Themelios Journal July 2010

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Volume 35, Issue 2 – July 2010 of the Themelios Journal is out! The content looks great. Lots to read. Check it out.

  • Minority Report: Not in the Public Interest by Carl Trueman

Suffering, marginalization, and the abuse of power are now the stock in trade not only of literary theorists but also of many theologians, of whom the Liberationists of the sixties and seventies are but the most obvious examples. Indeed, the influence of such academic emphases now finds its place frequently in the classrooms of Protestant theologians of more orthodox and traditional bent.

  • B. B. Warfield on Creation and Evolutionby Fred G. Zaspel

The advances of various creationist groups and of the intelligent design movement indicate that Christians are still considerably interested in the creation-versus-evolution controversy. Yet we would be mistaken to think that the advance is on the creationist side only. Renowned professor of OT Dr. Bruce Waltke recently made headlines with his remarks that evolution is entirely compatible with Christianity—indeed, with conservative evangelical, even inerrantist Christianity. Waltke warns further that if Christians do not concede the point they will be relegated to the academic ghetto and find that society at large will never take them seriously.1 Clearly, there are no signs that interest in the topic will soon fade.

  • Why Evangelicals Should Ignore Brian McLaren: How the New Testament Requires Evangelicals to Render a Judgment on the Moral Status of Homosexuality by Denny Burk

In 2006 on Christianity Today’s leadership blog, Pastor Brian McLaren urged evangelical leaders to find a “Pastoral Response” to their parishioners on the issue of homosexuality. In short, he argued that the Bible is not clear on the moral status of homosexuality and that the ancient ethic of the Christian church offends moderns too much to be useful. He calls, therefore, upon evangelicals to stop talking about the issue. Here he is in his own words:

Frankly, many of us don’t know what we should think about homosexuality.

  • Biblical Theology and the Ancient Near East: A Symposium on Jeffrey J. Niehaus, Ancient Near Eastern Themes in Biblical Theology- This introduces the next article.
  • A Member of the Family or a Stranger? A Review Article of Jeffrey J. Niehaus, Ancient Near Eastern Themes in Biblical Theology by Stephen Dempster

We cannot overstate how important knowing the context is for understanding the significance of any communication, whether that is a simple word, sentence, paragraph, larger text, sign, photograph, or cultural cue. This is axiomatic for interpreting an ancient document like the Bible. Yet it is not so easy since context can mean many things. What context? The social context? The psychological context? The cultural context? The economic and political context? The historical context? The literary context? The full range of possible answers is staggering, which indicates how difficult it is to answer the question. The state of the problem in biblical studies is well known, as the increased knowledge in many areas has created many specialists in various fields in the ancient world as well as the Bible.

  • Parallels, Real or Imagined? A Review Article of Jeffrey J. Niehaus, Ancient Near Eastern Themes in Biblical Theology by William Edgar

When I came to Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia as a young student in the 1960s, two things struck me. First, under the portrait of one of the founding fathers, the biblical scholar Robert Dick Wilson, was a simple epithet: “I have not shirked the difficult questions.” Wilson was one of the most accomplished biblical scholars of his day. He made lasting contributions to the linguistic questions surrounding the OT. He was a sharp opponent of what was then called the higher criticism of the Bible, which used rationalist and naturalist assumptions to investigate the Scripture, often finding it to be inaccurate in its historical claims, and thus substituting more plausible, rational schemes than simply divine inspiration, to explain the text we hold in our hand. Wilson was not afraid to look into the many questions raised by higher criticism. Usually they were legitimate ones, and often they were indeed difficult. But he always was able to answer, “I have come to the conviction that no man knows enough to attack the veracity of the Old Testament. Every time when anyone has been able to get together enough documentary ‘proofs’ to undertake an investigation, the biblical facts in the original text have victoriously met the test.”

  • How to Write—and How Not to Write—a Review: An Appreciative Response to Reviews of Ancient Near Eastern Themes in Biblical Theology by Dempster and Edgar by Jeffrey J. Niehaus

I want to thank Themelios for the unusual opportunity to interact with two reviewers of my book Ancient Near Eastern Themes in Biblical Theology. An author does not often have the opportunity, not only to join discussion with two reviewers, but also to express and document further some concepts that he may not have expressed as fully as possible in the original work.

  • Pastoral Pensées: Motivations to Appeal to in Our Hearers When We Preach for Conversion by D. A. Carson

Most of us, I suspect, develop fairly standard ways, one might even say repetitive ways, to appeal to the motivations of our hearers when we preach the gospel. Recently, however, I have wondered if I have erred in this respect—not so much in what I say as in what I never or almost never say. What follows is in some ways a mea culpa, plus some indication of why I think the topic should be important for all of us.

Before I survey the motivations themselves, I should specify that because the gospel is to be preached to both unbelievers and believers, the motivations that here interest me may be found among both parties. Nevertheless, I shall tilt the discussion toward those motivations of unbelievers to which we should appeal when we preach the gospel to them, aiming, in God’s mercy, at their conversion.

  • Book Reviews – 59 of them!
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