Thursday 28 January 2021

The Journal of Inductive Biblical Studies 7, 2 (2020)

The latest issue of the Journal of Inductive Biblical Studies is now available online, with the below articles and their abstracts (where available). Individual essays are available from here, and the journal is available in its entirety as a pdf here.

Frederick J. Long

From the Editors

Drew Holland

An Alternative Approach to the Dilemma of 2 Kgs 3:27

King Mesha’s sacrifice of his son and the subsequent retreat of the Israelite army from Moab in 2 Kgs 3:27 has proven to be a puzzling text for interpreters from rabbinic Judaism to the present. Modern historical analysis has fallen short in providing a coherent explanation for the events of this verse. This article attempts to seek a new and cogent interpretation for this passage based upon support from other texts and lexemes within the Old Testament. In keeping with the theme of Omride disobedience found throughout the Old Testament, this article deduces from intertextual evidence that Israel participated in Mesha’s burnt offering after securing victory over Moab. This cultic impropriety led YHWH to drive the Israelite army from its newly regained territory.

Matthew R. Peterson and Dain Alexander Smith

Ancient Literary Criticism and Major Structural Relationships: A Comparative Analysis

The texts of the New Testament (NT) emerged during an era that produced robust literary and rhetorical criticism. This article draws from works produced during that period to investigate similarities and differences between the figures discussed by ancient literary theorists and the Major Structural Relationships (MSRs) identified by David R. Bauer and Robert A. Traina. Ultimately, this article reveals that the MSRs proposed in their Inductive Bible Study (IBS) handbook are not merely an invention of modern literary critical reading strategies but reflect devices incorporated into ancient literature and identified and discussed by ancient literary theorists.

Wilbert Webster White

The Resurrection Body “According to the Scriptures,” Chapter Three

If we suppose Intelligence, with an organism answering in its characteristics merely to the properties of the ether, we have a being conforming very nearly, if not quite, to the notion the mystics had of the indwellers of the supersensual world. With bodies more dense than steel, though unamenable to earthly sight or touch, these creatures would see the fleshly forms as a shadowy garment, and a matter at large but as a film thinner than air which offered no bar to their passage. And, exempt from the laws of gravitation which hold prison bound the frame of clay, they might levitate at will, and with the swiftness of light transport themselves from planet to planet. From the sun’s flame they could take no harm and even the chill of absolute zero would leave their bodies unscathed.

Fredrick J. Long

“Arise ‘n’ Shine, Daughter Zion of the Messiah Jesus!”: A Sermon at Asbury Theological Seminary, Aug 19, 2020

Joseph R. Dongell

My Journey with Inductive Bible Study

Wednesday 27 January 2021

Christian History Magazine on Christianity and Judaism

Holocaust Memorial Day takes place each year on 27 January. It feels appropriate to pause and take stock.

Last year, the Christian History Institute released an issue of the Christian History Magazine devoted to ‘Christianity and Judaism’ to mark the Holocaust and the lives lost.

The whole magazine is available as a 12.7 MB pdf here.

Evangelical Review of Theology 45, 1 (February 2021)

The latest Evangelical Review of Theology, published by The World Evangelical Alliance, is now online and available in its entirety as a pdf here.

Editor’s Introduction

The Young, the Not-So-Young and the Very Old

Efraim Tendero

As I Hand Off the Baton

Wesley Hill

When Christians Disagree

In this essay, a widely respected author, known for both his defence of traditional marriage and his irenic treatment of those who view the issue differently, probes the problem of sharp divisions amongst professing Christians and challenges some of the prevailing approaches to these divisions.

Frank Hinkelmann

The European Evangelical Alliance: An Historical Sketch

In the April 2020 ERT, Frank Hinkelmann, Austrian church historian and president of the European Evangelical Alliance, told the fascinating tale of how the EEA, now part of the World Evangelical Alliance, was originally founded as a counter-movement to it. In this sequel, Hinkelmann continues the story by describing the EEA’s evolution and significance up to the present.

Benjamin Isola Akano

Promoting Quality Worship Experience in Contemporary Nigeria

Many churches around the world struggle to recognize diversity in ways that overcome racial and ethnic barriers and unify the body of Christ. This article draws on concepts from communication studies to develop ways to intentionally improve intercultural relationships, with illustrations from Nigeria where the presence of hundreds of distinct ethnic groups makes virtually every congregation intercultural.

Francis Jr. S. Samdao

A Baptist Quadrilateral? A Filipino Outsider’s Perspective on Baptist Identity

Baptists are a particularly diverse stream of Christians, partly because their theological convictions empower individual decision making. This article discusses colourfully how the diversity of Baptists is reflected in the Philippines today. It seeks to articulate the core features of the Baptist identity and encourages Baptists both to enrich and to be open to learning from other parts of the body of Christ rather than isolating themselves.

Wayne Detzler

J.B. Phillips: From Paraphrase to Translation

Eighty years ago, there were few modern Bible translations. In the 1940s, J. B. Phillips initiated a modern translation of the New Testament. But his work gets little notice today. This article tells the story of Phillips and his project, offering important insights on the value and limitations of attempts to modernize the Bible message.

Mary Douglas

God and Humanity Brought Together: The Incarnation as Gospel

The Incarnation is celebrated at Christmas but do we really grasp its full import? This essay draws on the fourth-century church father Athanasius – one of the greatest defenders of the orthodox Christian conviction that Jesus Christ was truly God and truly man – to support its claim that evangelicals today impoverish their gospel witness by highlighting Jesus’ death and resurrection and overlooking the essential contribution of the Incarnation to our redemption.

Benjamin Marx

Clothing and Exchange of Garments in the Bible, as a Picture of God’s Dealings with His People

This article investigates the imagery of clothing and exchange of garments through the entire Christian canon (in nine books from Genesis to Revelation) to identify the redemptive analogies drawn by the biblical writers. From the beginning, God takes the initiative to clothe his people and thus restore our dignity, worth and relationship to him.

Jim Reiher

Did the Gospel of Matthew Come First? An Historian’s View

This essay takes us on an enlightening trip through numerous early church fathers to explain why the author believes Matthew was the first Gospel and why this issue is important. It provides a valuable introduction to and critical examination of what we know about the origin of the Gospels.

Book Reviews

Monday 25 January 2021

Caribbean Journal of Evangelical Theology 20 (2021)

The latest issue of the Caribbean Journal of Evangelical Theology (with essays and their abstracts, where available, as below) is downloadable as a pdf from here.

Taneika Wedderburn

So What Went Into the Pigs? Part 2 (Mark 5:1-20)

Horace Stephen Williams

From Occam to Creole: Kamala Harris and the Immigrant-American identity factor in the run up to the USA 2020 elections (a performative examination of Senator Harris’s candidacy)

This investigation finds its raison d'être in Michel Foucault’s analysis of the relationship between power and the political economy in the lectures given at the College de France between 1975 and 1979… There the expansiveness of the work established the foundation for the demonstration of the intertwinement of the relationship between power, political economy and race… Through this process of intertwinement relayed through the Foucauldian themes of: economy, security, population and race and the longue durée of history we are made to apprehend his concept of biopower as a phronetic rather than epistemic way of apprehending self-discipline. Foucault has mined here Greek and Roman philosophical traditions and their link especially to Socrates as a means of apprehending this self-discipline as a constructing of self in the light of truth. Parrhesia, which was simply translated as “speaking truth to power [unequivocally]” could be apprehended as the umbilical link that Foucault sought to make between Graeco-Roman philosophy – its emphasis on the harmony between the way one lives [bios] and the rational discourse or account [logos], which one might or might not possess, that would justify the way one lives, – and a critical philosophy for the present dispensation. Foucault has sought to align this critical philosophy with the ability to autonomously fashion ourselves. Indeed, this Foucauldian apotheosis – the [bios] and the choice of collapsing of the latter, the [logos], into the former as a trope of agency – has potentially reconfigured the performative as a subversive trope; this is especially in regard to the discourses on race, gender, and the problem of colonization. However, although championing subjugated knowledge in these lectures, he has not gone far enough – he has not interrogated his own position and the broader question of who is speaking as opposed to what is being said… Further, Radhakrishnan concludes that Foucault cannot have a macropolitics because it would mean attacking his own position, as an elite Eurocentric intellectual and the concomitant inability to be anything else – working class, subjugated, oppressed or colonized (Radhakrishnan 1996, 27-61). This Kamala Harris investigation should therefore be apprehended as a post-colonial redress to the Foucauldian position.

D. Vincent Palmer

Sam Sharpe and the Future of Caribbean Theology: The ToSS is Important!

If Sam Sharpe had a way with words as all the evidence seems to point, in what way or ways did his linguistic capability influence the success of his mission to see a Jamaica devoid of the dehumanizing effects of slavery? And can we learn anything else from this national hero to aid us in our struggle to advance the cause to free ourselves from mental slavery, while at the same time celebrating the gains Sharpe and others have fought for? The paper explores and interrogates the potential of a significant part of the legacy of Daddy Sharpe as a way to continue the conversation of the ongoing project of Caribbean Theology in the 21st Century.

Kimshaw Aiken

Home-Schooling Strategies from a Secondary School Teacher

Gosnell L. Yorke

69th Graduation Ceremony of the UCZ University

Oscar Green

God and Patois in Jamaica

Billy Hall

‘Rare Caribbean Church History’ – A Book Review

Friday 15 January 2021

Lausanne Global Analysis 10, 1 (January 2021)

The latest issue of Lausanne Global Analysis, from The Lausanne Movement, is available online from here, including pdfs of individual articles as below.

Kirst Rievan

Uncovering Discrimination in Missions: Toward a ‘Third Culture’ of Oneness in Christ

As global church and mission leaders, we want to see diversity in our teams. But we also know how difficult it is to create teams where differences are not only tolerated, but warmly embraced. Kirst Rievan addresses the complex issue of unintentional discrimination in Christian organizations against staff and partners of different ethnicities, providing methods, the solution of a ‘third culture’, and penetrating questions for reflection.

Daewon Moon

Pentecostalism in African Christianity: The Formation and Scope of a Distinctive Spirituality

One particular church that is aware of the global nature of Christianity and what it means to be multicultural is the African Pentecostal church. Daewon Moon, Academic Dean at International Leadership University in Burundi, invites us to recognize ‘the remarkable emergence of Pentecostal churches in Africa’, celebrating its ‘experiential and spontaneous nature’.

Gladys Mwiti

Building Hope and Resilience in the COVID-19 Storm: Lament, Communities of Care, and the New Normal

It’s been almost a year since the outbreak of COVID-19, and many of us are feeling ‘Corona fatigue.’ Gladys Mwiti, Consulting Clinical Psychologist and Trauma Specialist, sensitively addresses some of the psychosocial impact of the pandemic and how holistic care for others and ourselves helps us build resilience and hope in the midst of the pandemic.

Ted Lankester

Faith, Health, and Collaborative Love: Pandemic Partnership for Health Professionals and the Church

All of us are wondering, what are the long-term impacts of COVID-19? Ted Lankester, President and Senior Clinician of Thrive Worldwide, considers this question in especially in the realm of global health and development. What would it look like for health professionals to partner with the church?

Wednesday 13 January 2021

Anvil 36, 3 (2020) on Race and Colonialism

The most-recent issue of Anvil (published by the Church Mission Society) is devoted to the topic of ‘Faultlines in Mission: Reflections on Race and colonialism’.

In the Editorial, Lusa Nsenga-Ngoy writes:

‘This issue of Anvil is inspired by a willingness to offer an introspective response to this global wave of protest calling for racial justice and asking with insistence whether black lives do indeed matter in our societies and institutions. It felt imperative to ask the question of Church Mission Society and its particular contribution to the subject both in its distant and more contemporary history. While this is not set out as an assessment of CMS’s record on questions of systemic racism and the legacy of imperialism, this issue aims to examine potential fault lines in Christian mission, with a particular attention to the legacy of empire in our formulation of missional practices and strategies […]

‘At the heart of this edition is a commitment to pose a number of critical questions examining the tension between imperialist/colonialist ideals and Christian ideals of redemptive justice and liberative narratives. Through the various contributions, we hope to outline possible avenues towards a critical missional framework that offers a solid pathway towards a future in which racial justice and reconciliation are an achievable reality […]

‘Our hope in focusing this volume on the question of race and colonisation is not merely an attempt to join the bandwagon and do our bit for the cause. What drives us is a willingness to engage in meaningful and continuing conversations about what we believe is a fundamental Christian ideal – racial justice. As publisher of Anvil, CMS is mindful of the fact that, as an organisation, it is not in any position to lecture others. Our prayer is that as we raise questions and engage with these contributions, they will stimulate our own reflection, and encourage us to remain active agents for racial justice and reconciliation.’

Individual contributions can be read from here, and the entire issue can be downloaded as a pdf here.

Thursday 7 January 2021

John Coffey on Difficult Histories

The latest Cambridge Paper from the Jubilee Centre is available online here (from where a pdf can be downloaded here), this one by John Coffey:

John Coffey, ‘Difficult Histories: Christian Memory and Historic Injustice’, Cambridge Papers 29, 4 (December 2020).

Here is the summary:

‘Recent years have witnessed heated debate over how Western nations remember their pasts. A generation of historical research on racial slavery and imperial expansion is now informing public memory. The turn to ‘difficult histories’ has provoked a reaction and calls for the reassertion of ‘patriotic history’. This paper surveys the controversy and asks how Christians should respond. It argues that Christian memory should be shaped by the difficult history we find in Scripture.

Monday 4 January 2021

Juan Sanchez on 1 Peter

I don’t think I’ve blogged on this before, but it might be worth doing so: every month The Good Book Company make available digital versions of one of their books, which are almost always worth having.

This month it’s 1 Peter for You, by Juan Sanchez, available in exchange for an email address here.

Saturday 2 January 2021

Mission Frontiers 43, 1 (January-February 2021)

The January-February 2021 issue of Mission Frontiers, published by the U.S. Center for World Mission, contains a number of articles on the topic of ‘Home-Grown Movements’.

According to the blurb:

‘Movements are miracles and they are happening every day all over the world. But can they happen here in America? That is what this issue of MF is all about – the stories of people who believe that movements can happen here and are working tirelessly to make them a reality. In this issue, we talk to some of these people to see what they are doing and what we can learn from their experiences as they seek to foster movements in the United States – a context very different from the various peoples around the world where the majority of Kingdom Movements are currently taking place.

The issue is available here, from where individual articles can be downloaded, and the entire issue can be downloaded as a pdf here.