Articles

The Armor of God, the Gospel of Christ, and Standing Firm against the ‘Powers’ (Ephesians 6:10–20) by Joshua M. Greever
Articles , New Testament / May 12, 2020

The Armor of God, the Gospel of Christ, and Standing Firm against the ‘Powers’ (Ephesians 6:10–20) Joshua M. Greever Joshua M. Greever (Ph.D.) is Assistant Professor of New Testament at Grand Canyon University and Grand Canyon Theological Seminary in Phoenix, AZ Abstract: As the climactic conclusion to the letter, Ephesians 6:10–20 recapitulates and summarizes much of the earlier themes in Ephesians. It clarifies that the “powers” are evil, supernaturally power, spiritual beings. Christians must therefore stand firm against the “powers” by resting in Christ’s redemptive work for them. Christ is seen as the Divine Warrior whose victory over the “powers” is the armor that Christians are called to put on and appropriate by virtue of their union with Christ by faith. Key Words: powers, Divine Warrior, union with Christ, stand firm, armor of God Share this on: FacebookTwitterLinkedin

Ephesians and Evangelical Activism: The Covenantal, Corporate, and Missional Components of the Ecclesial Armor of God by John Frederick
Articles , New Testament / May 12, 2020

Ephesians and Evangelical Activism: The Covenantal, Corporate, and Missional Components of the Ecclesial Armor of God 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. Abstract: In Ephesians 6:10–20, the apostle Paul penned one of the most memorable accounts of spiritual warfare for Christians. Throughout the history of interpretation, the majority of exegetes have viewed Paul’s account of the “armor of God” in relation to the spiritual struggle of individual Christians in their quests for growth in personal holiness. This article counteracts individualistic, moralistic, gnostic readings of Ephesians 6:10–20 by re-situating the “armor of God” metaphor within its original corporate/ecclesial, covenantal, and missional context in Ephesians. The article begins by redirecting evangelical thinking on social activism away from recent fundamentalist denunciations back to the original activist ethos of neoevangelicalism. Next, Walter Wink’s phenomenological reading of the Powers is explored as a…

Three Cycles of Growth: Warfare and Spiritual Metamorphosis in John and Paul by Mark R. Kreitzer and Nancy C. Kreitzer
Articles , New Testament / May 7, 2020

Three Cycles of Growth: Warfare and Spiritual Metamorphosis in John and Paul Mark R. Kreitzer and Nancy C. Kreitzer Mark R. Kreitzer (D.Miss. Ph.D.) is Associate Professor of Theology and Missions at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona; Nancy C. Kreitzer (M.A.) is Adjunct Instructor at Grand Canyon University Abstract: In this paper, we examine two key NT passages that address spiritual warfare and spiritual growth, showing how they are inextricably linked. In Ephesians 6:10–20, Paul shows believers that in order to stand in their faith, they must stand in God’s full armor, their identity “in Christ.” With each piece, he reveals essential aspects of Christ’s armor, beginning with the belt of truth and ending with requests for prayer for evangelism. Paul seems to organize them in three sets of three pieces of armor. In 1 John 2:12–14, John teaches that the natural outworking of standing in Christ’s armor is growth in three stages. As we compare the 1 John and Ephesians passages, we will see how each piece of armor, and the believer’s understanding of them, is necessarily linked during the three stages of growth. Finally, we conclude with the far-reaching missiological implications. Key Words: 1 John 2:12–14, Ephesians…

Power and the “Powers” in Thomas Aquinas’ Lectura ad Ephesios by Eric Covington
Articles , New Testament / May 7, 2020

Power and the “Powers” in Thomas Aquinas’ Lectura ad Ephesios Eric Covington Eric Covington (Ph.D, University of St. Andrews) is Assistant Professor of Christian Studies at Howard Payne University Abstract: In his medieval commentary on Ephesians, Thomas Aquinas interprets the various terms that refer to the “powers” throughout the letter as references to specific tiers within hierarcies of both benevolent and malevolent spiritual beings. Intriguingly, Aquinas interprets the “powers” of Ephesians 1:21 and Ephesians 3:10 as references to the benevolent, angelic hierarchy, while he interprets the “powers” of Ephesians 2:2 and Ephesians 6:12 as references to the malevolent, demonic hierarchy. This chapter will examine Aquinas’ interpretation of these terms in each of these verses and will conclude by examining the theological significance of this identification for Aquinas’ reading of Ephesians. Ultimately, Aquinas sees Christ as the form and exemplar of true divine power, which is most fully expressed in Christ’s resurrection and exaltation over all spiritual beings. Thus, while Aquinas does not contradict modern scholarship’s focus on the subjugation of malevolent forces, he dramatically reorients the discussion around Ephesians’ presentation of Christ as the exalted one through whom the appropriate divine power extends to every creature— physical and spiritual. Key…

“You Have Been Raised with Christ”: Investigating the Spatial Portrait of New Creation in Ephesians by Luke R. Hoselton
Articles , New Testament / May 7, 2020

“You Have Been Raised with Christ”: Investigating the Spatial Portrait of New Creation in Ephesians Luke R. Hoselton Luke R. Hoselton (Ph.D., University of Otago) is assistant professor of biblical and theological studies at Grand Canyon University. Abstract: The theology of Ephesians comprises a number of distinctive features. Among other things, the letter portrays a unique relationship between the temporal and spatial aspects of its soterio-eschatology and displays significant attention to the powers. This essay explores the soteriology of Ephesians with reference to its spatial framework, the powers, and the new creation concept. Key Words: Ephesians, new creation, resurrection, cosmology, powers Share this on: FacebookTwitterLinkedin

‘The Ruler of the Power of the Air in the Salvific Story of Ephesians 2 by Daniel K. Darko
Articles , New Testament / May 7, 2020

‘The Ruler of the Power of the Air’ in the Salvific Story of Ephesians 2 Daniel K. Darko Daniel K. Darko (Ph.D, King’s College, University of London) is Professor of New Testament at Gordon College Abstract: Post-enlightenment theological articulations of what salvation entail often ostracize Satan in the process and limit the experience to a transaction between God and humans. The idea of ‘salvation by grace’ is however borrowed from Ephesians 2 where pre-conversion life was purportedly lived under the domain of Satan. The human condition is engineered by diabolic influence. Thus, people are saved from satanic influence and its attendant consequences of sin, social breakdown, fleshly impulses etc. to belong to a people of God. Spiritual warfare is meant to curb pressures from evil powers to maintain faithful standing in God. Salvation would be incomplete, according to Ephesians 2, if it did not include deliverance from the control of ‘the ruler of the power of the air.’ Key Words: Ephesians, salvation, Satan principalities, Spirit Share this on: FacebookTwitterLinkedin

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