Wednesday 22 November 2023

Christian History Magazine on Revival: The First Thousand Years

The latest issue of Christian History Magazine is devoted to the topic of ‘Revival: The First Thousand Years’.

From the blurb:

‘This issue, the first in a three-part series, looks at the big picture of renewal and the marks of revival in church history, starting in an unexpected time – the High Middle Ages. Join us for an in-depth view of medieval revival in this issue of Christian History.’

The whole magazine is available as a 12.1 MB pdf here.

Tuesday 21 November 2023

Evangelical Alliance UK on Being Human

Evangelical Alliance UK has pulled together what looks like a helpful set of resources to go with the release of the book by Jo Frost and Peter Lynas, Being Human: A New Lens For Our Cultural Conversations (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 2023).

The portal is here.

A six-part video series for use in church or small groups is available from here.

Each film also includes a downloadable study guide with questions for reflection and ideas on how to respond.

Tuesday 14 November 2023

Journal of Biblical Theology and Worldview 4, 1 (2023)

The latest issue of the Journal of Biblical Theology and Worldview, published by BJU Seminary, has recently been made available online.

Contents as below are available from here, with the whole issue available for download as a pdf here.

Brian R. Hand

Feeling the Fall: A Biblical-Theological Examination of Melancholy as an Emotional Mirror of a Fallen World

Mark Sidwell

The Scriptural View of Church History? The Historical-Prophetic Interpretation of the Seven Churches of Revelation

Greg Stiekes

The Invisible Pastor

Layton Talbert

An Inquiry into the Hardness, and Hardening, of Pharaoh’s Heart

Book Reviews

Thursday 9 November 2023

9Marks Journal (November 2023) on Church Planting

The latest issue of the 9Marks Journal, available from here, looks at the topic of ‘Church Planting: One Step at a Time’.

In the Editor’s Note, Jonathan Leeman writes:

‘Several themes emerge throughout this volume. Let me mention two. First, church plants and planters are sometimes treated as something other than churches and pastors. They’re not. Plants are churches, planters are pastors…

‘The reason to emphasize this is, the whole world of church planting literature, programs, assessment tools, and workshops over the last few decades too often takes its cues from the business world rather than the Bible. Yet we want your church to think about those would-be planters like you would a would-be pastor – according to the qualifications and competencies highlighted by the apostles. 

‘We also want you to think about those plants as churches… It’s a church now, with all the rights, duties, and privileges thereof..

‘A second theme that emerges throughout this volume is the connection between churches and their plants. Biblically ordered and healthy churches tend to plant biblically ordered and healthy churches. Biblically disordered and unhealthy churches tend to plant the same.’

Tuesday 7 November 2023

Evangelical Review of Theology 47, 4 (November 2023)

The latest Evangelical Review of Theology is now online and available in its entirety as a pdf here.

Introduction: Thank You!

Godfrey Yogarajah

Praying for the Persecuted: IDOP

Anna E. Hampton

Towards a Theology of Risk for the 21st Century

Risk is not always right! As threats against Christians intensify in many parts of the world, we must gain deeper understanding of when God is calling us into risky situations and be spiritually and emotionally prepared for the possible results. This article by an experienced risk consultant dispels common myths and offers a mature theological perspective.

Wanjiku M. Kihuha and Joshua Robert Barron

Introducing the Africa Society of Evangelical Theology

Is African Christianity theologically shallow? It is not, thanks in part to the Africa Society of Evangelical Theology. In this article, two ASET leaders describe the organization’s vision and accomplishments and encourage theologians everywhere to engage with the exciting work emerging from Africa.

Jeffrey S. Krohn

The ‘Third Mention’ of Apostles and Prophets: Ephesians 4:11 in Light of 2:20 and 3:5

Many Christian leaders (including Joseph Mattera in our May 2023 issue) see a role for apostles and prophets in the contemporary church. This article examines, with illustrative references to African interpreters and popular current practices, whether Paul’s references to ‘apostles and prophets’ in Ephesians support such an understanding.

Joshua Robert Barron

Is the Prosperity Gospel the Gospel? The Prosperity and Productivity Gospels in African Christianity

We know that some versions of the Prosperity Gospel are off the rails, as this article colourfully documents. But the article goes on to commend the positive impact of some African variants that often go unnoticed.

Amanda Jackson

Women in the Church Today

Disagreements over the appropriateness of female pastors often obscure the much broader agreement that women have important gifts that should be deployed for the kingdom of God. Yet those gifts are often overlooked. In this article, the WEA’s Senior Advisor on Diversity and former Director of its Women’s Commission lays out a pathway towards greater engagement of women for the benefit of all.

Thomas K. Johnson

Adam and Eve, Where Are You? A Missionary Philosophy of God’s Questions for Humanity

People who do not know God often believe illogical things about the world, either because they have not thought about the issues seriously, uncritically accept views from the culture around them, or are subconsciously hiding from God’s truth. Based on his many years of teaching in a secular context, the WEA’s senior theological advisor suggests 10 questions that we can use to help people question their assumptions and become open to God’s answers.

Evert Van de Poll

Protestantism, Early Baptists and the Emergence of Human Rights

The development of modern understandings of human rights is widely attributed to Enlightenment thinkers, but Christians had constructed similar arguments even earlier. This article traces that history with primary reference to three early Baptists whose worldviews were shaped by the intolerance they experienced.

Timoteo D. Gener

James McClendon’s Theology of Culture and Its Implications for Cultural Engagement

In this essay, a leading Filipino theologian reviews the work of James McClendon, including his interaction with Paul Tillich, H. Richard Niebuhr and others, as a means of shedding light on the church’s opportunities for cultural transformation. Specific applications to the Philippine setting provide a model for applications in other contexts.

Book Review

Thursday 2 November 2023

Kathryn Mannix on Dying for Beginners

Theos, the public theology think tank, is curating some resources on death and dying.

‘In modern British society, death is out of sight and behind closed doors. Many of us lack direct exposure to the dying process – with all sorts of potential emotional and spiritual consequences for how we grieve our loved ones, as well as how we prepare for our own deaths.’

Dr Kathryn Mannix, who gave this year’s Annual Theos Lecture, narrates a short animation on the process of dying, which is available to watch here.

Wednesday 1 November 2023

Mission Frontiers 45, 6 (November–December 2023)

The November–December 2023 issue of Mission Frontiers, published by Frontier Ventures, contains a number of articles devoted to the theme of ‘Movements Accelerating through Crisis Response’.

Here is the issue blurb, which sets the scene:

‘All the world came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph, because the famine was severe everywhere (Genesis 41:57, NIV). God can use all kinds of crisis situations to draw to Himself people who are far from him. Natural disasters, droughts, and even man-made crises can open doors of opportunity in otherwise closed places. The context of demonstrating God’s love in crisis often creates fertile soil for the sowing of Gospel seeds. If the Church is prepared to respond, the progression of Readiness-Relief-Recovery-Rebuilding can yield both immediate and long-term Kingdom results.’

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