problem because, in Ricoeur, it is only philosophy which can understand the complexity of the human being in its swinging between finitude and infinitude.
KEY WORDS: myth, disproportion, intermediacy, fallibility, transcendence
ADRIAN GIORGIOV, The Servant-Leadership Concepts of Robert K. Greenleaf
ABSTRACT. Robert K. Greenleaf (1904-1990) stands out as the person who introduced the term “servant leadership” to modern times, and has captured the imagination of hundreds of thousands of readers worldwide in the realm of education, business, and church life. The central meaning of his theory is that the great leader is first seen as a servant to others, and this simple fact is a key to his or her greatness. Greenleaf contends that it is possible to fuse the role of servant and leader. This fusion was perfectly achieved in Jesus Christ, whose service during his earthly ministry reflected a true servant leader. The paper presents the characteristics of a servant leader and of a servant institution; it then discusses the concepts of servant leadership in churches. It concludes with an evaluation of strengths and weaknesses of the concepts, followed by theological perspectives on the issues.
KEY WORDS: servant leadership, trustees, servant institution, core values, society
ANTONIO FAUR, The Repressive Policy of the Communist Authorities in Bihor County against the Neo-Protestant Cults (1987)
ABSTRACT. Concerned about the reduction, almost to extinction, of the activity of some neo-Protestant cults, the communist regime in Romania had exercised its control over them through the available administrative means, even in their final years of existence. Therefore, in Bihor County, the Department of Cults (through the means of the Territorial Inspector of Bihor and Sălaj Counties), compiled a table of the places in Bihor County where “the neo-Protestant Christians gather without an approved cult unit”, which included 41 localities. An inspection―in the period between March 17 and April 1, 1987―was conducted by the specialized inspectors from the county government, with “regard to the work of some religious sects” (i.e. by the Pentecostals and Baptists), who “meet in unknown places.” The results of this monitoring are contained in a document from which the author was advised to present data obtained by those mentioned. It is noted that the authorities performed a permanent “supervision” of these cults, then they took coercive measures (especially against those Protestants who have provided the cults their own buildings, more or less conducive to their work), and the application fines, closing down the “unauthorized” religious sites, and even prosecution before the law. Methods were used throughout the 45 years of Romania’s deviation from its normal free development during the concert of the other European states. The experiences lived by the neo-Protestant believers, of harsh confrontation with the atheist state and ideology, are part of their history, and, as such, deserve to be known by the contemporaries.
KEY WORDS: Neo-Protestant, cults, believers, communist authorities, Bihor
TIBERIU POP, About the Bioethics of Abortion at Request in Romania. A Case Presentation
ABSTRACT. Nowadays, being in the post-modernist time when the scientific prophecies elaborated, launched and guaranteed at the beginning of the past century, ensuring the world that until the end of the twentieth century the science will definitively solve the most severe problems of humanity (illnesses, procreation, old age, and death) did not find resolution, even more, they are persistent and aggravated, endangering the demographic future of mankind. From these issues, we can mention the problems generated by an unseen sexual immorality and promiscuity or the too easy acceptance of interrupting the natural evolution of a pregnancy [at ob-gyn’s advice or (especially) at the woman’s direct request]. All these socio-moral and medical situations, which can have a catastrophic impact on the healthy demographic future of humanity, are due to the replacement of Christ-centered philosophy with the anthropocentric one, placing the man in the center of beliefs, with the direct or indirect perversion of sexuality and human reproduction, and also, most important, the perversion of the main reason of sexual partnership, the procreation. We consider that, regarding demographics, the liberalization of abortions at request in the last 20 years represented a wrong political and socio-medical decision. This led to the fact that millions and millions of live creatures were not brought into life, Romania getting the disgraceful first place in the European Community regarding the number of abortions, a direct result of the contradictions between the pro-life and pro-abortion groups. We can notice that in our country, the pro-abortion groups can very easily input their arguments, which gives more courage to the women on their choice of interrupting a pregnancy as a method of contraception, when abortion should definitively be the last solution when all the other contraception methods had failed. From a bioethical point of view, we found useful to debate some negative examples, as the next cases we present, in order to attention the fellow gynecologists upon the non-ethical consequences of abortion.
KEY WORDS: bioethics, gynecologist, abortion at request, pro-life, pro-abortion, tiny man
Perichoresis 7.2 (2009)
LEE W. GIBBS, Richard Hooker’s “Discourse on Justification” and his Via Media Theology
ABSTRACT. This article focuses on the continuing contemporary debate over Richard Hooker’s doctrine of justification. It also addresses two other controversies which permeate current Hooker scholarship, namely: (1) How much of the Roman Catholic or Thomistic and the Magisterial Reformation traditions are discernable in the thought of Richard Hooker? (2) Is Hooker an exemplar or a prototype of what was later to become known as the Anglican via media tradition? The article concludes that in spite of all past and present disputes over the most appropriate way to interpret Hooker’s writings, his wisdom continues to be valuable both for the instruction of individual Christian believers and also for the various Christian churches.
KEY WORDS: justification, Richard Hooker, Magisterial Reformation, Anglo-Catholics, via media
MICHAEL A. G. HAYKIN, “My Sister, Dearest Friend.” The Marriage of Charles and Sally Wesley
ABSTRACT. This article is a brief presentation of the relationship between Charles Wesley and Sarah Gwynne, the woman who eventually became his wife. Details are offered first about their encounter and the way their friendly relationship blossomed into the earnest love which leads to marriage. An interesting though very short account about some opposing attitudes towards their marriage follows with indication about various concerns entertained by Charles’ brother, the equally famous John Wesley, but also by Sarah’s father. There is also a section dedicated to Charles’ and Sarah’s wedding, which is completed by a longer account of their married life with all the struggles and pains produced by the death of five of their dearly beloved children. Despite these horrible experiences, Charles’ and Sarah’s marriage lasted to the end as a token of what real love should be within the Christian family.
KEY WORDS: Charles Wesley, John Wesley, Sarah Gwynne, marriage, love.
BRIAN TALBOT, Baptists and Other Christian Churches in the First Half of the Twentieth Century
ABSTRACT. This study of one aspect of the collective life of some Baptist bodies in the first half of the twentieth century will of necessity be a very brief overview of their relationships with other Christian Churches. Baptists have been committed to world mission as part of their core identity, at least since the 1790s. The first part of this study will note the different Baptist groups that participated in the 1910 World Mission Conference, a highly significant event in the history of the Protestant missionary movement. Edinburgh 1910 laid the foundations of interdenominational understanding for the ecumenical movement of the twentieth century and is, therefore, an appropriate place to begin a study of the relationship of Baptists with other Churches in the first five decades of the twentieth century. The second theme under consideration will be the relationship of Baptists with other Churches in their own countries, followed by their approach to international ecumenical initiatives, in particular the founding of the World Council of Churches.
KEY WORDS: Baptists, mission, Edinburgh, Protestants, Evangelicals
CHRISTIAN GEORGE, Incarnating the Incarnation. A Theological Analysis of the Ontological Christology of Charles H. Spurgeon
ABSTRACT. In this paper, Charles Haddon Spurgeon is situated in his nineteenth-century British evangelical context. Though not considered to be a theological systematician, Spurgeon demonstrated a highly developed and deeply appropriated Christology that laid the foundation for his orthodoxy and orthopraxy. His re-animation of classical Augustinian and Chalcedonian theology stood in high relief against the theological trends of his time. Since there have been few academic works to highlight his unique theological significance, this paper, as part of a doctoral thesis on Spurgeon’s theology, seeks to recover him as a theologian, not merely a homiletician, philanthropist, and abolitionist. Spurgeon’s Christology contains little theological originality, yet his innovative treatment of Christ’s divinity, humanity, hypostatic union reveals a unique theological appropriation. While his rhetoric was not immune to shortcomings, it was successful in grounding a declining Calvinism in a new way for middle-class London. This paper explores Spurgeon’s ontological Christology, while also analyzing his earthy rhetoric to see, in those instances when his vernacular becomes theologically imprecise, if it deviates from a classical reformed theology.
KEY WORDS: Spurgeon, Christology, incarnation, homiletics, nineteenth century
CORNELIU C. SIMUŢ, The Reality of Evil and the Primordial Self in Paul Ricoeur’s View of Fallibility
ABSTRACT. The idea but also the reality of evil is essential for Ricoeur especially in connection with the concept of fallibility. In order to investigate the link between evil and fallibility, Ricoeur begins with a thorough analysis of evil from the perspective of human freedom. The discussion about man’s freedom and the fact that evil exists in the world leads Ricoeur to another fundamental concept, namely that of primordial self. The primordial self, however, does not exist without the inner reality of his own consciousness. For Ricoeur, the consciousness of the primordial self is double, so he speaks about the consciousness of fault and the consciousness of evil which are both critical issues for the primordial self. These analyses are detailed by Ricoeur within the context of the myth of the fall which is subject to complex symbolism. The reality of evil with reference to the myth of the fall pushes Ricoeur to consider the primordial self as both the Adversary and the Other. Despite the complexity of Ricoeur’s analysis, it seems that his final conclusion has to do with man’s freedom which is the very source of evil in the world. The factuality of this reality pictures the human being not only as a free agent but also as a victim, which is the direct consequence of evil that affects humanity.
KEY WORDS: freedom, evil, self, fault, fallibility
DAVID H. WENKEL, “Let Not Many of You Become Teachers.” Applying James 3:1 to the Local Church
ABSTRACT. How does James’ word of discouragement to teachers in James 3:1 fit in with a canonical and synthetic approach that can be applied to the local church today? This article seeks to present a robust reading of James 3:1 that wrestles with the influential Pauline passages on spiritual gifts. The focus of this study is to present practical implications and results of reading James 3:1 as being in tension with Paul’s teaching on spiritual gifts. Specific attention is given to the need to think critically about how James 3:1 impacts eldership, the role of faith, small groups and teaching authority. The study concludes that James 3:1 can provide gravity to the role of teachers when many view teaching in the church with flippancy.
KEY WORDS: teachers, elders, spiritual gifts, church growth, leadership
MAURICE DOWLING, Colonialism and Christian Missions
ABSTRACT. This paper unfolds some of the reasons which lay behind the missionaries’ effort to take the Christian faith beyond the boundaries of the already more or less “Christian” Europe. While missionaries of all Christian denominations—Roman Catholic, Anglican, Methodist, Baptist but also Lutheran and Reformed—were eager to take their faith for the spiritual profit of those who were meant to hear their message, the secular state also shared a various range of reasons, amongst which the most salient were commerce and slave trade. This is why it is argued that Christianity reached all the corners of the earth during the time of colonialism and the church, as we know it today beyond Europe, is the result of such efforts.
KEY WORDS: colonialism, missions, commerce, slaves, martyrdom
Perichoresis 7.1 (2009)
CHRIS L. FIRESTONE, On Integrating Christian Faith and Human Reason
When Christian philosophers consider the question of how to integrate faith and reason, the sheer number of approaches before us is staggering. From the philosophical side, a large variety of paradigms exist—empiricism, rationalism, commonsense realism, and transcendental idealism, to name a few. On the theological side, the situation is just as complex; from Anglican to Evangelical, Catholic to Orthodox, each theological paradigm is denominationally segregated and integrators are charged with the task of situating themselves among them. In light of the sheer immensity of options before us, the question of how integration can be done with rational integrity has become something of an annual topic at Christian colleges and universities. When bringing philosophy and theology together in the integration of faith and learning, the theoretical options multiply in a way that is beyond the ability of a single person or essay to sort through with specificity or thoroughness. My goal in this paper is to present a modest overview of how I think integration can be done.
KEY WORDS: faith, reason, philosophy, learning, understanding
MICHAEL A. G. HAYKIN, “Dissent Warmed Its Hands at Grimshaw’s Fire.” William Grimshaw of Haworth and the Baptists of Yorkshire
The paper investigates some fundamental aspects of the life and influence of the Anglican minister William Grimshaw on the Baptist life in Yorkshire. The key points tackled here begin with Grimshaw’s early life in Lancashire and Cambridge, when having completed his studies was appointed Anglican minister in a church which was anything but spiritual. It was, however, in this particular congregation that Grimshaw himself became aware of his own need for spiritual renewal. The article also presents Grimshaw’s conversion to Christ and his subsequent ministry which eventually led to the Haworth revival. A final aspect has to do with Grimshaw influence on John Fawcett, who seems to have sponsored William Carey’s missionary travel to India.
KEY WORDS: conversion, pardon, justification, righteousness, Calvinism
MAURICE DOWLING, The American Churches and the Civil War
The essence of this paper is to show how religion, and especially Protestantism in its Evangelical vein, built the context for the outburst of the American Civil War. The issue of slavery is debated with reference to how the North and the South perceived the problem as well as the economic aspects involved. The author also presents how various Protestants (especially Presbyterians, Methodists and Baptists) related themselves to the question of war and how they justified or rejected the idea of conflict over human freedom. The period following the war is also briefly tackled and particularly the idealization of the culture and religion of the South.
KEY WORDS: war, evangelicals, slavery, abolition, Bible
IAN STACKHOUSE, God’s Transforming Presence. Spirit Empowered Worship and Its Mediation
While Evangelicals tend to have some sort of traditionally inborn repulsion for sacramentality, they nevertheless seem to long for something more than just the routine performance of sacraments in their churches. This article investigates what lies beneath the Evangelical conviction that sacraments should be exclusively memorial in nature as well as defined by what they are rather than by what they mean. It is argued therefore that Evangelicals should seek the meaning of sacraments beyond their traditional theological limitations into a spiritual reality which does not refrain itself to the ordinance itself. On the contrary, sacraments should be understood as a reality which does not only revive our memory of past events but also places us in the very midst of our own present situation through the confession of sin and the actual encounter with the Holy Trinity.
KEY WORDS: sacraments, Baptist, Lord’s Supper, memorialism, church
DAVID NEELANDS, Richard Hooker and Assurance
One of the issues in dispute in England in the 1590s was the importance of Christian assurance. This issue figured prominently in the debates leading to the Lambeth Articles of 1595. Richard Hooker developed a position on assurance beginning from a conventional statement of assurance in the early Sermons Upon S. Judes Epistle and ending with significant reservations about assurance in the Learned Sermon on Certaintie and Pepertuitie of Faith in the Elect and the Dublin Fragments. His pastoral concern was expressed in the comfort to be derived from recognition that one’s faith was weak rather than from experienced assurance that one was elect. Hope for salvation is a good sign as is observation of the exercise of love for the neighbour.
KEY WORDS: assurance, doubt, faith, election, salvation
CORNELIU C. SIMUT, Paul Ricoeur's Concept of Fallibility as Fault, Myth and Symbol
This article presents and analyses Ricoeur’s notion of fallibility from the idea of myth to that of symbol in the context of the dialectics between finitude and infinitude. In Ricoeur, myth is used to present natural reality in a symbolic way which, it is argued, contradicts the traditional Christian perspective on reality which includes the ontology of metaphysics. Ricoeur is concerned to find a way to decipher religious mythological imagery by means of symbolism, so he also talks about the transition from direct meaning to indirect significance. Concepts like bad will and evil are discussed within Ricoeur’s symbolics of evil which intends to find the locus of evil within human reality. This is why he concludes that the symbolism of evil is not only theoretical but also historical, in the sense that man’s reality as imbued with evil is not only a philosophical issue but also a pressing practical matter.
KEY WORDS: fallibility, fault, myth, symbol, in/finitude
PERICHORESIS 6.2 (2008)
DAVID W. BEBBINGTON, Evangelicalism and British Culture
The culture of modern Britain has interacted with Evangelical Christianity at a popular level by affinity and repulsion, but at a high level it has moulded it. The Enlightenment fostered empiricism, optimism and pragmatism and Romanticism generated the conservative trends of premillennial eschatology, the faith principle of mission and Keswick teaching. The broadening Romantic influence, however, simultaneously encouraged a new emphasis on the Fatherhood of God, the incarnation rather than the atonement and biblical criticism that affected the Evangelicals of the Church of England, Methodism and the Reformed traditions, but much less the Baptists. The Expressivism of the twentieth century was embodied in the Oxford Group of the 1930s and, more powerfully, in the charismatic renewal movement from the 1960s. Evangelicals in Britain have therefore been deeply embedded in their cultural setting.
KEY WORDS: evangelicalism, British culture, Enlightenment, empiricism, optimism, pragmatism
ROBERT LETHAM, Election and Assurance in the Theology of Martin Bucer
The immediacy of God is perhaps a category appropriate to describe Bucer’s theology. As such, election brings the eternal divine decision into direct relation in this world to faith. Flowing from the homoousion, the will of Christ makes known the Father’s will. The immediate spiritual but real presence of Christ is experienced in the sacraments. In the covenant of grace there is the sovereign action of God. The Holy Spirit is directly present and active in all areas of soteriology and church. As for faith, it is assurance of eschatological salvation. Election is a part of the overwhelming nearness of God, the greatest of all his benefits, the contemplation of which will strengthen faith. Far from undermining assurance in Bucer’s theology, election both enables and reinforces it.
KEY WORDS: election, assurance, divine decision, eternity, faith
DAVID V. N. BAGCHI, Luther versus Luther? The Problem of Christ’s Descent into Hell in the Long Sixteenth Century
Despite its lowly rank in the hierarchy of Christian beliefs, the doctrine of Christ’s descent into hell was frequently a cause of intraProtestant debate in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, especially in Britain and Germany. In this article, Bagchi describes the context and the courses of the various controversies over the descensus Christi, and argues that, despite the different forms the debate took, the essential issue was whether the descent should be interpreted as one of suffering or of triumph. He argues that the inner dynamic of the debate can therefore best be analysed by reference to Luther, who maintained both views simultaneously. Bagchi concludes that Luther consistently favoured the suffering approach as the one of most value to the individual believer, but regarded the physical, triumphant descent as an important safeguard against an overspiritual Christology. In this respect, the descensus controversy illustrates a tension between affective and dogmatic theology.
KEY WORDS: Christ, descent, Hell, Protestantism, suffering, triumph
LEONARDO DE CHIRICO, Progressive, Conservative or RomanCatholic? On the Theology of Joseph Ratzinger in Evangelical Perspective
Joseph Ratzinger is one of the pivotal figures in the theological scene following the Second Council of Vatican. His theology magnificently epitomises the catholicity of RomanCatholic thought. For instance, the Bible is always read in light of the authoritative magisterium. Nicene Christology is always intertwined to “objective” RomanCatholic ecclesiology. The Apostles Creed is confessed as well as the Canons of Trent and Vatican I. The cross of Christ is always related to the representation of the sacrifice of the Eucharist. The Spirit is always linked to the hierarchical structure of the Church. Ecumenism is always thought of in terms of other Christians being defective and the Church of Rome being the “catholic” Church. The mission of the Church is always pursued having in mind the catholic project to embrace the whole world. Evangelical reactions to his election to the papacy have applauded his “Biblefocused” theology. Yet, the question whether the Reformation is over is urgent and appropriate.
KEY WORDS: Vatican, authority, magisterium, ecclesiology, hierarchy
RONALD T. MICHENER, Kingdom of God and Postmodern Thought: Friends or Foes?
The overarching theological motif of kingdom of God may seem contrary to postmodern suspicions of oppressive metanarratives and totalizing systems of truth. However, this article submits that the postmodern critique of objectivity and human rationality offers layers of compatibility and commonality with the God’s kingdom program of reconciliation and restoration. As with many aspects of postmodern thought, the kingdom of God overturns, upsets and challenges our own selfish agendas and conceptual idolatries impeding community in the life and practice of the church.
KEY WORDS: Postmodernism, Kingdom of God, motif, metanaratives, truth
MAURICE DOWLING, Erasmus and Luther: A Brief Presentation
The article looks at Erasmus and Luther as representatives of, respectively, Renaissance humanism and the Reformation. It compares their beliefs—particularly regarding the doctrines of sin and the freedom of the will—and also their attitudes to the Church. Some contemporaries saw Luther as developing Erasmus’ criticisms of the Church. However, although he was much indebted to humanism Luther’s perception of what was wrong in the Church—and what needed to be done—was very different. Erasmus found himself fitting into neither world: he could not embrace the Reformation and the Catholic Church found the Erasmian ethos increasingly unacceptable.
KEY WORDS: Erasmus, Luther, humanism, Reformation, beliefs
ANTONIO FAUR, The Relationships between the Church and the State. The Situation of Neoprotestant Denominations in Bihor County within the Last Years of the Second World War
The author conducted research within the documentary resources—especially those hosted by the Gendarmerie Forces of the Bihor county—which are still filed at the National Archives (the Bihor County Department), and he discovered new documentary proofs concerning the situation of Neoprotestant denominations in Bihor county within the last years of the Second World War. These documents reflect the politics of the Romanian State with view to these denomnations and especially the way they were supervised by local Gendarmerie authorities throughout Bihor county. The reconstruction of these realities underlines the forms of resistance found by “religious sects” (as these denominations were called by the State’s clerks) “of all sorts” which—although did not resort to open confrontation (the country was at war)—they were still active under specific types of manifestation as the nurtured the hope that they would regain their religious freedom at the end of the war. The most revealing example is given by the Baptists in Bihor county who reached 4274 members at that time. A case of particular interest is that of the “spiritists” (or “spiritualists”) who were found in some of the villages of Bihor county, such as Călacea and Girişul Negru. The documentary appendixes present a special importance.
KEY WORDS: Church, State, Neoprotestantism, Second World War, politics
ANTONIO FAUR, The Politics of the Communist State towards Religious Denominations.
A Case Study: Bihor County in 1987
Following some considerations regarding the measures taken by the Romanian Socialist State in order to exert a permanent and careful control over religious denominations, the author presents relevant information in this respect based on an unpublished documentary from the year 1987, written down by the Territorial Inspectorate for Cults in the counties of Bihor and Sălaj. The document contains precise data about the religious cults which existed that year (all of them mentioned in full), the number of believers in the county of Bihor (almost 548000), cult buildings (churches and prayer houses), the ministers (priests, pastors, deacons and singers), as well as cemeteries. Therefore, all these issues are presented as in a statistic radiography with special reference—in the second part of the article—to Neoprotestant denominations, notably Baptists and Pentecostals, which—although harshly dealt with by State authorities—were successfully engaged in current activities by resorting to cultural and confessional means of evident receptivity in total contradiction to the legal strictness devised by the Communist Regime.
KEY WORDS: politics, Communist regime, control, cults
PERICHORESIS 6.1 (2008)
WIM JANSE, The Controversy between Westphal and Calvin on Infant Baptism, 1555-1556
This essay aims to fill a lacuna in the historiography of the Second Eucharistic Controversy in the wake of the Zurich-Genevan Consensus Tigurinus (1549). It focuses on the polemics on infant baptism between John Calvin and Joachim Westphal from Hamburg by offering a reasoned survey of the various positions, as well as a critical edition of Westphal’s main texts on this matter plus an English translation. The Lutheran’s main concern was to maintain sacramental objectivity. Considering Calvin’s views to be a depreciation of the sacrament, he attacked the Reformed practice not to baptize dying infants and making the effectiveness of the sacrament dependent on eternal election. Westphal emphasized the inextricable bond within baptism between promise and element, plus the instrumentality of the two. His diagnosis of a spiritualising tendency in Calvin was not unfounded, as the Consensus was suffused with the spirit of Heinrich Bullinger. In turn, Calvin’s impassioned rejection of the Lutheran view of the necessitas baptismi as sacramentum regenerationis introduced an imbalance in his sacramentology that shows that his ideas about baptism were more Zwinglian than those on the eucharist. His baptismal theology suffers from a tension between certainty and liberty, between the objectivity of the offer of salvation and the liberty God possesses in his elective grace. Westphal emphasized especially the first aspect, Calvin at the same time also the second.
KEY WORDS: infant baptism, sacramental objectivity, eternal election, certainty, liberty
JOHN K. STAFFORD, The Rhetoric of Orthodoxy: A Second Look at Travers’ Supplication and Hooker’s Answers
The Hooker-Travers controversy was a local squabble with far reaching implications. Travers’ Supplication was intended to neutralise Hooker’s more generous approach to the task of theology especially regarding Rome, at least by reformation standards. Not least was Travers’ Supplication intended to defend his living in light of his expulsion from the Temple Church. Yet the debate disclosed attitudes towards the tasks of ministry that show up in ways not perhaps intended by their supporters. The Supplication and Answere bring into sharp and personal relief two ministers each of whom was passionately committed to the cause of reform. Hooker distinguishes himself as an erudite debater and one who was willing to achieve his polemical goals by going no further than the question demanded. It is clear that if Travers was the better preacher, he was no match for Hooker’s rhetorical skills. Travers’ own case was not helped by conflating his theological polemic and characteristic Puritan anxieties over episcopal governance (whose assent he himself needed), with a rational need for the support of a parish living he was at the point of losing.
KEY WORDS: Orthodoxy, theology, reformation, ministry, Puritanism
JAMES MCMAHON, Christian Psychological Identity
The article reviews the history of self as a concept, from corporate self to self differentiated from human being and person. Views of self extended from Augustine and Aquinas to Locke and the Christian existentialists. The fragmentation of self, however, has resulted in fragmented persons, marriages, and societies. It is through identification with Jesus Christ that self is reclaimed to the place intended by the Creator. Therefore, formal explication is made of arguments for identity as well as for character and theological virtues. A sidelong glance is paid to nihilistic and spiritualist trends, while the reader is called back to the certainty of self-in-relationship to God and in fact. The article was written for academic theologians and teachers of religion primarily; however lay readers who persist will grasp meanings as they are conveyed in language that befits an august journal.
KEY WORDS: psychology, identity, self, person, society
DAVID M. WHITFORD, Deus Dixit: The Power of the Word of God in Luther and Barth
This article is an investigation of Martin Luther’s theology of the cross as interpreted by Karl Barth who seems to have rejected Luther’s dialectic of the Law and Gospel. Nevertheless, as Barth strongly defends Luther’s theology of the cross, the fundamental question which arises is whether a theology of the Word can be proposed solely on the grounds of his theology of the cross, namely without taking into consideration his dialectic of the Law and Gospel. The author’s suggestion resids in a good apprehension of Luther’s and Barth’s contexts which―if understood properly―demonstrate that their theologies share a high degree of similarity. This is allegedly proved by the fact that Barth had successfully recaptured Luther’s traditional Reformation slogans: sola fide, sola gratia and sola scriptura.
KEY WORDS: theology of the cross, Law, Gospel, Word, theology
ASHISH J. NAIDU, John Chrysostom’s Homilies on Hebrews: An Antiochene Christological Commentary?
The dominant thrust of scholarly readings of Chrysostom’s Christological exegesis of Hebrews label it as being typically Antiochene. Patristic scholars like Rowan Greer and Frances Young have asserted that Chrysostom’s commentary on Hebrews has all the hallmarks of the Antiochene Christological tradition. It highlights Christ’s human achievement of obedience by progress through temptation and suffering; it stresses Christ’s human experience and condition to such an extent that one is obliged to separate the Logos from it; and focuses on the moral or virtuous Christian life rather than on the transformation of nature. The point being conveyed is that these emphases betray an Assumed-Man Christology and place Chrysostom squarely in the Antiochene Christological tradition. In response, I will attempt to demonstrate that although Chrysostom belongs to the Antiochene exegetical tradition, he does not belong to the Antiochene Christological tradition. Two critical points will be outlined from Chrysostom’s commentary on Hebrews: the personal continuity of the Logos-Son in Christ and the reality of Christ’s identification with us in his obedience, suffering, and death as being essential for our salvation. Moreover, it will be shown that Chrysostom views Christ’s identification with us as grounds for our reconciliation with God and adoption into his family. In short, I argue that Chrysostom’s understanding of the Christian life is an outworking of his unitive Christology. Chrysostom, it will be pointed out, views Christ as one divine acting subject.
KEY WORDS: homily, Hebrews, Antiochene tradition, Christology, Logos
OTNIEL L. VEREŞ, A Study of the “I Am” Phrases in John’s Gospel
This work is a brief analysis ofone of the specific features of theological discourse in John’s Gospel, namely the I am sayings. These assertions are interwoven in the fabric of the Gospel and intended to prove out some certain facts regarding the role and identity of Christ. The article is based on the premise that the I am sayings are the genuine assertions of Jesus which John reproduced through the Holy Spirit and not sayings attributed by John (or the author of the book) to Jesus in order to achieve his purpose. Starting from this premise, the aspects regarding the cultural and religious background of the sayings are still important, but not decisive. The primarily role of the I am sayings is to reveal the person of Christ. Therefore I chose for the present study the seven I am sayings which appear in the majority of biblical commentaries, to which I also added the assertion from 8:58, probably the most important of all, in order to see the truths they reveal concerning the identity of Christ.
KEY WORDS: role, identity, Christ, Holy Spirit, Person
PERICHORESIS 5.2 (2007)
JAMES HAMILTON, The Influence of Isaiah on the Gospel of John
This article seeks to catalogue the connections between the prophecy of Isaiah and the Gospel of John. The study is organized according to whom the Gospel presents as making the connection: the evangelist, the Baptist, and Jesus. Further, the connections between John and Isaiah are classified as either “direct fulfillments,” where citation formulas are used, or as “thematic connections,” where the correspondence between Isaiah and John is broader. The article seeks to establish a foundation for further study of John’s use of Isaiah by establishing the extent to which Isaianic influence may be discerned in the Fourth Gospel.
KEY WORDS: prophecy, evangelist, Baptist, Jesus, Isaiah, John
MOSTYN ROBERTS, What Did Christ Accomplish at the Cross? With Reference to Recent Controversies namely “The Lost Message of Jesus” and the “New Perspective on Paul”
Tracing the atonement from its necessity―man’s “problem” in Romans 1 (we are under wrath active through retribution) to God’s solution (satisfaction through substitution) in chapter 3, with interaction with a range of Scriptures and doctrinal issues, this article asserts that penal substitution is the central and indispensable, though not the only, achievement of the atonement. The article concludes with brief surveys of contemporary controversies: first, issues raised by Steve Chalke’s book The Lost Message of Jesus and, second, the view of the atonement that appears in the theology of N. T. Wright and the New Perspective on Paul.
KEY WORDS: atonement, wrath, retribution, solution, God
GARETH CROSSLEY, Facing Opposition from Inside and Outside the Church
In the years following the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the growing Christian Church faced many difficulties. At times the problems were external, open persecution from an unbelieving and hostile world. At other times troubles arose from within the assemblies. Four New Testament letters will be examined to trace the movement from the open persecution to the inner corruption of the churches. From the internal evidence alone a relationship will be established between these four letters together with the lessons that the authors draw from these different experiences in the life of the church. These lessons are just as valid today when the Church faces open persecution or inner corruption.
KEY WORDS: difficulties, persecution, assemblies, corruption, validity
EGIL GRISLIS, Martin Luther’s Animal Farm in Germany
This work presents Martin Luther’s use of animal imagery in order to convey fundamental theological ideas. Luther made frequent appeal to animals especially when he presented the reality of human sin and its disastrous effects on the life of men and women. It was not his intention to offer an elaborate theology of nature with special references to animals but rather to provide us with an image of theological doctrines which he already knew and accepted. The violent language used by Luther in more than one occasion was not meant to offend anybody but to illustrate vividly what he had to say about a certain sin or clusters of sins which affected human nature. At the end of the day, Luther’s main concern was the church of Christ and its members so, lest he should spare the gravity of sin, he decided to use whatever language and imagery necessary in order to safeguard the morality of believers.
KEY WORDS: animals, imagery, theology, sin, nature
SALOMEA POPOVICIU, Religious and Secular Paradigms of Addressing Pluralism
The following essay looks at the religious and secular paradigms of addressing pluralism. Firstly we will look at religious pluralism from a Christian standpoint, considering its three major responses: particularism, inclusivism and pluralism. Secondly we present the secular perspective on religious pluralism, examining the way secular lifestyle and secular spirituality competes with institutionalized religion. This paper argues that secular spirituality, while encouraging respect towards the study of organized religion, promotes alienation and disregard for any type of religious participation. In addition, the secular rationale cannot applied to all humanity, because a rational, ethical or religious prescription for the humankind that would be in agreement with all people does not constitute reality, and so, the world ethos remains an abstraction. Also, the paradigms offered by inclusivism and pluralism are not compatible with traditional Christianity which affirms the objectivity of the revelation of God in the Bible, through his Son Jesus Christ who we believe is the sole Savior of every culture or religious tradition.
KEY WORDS: pluralism, religion, paradigm, Christianity, ethos
WOLFGANG WISCHMEYER, Christen im römischen Reich: Statusinkonsistenz in der
Alten Kirche und der Versuch, sie zu beseitigen
I borrowed the sociologic term of inconsistence from Geza Alföldy and Gerd Theissen. Although they use it for their research on Roman social history during the time of Roman emperors and the very complex society of those days as well as for presenting the Jesus-Movement, I shall apply it to ancient church history and the Christian people who lived at the same time “in different worlds”, the Roman Empire and the kingdom of heaven. The main argument of this article concerns the question whether individual Christians and the Church are an imitation of the surrounding society and its culture in all its different aspects, on the one hand, or an eschatological community, on the other; or maybe even the both.
KEY WORDS: inconsistency, sociology, history, church, eschatology
MAREK PRIBULA, Essentials of Justification by Faith. A Greek-Catholic Perspective
The article presents the doctrine of justification from the perspective of Greek-Catholic theology. The author begins with some basic social, political and religious aspects which characterised the sixteenth century in order to offer a general framework for a better understanding of justification. Then he proceeds with some key theological aspects of the doctrine, such as its origins in Judeo-Christian thought, the declarative essence of justification, the reality of human sin and the fundamental importance of Christ. A brief analysis of justification in the Old and New Testaments follows with a special accent being placed on the foundational element of faith. The author even insists that in order to have a correct view of justification, one has to consider the sola fide reality of God’s declarative act whereby sinners are not considered as they are in reality but as they are not, namely they are reckoned just or righteous based solely on the sacrifice of Christ. The important discussion concerning the relationship between the theology of Paul
and James is not forgotten and―even if the treatment is not exhaustive―the two biblical writers are seen as holding complementary views, not opposing theologies. The end of the article is concerned with an ecumenical urge in the sense that all Christians should proclaim the doctrine of justification if they want to serve God properly.
KEY WORDS: justification, faith, Greek-Catholicism, sin, Christ
RAMONA SIMUŢ, Reinterpreting Traditional Theology. An Interview with Edward Schillebeeckx
This interview is a hermeneutical key to the entire thought of Edward Schillebeeckx. As it will rapidly become evident, he reinterprets traditional Christian theology to the point of drastically deconstructing it. The most important issues which he presents in a light which is not at all traditional are the role of experience for our daily life, the historically conditioned character of revelation, the power of human reason to deal with man’s problems and the permanency of Christ’s death. Schillebeeckx also talks about his indebtness to Judaism, the contingency of religion, the necessity that faith should be construed rationally, his personal view of ethics, the optional character of celibacy, the essential goodness of secularism and the spiritual nature of eschatology. One should bear in mind that although Schillebeeckx maintains the form of traditional Christian language, he nevertheless completely changes the meaning of classical Christian concepts. Thus, Christ is not alive but dead, revelation is not absolute but historically conditioned and Christian doctrines are not permanent but subject to human interpretation.
KEY WORDS: hermeneutics, deconstructing, revelation, reason, faith
PERICHORESIS 5.1 (2007)
W. J. TORRANCE KIRBY, Peter Martyr Vermigli’s Epistle to the Princess Elizabeth on her Accession (1558): A Panegyric and Some Pointed Advice
In 1553, Peter Martyr Vermigli fled his post as Regius Professor at the University of Oxford owing to the persecution of Protestant Reformers under Queen Mary. He first went to Strasbourg and finally settled in Zurich as Conrad Pelikan’s successor as Professor of Hebrew in the Schola Tigurina. Numerous “Marian exiles” from England followed Vermigli to Zurich where they continued to hear his lectures and to promote with him the cause of religious reform. At the accession of Mary’s sister Elizabeth in November 1558, Vermigli addressed an effusive panegyric to the young Queen comparing her situation to scriptural models of redemptive kingship. Elizabeth was to be “a holy Deborah for our times”. The letter constitutes a notable contribution to Reformation political theology. It also contains some very pointed and practical advice from the old Florentine scholar to the young Tudor prince on how to set the governance of the Church of England in order. To the end of his career, and beyond, Vermigli continued to exercise significant influence on the course of the English Reformation.
KEY WORDS: persecution, reformers, Queen Mary, Elizabeth, political theology
NICHOLAS J. THOMPSON A Reformed Papacy? Martin Bucer and the Treatment of Papal Primacy in the Worms Book (1540)
The Worms-Regensburg Book (1540-1541), better known as the source of an agreement between Catholics and Protestants on the doctrine of justification, contains statements on other controversial topics, including the papacy. Though no agreement was reached on these, a close analysis of the text suggests that it was written to reflect Protestant concerns. The book’s section on the papacy bears the hallmarks of the thought of one of its authors, Martin Bucer, and is consonant with views he expressed in biblical commentaries and works contemporary with the book’s production. Bucer contemplated the possibility of a Petrine office placed at the service of church’s edification and unity, though one always accountable for its exercise to its fellows in the ministry as well as to godly magistrates.
KEY WORDS: justification, Worms-Regensburg Book, Protestantism, Catholicism, papacy
JOHN K. STAFFORD, Mystical Elements in Richard Hooker’s Theology
One word that draws together Hooker’s understanding of divine mystery and secrecy is his use of the term “participation”. Hooker uses it to speak of the hiddenness of God disclosed in Christ and the anticipation of divine/human union to which the instruments of divine grace are always “mysticallie yeat trulie, invisiblie yeat reallie” effecting the worshipper’s “participation” in the Godhead. Such a “conjunction” was only possible for Hooker if “that small vitall odor” of the Holy Spirit was preveniently given by God so that grace secretly mediated by the Holy Spirit was always, “both working inwardlie, and preventing the verie first desires, or motions of man to goodnes”. Hooker invited a return to the “foundation” of Christian thought and the promise of union with God through the Holy Spirit, not by absorption but by personal transformation and participation in Christ. He simultaneously rejected as arbitrary and circular the Puritan claims of independent spiritual insight, while directly positioning himself to rehearse a doctrine of the Holy Spirit that directly depended on the “sensible meanes” of grace accepted by both Puritans and Hooker, namely, word and sacrament, but did not remain there. The achievement of Richard Hooker moved the debate beyond the question of valid “meanes” to the goal of the Gospel, and life in the believing community which is “participation” in the Godhead. Hooker’s indispensable doctrine of the Holy Spirit made the saving knowledge of God possible for all people, not only the “godly”.
KEY WORDS: mysticism, participation, hiddenness, grace, Holy Spirit
DOUGLAS H. SHANTZ, “How the Lord Revealed his Secrets to Me, One after Another”: The Life and Thought of Johanna Eleonora Petersen (1644-1724) in Recent Scholarship: a Review Article
This article examines four recent books devoted to the life and thought of German Pietist author Johanna Eleonora Petersen (1644-1724). In the last four years two monograph studies of Petersen and two source editions of her autobiography have appeared in print. The monographs by Albrecht and Martin pursue gender and literary questions rather than strictly theological ones, a welcome advance. However, Petersen’s radical Pietist spirituality demands a more creative, more multi-disciplinary approach than we find in these two books. Readers would do well to bypass the English translation of Petersen’s Leben by Becker-Cantarino in favour of the earlier one by Cornelia Niekus Moore or the 2003 German edition by Prisca Guglielmetti. The latter is a welcome resource for professors and students.
KEY WORDS: gender, literary questions, radical Pietism, spirituality, theology
AURELIAN BOTICA, Revisiting Luther’s Theology of the Eucharist
In this paper the author analizes several key aspects of the theology of Martin Luther, specifically, the concept of the “presence” of Christ in the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. The study also attempts to identify the factors that influenced Martin Luther in reaching his conclusions, in particular, the influence of Thomas Aquinas, as well as his polemical relation with Zwingli and other Reformers. The paper also attempts to understand the theology of the Sacraments as one particular element within the larger construct of Lutheran theology. In this sense, the argument takes into account theological issues such as faith, salvation, anthropology, and the like.
KEY WORDS: presence, Christ, sacrament, Lord’s Supper, theology
CORNELIU C. SIMUŢ, Making Sense of the Study of Theology: Guidelines from Ludwig Crocius
This article is just a personal study of some recommendations which Crocius has for those who earnestly want to study theology. He is primarily concerned with the aspects which hinder people from studying theology in a proper manner and he lists three: human nature, laziness and confusion. Crocius warns against the peril to confuse philology and philosophy with theology but he nevertheless stresses the crucial importance of both philology and philosophy for a better understanding of theology. At the end, however, what really counts for all those who are ready to embark in a genuine study of theology is earnest, constant and sincere prayer which should be done with a happy heart.
KEY WORDS: human nature, laziness, confusion, philology, philosophy
SALOMEA POPOVICIU, Postmodernism in a Nutshell
The purpose of this essay is to present some of the main themes found in the postmodern tradition which is analyzed from three key standpoints: historical postmodernism, methodological postmodernism and positive postmodernism. Because of the overlap between the challenges of historical postmodernism and those of the later perspectives, the former is just briefly defined, while the later two are explored in more detail. This paper argues that the major debate of postmodernism is that over relativism towards knowledge and truth. In today’s pluralistic society, where the role of universal and normative ethics is criticized, methodological postmodernism does not offer solutions that succeed in avoiding the threat of social fragmenting. Empirical fragmenting of society endangers the establishing of public institutions that cannot accommodate conflicting moral or truth claims. Positive postmodernism, tries to prove the limits of knowledge, while attempting to avoid relativistic incoherence, advocating the role of intercultural dialogue and responsibility. However, in the absence of absolute truth responsibility and consequently morality becomes a mere exercise of power.
KEY WORDS: postmodernism, knowledge, truth, pluralism, social fragmenting
PERICHORESIS 4.2 (2006)
JOHN COFFEY, The Impact of Apocalipticism during the Puritan Revolutions
This article examines the various ways in which apocalyptic beliefs shaped British politics and religion during the revolutionary decades of the 1640s and 1650s. It argues that Protestant eschatology helped to spur the Scottish rebellion and the English Parliamentarian revolt. Fevered expectations of the restoration of primitive Christianity led to an unprecedented burst of ecclesiastical experimentation, whilst hopes of a great expansion of human knowledge in the last days stimulated the scientific investigations of Samuel Hartlib and his circle. In the 1650s, Cromwell and his Fifth Monarchist critics offered rival eschatological narratives, and belief in the imminent conversion of the Jews generated a campaign for their readmission to England. Although the Restoration in 1660 was a major setback for puritans, apocalypticism remained a lively force in later seventeenth-century England.
KEY WORDS: Apocalipticism, Puritan, revolutions, politics, religion
THOMAS P. JOHNSTON, Dying for the Great Commission: A Contemporary Thirteenth Century French Historiography
The 13th Century saw the growth and repression of both of the so-called heretical groups, the Albigenses and Waldenses, as well as the founding of the two Orders Minor, the Franciscans and Dominicans. The Albigenses, although not monolithic in their doctrine and practice, were proclamational, as were the Waldenses. These were severely repressed due to their disavowal of the Roman hierarchy. The Franciscans on one hand, and the Dominicans, on the other, each practiced the Great Commission differently while being firmly positive toward the Roman hierarchy. The Dominicans were the chief inquisitors of the Albigenses. Based on a new French historiography, initiated by René Nelli in 1959 and Jean Duvernoy in 1965, original Cathar writings and inquisition records have been published in Latin and some have been translated into French. These have formed the foundation for a new historiography of the religious ethos of Southern France in the 13th Century. My paper examines the issues of the Great Commission in light of the new French historiography.
KEY WORDS: death, Great Commission, heresy, Dominicans, ethos
CORNELIU C. SIMUT, Holy Scripture and the Faculty of Reason in Richard Hooker: A Selection of Secondary Sources
This article is a selective introduction to the debate concerning the relationship between Scripture and reason in the theology of Richard Hooker. Given the wide range of interpretations which attempt to place Hooker under various theological traditions (Anglican, Reformed, crypto-Catholic etc.), this paper is intended to be a challenge that all contemporary Hooker scholars should not firstly place Hooker in a certain theological tradition but carefully study his entire theology which will naturally bind him to the theological line to which he belongs.
KEY WORDS: Holy Scripture, reason, theology, traditions, interpretation
LUKA ILIC, The Understanding of Sin in the Theology of Matthias Flacius
The author argues that Flacius’ understanding of ‘imago dei’ and ‘imago diaboli’ was not more radical than Luther’s. Flacius’s anthropology and especially his view of sin were not widely accepted within Lutheranism. Calvinism, however, especially after the Synod of Dordrecht in 1618, accepted the doctrine of total depravity which corresponded to Flacius’ anthropological and hamartiological concerns. Thus, if original sin is not properly understood, it will surely have catastrophic influences on the proper understanding of the doctrine of justification by faith. To conclude, the article asserts the author’s conviction that Flacius’ emphasis on human corruption as a result of the fall of man was kept alive although in a different note and Protestant confession.
KEY WORDS: sin, imago dei, imago diabolic, anthropology, total depravity
PERICHORESIS 4.1 (2006)
ROBERT W. YARBROUGH, Witness to the Gospel in Academe: Adolph Schlatter as a Teacher of the Church
Swiss scholar Adolf Schlatter (1852-1938), professor at Berlin and Tübingen, was never silenced by an imposing intellectual atmosphere that drove most biblical scholarship and dogmatics of his era into postures that were disastrous for authentic Christian confession. His work, his strategy, and his gospel faith and character remain suggestive for Christian leaders today as we refine our own public witness in whatever venue has been granted us. Schlatter distinguished himself particularly in the domains of steadfastness, teaching method, humility, methodological restraint, and profound grasp of the gospel’s peculiar but powerful workings.
KEY WORDS: Church, ecclesiology, dogmatics, confession, humility
CORNELIU C. SIMUT, Doing Theology with Ludwig Crocius
This paper is a presentation of the first few pages of the ‘Introduction to Sacred Theology’ from Ludwig Crocius’ The Constitution of Sacred Theology (1635). The main concern for Crocius in his introductory section is the way one should study theology. Even if he wrote almost four hundred years ago, his advice should be accepted by all those who earnestly want to study theology. Thus the article presents Crocius’ definition of theology, the way he sees the purpose of theology, and the impediments to theology.
KEY WORDS: theology, definition, purpose, impediments, neccesity
JOHN K. STAFFORD, Temple? What Temple? Eschatology in the Book of Chronicles
In this paper, the author briefly reviews the evolution of scholarly investigation in 1 and 2 Chronicles, with attention given to the Chronicler’s treatment of the Solomonic Temple, and his concept of the future. This forms the background to test the idea that the Chronicler’s idealisation of Solomon and the Temple was a strategy used to establish the Temple of Ezra-Nehemiah as a temporary socio-religious expedient. For the Chronicler the true Temple, as the defining concept in both form and function for Israel’s identity, was either specifically Solomonic or, in its absence, eschatological. The notable absence of any discussion in Chronicles concerning the Temple of Ezra, together with the Davidic idealisation of any Israelite king who conformed to the true worship of God, created an environment that may be described as proto-Messianic. The context of social and religious uncertainty in the post-Exilic period, combined with the an increasingly diffuse notion of Davidic and priestly descent, provided the necessary eschatological framework for subsequent generations to adopt the vocabulary of a “true” Temple, and the emergence of the class of hasidim. The paper further points to the possibility that such a conceptual framework was ultimately worked out in Judaism through the Messianism of the pious separatists at Qumran, and the emergence of an explicit eschatological concept of “Temple” in Jesus and Paul.
KEY WORDS: Mesiah, Chronicles, Solomonic Temple, future, worship
T. H. M. AKERBOOM, ‘A New Song We Raise’: On the First Martyrs of the Reformation and the Origin of Martin Luther’s First Hymn
On the 1st of July 1523 Henricus Vos and Johannes van den Esschen, two Augustinian friars died on the pyre on the Grote Markt in Brussels. They were the first martyrs of the Reformation. From the reports which have been preserved it is clear that both monks must have been serious and well-trained theologians. Erasmus writes of their martyrdom with great admiration. The executioner is asked if they recanted on the scaffold. The answer is negative. When they were led to the stake, they both testified with loud voices that they died as Christians. They sung the Credo and the Te Deum in the midst of the flames. The execution of adherents of his views left a deep impression on Martin Luther. That can be seen in several letters and a pamphlet he had published, Die artickel warumb die zwen Christliche Augustiner münch zu Brussel verprandt sind, sampt eynem sendbrieff an die Christen ym Holland und Braband. Luther must have learned of the circumstances of their martyrdom toward the end of July, 1523. He was well aware that others had undergone what his enemies wished to see happen to him. That the execution made a deep impression on Luther can also be seen from the fact that it stimulated him to writing songs. The first song, ‘A new song here shall be begun’, the title of which is Eyn new lied von den zween Merterern Christi, zu Brussel von den Sophisten zu Löwen verbrant, is a ballad regarding the execution of the Augustinian monks in Brussels. It is an ode thanking and praising God for the martyrdom of the two monks. The tone of this ‘new song’ is joyful and optimistic. Luther describes the martyrdom of his fellow Augustinians, who were the first to be found worthy of giving their lives for the good cause. The song shows clear parallels with the martyrs’ hymns from the first century of the Church. Then too it was not the intention of the writers to raise a monument for the martyrs, but to thank God and praise Him for the exemplars of loyalty and resolution that he had given to his Church. What is important for Luther in this ballad is the proclamation of the Gospel of God’s grace in Christ Jesus.
KEY WORDS: martyrs, hymn, Martin Luther, recanting, execution
GHEORGHE DOBRIN, A Summary of the Main Images of Jesus
The doctrine of the Person of Christ, or Christology, is one of the most important concerns of Christian theology. The various aspects of the Person of Christ are best seen by reviewing the titles that are applied to Him in the Bible. The main images of Jesus in the Bible are: Lamb of God, Son of Man, Son of God and Logos (The Word). The essence of these titles is soteriological, but some of them contain also eschatological meaning. The phrase “Lamb of God” is found in the NT only in the Gospel of John. Though the title ‘Son of Man’ is more prominent in the Synoptic Gospels than in the Gospel of John, the title does occur in several important passages in the Fourth Gospel. In a number of these instances the expression ‘Son of Man’ is equivalent to the pronouns ‘I’ or ‘me’ when spoken by Jesus (e.g. 8:28 or 6:53 and 9:35). This is the same usage found in the Synoptic Gospels. The Johannine writings include considerable emphasis on the title ‘Son of God’. John 20:31 explicitly states that the purpose of the gospel is “that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name”. For John, Jesus is the Son of God in a unique sense. The idea of Jesus as the Logos of God, which is to be the main focus of this thesis, is one of the most distinctive features of John's Christology. It is unique to John and, within John, to the Prologue.
KEY WORDS: Person, Christ, Christology, soteriology, eschatology
AURELIAN BOTICA, ‘When Heaven is Shut Up’: Ancient Near Eastern Backgrounds to the Concept of Natural Calamity
The following study will review some of the answers offered by Ancient Near East texts – including the Bible – in the face of the adversity posed by drought, earthquakes, infertility and other natural and human calamities. The study will analyse sources from Egipt, Canaan, Mesopotamia, and Israel in order to show that the ancient man pointed to the world of the gods – in particular, the displeasure of the gods – as the main explanation for those disasters. The study will distinguish, however, between the vision of the pagan and the Biblical man regarding this phenomenon.
KEY WORDS: natural calamity, Ancient Near East, human calamities, gods, pagan
PERICHORESIS 3.2 (2005)
EGIL GRISLIS, The Individualised Eschatology of Richard Hooker (1554-1600)
Hooker's concern with death and afterlife was mostly existential and individual. Particularly in one of his surviving sermons, "A Remedie Against Sorrow and Feare," Hooker expressed the deep sympathy and great love which Jesus had for His people. Nevertheless, Hooker expected that the departed must also face God's just judgment. Yet during a person's lifetime, fear arose not only on account of encounter with God at the time of one's death, but also on account of physical suffering and dangers during all of life. Under such circumstances, Hooker assumed that even to sinners God continues to offer grace and thereby solace. In this way the living are always challenged to repentance. In a religiously divided and sharply controversial age, Hooker did not exclude Roman Catholics from salvation. The situation for atheists Hooker viewed as hopeless. Nevertheless, generally speaking, Hooker exhibited a remarkable measure of tolerance towards religious dissenters.
KEY WORDS: Eschatology, Richard Hooker, death, afterlife, sermons
DAVID NEELANDS, John Gauden, First Biographer of Richard Hooker: an Influential Failure
In publishing the first complete edition of Richard Hooker’s Of the Lawes of Ecclesiasticall Politie in 1662, Bishop John Gauden also provided the first account of the “Life and Death of Mr. Richard Hooker”. This biography was notoriously inadequate and was rapidly replaced by the venerable biography of Izaac Walton, which endured as the only available biography, largely unquestioned until the middle of the twentieth century. Now, through the work of C. J. Sisson, David Novarr, Georges Edelen and Philip Secor, a biography correcting Walton can be constructed. John Gauden’s Life has never been republished. The purpose of this paper is to attempt to investigate the enduring importance of Gauden’s biography, now that Walton is discounted.
KEY WORDS: Anglicanism, Richard Hooker, Royalist propaganda, monarchy, Non-conformists
STEVEN W. SMITH, The Non-Verbal Illustration: Macluhan, Postman, and the Emerging Preacher
Emerging church thinkers generally advocate the multi-sensory, non-verbal, mediated in preaching, or even in lieu of preaching as oral communication. This paper will show a multi-sensory driven preaching theory found in emerging church literature, analyzing it with the thought of communication theorist Marshall Mcluhan, and cultural critic Neil Postman.
KEY WORDS: emerging church, preaching, non-verbal, mediation, communication
PAUL NEGRUT, Orthodox Ecclesiology: The Temple of the Spirit
The starting point of this article is a quotation from Bobrinskoy, who defends the view that the Eastern Orthodox Church has been profoundly aware of the reality of the Holy Spirit. Thus, it knew for a fact that the coming of the Spirit at Pentecost inaugurated a new era for humanity and the entire history of the universe. Very much in the same vein, most Eastern Orthodox theologians would strongly suggest that their theology has always been more sensitive to the doctrine of the Spirit than Western theological thought. Thus, they believe that the Holy Spirit is the life of the church.
KEY WORDS: Eastern Orthodoxy, church, Holy Spirit, Pentecost, doctrine
AURELIAN BOTICA, A Study of the Concepts of Intention and Inward Disposition in Cases where the Intent, not the Action, Establishes Blame or Praise
The present study will focus on the concept of intention. In particular, it will answer the question whether the Bible allows for the possibility that a person may be held liable for his or her mere intention – i.e., intent without the physical act. Our study will show that, while the Bible agrees that a person may not be prosecuted in the absence of material evidence, it allows for a parallel system of justice – the court of heaven – where liability is incurred merely by intending or harboring evil thoughts.
KEY WORDS: intention, inward disposition, blame, Pascal, justice
CORNELIU C. SIMUT, Essential Features of the Doctrine of Justification in the Theology of Martin Bucer
Martin Bucer anchors his theology of justification in God, through his grace manifested in Christ. Justification is worked out by the Holy Spirit, who gives people the necessary faith which leads to the unification of grace, faith and the work of the Spirit in justification. Justification consists of the imputation of Christ’s alien righteousness to the believer and the impartation of the righteousness of Christ to the believer. Thus, the believer is not only declared righteous but also made righteous. Bucer also speaks of the justification of the ungodly by faith, by which sinners are considered and made righteous in the sight of God, and justification of the godly by works, by which the works of the believers are considered righteous in the sight of God through the work of the Holy Spirit.
KEY WORDS: Justification, God, Holy Spirit, faith, righteousness
ADRIAN GIORGIOV, Asahel Nettleton, Revivalist of the Second Great Awakening
Asahel Nettleton (1783-1844) was one of the great spiritual leaders instrumental in the revival work in different areas of the eastern states during the Second Great Awakening (1787-1843). While he never pastored a church, wrote a book, or led an organization, Nettleton was one of the earliest itinerant preachers born in America to have long-term success. The paper presents his conversion, mission call and education, then his preaching and especially his revival methods compared with the ‘new measures’ used by Charles Finney. The paper concludes with a display of Nettleton’s contributions to the Second Great Awakening. In all of his outstanding contributions, Nettleton was a humble man, trying to live up to the maxim he read when he was a young man, ‘Do all the good you can in the world, and make as little noise about it as possible.’
KEY WORDS: education, conversion, revival, measures, Great Awakening
GHEORGHE DOBRIN, The Introduction of the Concept of Logos in the Prologue of the Fourth Gospel
It is generally accepted by scholars that the first eighteen verses of the Fourth Gospel constitute a division technically known as the Prologue. Here as in any other well-written introduction, the plan of the work is set out. The Logos doctrine is stated there because it supplies the key to right understanding of the history that follows. The concept of the logos is richly presented in the Prologue of the Fourth Gospel. For some the Prologue is a ‘foyer to the rest of the Gospel, simultaneously drawing the reader in and introducing the major themes’, or ‘the key to the understanding of this gospel’. It can be maintained that in the message of the Prologue, we can find the message of salvation too, but in presenting of this message John use cosmogony as a background in a unique way. The Prologue, therefore, commences a presentation of the person of Christ, which is quite different from that of other Gospels. It is theological rather than biographical or historical in its approach. Some scholars have thought that the Prologue was originally separate, perhaps being composed by someone other than the Evangelist. They see it as having no real connection with the Gospel, but as adapted more or less successfully for its present position. It is the unique contribution of the Prologue of the Gospel of John, that it reveals the Word of God not merely as an attribute of God, but as a distinct Person within the Godhead, dwelling with the Creator before creation began, and acting as the divine agent in creation. The Prologue speaks not of ‘the word of God’ but of ‘the Word who was with God, and was God’. The message of the Prologue became this: The Logos is God’s life that is imparted to all living.
KEY WORDS: Logos, prologue, Fouth Gospel, Christ, God
PERICHORESIS 3.1 (2005)
WIM JANSE, Reformed Antisocinianism in Nothern Germany: Ludwig Crocius’ Antisocinianismus Contractus of 1639
To contemporary established European Protestantism and Catholicism, seventeenth-century Antitrinitarianism, called Socinianism after Fausto Sozzini (1539-1604), was a major theological and sociopolitical threat. In current research, the contribution of the Bremen Academy (1584-1812) to antisocinian polemic is a white spot. A driving force in Reformed confessionalization processes throughout Europe, the academy charitably defended the Reformed heritage against varied exponents of ‘heterodoxy’. Its prolific rector and irenic dogmatician Ludwig Crocius (1586-1653), who as a deputy at the Dordrecht Synod (1618-19) aroused the suspicion of the Contra-Remonstrants, substantially published on Socinian doctrine. In this paper on the occasion of the fourth centennial anniversary of Sozzini’s death, in particular Crocius’ Antisocinismus contractus – which in turn commemorated the centenary of the ‘sectarian’s’ birth – is researched within the broader context of Reformed antisocinianism in Germany and the Dutch Republic.
KEY WORDS: Antisocianism, Protestantism, Catholicism, Antitrinitarianism, confessionalization
HAMILTON MOORE, A Survey of Recent Discussion regarding the Christian Nature of the Book of the Revelation
Serious doubts have been expressed about the inclusion of the Book of the Revelation in the New Testament canon. This article surveys different approaches to the Book of the Revelation in modern scholarship. Dodd, Bultmann and Lawrence’s views are noted first of all. For them the work is really sub Christian. Or is the work rather pre-Christian, as J. Massyngberde-Ford initially claimed, originating with John the Baptist, before Jesus commenced his public ministry with some sections written by two disciples of John, one a Jewish Christian? Margaret Barker’s commentary is also touched upon, with the suggestion that the book, contra Massyngberde-Ford’s 1975 commentary, is made up of visions collected and preserved by John the Beloved Disciple and the prophets, the greatest of whom was Jesus himself. Revelation is teaching of Jesus as the heavenly High Priest Melchizedek, deliberately kept secret, especially the ‘secrets of the kingdom’ (Mark 4:10-11), the heavenly places and the angels. Other approaches to Revelation are highlighted, that of Hunter and Sweet with the suggestion of ‘essential truths’ in the book or its ‘abiding message’ for today. John's prognostications were not fulfilled as he expected. Rome did not fall. The commentary by Bruce J. Malina is discussed with the suggestion of a completely new approach to viewing the Book of Revelation – that of astral prophesy. Also E. S. Fiorenza’s rhetorical interpretation and a discussion of both diachronic and synchronic approaches to the work, the latter bringing a new emphasis where what the text says to the reader is crucial. Feminist Theology and Revelation is also touched upon. Also the view that the work is simply a perceived social crisis in the mind of John, an expression of a mood, or holy rage. Having surveyed these suggestions the work proceeds to affirm positively that Revelation is a truly Christian book. Reference is made to David Aune’s three volume commentary and the earlier understanding of the Book of Revelation by G. R. Beasley-Murray as he examined its ‘very lofty’ Christology, eschatology and its doctrine of God. Morris and Kümmel are also highlighted, with the latter suggesting that Revelation is ‘a total recasting of the apocalyptic view of history out of the Jewish into the Christian mold’. Recent commentaries have also adopted this Christian understanding of the work e.g. Beale in his recent major work on Revelation’, Smalley and Richard Bauckham in The Climax of Prophecy. The conclusion of the discussion involves a look at the traditional approaches to Revelation, the Historicist, Idealist, Futurist and the Preterist interpretations. It is suggested that there may very well be elements in all four views that are useful in interpreting the book. The important fact is to clearly grasp that the book should be read in the light of its own time and the particular situation of the Christian community under the cruel might and power of the Emperor and Rome. The author’s purpose is to give a prophetic interpretation of the difficult situation of the church in the end-time from the perspective of the eschatological future.
KEY WORDS: Revelation, Christian, John, beloved, doctrine
PAUL NEGRUT, Ecclesia: An Eastern Orthodox Perspective
This article investigates the concept of ecclesia in the light of Eastern Orthodox theology. The core of Eastern Orthodox Ecclesiology is based on the metaphor of the body of Christ, which has some very important methodological, theological, and sociological implications.
KEY WORDS: Eastern Orthodoxy, ecclesiology, metaphor, body of Christ, theology
MARIUS D. CRUCERU, Augustine Again?
This article evaluates the revitalisation of the academic interest in the works of Augustine. After an analysis of how Augustine was understood traditionally, or the old Augustinianism, the author presents what he calls the new Augustinianism. Thus, he presents some suggestions concerning the direction which could be taken by contemporary Augustinian studies. One of the best solutions for a better understanding of Augustine’s works could be the reassessment of the texts written in Latin by Augustine himself.
KEY WORDS: Augustine, new Augustinianism, Latin, theology, revitalisation
ADONIS VIDU, For a Minimalist Christian Realism
This paper argues that Christian theology requires at least a minimalist version of realism about truth and knowledge. I identify four areas with specifically realist assumptions. The first of these, realism of intent, holds that under normal circumstances we have to treat religious believers as knowing what they mean when they purport to refer to religious or otherwise non-empirical reality. Secondly, I argue that the so-called ‘cosmic porridge’ metaphor is incompatible with a Christian metaphysic of divine intentional creation. Next, I suggest that there is a strong Christian bias against ontological relativity and instrumentalism. Finally, I reject Putnam’s model theoretic argument in favour of the identification of truth with warranted assertibility.
KEY WORDS: realism, Christianity, minimalism, metaphor, metaphysics
CORNELIU C. SIMUT, Pigeonholing Richard Hooker: A Selective Study of Relevant Secondary Sources
The article endorses the close connection between Richard Hooker and Reformed theology but it also shows that it is quite difficult to clarify whether Hooker was a Reformed theologian or not. Thus, there are three main approaches to Hooker’s doctrine of justification: firstly that Hooker was a non-Reformed theologian, namely he was a via media Anglican or even a Catholic, secondly that he was only partially Reformed and on the verge of Arminianism, and thirdly that he was fully Reformed in line with Calvin’s theology.
KEY WORDS: Reformation, Richard Hooker, secondary sources, justification, via media
PERICHORESIS 2.2 (2004)
W. J. TORRANCE KIRBY, ‘Relics of the Amorites’ or ‘Things Indifferent’? Peter Martyn Vermigli’s Authority and the Threat of Schism in the Elisabethan Vestiarian Controversy
In the years following the enactment of the Elizabethan Settlement, the threat of schism loomed over the Church of England with respect to provisions governing uniformity of ecclesiastical dress. Were the traditional vestments and ornaments of worship ‘relics of the Amorites’ whose use was inconsistent with a truly Reformed ecclesiastical order? Or were they rather ‘adiaphora’ and therefore to be tolerated? Numerous appeals by both parties to the dispute were made to Peter Martyr Vermigli, now settled in Zurich , for his judgement of the matter. Although Vermigli’s authority was cited by both sides, he emerges a staunch defender of the Settlement. Consistent with his intervention of 1550 in John Hooper’s brief period of resistance to the Edwardine vestments rubric, Vermigli counselled conformity with careful nuance. Vermigli’s stance in the vestiarian controversy in turn raises important questions about the ‘Reformed’ identity of the Elizabethan Church.
KEY WORDS: authority, schism, Vestiarian Controversy, worship, reformation
PAUL NEGRUT, The Orthodox and the Evangelicals: Cooperation or Confrontation?
Evangelicals should investigate and identify those trends within Eastern Orthodoxy which are consonant with the Bible and then build bridges that permit theological discussions. The Evangelicals who live in Orthodox countries dominated by exclusive ecclesiologies and religious nationalism should be ready to pay the prices for their faithfulness to the Gospel and the Great Commission. Evangelicals should both affirm their identity and investigate all the paths which may lead to cooperation with the Eastern Orthodox Church. At the same time, however, whenever the situation demands it, Evangelicals must be ready to serve Christ in a hostile world. As Christians, we must not only stand firm in the Gospel but fight for it in the public arena.
KEY WORDS: cooperation, evangelicals, orthodox, faithfulness, Gospel
TIMOTHY GRASS, Bible, Church and Tradition in the Sixteenth Century Reformation
Many contemporary Evangelicals claim the Bible as their sole authority in matters of faith and practice. However, in this matter their thinking diverges from that of the 16th-century Protestant Reformers. The Reformation’s upholding of sola scriptura set Scripture as the supreme authority in matters of belief, but did not thereby exclude appeals to lesser authorities. The article demonstrates this by comparing and contrasting the ways in which the relationship between the Bible and Tradition was understood during the 16th century by Roman Catholics, Magisterial Protestants and Radical Reformers. Drawing on this, it concludes with some reflections on the way in which tradition functions today in the life of baptistic churches, arguing for a more positive understanding and deployment of the concept of tradition.
KEY WORDS: evangelicals, faith, practice, Bible, authority
ADONIS VIDU, Interpretation and Law: Some Thoughts on Understanding and Application
This paper critically explores Gadamer’s suggestion that law provides the best example of interpretation. A common entailment of this view is that there can be no principled distinction between meaning and application. I make two observations by way of critique: the first, a literary-legal consideration: laws by their very nature are incomplete and require the creative interpretation of judges. A second, institutional consideration calls attention to the procedures available within the legal profession for the supplementing laws. Next I follow the parallel discussion in the American legal context, between Ronald Dworkin and Stanley Fish.
KEY WORDS: law, interpretation, application, legal context
CORNELIU C. SIMUT, Justification in Elisabethan Theology: Conformity and Non-Conformity
The two conflicting parties during the reign of Elizabeth I, the conformists led by John Jewel and John Witgift and the non-conformists of Thomas Cartwright and Walter Travers, professed teachings on justification which were almost identical despite some obvious differences in the area of ecclesiology. It is important to notice that while Jewel defended the Church of England against Catholicism, Whitgift sought to protect the Elizabethan Church against Puritanism.
KEY WORDS: Justification, Elisabethan theology, conformity, non-conformity, Puritanism
CHRISTOPHER J. DONATO, ‘So Is My Will’: Sin, Grace and Freedom in Milton’s ‘Paradise Lost’
The author argues that Milton’s Paradise Lost is not Arminian, as traditionally accepted, but rather Calvinist. Thus, he demonstrates that in Milton, God freely chose some to eternal life and then gave them the necessary grace to ensure their salvation. Milton’s theodicy is not based on the free will of man but is far more theocentric. In order to justly condemn some, God extends his mercy to every human being. Thus, for Milton, the grace of Christ’s atonement for salvation is sufficient for all but efficient only for the elect.
KEY WORDS: sin, freedom, grace, God, free choice
LUCA ILIC, Matthias Flacius’ Theology within the Sixteenth Century Polemics
Flacius was a Reformer who always spoke his mind and consequently upset many. The latter, however, did not happen mainly because of his outspoken attitude but rather because he was not German. Flacius entered some crucial controversies which are briefly presented in this article. Thus, he played important parts in the Majorist controversy, the Osiandrist controversy, the Schwenkfeldian controversy, the second sacramentarian controversy, the synergist controversy, and the Flacian controversy.
KEY WORDS: Majorist controversy, Osiandrist controversy, Schwenkfeldian controversy, sacramentarian controversy, synergist controvery, Flacian controversy
DAN A. BOTICA, Theodicy as Theophany in the Book of Job
Our article will deal with the question of innocent suffering in the book of Job. We will show that throughout the book, Job demands that God explain the reasons for his suffering. The audience knows that the reason at the root of the suffering of Job is not necessarily his moral/ethical character (1:8; 2:3). Though Job will remain unaware until the end about the encounter between Satan and God, in several key passages he uses courtroom language to call upon God to present the "evidence" for his suffering. Our argument will show that the speech – or theophany – of God, in the whirlwind, represents the theological answer to the problem of theodicy.
KEY WORDS: theophany, theodicy, suffering, innocence, moral character
PERICHORESIS 2.1 (2004)
PAUL NEGRUT, A Survey of the History of Christianity in the Romanian Principalities from the 17th to the 19th Centuries: between East and West
The author argues that three main events took place during this period of time. Firstly, the encounter between the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Roman-Catholic Church in Transylvania, which resulted in the decision of a large part of the Orthodox Church to unite with Rome. The result was the so-called Uniate Church or the Greek-Catholic Church. The second event was the conflict between the State and the Church, mainly in the principalities of Moldova and Wallachia. As a result of this, the State decided to bring the Church under its control, thus secularizing the property of the monasteries. The third event was the encounter between Protestantism and Eastern Orthodoxy, which is evident mostly in the doctrine of salvation, which led to the emergence of Protestant churches in all Romanian principalities.
KEY WORDS: Christianity, Principalities, Eastern Christianity, Western Christianity, Church
CARTER LINDBERG, Martin Luther on Marriage and the Family
This article shows that Luther’s theology was indeed an agent for social change especially in issues concerning to marriage and family. Far from limiting women to ‘church, kitchen, and kids’, as most traditional portraits of Luther often do, the author present the German Reformer as a theologian who managed to trigger a reconstruction of ethics based on his view on marriage and the family. Thus, Luther applied Evangelical theology to marriage and the family which resulted in desacramentalisation of marriage, the desacralisation of the clergy and the resacralisation of the life of the laity.
KEY WORDS: Marriage, Family, Reformation, social change, theologian
ADRIAN GIORGIOV, The Kenotic Christology of Charles Gore, P. T. Forsyth, and H. R. Mackintosh
This paper studies the term kenosis as a synonymous term for the incarnation and it proposes to do the study through the works of three outstanding British kenoticists, Charles Gore, P. T. Forsyth, and H. R. Mackintosh. After a presentation of the main points of each of these scholars, the paper concludes that their mistake was that they tried to determine (more or less) how much of the divine being can be brought within the limits of a human existence, but they were right in affirming Christ's full deity and that, in him, God has uniquely descended into his creation, upholding this against minimizing tendencies of the more extreme humanistic Christologies of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
KEY WORDS: kenosis, Christology, Church Fathers, apostolicity, controversy
CHRISTOPHER OCKER, The Bible and the Cultural Significance of European Reformations
What was the impact of the rise of Protestantism on European culture? Diverse approaches and answers to this classical question have tended to form two groups, those that stress an early Protestant rupture with medieval culture and others that allege an on-going medieval cultural substratum extending through the Protestant Reformation. This essay considers the interpretation of the Bible and hermeneutical changes in late medieval commentaries to argue that cultural change involved a new conception of the relation of God to the world, but the new conception emerged over the course of a very long chronology that was both medieval and early modern.
KEY WORDS: Cultural significance, Bible, Reformation, Europe, hermeneutics
CORNELIU C. SIMUT, Ulrich Zwingli and his Doctrine of Justification: A Short Presentation
Justification in Zwingli has the person of Christ as starting point. Christ is presented as God, so he is the centre between creation and the end of the world. This guarantees a unified soteriology, in the sense that God’s plan for the salvation of humanity is the same in the Old and New Testaments. Christ died, but he rose again so he is often portrayed as victorious over sin, death and the devil. Christ is our liberator who gives us his perfect righteousness. Zwingli includes the doctrine of election within his discussion of justification which is also supported by a distinct pneumatological dimension. Faith is a gift from God, who showed us in Christ how we should lead our lives. This is why the example of Christ for our salvation is prominent in Zwingli’s doctrine of justification. Thus, the life of the Christian must be ethically pure because faith makes the believer righteous.
KEY WORDS: Justification, Zwingli, Christ, creation, world
DANIEL E. KEEN, Two Early Sermons by Martin Luther: An Examination of the Theological Implications of the Dating of Luther’s ‘Sermon on Three Kinds of Righteousness’ and his ‘Sermon on Two Kinds of Righteousness’
These two sermons are particularly important for Luther’s entire theology of salvation because they show the progression of his theological understanding mainly in connection to the doctrine of justification. Scholars have argued forcibly for a chronological arrangement of the two sermons which also shed light on Luther’s soteriological development. The author argues that Luther’s sermon on three kinds of righteousness is not the later of the two, as traditionally believed, so it does not represent his mature view of justification. If this could be demonstrated, then Luther comes even closer to the central doctrine of forensic justification which is specific to the Protestant Reformation.
KEY WORDS: Righteousness, sermons, theology, salvation, justification
LUCA ILIC, Mathias Flacius: An Underrated Slavic Reformer
This paper presents Mathias Flacius, a Croatian Reformer, who had an important contribution to the development of protestant theology in the sixteenth century. The author introduces Flacius by giving details about his childhood and education, his early career as a disciple of Luther and his ministry, writings and wanderings.
KEY WORDS: ministry, reformation, Martin Luther, disciple, theology
PERICHORESIS 1.2 (2003)
CORNELIU C. SIMUT, Romanian Reformation Research
This is a presentation of the Centre for Reformation Studies within Emanuel University of Oradea. The paper briefly traces the main historical events which led to the arrival of the Reformation in Transylvania and the contemporary situation of Protestant confessions in this region. It also displays the most important objectives of the Centre.
KEY WORDS: Germany, reformation, Romania, orthodoxy, translation
FRANK A. JAMES III, Peter Martyr in Bucer’s Strasbourg: The Early Formulation of his Doctrine of Justification
Was Vermigli fully Protestant while serving in Strasbourg? Or was he as Sturm asserts a “Reformkatholic”? The answer to this query lies principally with Martin Bucer. A brief comparison of Vermigli’s early thought with that of Bucer reveals a virtual replica. They share soteriological indebtedness to Augustine, as well as the standard Protestant elements such as sola fide, imputation and the forensic character of justification. The most distinctive parallel between Vermigli and Bucer is the three-fold conception of justification. Much like Vermigli, Bucer affirms a “primary justification” which brings forgiveness of sins and the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to the sinner and then manifests itself in “secondary justification” and good deeds. A third justification is identified with final glorification. This three-fold understanding is almost exactly what we found in Vermigli. The learned Italian stranger who arrived in Strasbourg in the winter of 1542 was, whether he realized it not, a man on a theological journey, and Martin Bucer was to be his guide. His encounter with Protestantism through books prepared him for further theological refinement. Vermigli found in Bucer a mentor in whom Augustinianism converged with the distinctive ideas of Protestantism, whose doctrine of justification married the theology of Augustine to the distinctive insights of Luther. Vermigli could not have landed in a more conducive theological environment.
KEY WORDS: justification, doctrine, apostasy, Eucharist, predestination
TIMOTHY GRASS, Justification by Faith: A Neglected Rediscovery?
Evangelicals who convert to Eastern Orthodoxy seem to have little difficulty in rejecting the doctrine of justification by faith alone, implying that this doctrine played little part in shaping their spirituality as Evangelicals. The article outlines the biblical evidence for the doctrine, and its historical development, focusing on Luther, Calvin and Pietism. Pietism’s theological legacy to Evangelicalism has been a tendency to stress conversion at the expense of justification, with resultant problems in such areas as assurance, sanctification and the relationship between good works and justification. In crucial areas, therefore, many modern Evangelicals have lost the insights of Luther and Calvin, and have risked propagating a religion which is based on human rather than divine action. The article calls for a rediscovery of the implications of the doctrine of justification in such fields as dialogue with other Christian traditions, and in the church’s preaching and practice.
KEY WORDS: Evangelicals, justification, Scripture, Paul, faith
CARL R. TRUEMAN, The Cross, Suffering, and Assurance: Fundamental Insights from the Reformation
This article shows how the biblical message was recaptured at the Reformation which helped to revitalise the church and it urges the churches today not to abandon it because it reflects the very heart of God as revealed in the heart of the Bible. Evangelical churches should not ignore the Reformation otherwise they will damage their historical and theological identity. The paper also presents some of the most important lessons of the Reformation, as reflected in Martin Luther’s theology, which can still teach the church today.
KEY WORDS: gospel, Reformation, cross, suffering, assurance
TIMOTHY GEORGE, The Reformation Roots of the Baptist Tradition
Baptists are presented here as children and heirs of the Reformation, in the sense that they originated in England’s Puritan communities of the early seventeenth century. The author speaks of both General (Arminian) and Particularist (Calvinist) Baptists which very much resembled the Anabaptists of the sixteenth century Continental Reformation. There is a close connection between the Baptist tradition and the theology of the Continental Reformation especially in doctrines such as the teaching of God, Christ, Scripture, Salvation, and Church. The conclusion reminds us that the Baptists of the early seventeenth century have more things in common with other Protestants than things which separate them from the Protestant Reformation of the sixteenth century.
KEY WORDS: renewal, reformation, heritage, confession, liturgy
DAVID F. WRIGHT, Calvin and Servetus in Dispute over Irenaeus
This paper investigates the disputation between Calvin and Servetus in aspects which are closely related to the doctrine of God. While they both appealed to Irenaeus, Calvin insisted on eternal hypostasis of the Father, while Servetus tried to demonstrate that there is no real distinction in God. It is interesting to notice that Calvin used Irenaeus for his own defense but he did not make any reference to Irenaeus’ doctrine of recapitulation.
KEY WORDS: magistrates, ministers, prosecution, Genevan council, judgement
PAUL NEGRUT, A Survey of the History of Christianity in Romania from the Beginning of the Protestant Reformation until the End of the 19th Century
The article describes as well as comments the main lines which determined how Christianity developed in the Romanian principalities until the late decades of the 19th century. Firstly, we read about the Protestant reformation and the Romanian principalities of Transylvania, Moldova and Wallachia, with brief information on Unitarians and Mennonites. Then, the author also insists on the crucial role of the Uniates who opened countless possibilities for Romanians to be influenced by Western philosophy and literature.
KEY WORDS: divizion, Byzantine Christianity, Western Christianity, Islam, Protestantism
CORNELIU C. SIMUT, The Development of the Doctrine of Justification in the Theology of Philip Melanchthon: A Brief Historical Survey
This is an analytical description of Melanchthon’s development of the doctrine of justification throughout his life from the very early dogmatic attempts to his theology of maturity and then to his theology which marked the end of his life. Issues like salvation, faith, trust in Christ, the reckoning of somebody righteous in the eyes of God are common in Melanchthon’s writings. It is also shown that towards the end of his life, Melanchthon allegedly accepted a more ‘rationalistic’ approach to theology for which he was accused of synergism. Trust or fiducia is fundamentally important for one’s life but for the later Melanchthon, justification by faith alone seems to have become only justification by faith.
KEY WORDS: gratia infusa, gratia, remission of sins, faith, justification
DANIEL FARCAS, Les Metaphores Oculaires dans la Mystique de Maitre Eckhardt
The spirituality of Maister Eckhardt is a genuine philosophy of light. Thus, he speaks of the eye which believes and of the eye which touches because he was interested in the ontology of proximity which is based on the concept of love. Christians have the capacity to decipher love by means of the power of their spiritual eyes.
KEY WORDS: connaissance, niveau visible, ordinaire, Cologne, Dieu
PERICHORESIS 1.1 (2003)
PAUL NEGRUT, Evangelism and the Local Church
This article presents the importance of evangelism for the local church. The author explores some biblical and theological aspects of the church, evangelism and also the connection between them because biblical theology should lead to a clear practice in the church. Thus, three topics are analysed in more detail: firstly the nature of the church, secondly the nature of evangelism and thirdly the relationship between the local church and evangelism. The article ends with some conclusions which are connected to the Lausanne Covenant.
KEY WORDS: evangelism, church, theology, institution, communion
PAIGE PATTERSON, Anatomy of a Reformation: The Southern Baptist Convention 1978-1994
The main concern of this paper is to show how the American Baptists of the Southern Baptist Convention fought against and then detached themselves from liberal influences in theology and academy. The article makes a clear difference between the moderates and the conservatives, and explains the way they decided to organize themselves after both parties had cleared their theological direction. The author clearly advocates the conservative position which affirms theological orthodoxy, Bible reading, trust in the Bible, salvation in Christ and the importance of action for one’s personal salvation.
KEY WORDS: Reformation, Southern Baptist Convention, captivity, realism, renewal
ROBERT YARBROUGH, Completing the Reformation: The Challenge of Romans 1:16-17 for Romanian Evangelicals
An important strand of the Reformation heritage understands the benefit of the gospel as mercy, the individual’s forgiveness of sins. Romans 1:16-17 says the gospel reveals God’s righteousness (dikaiosyne theou). The gospel believed bestows more than mercy. God’s righteousness moves those who embrace the gospel beyond the acceptance of God’s mercy in Christ to transformation by his grace and embodiment of his love. The dikaiosyne theou that comes through the gospel can propel Romanian evangelicals forward to the glory of the one who loved us and calls us to abide in his love. But this calls for Christians to crave not just God’s mercy but his righteousness. In this way, building upon but transcending important Reformation milestones, Romanian believers can perfect the inheritance of academic learning, biblical faith, and transformed lives which as recipients of the gospel they have received.
KEY WORDS: Reformation, impartation, passivity, catholic, protestant
COLIN GUNTON (d. 2003), The Forgotten Trinity
Can we forget the doctrine of the Trinity or is it just a skill which can never be detached from our minds? This work seeks to answer these questions as well as whether we are able to grasp it fully given the major theological differences between Eastern and Western Christendom. The main point, however, is the fact that theological doctrine should not be a goal in itself but a way of showing that our God whom we worship is a real God. We are also shown what it means to think trinitarianly and which are the main elements of the doctrine of the Trinity: God the Son, the fundamental unity of the Godhead, the relationship of plurality and oneness by means of the concept of person, and the reality of love as basic for the Trinity.
KEY WORDS: Trinity, orthodoxy, Father, Son, Holy Spirit
STEPHEN WILLIAMS, Personhood and Persistent Vegetative State: A Theological Perspective
In this article, it is argued that concepts of personhood affect our decisions about how to treat patients in Persistent Vegetative State, even though they do not absolutely determine one course of action. Views of what rights humans have follow from what kind of thing we conceive humanity to be. From a theological point of view, it is mistaken to say the active mind is the essence of the human person. The concept of personhood is deeper and broader than that. This means that the cessation of conscious brain activity in the case of the PVS patient does not entail that the true person is no longer there. So a close identification of personhood with consciousness should not be the basis for legal judgment about withholding treatment for PVS patients.
KEY WORDS: Personhood, vegetative state, image of God, sonship, spirituality
BRUCE WINTER, Justification by Faith, the Council of Trent and the Twentieth Century
The Catholic theologians of the Council of Trent reached an agreement concerning the doctrine of justification in the early January 1547. Unfortunately, their decision did not consolidate the biblical doctrine of justification but confirmed the sacramental approach of the whole Catholic system. In the second half of the twentieth century, the Catholic doctrine of justification underwent a feeble renaissance during the Second Vatican Council but it was finally obscured by other dogmatic issues. The author issues a warning which is given to Protestant theologians, namely that they should not place the doctrine of justification under the doctrine of the church but keep it within the sphere of traditional Christian soteriology and of biblical teaching.
KEY WORDS: justification, faith, Council of Trent
CORNELIU C. SIMUT, The Doctrine of Justification in the Theology of Martin Luther: A Sample of Theological Ethics for Romanian Evangelicals
This paper is about the classical formulation of the doctrine of justification as detailed by Martin Luther. Thus, the author presents the work of God and the work of Christ in justification, the importance of faith for justification and the relevance of good works for salvation. Some practical applications with ethical overtones for Romanian Evangelical Christians are enumerated in the concluding part.
KEY WORDS: justification, faith, Trent, Luther, doctrine