Articles

The Inherent Value of Work by Andrew J. Spencer

The Inherent Value of Work ANDREW J. SPENCER Andrew Spencer is Associate Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness at Oklahoma Baptist University; he holds a PhD in theological studies from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary Abstract: In recent scholarship and popular discourse, there has been an explosion of interest in the topic of faith and work. The revival of this age-old discussion has helped to revitalize a Christian understanding of the vocation and ministry through daily labor. While the faith and work conversation is healthy and has benefited many people, it suffers from an insufficient value system. This essay argues that work should be seen as having primarily inherent value. Work is not intrinsically valuable: it has no value in and of itself. Nor does it have purely instrumental value. Instead, work is valuable inasmuch as it serves the common good and reflects the moral order of the created order. This three-tiered value system is drawn from Augustine, but has most recently been championed by C. I. Lewis. Ascribing inherent value, rather than intrinsic or instrumental, to work enables individuals to balance several vocations and adjudicate between ethically acceptable and unacceptable vocations. Key Words: Value theory, faith and work, inherent value, C. I….

Reading with the Masoretes: The Exegetical Value of the Masoretic Accents by Marcus A. Leman
Articles , Old Testament / March 21, 2017

Reading with the Masoretes: The Exegetical Value of the Masoretic Accents MARCUS A. LEMAN Marcus Leman is a PhD candidate in Old Testament at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and is focusing on biblical languages and the Masoretic accent system Abstract: The Masoretic accent system provides biblical exegetes with a reading companion that can clarify and confirm the sense of the text. This historic reading tradition covers the entire corpus of the Hebrew Bible. Understood according to its hierarchical structure, this system offers interpreters assistance at various levels of exegesis. Beginning students will benefit from the way the accents indicate clause boundaries. Intermediate interpreters have the opportunity to understand how the reading tradition groups clauses syntactically. Advanced scholars possess the ability to see the semantic highlights that the Masoretes built into their patterns of accentuation. Thus, at every level of study, the Masoretic accents prove to be a valuable reading partner. This article exposes the historical rise and hermeneutical principles that brought about the accent system. Building on that foundation, various examples from the book of Judges illustrate the usefulness of the tradition for Hebrew exegetes. Key Words: accents, Masoretic Text, exegesis, Hebrew syntax, Semantics, Book of Judges Share this on:

Humanity As City-Builders: Observations On Human Work From Hebrews’ Interpretation Of Genesis 1-11 by Casey Croy

Humanity As City-Builders: Observations On Human Work From Hebrews’ Interpretation Of Genesis 1-11 CASEY CROY Casey Croy is a PhD candidate in biblical theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; he holds degrees from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and The Queen’s University of Belfast, Northern Ireland Abstract: Hebrews 11:10 claims that Abraham “was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God” (ESV). The Genesis narrative, however, seems devoid of any indication that Abraham was looking for a city, leading some modern interpreters to conclude that the author of Hebrews was allegorizing the Genesis narrative. On the contrary, reading Genesis 1–11 (the preceding context of the Abraham narrative) from the perspective of the author of Hebrews reveals details which indicate that he is making a valid inference from the text of Genesis. Specifically, the text of Genesis presents the city of Babel (Gen 11) as the antithesis of God’s original plan for human flourishing. The author of Hebrews’s reading of the Genesis narrative reveals his theological perspective on God’s original purpose for humanity, which has several implications for how Christians should reconsider the divide often assumed between sacred and secular work. Key Words: Hebrews 11,…

A Traditional Protestant Formulation of Sola Fide as the Source of Political Unity by Jonathan Leeman

A Traditional Protestant Formulation of Sola Fide as the Source of Political Unity JONATHAN LEEMAN Jonathan Leeman (PhD, University of Wales) is the editorial director for 9Marks, an organization that produces church leadership resources in Washington, D.C. He also teaches in a number of seminaries and is the author of multiple books on the church Abstract: The doctrine of justification by faith alone does not merely have political implications; it is a political doctrine outright. Of course, this claim runs directly against critics of sola fide who claim that speaking of justice “by faith” guts the word “justice” of the very thing it needs–action or works. But this article argues that a classic Protestant understanding of sola fide is history’s unexpected ground of political unity. Objectively, justification is a covenantal verdict that declares someone righteous before a body politic. Subjectively, sola fide robs political actors of the incentives to warfare and domination by giving them that which all people, nations, and armies primarily seek–justification, standing, and the recognition of existence. The person justified by faith must no longer prove or justify him or herself by any earthly measurement: race (“I’m Aryan”), ethnicity (“I’m Serbian”), gender (“I’m male”), class (“I’m aristocracy”),…

Theistic Evolution, Christian Knowledge and Culture’s Plausability Structure by J. P. Moreland
Articles , Philosophy / March 6, 2017

Theistic Evolution, Christian Knowledge and Culture’s Plausibility Structure J. P. Moreland J. P. Moreland is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Biola University Abstract: In thinking about this article, I have decided not to write a technical piece. Over the years, I have done plenty of that on matters relating Christianity and science or the philosophy of science. Instead, as an aging (!) senior scholar, I have decided to reflect on the broader cultural implications of adopting a certain way of integrating Christianity and science, to attempt to offer some wisdom on the matter, and to issue a word of caution to my younger brothers and sisters. That said, here are my central reflections. Key Words: philosophy of science, theistic evolution, Scientism, Physicalism, knowledge, neuroscience, Christianity, plausibility structure Share this on:

A Critical Review of Irons’ The Righteousness of God by John Frederick
Articles , New Testament / October 7, 2016

JBTS 1.1 Article 4 Critical Review of Charles Lee Irons’ The Righteousness of God Irons, Charles Lee. The Righteousness of God: A Lexical Examination of the Covenant-Faithfulness Interpretation. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament2/386. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2015. 444 pp. John Frederick has a PhD in New Testament and teaches New Testament, theology, and worship arts at Grand Canyon University. He is a priest in the Anglican Church in North America and serves at Christus Victor Anglican Church in Phoenix, AZ. Share this on:

The Righteousness of God as “The Gate to Paradise” by Joshua Greever
Articles , New Testament / October 3, 2016

JBTS 1.1 Article 3 The Righteousness of God as “The Gate to Paradise”: A Review Article of the Righteousness of God by Charles Lee Irons Irons, Charles Lee. The Righteousness of God: A Lexical Examination of the Covenant-Faithfulness Interpretation. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 2/386. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2015. 444 pp. Joshua M. Greever has a PhD in New Testament and teaches New Testament at Grand Canyon University and Grand Canyon Theological Seminary Share this on:

The Cruciform Shape of Paul’s Kingdom Theology by David Burnette
Articles , New Testament / September 30, 2016

JBTS 1.1 Article 2 David Burnette (Ph.D. The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) works as an editor for Radical, the resource ministry of David Platt Abstract: Unlike Jesus, Paul is not often associated with the theme of the kingdom of God. While some scholars have claimed that the kingdom is insignificant for Paul, most have simply failed to examine it closely. This article highlights the significance of the kingdom by demonstrating that it is a foundational component of Paul’s proclamation of the cross. This thesis is based primarily on a close examination of 1 Corinthians 4:20, a verse in which Paul contrasts the talk of certain leaders in Corinth with the power of the kingdom. Based on the way Paul uses the term power (δύναμις, dynamis) in 1 Corinthians 1-4, this article contends that the power of the kingdom mentioned in 4:20 is a reference to the power effected through the word of the cross. Other Pauline kingdom references are cited to support this kingdom-cross connection, including Colossians 1:13 and Galatians 5:21. As with the Gospels and Scripture as a whole, Paul’s theology of the kingdom is bound up with a message that cuts against the grain of the world’s wisdom—the message of Christ crucified. Key Words: kingdom, cross, Paul, power, and…

Paul’s Doctrine of Justification: Ecclesiology or Soteriology? by Aaron O’Kelley
Articles , New Testament / September 27, 2016

JBTS 1.1 Article 1 Aaron O’Kelley serves as a Pastor at Cornerstone Community Church in Jackson, TN and as Director of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Jackson Extension Abstract: The new perspective on Paul places the doctrine of justification primarily in the category of ecclesiology, as a declaration of covenant membership that is common to Jews and Gentiles alike. However, Paul’s use of key terms in the realm of “righteousness” terminology, as well as the phrase “works of the law” indicates that Paul’s doctrine of justification belongs in the category of soteriology, referring primarily to the standing of individuals before God. Nevertheless, this traditional Protestant understanding of justification has significant implications for the doctrine of the church, which the new perspective has rightly pointed out. Key terms: new perspective on Paul, justification, righteousness, works of the law, soteriology, ecclesiology. Share this on: