Articles

JBTS 5.1 Introduction: Ephesians and the Powers by John Frederick
Articles , New Testament / May 7, 2020

Introduction: Ephesians and the Powers John Frederick John Frederick (Ph.D) is Lecturer in New Testament and Greek at Trinity College Queensland in Australia. He is the author of Worship in the Way of the Cross (IVP, 2017) and The Ethics of the Enactment and Reception of Cruciform Love (Mohr Siebeck, 2019). John has planted and pastored churches in Phoenix and Boston, and he is a priest in the Anglican Church in North America The Epistle to the Ephesians is a masterful work of inspired, canonical biblical literature that contains numerous famous scriptural passages and significant theological themes. Ephesians teaches us that, although we were “dead in our trespasses and sins “(2:1), God, in his mercy, has made us “alive together with Christ” by grace through faith apart from our own works (2:6–11). We learn, likewise, that in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, God has made Jews and Gentiles “one new man” (2:15) by the “blood of Christ” (2:13), reconciling us to himself “ in one body through the cross” (2:16). Drawn together as one by the Spirit, states the author of Ephesians, God has made us into a temple and a dwelling place for himself (2:18–22)… Share this on: FacebookTwitterLinkedin

Comparative Ecclesiology: Roger Haight’s Christian Community in History for Evangelical Resourcement by Justin L. McLendon

Comparative Ecclesiology: Roger Haight’s Christian Community in History for Evangelical Resourcement Justin L. McLendon Justin L. McLendon is Assistant Professor of Theology at Grand Canyon University and Grand Canyon Theological Seminary in Phoenix, Arizona. Due in part to its late arrival within systematic theological loci, ecclesiology remains fertile soil for wide-ranging investigative inquiries from academic scholars and thoughtful clergy. Paul Avis, doyen of academic ecclesiology, positions the discipline in the forefront of modern theological attention, even claiming, “during the past couple of centuries, ecclesiology became a major theological discipline; today, at the beginning of the twenty-first century of the Christian era, it is at the heart of theological research and debate.” Ecclesiology lies at the heart of modern theological dialogue because the identity, purpose, and power of the church are inextricably connected to all other biblical and theological emphases. One can hardly discuss any salient aspect of Christianity without acknowledging its connection to the church as God’s people, or explain in some sense how God uses this eschatological people as the conduit through which he presently engages human history. As research progresses to analyze global ecclesiological phenomena or specific issues within any longstanding church tradition, debates will persist as interlocutors grapple…

“It’s the Wrath of God”: Reflections on Inferring Divine Punishment by James S. Spiegel
Articles , Philosophy / December 11, 2019

“It’s the Wrath of God”: Reflections on Inferring Divine Punishment James S. Spiegel James S. Spiegel is Professor of Philosophy and Religion at Taylor University Abstract: If God still exercises wrath today, is it possible to identify instances of this? If so, then what sorts of criteria might one use to assess whether a particular event is a case of divine wrath? In addressing these questions, I distinguish between direct and indirect divine wrath as well as between special and natural divine wrath. I propose three potential corroborating factors for inferring the occurrence of special divine wrath: (1) the occurrence of a miracle in conjunction with the event in question, (2) extraordinary coincidences associated with the event, and (3) the event occurrence constituting the fulfillment of a bold prediction. Along the way, I use numerous biblical cases of divine wrath to guide the discussion and provide standards for elucidating the distinctions and corroborating criteria I propose. Key Words: Divine wrath, miracle, redemption, revelation, skepticism Share this on: FacebookTwitterLinkedin

Reforming Credobaptism: A Westminster Alternative for Reformed Baptist Identity by Jordan L. Steffaniak
Articles / December 9, 2019

Reforming Credobaptism: A Westminster Alternative for Reformed Baptist Identity Jordan L. Steffaniak Jordan L. Steffaniak (ThM, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary) is a PhD candidate in Philosophy at the University of Birmingham, UK Abstract: This paper argues that there is a pathway for Baptists to confess the spirit of the Reformed faith and the heart of the Reformed covenantal understanding while maintaining their position on credobaptism. To defend this claim, this paper defines the spirit of the Reformed faith, which is the litmus test for the legitimacy of historical and contemporary “Reformed” Baptist belief. In doing so, it analyzes the most common Baptist failures in relation to the Reformed faith. Despite their significant failures, it is argued that there is a twofold pathway for Baptists to affirm Reformed theology and credobaptism simultaneously while remaining theologically coherent. Key Words: Reformed theology, covenant theology, baptism, sacrament, Baptist Share this on: FacebookTwitterLinkedin

Early Christian Liturgy: A Reconstruction of All Known Liturgical Components and Their Respective Order by Andrew Messmer

Early Christian Liturgy: A Reconstruction of All Known Liturgical Components and Their Respective Order Andrew Messmer Andrew Messmer (Ph.D.) is Associate Professor at Facultad Internacional de Teología IBSTE (Spain) and Affiliated Researcher at Evangelical Theological Faculty (Belgium) Abstract: Recent studies on early Christian gatherings have demonstrated convincingly that the Greco-Roman banquet was the context in which Christians gathered for their meetings. What has not been provided, however, is a comprehensive discussion of what Christians did during said gatherings, and in what order they did it. This article attempts to discuss all known components of early Christian gatherings and to arrange them in their relative order. Key terms: liturgy, early Christian gatherings, Greco-Roman banquet, meals Share this on: FacebookTwitterLinkedin

“If Christ be not Raised”; If Peter was not the First Pope: Parallel Cases of Indispensable Doctrinal Foundations by Jerry L. Walls
Articles , Theology / December 2, 2019

“If Christ be not Raised”; If Peter was not the First Pope: Parallel Cases of Indispensable Doctrinal Foundations Jerry L. Walls Jerry L. Walls is Scholar in Residence/Professor of Philosophy at Houston Baptist University Abstract: The papacy is to Roman Catholicism what the resurrection of Jesus is to orthodox creedal Christianity. If the bodily resurrection of Christ did not really happen, there is no good reason to believe the doctrines that flow from it, such as incarnation and Trinity. Similarly, Roman Catholic claims about the ecclesial authority of the pope and the Church of Rome hinge on the historical claims about papacy, beginning with the claim that Christ appointed Peter the first pope, with a primacy of jurisdiction over the whole Church. Whereas there is excellent historical evidence in favor of the resurrection of Jesus, there is no comparable evidence in favor of traditional Roman claims about the papacy. To the contrary, the consensus of historians is that those claims are false. Roman claims that hinge on the unique authority of the papacy are accordingly undermined. Key Words: resurrection, papacy, infallibility, Lampe, Duffy, Plantinga. Share this on: FacebookTwitterLinkedin

Idolatry: A Rhetorical-Critical Analysis of Deuteronomy 4:15-16, 23 by Joshua K. Smith
Articles , Old Testament / November 22, 2019

Idolatry: A Rhetorical-Critical Analysis of Deuteronomy 4:15–16, 23 Joshua K. Smith Joshua K. Smith is a Ph.D. student in theology at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary The biblical injunction against פסל (“graven images”) in the rhetoric of Deuteronomy 4 serves as a foundational text in framing the central idea of the second commandment for a further intertextual study of idolatry in the Scriptures. Exodus 20:4 provides a prohibition against idolatry; Deuteronomy 4 provides the theological rationale for such a prohibition. The formless image juxtaposed to the auditory revelation of the LORD at Horeb posits concern for fidelity to the covenant as Israel encounters Canaanite cultures whose static representations of deities were prevalent and authoritative. The polemics in the Bible against idolatry are rooted in two primary concerns: (1) fidelity to the covenant made at Horeb, and (2) the substitution and worship of creation instead of the Creator. In order to examine the nature and meaning of idolatry in Deuteronomy 4:15-16, 23, this study will employ a rhetorical-critical analysis of the specific framing structures, literary patterns, discourse, and logic in the text. Share this on: FacebookTwitterLinkedin

Divine Simplicity: Response to Paul R. Hinlicky by Steven J. Duby
Articles , Theology / November 14, 2019

Divine Simplicity: Article Reviews and Responses By Paul R. Hinlicky and Steven J. Duby Response to Paul R. Hinlicky Steven J. Duby This response by Steven J. Duby to Paul R. Hinlicky is the final part of a four part dialogue on divine simplicity. For the other articles please see: Book Review Article of Divine Simplicity: A Dogmatic Account by Paul R. Hinlicky Book Review Article of Divine Simplicity: Christ the Crisis of Metaphysics by Steven J. Duby Response to Steven J. Duby by Paul R. Hinlicky Share this on: FacebookTwitterLinkedin

Divine Simplicity: Response to Steven J. Duby by Paul R. Hinlicky
Articles , Theology / November 13, 2019

Divine Simplicity: Article Reviews and Responses By Paul R. Hinlicky and Steven J. Duby Response to Steven J. Duby Paul R. Hinlicky This response by Paul R. Hinlicky to Steven J. Duby is part 3 of 4 in a dialogue on divine simplicity. For the other articles please see: Book Review Article of Divine Simplicity: A Dogmatic Account by Paul R. Hinlicky Book Review Article of Divine Simplicity: Christ the Crisis of Metaphysics by Steven J. Duby Share this on: FacebookTwitterLinkedin

Book Review Article of Divine Simplicity: Christ the Crisis of Metaphysics by Steven J. Duby
Articles , Theology / November 8, 2019

Divine Simplicity: Article Reviews and Responses By Paul R. Hinlicky and Steven J. Duby Book Review Article of Divine Simplicity: Christ the Crisis of Metaphysics Steven J. Duby Steven J. Duby is Associate Professor of Theology at Grand Canyon University Paul R. Hinlicky, Divine Simplicity: Christ the Crisis of Metaphysics. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2016. Debates about the doctrine of divine simplicity have escalated in recent years and given rise to defenses, rejections and modifications of the doctrine. It is a teaching that is often unfamiliar to Christians living in the twenty-first century, but it has played a significant role in Christian accounts of the triune God from the very beginning of church history. At a general level, it can be described as the teaching that God is not composed of parts but is really identical with (the same “thing” as) his own essence, existence and attributes. The divine attributes (e.g., wisdom, love) are not qualities added to God’s essence but rather are descriptions of that essence viewed from different angles. The persons of the Trinity are not parts composing a greater divine whole. Rather, the whole divine essence exists in the Father, Son and Spirit, who are distinguished…