Thursday 19 December 2019

Themelios 44, 3 (December 2019)

The latest Themelios is online here (and available here as a single pdf), containing the below articles.

D.A. Carson
But That’s Just Your Interpretation!

Strange Times
Daniel Strange
Remembering a Principal’s Principles

Robert S. Smith
Cultural Marxism: Imaginary Conspiracy or Revolutionary Reality?
What are we to make of Cultural Marxism? This article seeks to answer that question, first, by outlining the key elements and legacy of classical Marxism; second, by exploring the neo-Marxism of Antonio Gramsci; third, by assessing the main ideas and impact of “the Frankfurt School”; and, fourth, by offering some reflections on (i) the links between these thinkers and various contemporary developments, (ii) the wisdom of employing the term Cultural Marxism, and (iii) how Christians should respond to the current “culture wars” that are polarizing the Western world.

Hans Madueme
Adam and Sin as the Bane of Evolution? A Review of Finding Ourselves After Darwin
The diverse essays in Stanley Rosenberg’s edited volume Finding Ourselves After Darwin: Conversations on the Image of God, Original Sin, and the Problem of Evil (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2018) offer a Christian analysis of the human person in light of evolutionary thinking. The recommendations to revise our understanding of original sin and theodicy raise particularly challenging questions. Traditional interpretations of Scripture, for instance, are often devalued in order to reduce tensions with our current scientific understanding. Additionally, the more radical arguments undercut doctrines that earlier Christians believed are pivotal to the biblical story. Overall, these noteworthy essays represent a wide range of creative possibilities for updating our theological anthropology in line with a post-Darwinian setting, but they are less convincing when justifying the theological cost for doing so.

William D. Mounce
Do Formal Equivalent Translations Reflect a Higher View of Plenary, Verbal Inspiration?
The article begins by establishing five categories of translation theory and argues that functional translations like the NIV do in fact reflect the meaning of every Greek word, but not in the same way as formal equivalent translations do. Therefore, formal equivalent translations cannot claim a higher view of inspiration.

Matthew Swale
Power for Prayer through the Psalms: Cassiodorus’s Interpretation of the Honey of Souls
Exegesis, prayer, and spiritual formation converge in the Psalms commentary written by Cassiodorus (490–584). Each psalm’s exegesis ends with a “conclusion” considering the implications for morality, doctrine, or prayer. This study focuses on how Cassiodorus’s exegesis of the Psalms provides power for prayer. First, Cassiodorus’s rich expositions of the Psalms of Ascent and Psalm 142 illustrate his approach to the Psalter as God’s provision of superior, life-changing words. Second, prayer flows from Cassiodorus’s handling of individual psalms in four ways: prayerful exegesis, prayer exemplars, prayer templates, and prayer as the means to psalmic formation.

Kenneth J. Stewart
The Oxford Movement and Evangelicalism: Initial Encounters
Commemorations of the birth of the Oxford Movement (later known as Anglo-Catholicism) have regularly intimated certain early commonalities with evangelicalism, especially within the Church of England. It was so at the 1933 centenary of the launch of the movement; such hypotheses have been given fresh life with the 2017 release of the Oxford Handbook of the Oxford Movement. This essay examines the basis for these suggestions and finds them wanting.

Kyle Beshears
Athens without a Statue to the Unknown God
Apatheism is indifference and apathy toward the existence of God. In our secular age, a person adopts apatheism when they feel a sense of existential security absent God, effectively dissolving their reason, motivation, and will to care about questions related to his existence. This indifference presents a stronger challenge for evangelism than does religious pluralism, agnosticism, and atheism. For this reason, evangelicals ought to explore ways of engaging apatheism.

Mark Boone
Inerrancy Is Not a Strong or Classical Foundationalism
The general idea of strong foundationalism is that knowledge is founded on well warranted beliefs that do not derive any warrant from other beliefs and that all our other beliefs depend on these foundational ones for their warrant. Although inerrancy posits Scripture as a solid foundation for theology, the idea that the doctrine of biblical inerrancy involves a strong foundationalist epistemology is deeply problematic. In fact, inerrancy does not require any particular view of the structure of knowledge, and notable sources on inerrancy tout it in ways inconsistent with most forms of strong foundationalism.

Daniel Wiley
The God Who Reveals: A Response to J.L. Schellenberg’s Hiddenness Argument
The challenge of divine hiddenness has become one of the greatest advocates for skepticism in modern philosophical debate. From this challenge, Schellenberg has developed the now acclaimed hiddenness argument. For Schellenberg, an all-loving God would be always open to personal relationships with finite creatures, and thus all nonbelief would derive from resistance to God. However, the existence of nonresistant nonbelievers, or those who have never resisted the idea of God, must prove that God does not exist, for surely an all-loving God would leave enough evidence of himself to convince finite creatures of his existence and prevent nonresistant nonbelief. In response, I argue that (1) openness to personal relationships and love are not as correlated as the hiddenness argument demands, (2) nonresistant nonbelief is not provable, and (3) Schellenberg fails to reason to God’s omni-benevolence apart from Scripture.

Book Reviews

No comments: