Tuesday 1 December 2020

Foundations 79 (Autumn 2020)

Issue 79 of Foundations: An International Journal of Evangelical Theology, published by Affinity, is now available (here in its entirety as a pdf), which includes the below essays.

Donald John MacLean

Lee Gatiss

Pleasing the Impassible God

The Bible says, “find out what pleases the Lord” (Ephesians 5:10). But is God not already perfectly happy, and therefore not susceptible to changeable emotional reactions as we so often are? This article unpacks issues of accommodation in divine speech, anthropopathism, and the doctrines of immutability and impassibility (the idea that God is “without passions” as some confessions put it), in order to understand better the scriptural metaphor of pleasing or displeasing God.

Sarah Allen

Complementarianism, Quo Vadis?

This article examines the current state of complementarian practice and attitudes within UK churches, seeking to understand how, where and why change might be occurring. The research is twofold: the first part is an overview of recent publications and online discussion of complementarianism and related matters. Here questions are raised about the causes for and possible consequences of dis-ease with some theological models and cultural expressions of sex-difference. The second part of the article is an examination, by way of interview and surveys, of practice in churches which could be described as complementarian. Here we consider the way the Church is responding to contemporary culture’s growing concern for equality of opportunity and representation, as well as the influence of different ecclesiologies and social settings on practice and change.

David Owen Filson

The Apologetics and Theology of Cornelius Van Til

This essay provides an appreciative analysis of two key, sometimes misrepresented apologetical contributions of Cornelius Van Til: the definition of presupposition, and paradox and the Trinity. Recent criticisms of Van Til tend to repeat the suggestions that he operated with a Kantian and Hegelian synthesis, accounting for inconsistencies in his theological and apologetical programme. Rather than directly addressing recent scholarship, a relatively unfamiliar debate between Van Til and J. Oliver Buswell will be examined in an effort to let Van Til speak for himself. In doing this it will become evident why he remains an important and needed figure for the Church in a post-postmodern, secular/pluralistic cultural moment, aptly described by Chares Taylor as a “...spiritual super-nova, a kind of galloping pluralism on the spiritual plane”.

Steve Bishop

Abraham Kuyper: Cultural Transformer

Abraham Kuyper was a theologian, statesman, journalist, church reformer, church historian, church pastor, founder of a Christian university and a Christian political party, and one-time prime minister of the Netherlands. He was a Reformed Christian whose writings have shaped a movement known as neo-Calvinism. Yet he is little known in the UK. In this article, I examine several key themes that shaped Kuyper’s approach to theology, culture and society. These include the sovereignty of God, the cultural mandate, the role of worldviews, common grace, the antithesis, and sphere sovereignty. These themes provided the theoretical framework for Kuyper’s neo-Calvinism. I look at how they shaped his approach to church, politics, education, art and mission.

Song-En Poon

Samuel Rutherford’s Doctrine of Sanctification and Seventeenth Century Antinomianism

This paper seeks to examine Samuel Rutherford’s particular emphasis on the doctrine of sanctification in his response to the Antinomian Controversy in seventeenth century England.

Book Reviews

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