Monday 31 May 2021

Asbury Journal 76, 1 (2021)

The latest issue of Asbury Journal is now available, containing the below articles. The entire issue is available as a pdf here.

From the Editor

David J. Zucker

In/Voluntary Surrogacy in Genesis

This article re-examines the issue of surrogacy in Genesis. It proposes some different factors, and questions some previous conclusions raised by other scholars, and especially examining feminist scholars approaches to the issue in the cases of Hagar/Abraham (and Sarah), and Bilhah-Zilpah/Jacob (and Rachel, Leah). The author examines these cases in the light of scriptural evidence and the original Hebrew to seek to understand the nature of the relationship of these complex characters. How much say did the surrogates have with regard to the relationship? What was their status within the situation of the text, and how should we reflect on their situation from our modern context?

W. Creighton Marlowe

Trump Was Trumped Long Ago: or, The Legacy of Leadership in the Book of Ecclesiastes

Around the globe at any moment in history we witness a world in which numerous nations simultaneously struggle with the person or party in power. Often, we hear senior citizens long for a return to “the good old days.” But biblical anthropology reminds us that everyone by nature is sinful (willingly disobedient to God’s laws); and Qoheleth corrects those who long for a past golden age, because such thinking is not realistic. There never has been a government under which people were not oppressed, even the Hebrew theocracy of the Old Testament. Over the centuries, whether in the East or West, Southern or Northern hemisphere, leaders of countries or companies often have been disappointing. Those over whose reign we currently fret, at their worst, have nothing on many past pretenders to bring prosperity. The Hebrew Bible testifies to this sad reality and to its reasons.

Greg S. Whyte

A Comparative Analysis of the Major Religions in Japan and Korea During the Colonial Period

To understand why the Christian gospel has success amid one culture, while seeming to fail in similar, neighboring cultures, one must look to additional factors than those often cited by missionary sources. Some of these factors would include the socio-political and religious context of each of those cultures in question, in addition to the prior encounters with Christianity and the reactions to the gospel by the receiving cultures. To illustrate this need, this paper analyzes the contexts of Japan and Korea during the period of Japanese expansion and wartime (1894 – 1945), and looks specifically at what was happening in the other major religions present at the time (Confucianism, Buddhism, and Shintoism), which would include their responses to the Christian missionary presence.

Robert A. Danielson

Women Church Planters in the Early Work of the Church of God in Christ: The Case of the Singing Twins, Reatha and Leatha Morris

While church planting is often seen as a recent topic, it has been in existence as long as the church itself. One interesting historical example of church planting is revealed in the methods practiced by the women of the Church of God in Christ (COGIC), the largest African-American Pentecostal denomination in the United States. In the early days of the denomination, Mother Lizzie Robinson was put in charge of the ministry done by women. While she did not approve of women preaching and leading churches, she did approve and commission women evangelists who would “dig out” churches and then turn them over to male leaders from the denominational headquarters. Reatha and Leatha Morris, twins from Oklahoma, are presented here as a historical case study of how this method worked. The church planting methodology is also examined in light of current church planting theory. As apostolic harvest church planters, Mothers Reatha Morris Herndon and Leatha Morris Chapman Tucker illustrate the power of church planters being freed from the work of pastoring and discipling (even if this was not their choice). Together they are credited with planting some 75 churches in many of the major metropolitan areas of the United States. The women church planters of COGIC are arguably the single most important reason for the size and success of this denomination today.

John Lomperis

The Seven Churches of United Methodism, Revisited

The United Methodist Church is on the verge of what is expected to be a primarily two-way schism. But the denomination is already rather divided between seven main sub-churches: the global regions of Africa, Europe, and the Philippines, and the four main ideological factions within the United States (American traditionalists, the genuine Methodist middle, institutionalist liberals, and liberationist progressives). Each of these sub-churches has important internal divisions, but also distinct characteristics setting them apart. Recognizing the particular features of each is crucial for understanding how the coming schism will impact and is being prepared for by different United Methodists.


From the Archives: The Poetry of Sterling M. Means – The Pentecostal Publishing Company Collection

Book Reviews

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