Articles

Isaiah 53 in the Theology of the Book of Isaiah by Paul R. Raabe
Articles , Featured , Old Testament / September 17, 2018

Isaiah 53 in the Theology of the Book of Isaiah Paul R. Raabe Paul R. Raabe is Professor of Biblical Studies at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, AZ. He is the author of several works including the Obadiah commentary in the Anchor Bible series. He is currently working on a commentary on Isaiah in the Concordia Commentary series. Introduction: Critics attack the Christian faith in various ways, and their attacks gain a hearing. One such critic is Christopher Hitchens, a self designated “anti-theist.” He critiques Good Friday and vicarious redemption by asserting that accountability, responsibility, and guilt remain on the perpetrator and must always remain on the perpetrator. He claims it is non-transferable. In his view the notion of vicarious punishment leads the guilty to evade their own responsibility. With that critique in the background, I wish to explore the book of Isaiah, specifically Isaiah 53 within the theology of the book. To use the analogy of Irenaeus, all the pieces together form a beautiful mosaic of a majestic King. In the mosaic of Isaiah the central diamond is the Suffering Servant Song of Isaiah 53.3 In order to appreciate that central diamond we need to understand the overall design…

Unique Hermeneutical Issues in the Homiletical Treatment of Historical Texts: A Case Study on 1 Kings 21:1-29 by Brian Koning
Articles , Featured , Hermeneutics , Old Testament / September 13, 2018

Unique Hermeneutical Issues in the Homiletical Treatment of Historical Texts: A Case Study on 1 Kings 21:1-29 Brian Koning Brian M. Koning (PhD Student, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary) is an Adjunct Professor of Theology at Grand Canyon University Abstract: Any preaching of the Old Testament necessarily must face historical narrative passages. Properly handling these passages though presents certain unique difficulties, and often the texts are handled with substandard care. Traditional Aristotelian three-point sermons seem arbitrary or forced upon the text and do not capture the heart of the message. There is tension in handling historical narratives between moralizing the story to bring it from “then” to “now”, and treating it as a merely historical item of note. This article seeks to study the elements and methods of hermeneutics unique to historical texts with an eye towards proper preparation for homiletical use. What follows seeks to be a distillation of methodology on hermeneutics in general, towards a direct application to historical texts. It will be argued that to rightly handle the text, expositors must appreciate the text as both historical and redemptive in nature. Exegeting from that starting point will lead the expositor to work along the textual, epochal, and canonical…

Exegesis by Story: The Disciplined Imagination of the World of Scripture by Mike Baird
Articles , Featured , Hermeneutics / September 11, 2018

Exegesis by Story: The Disciplined Imagination of the World of Scripture Mike Baird Mike Baird is Professor Emeritus, College of Theology, Grand Canyon University, Phoenix, Arizona. Abstract: This paper is about a method of exegesis, an exegetical procedure. It addresses the issue of reading the text in a way that respects and takes seriously all three traditional foci of interpretation, the author, the text, and the reader in one holistic approach to interpreting the text. Thus, the core issue is the focus of exegesis of the text (Is it the world of the reader or of the author?) and the locus of meaning (Is it in the text or in the mind of the reader?). Exegesis should focus on the lifestory of the text (or passage of Scripture) as the primary context. The life-story is the reconstructed story behind and revealed in the passage. The life-story provides the common ground for the author, text, and reader to interact in a holistic way in the work of the exegete. Underlying this method is the assumption that the passage represents and reveals the world of the ancient community of faith, which can be imaged in such a way that the modern reader…

Philemon: Signed, Sealed, and Delivered by David Seal
Articles , Featured , New Testament / September 7, 2018

Philemon: Signed, Sealed, and Delivered David Seal David Seal (PhD, Regent University) is adjunct professor at Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He also teaches Bible and World Religions at Lansing Community College in Lansing, Michigan. David has recently written Prayer as Divine Experience in 4 Ezra and John’s Apocalypse: Emotions, Empathy, and Engagement with God (Hamilton, 2017) as well as contributed to a variety of publications including The Expository Times, Bibliotheca Sacra, and the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society. Abstract: Given that the documents that later formed the canon of the New Testament were intended to be persuasive, it is a relatively safe assumption that the lector reading these texts would have added some vocal modulation and gestures at appropriate places during his recitation. Reading, acting, and rhetorical delivery were considered related skills. Following a summary of the nature of oral societies, a discussion of ancient public speaking, and an overview of the letter of Philemon, we will examine the letter for clues that indicate the lector may have made use of his voice and body to strengthen the message of this short letter. We will propose that the reading of Philemon was likely accompanied by hand and…

This is My Beloved Son, Whom I hate? A Critique of the Christus Odium Variant of Penal Substitution by Joshua R. Farris and S. Mark Hamilton
Articles , Featured , Theology / September 4, 2018

This is My Beloved Son, Whom I Hate? A Critique of the Christus Odium Variant of Penal Substitution Joshua R. Farris & S. Mark Hamilton Joshua R. Farris is an Assistant Professor of Theology at Houston Baptist University. S. Mark Hamilton is a PhD candidate at the Free University of Amsterdam. Abstract: There is a subtle, almost imperceptible, theological metamorphosis underway and it is taking place not only in the academy and as a result, in the pulpit, it is taking place in the pew. For, in some evangelical quarters, it is no longer enough to simply believe that Christ absorbed the wrath of God as a penal substitute. Some have recently gone so far as to claim that, as a penal substitute, Christ became the object of the Father’s perfect hatred. In this paper, we take a closer look at this rather frightening aspect of this Christus Odium variant of penal substitution—something that we think, if gone unchecked, may well become the logical (better still, illogical) deposit of a new dogmatic inheritance for the American evangelical tradition as it pertains to substitutionary atonement. Key Words: retribution, rectoral, reparation, substitution, odius, satisfaction Share this on: FacebookTwitterLinkedin

An Armored Household: Isaiah 59 as the Key to Ephesians 5:21-6:9 and 6:10-17 by Holly J. Carey
Articles , Featured , New Testament , Old Testament / August 31, 2018

An Armored Household: Isaiah 59 as the Key to Ephesians 5:21-6:9 and 6:10-17 Holly J. Carey Holly J. Carey (Ph.D. University of Edinburgh) is Professor of Biblical Studies at Point University, West Point, Georgia. Abstract: The household codes of Ephesians 5:21-6:9 and the following “Armor of God” passage in Ephesians 6:10-17 have long been regarded as self-contained. Scholars have seen practically no relationship between these two portions of the letter, reading the latter as a new train of thought for the author. In this study, I argue that, contrary to these scholars, there is indeed a relationship of the household codes to Ephesians 6:10-17. It is demonstrated that this crucial connection is found in the author’s use of Isaiah 59. With sensitivity to this intertext present in the passage, it will be argued that (1) the original context of the Isaianic passage illuminates the meaning of the Divine Warrior motif in Ephesians, (2) the image of the clothing of the Christian in God’s armor is significant precisely because it transfers the work of the Divine Warrior to the follower of Christ, and (3) the message of justice in Isaiah 59 helps to account for and make sense of the redefined…

Christocentric Letters: Christology in the Greetings of Ignatius’s Romans by Jonathon Lookadoo
Articles , Church History / August 29, 2018

Christocentric Letters: Christology in the Greetings of Ignatius’s Romans Jonathon Lookadoo Jonathon Lookadoo (Ph.D. University of Otago) is Assistant Professor at Presbyterian University and Theological Seminary, Seoul, South Korea. Abstract: This article examines the role of Jesus in the greetings of Ignatius of Antioch’s Letter to the Romans and the ways in which the Christology of the greeting foreshadows the presentation of Jesus in the letter body. After observing a trend in New Testament scholarship that sees lengthy greetings as precursors for what follows and a call in Ignatian scholarship to read Ignatius’s letters as individual compositions, the essay highlights the extraordinary length of Ignatius’s prescript. It argues that Jesus is depicted as Son, God, and law-giver. In each case, these terms prepare the way for how Jesus is portrayed in the body of the letter where he is described in relation to the Father, as the God who models faith and love, and as the one who speaks and teaches truly. These observations about Ignatius’s greeting to the Roman church suggest that the promising avenues of research noted in New Testament and Ignatian studies deserve further research in Ignatius’s letters and in relation to broader early Christian epistolary practice….

Eschatological Emphases in 1 Thessalonians and Galatians: Distinct Argumentative Strategies Related to External Conflict and Audience Response by John Anthony Dunne
Articles , New Testament / August 24, 2018

Eschatological Emphases in 1 Thessalonians and Galatians: Distinct Argumentative Strategies Related to External Conflict and Audience Response John Anthony Dunne John Anthony Dunne (PhD, University of St. Andrews) is assistant professor of New Testament at Bethel Seminary (St. Paul, MN). Share this on: FacebookTwitterLinkedin

The Care of Souls: John Calvin’s Shepherding Ministry by Marcus J. Serven

The Care of Souls: John Calvin’s Shepherding Ministry Marcus J. Serven Marcus J. Serven (Th.M, D.Min., Covenant Theological Seminary) retired in 2016 after serving for nearly thirty-seven years in full-time pastoral ministry. Pastor Serven ministered at congregations within several Presbyterian denominations, and he is currently a member of the Presbytery of the Midwest (OPC). He wrote his doctoral dissertation, Seeking the Old Paths: Towards a Recovery of John Calvin’s Pastoral Theology Amongst Reformed and Presbyterian Pastors Today (2011), under the direction of noted church historian David B. Calhoun. Abstract: Many Christians today have distinct impressions of who John Calvin was, but most have never read a single line from his Institutes of the Christian Religion, or benefited from the careful exegesis found in his Commentaries on the Bible, or reflected upon a single salient point from one of his many published sermons. In brief, the reformer John Calvin (1509–1564) has been misinterpreted, misread, and misunderstood.1 He is, perhaps, best known for his views on the doctrines of election, predestination, and reprobation.2 He is also known for his pivotal role in the prosecution of the arch-heretic Michael Servetus (1511–1553) who rejected the Trinity and the deity of Jesus Christ.3 But none…

Toward a Theology of Pastoral Care in a Missional Mode by Andrew Zantingh

Toward a Theology of Pastoral Care in a Missional Mode Andrew Zantingh Andrew Zantingh is a graduate of Calvin Theological Seminary and serves as Professor of Congregational Theology at Missional Training Center, Phoenix, and Lead Pastor of The Journey Church in Kitchener, Ontatrio, Canada. As a lead pastor, Andrew has helped shift two churches in Canada to a missional Pastoral Theology, and he now mentors and coaches other pastors to be a missional leaders and disciplers. Abstract: For close to twenty-five years, I have been learning how to care for the congregations God has called me to serve. In this respect, I am like most other professional pastors who paid significant money to be trained by professional professors to gain the necessary skills and techniques to do specialized care in a congregational setting. In addition to being a pastor, I now also teach graduate level pastoral care courses for pastors. The following paper is my theological reflection on the task of training pastors to do pastoral care in a missional way. There are some significant problems with our current approach to pastoral theology. In this volume, Michael Goheen identifies three crucial assumptions that have negatively shaped pastoral theology’s historical growth…