Thursday 28 June 2012

The Bantam Review 1 (2012)

The Bantam Review is a new online student journal from Covenant Seminary. It takes its name from the association of the rooster with the apostle Peter and his three-timed denial of Jesus. As the Preface to the issue says: ‘By this logo we remember our purpose, namely that we are sinners in need of Jesus and in need of each other as we seek to glorify God with our work.’
The main essays (and their abstracts, where available) in the first issue are as follows:
G. Andrew Allen
An Old Testament ‘Extra Indwelling’
One’s view on the continuity between the Testaments will determine how they understand the faith and life of the OT believer, and in turn, will directly impact the influence of the true bonds between believers of every age. In this paper, I explore one such bond – the indwelling of the Holy Spirit – exclusively from OT texts and offers three arguments for an OT indwelling of all believers. First, the same OT foundations which prepared for the NT doctrines of Christ’s atonement and the Trinity prepare for the doctrines of regeneration and indwelling. Second, the OT focus on the Spirit of empowerment and prophecy does not exclude the distinct and likely simultaneous work of indwelling. Third, the exemplary lives of OT believers and longstanding OT familiarity with the concepts of regeneration and indwelling point to continuity between believers of all ages. To say that OT believers were not indwelt assumes that we possess a spiritual life superior to Abraham, Ruth and David (or, for that matter, any unnamed saint who was born, circumcised and lived a faithful life before YHWH). To assume otherwise is to provide a fresh reading of the whole of the Christian Scriptures, Old and New.
Steven Nicoletti
The History of Credocommunion: From the Early Church Until 1500
The question of credocommunion vs. paedocommunion has been a contentious one in the Presbyterian Church in America. In this article, I draw a brief historical sketch of the emergence and eventual dominance of credocommunion in the Western Church. I argue that the evidence indicates that credocommunion emerged as a thirteenth century medieval innovation, absent from the church’s practice before that time. I first establish the consensus that from the mid third to the twelfth century credocommunion was absent from the church, and the Eucharist was given to all the baptized, including young children and infants. I then argue that the best explanation of the evidence, regarding the church’s practice before the third century, is that it too included baptized infants in communion. Factors in the rise and dominance of credocommunion in the thirteenth century are discussed, especially the development of transubstantiation and the fear that infants may not properly swallow the transubstantiated elements. Additional factors are also examined, including the disintegration of the Christian initiation rite and Thomas Aquinas’ revision of the rationale for credocommunion practice. Finally, I draw out several implications for the church today.
Jake Neufeld
Protestant Theosis?
Jenilyn Swett
Being Sarah’s Children: A discussion of the reference to Sarah in 1 Peter 3:5-6
Questions of what the Bible teaches about how Christians are to live as male and female are raised frequently today, so one must carefully consider Scripture passages that are specifically instructive to men and women. One such passage is 1 Peter 3:1-8. In this article, I investigate the reference to Sarah in verses 5-6: why would Peter use Sarah, portrayed in Genesis as a secondary character who laughed and lied, as a pedagogical example for Christian wives? By examining the story of Sarah and Abraham in Genesis as well as the characterization of Sarah in Jewish tradition, I seek to acquaint readers with the Sarah that Peter commended. He knew her as a fully human but deeply faithful matriarch, a sojourner with whom the newly converted women of Asia Minor could identify and from whom they could draw encouragement and hope. Peter’s use of Sarah as an example has implications not only for the Christian wives he addressed but for all of Sarah and Abraham’s children.
Stephen Yates
Hegemony, Marginalization, and Youth Ministry: A Meta-analysis
An ideal environment for students new to a youth ministry can often be characterized by a series of individual actions – the friendliness of the students or the relevance of the program, for instance. Yet youth ministers who adopt this philosophy often unexplainably see student after student feel marginalized soon after coming into their programs. These workers fail to see their ministry from another perspective – systems. A systems perspective of youth ministry reveals a complex and broken network of ideological sub-groups negotiating hegemonic power and interest unconsciously under the auspices of visible teen culture. Using a biblical theology of marginalization, socio-political philosophical constructions, and Bonhoefferian discussions of power-in-community, I aim to persuade student ministers to become aware of these cultural structures in order to address pockets of marginalization currently and potentially present in their ministries. Such findings have immediate application to issues as diverse as social events and games on one hand, and leadership dynamics on the other, working ultimately towards a ministry climate of cultural intelligence and sacrificial dominance reflecting the heart of the incarnate Christ.

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