Wednesday 15 August 2012

Mission Frontiers (July-August 2012)

The July-August 2012 issue of Mission Frontiers, published by the U.S. Center for World Mission, contains a number of interesting-looking essays addressing the question, ‘Do We Need to Change the Way We Do Church to Reach the Unreached?’

Here’s the summary blurb:

‘Some readers may ask, “Why all this talk about how to do church? I thought this was a missions magazine?” As we bring the gospel to the unreached peoples, an essential question is what type of church and ministry we will establish among them. Will they be churches that reproduce themselves rapidly by effectively equipping all believers to be disciple-makers so that entire peoples are rapidly discipled? Or will we bring some of the failed models from the West where churches rarely reproduce themselves and few believers are equipped to be disciple-makers or church planters. The kind of churches we plant will also determine whether or not they will in turn send out missionaries.’

Individual articles can be access from here; the whole issue can be downloaded as a pdf here.

Tuesday 14 August 2012

Scripture Bulletin 42, 2 (July 2012)

The July 2012 issue of Scripture Bulletin is available online, with the following articles (summaries are taken from Ian Boxall’s editorial):

Ian Boxall

Michael Tait
The Voice of the Bridegroom, the Record of John? Some Thoughts on John 3:29
Michael Tait examines the questions which have been raised about the ‘voice’ of the Bridegroom in John 3:29. He shows that there is nothing anomalous about the expression, either in the Johannine narrative or within the world of the metaphor. However, his article goes on to investigate possible alternative meanings of the phrase, such as the ‘fame’ of the Bridegroom or the ‘declaration’ about the Bridegroom, and concludes by hazarding that there may even be an ellipsis enabling John to confirm that he is the voice of the Bridegroom as well as the voice crying in the wilderness.

Ian Boxall
Reading the Apocalypse: the Interpreter’s Challenge
This article explores the particular challenges posed to contemporary interpreters of the Apocalypse of John. As a brief survey of its reception history shows, these may be different from the difficulties encountered by commentators of earlier centuries. Some of these challenges are posed by popular readings which treat the Book of Revelation as a guide-book to the End of the World, or interpret its theological vision in a world-denying way. But it is argued that the relative neglect of the Apocalypse by the mainstream churches, and the tendency to historicise typical of much recent critical scholarship, also need to be challenged in a holistic approach to the last book of the Bible.

Adrian Gaffey
Take and Read: the Acts of the Apostles

Book Reviews

Ray Pennings on Church Practices in Public Life: Church Discipline

This is the fourth in a series from Cardus on ‘Church Practices and Public Life’, this one devoted to church discipline.

‘I would like to consider the importance of the church practicing a biblical concept of discipline as part of her public witness. At a time when so many seek spirituality without religion – by which they usually mean religious institutions – the winsome and prophetic place of biblical discipline is a message that does not have appropriate prominence in our times.’

Monday 13 August 2012

American Theological Inquiry 5, 2 (2012)

The latest issue of American Theological Inquiry is now online here, with the following contents:


Gannon Murphy
The Double Mind

Patristical Reading

Hilary of Poitiers
On the Trinity, I.1-10


Thomas L. Gwozdz
Catholicity and Roman Catholicism

George R. Law
The Form of the New Covenant In Matthew

Randy Nelson
Exegeting Forgiveness

Daniel J. Heisey
Guardini, Verdi, and Salvation History

Christopher Evan Longhurst
Approaching the Divine Through Form and Colour: A Theological Reflection on the Pictorial Apophasis of Malevič and Reinhardt

Book Reviews

The Ecumenical Creeds of Christianity

More from the Centre for Public Christianity (August 2012)

The latest email newsletter from the Centre for Public Christianity contains links to a short video interview with Stanley Hauerwas covering some issues related to the relationship between faith and public life, and to a longer, two-part video interview with Tony Golsby-Smith (the co-founder and chairman of Second Road, a strategy and innovation firm), covering a wide range of issues, including the image of God, design, work, power, the politicisation of Christianity, the nature of faith and its implications for living in the world.

Christian History Magazine on the History of Christianity in the USA

I’ve just spotted that the latest issue of Christian History Magazine is available, this one devoted to ‘People of Faith: How America’s many churches shaped “one nation under God”’.

The whole magazine is available as a 25.7 MB pdf here.

Friday 10 August 2012

The Taylor University Center for Scripture Engagement

Taylor University has founded the Taylor University Center for Scripture Engagement, citing three reasons for doing so:

1. Because Scripture engagement is the cutting edge of evangelism

2. Because engaging with Scripture is the catalyst for transformational discipleship

3. Because a new vision of the power of Scripture is urgently needed

Those points are expanded here, and the results of a 2011 survey on the role of the Bible in the lives of students are available here.

Alan Jacobs on How to Read a Book

An excerpt from a new book – Jeffry C. Davis and Philip G. Ryken, Liberal  Arts  for  the  Christian Life (Wheaton: Crossway, 2012) – contains a short essay by Alan Jacobs on ‘How to Read a Book’.

He kicks off with the wise counsel of Francis Bacon:

‘Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested; that is, some books are to be read only in parts; others to be read, but not curiously; and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention.’

Jacobs himself takes in discernment, attentiveness, responsiveness, charity, and whim (‘reading for the sheer delight of it’).

Pro Rege

Some new issues of Pro Rege – the quarterly faculty publication of Dordt College, Sioux Center, Iowa – have been placed online:

• 40, 2 (December 2011) – one of their ‘fine arts’ issues.

• 40, 3 (March 2012) – contains an essay by David VanDrunen (‘The Two Kingdoms and Reformed Christianity: Why Recovering an Old Paradigm is Historically Sound, Biblically Grounded, and Practically Useful’), and a review of Christian Smith’s The Bible Made Impossible: Why Biblicism Is Not a Truly Evangelical Reading of Scripture.

• 40, 4 (June 2012) – contains an essay by Roger D. Henderson (‘Connotations of Worldview’) and a review of Craig Bartholomew’s Where Mortals Dwell: A Christian View of Place for Today.

Thursday 2 August 2012

Credo Magazine 2, 4 (August 2012)

The next issue of Credo is now out, this one devoted to the topic of ‘Old Princeton’.
According to the editorial blurb:
‘Since this year marks the 200th anniversary of Old Princeton (1812-2012), it is fitting that we devote ourselves to remembering and imitating these great theologians of yesterday, not because they are great in and of themselves, but because their example points us to the great and mighty God we worship.’
The magazine is available to read here, from where also a 15 MB pdf of the whole issue can be downloaded.

Wednesday 1 August 2012

Centre for Public Christianity (August 2012)

The latest email newsletter from the Centre for Public Christianity contains links to the third of three podcasts on Christianity’s legacy for the world, this one looking at how Christianity has shaped our understanding of the human person and the intrinsic worth and value of human beings.
The first two podcasts in the series are available here and here.

Interpretation 66, 3 (2012) on the Book of Acts

The main essays in the July 2012 issue of Interpretation: A Journal of Bible and Theology, are devoted to the book of Acts.
Carl R. Holladay
Interpreting Acts
Interpreters of Acts face three recurrent questions: 1) What is its genre? 2) Why was it written? and 3) How is Scripture used? In deciding genre, readers must decide if Acts is history, and, if so, in what sense. Determining its literary or theological purpose can be done in terms of asking what Acts accomplishes.
C. Kavin Rowe
The Ecclesiology of Acts
This article examines the ecclesiology of Acts by considering the political shape of Acts vis-à-vis the wider Roman world. The discussion of three scenes in Acts shows that there is a profound and productive tension at the heart of Acts’ theological vision. This tension generates the distinctive Christian politics that is Acts’ ecclesiology: a public witness to Jesus Christ in a world that did not know him.
Robert C. Tannehill
Acts of the Apostles and Ethics
Acts provides ethical guidance through narrating the actions of persons who are models of good (or bad) behavior. Four topics are discussed from this perspective: ethics of witness, ethics of leadership, the mission and governing authorities, and ethics of possessions.
Loveday Alexander
Luke’s Political Vision
In order to understand Luke’s political vision, we have first to understand the complex political situation in which Acts is written. This becomes clear in the trial of Paul, where Paul stands before a Roman tribunal but addresses a dispute arising within the Jewish community. Despite his protestations of innocence under Roman law, Paul’s response embodies an inclusive political vision that is profoundly subversive of the imperial order.
Pamela Hedrick
Fewer Answers and Further Questions: Jews and Gentiles in Acts
The author of the Acts of the Apostles uses criteria commonly employed in his cultural context to legitimate the Jesus movement and the extension of the mission to the Gentiles as the divine plan. While these literary strategies result in material that can be employed uncritically and tragically to serve a bias against the Jewish people, a far more fruitful transposition of the Lukan strategies would raise intelligent questions about the ways of God in the world and the cooperation of humans with those ways.