Friday, 3 March 2023

Foundations 83 (January 2023)

Issue 83 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


Andrew G. Bannister

Muslims, Christians, and God: Why Good Theology is Crucial for Effective Evangelism

This article seeks to explore the question of the relationship between Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. Are they all “sister religions”, or is Islam built upon entirely different theological foundations to the biblical faiths? We will also examine why this is no mere academic question but is a crucial starting point for evangelism and apologetics to Muslims – and why getting this starting point wrong risks, at best, confusing our Muslim friends and at worst, even a sloppy syncretism.

Thorsten Prill

Equipping Twenty-First Century Missionaries for Cross-Cultural Ministry: African and Western Realities and Perspectives

This article discusses the issue of cross-cultural training of both Western Christians who are called to serve as missionaries in Africa and African reverse missionaries who come to Europe and other parts of the world to be involved in evangelistic outreach and church planting. While the value of cross-cultural training for missionaries is widely recognised, both groups tend to demonstrate deficiencies in their cultural intelligence (CQ) which negatively impacts their missionary efforts. This, however, need not be the case. There are various ways in which cross-cultural missionaries can acquire and develop cultural intelligence to become more effective ambassadors of Christ. A solid foundation for mission work abroad is usually laid at home through active involvement in the local church and cross-cultural ministries. Building on that foundation, future missionaries can further increase their cross-cultural competence through short-term mission trips, missionary apprenticeships or formal training at a mission college, preferably outside their home country or in a multicultural and interdenominational setting. Having arrived in their country of service in Africa or Europe, a period of on-field orientation and, at a later stage, participation in continuing education programmes should complement their training.

E.M. Hicham

A Missiological Assessment of the Insider Movement

This paper addresses Insider Movements (IMs) within the world of Islam and presents a missiological evaluation of the principal IM paradigms. A definition of the movement will be given and discussed. We will also consider five major controversial areas that summarise the debate: 1) The legitimacy of IM members’ dual Islamic and Christian identity, 2) The openness of ‘Insiders’ towards the prophethood of Muhammad, the founder of Islam, 3) The Qur’an as Scripture, 4) The new translation of the Bible, and 5) The role of the local Church. The results of the preceding analyses will be synthesised, conclusions regarding the sociological and theological merits of IMs will be made and alternatives will be suggested.

Robert Strivens

Do Christians Meet for Worship? A Review Essay: William Taylor, Revolutionary Worship: All of Life for God’s Glory

This review article considers recent evangelical reflections on the nature of worship. Many evangelicals are positing that as all of life is worship it is inappropriate to speak of Christians going to church to worship. Indeed, for many evangelicals, this is now the ruling paradigm: we meet for worship only in the sense that the whole of the believer’s life is worship. If we think that we meet for worship, our language and our thinking about such meetings needs to undergo a radical transformation. This position has been argued in a recent and influential book on the subject, Revolutionary Worship: All of Life for God’s Glory, by William Taylor, rector of St Helen’s, Bishopsgate. In contrast to this view, this article argues for the historic understanding of the meeting of the local church as a meeting for the worship of God, at which the Lord’s people may expect to know Christ’s presence with them by his Spirit in a special manner.

John W. Keddie

John Davidson and the General Assembly of 1596

In this article we consider one of the most remarkable post-Reformation revivals in Scottish Church history. It concerns what happened at the General Assembly of the Scottish Reformed Church in 1596. It is little known by Christians today, even in Scotland. Yet one contemporary historian, David Calderwood (1575-1650), was to write that “This year [1596] is a remarkable year in the history of the Kirk of Scotland.” We do need to bear in mind that the Word of God is the same, that the Lord Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today and forever, that sin is the same, essentially, in every generation, and the overwhelming need for sinners to be saved is the same in the twenty-first century as it was in the sixteenth. It is a modern arrogance that because we are in such a supposedly advanced society, we have somehow left such things as religion behind. We are in a secular world which holds out no hope for eternity, and has no recognition of answerability to God, or serious thought of judgement to come. We should therefore be moved by the experience of the Church even as far back as 1596 and, after all, the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, is undiminished in His power to quicken those who by nature are dead in trespasses and sins. We are always invited to believe that what He did then, He can do again in His sovereign grace. Besides this, here is a vital tenet for the Church to maintain: Christ, who has all authority in heaven and earth, is building His church so that the gates of hell will not prevail against it (Matthew 16:18). In this reconnoitre in Scottish Church history, we can therefore learn many things of timeless value.

Màiri MacPherson

Book Review: When Christians Face Persecution Theological Perspectives from the New Testament

Peter Sanlon

Book Review: Strange New World: How Thinkers and Activists Redefined Identity and Sparked the Sexual Revolution

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