Tuesday 30 January 2024

Lausanne Global Analysis 13, 1 (January 2024)

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

The summaries are taken from the Issue Overview by Michael Soderling.

Florence Muindi

The Church and Whole-Person Care: Why the Church Should Have an Impact

Florence Muindi inspires us… with her own story of how her view of the calling of the church to ministries of health, healing, and wholeness evolved through difficult situations. While she was occupying herself with many ministry activities, her heart was broken by the sight of young shivering homeless children going through trash trying to eke out an existence on the street just blocks from her mission house. After much mental struggle, instead of starting an orphanage with a feeding program to minister to those suffering, she resolved to help the local church understand and embrace her calling to care for the whole person. 

Karen Bomilcar

Mental Health and the Christian Community: Towards Interdisciplinary and Integral Health

Karen Bomilcar brings a holistic perspective to the role of the church in addressing mental health issues… Karen appropriately points out the ever-present challenge of a dualistic mindset that continues to plague the church. Humans are embodied souls and need to have their health problems addressed as such. For too long mental health issues have been ignored by the church with a common view that you cannot suffer from mental health issues if you believe in Jesus. To be depressed has been considered by many to represent  a lack of faith. Karen helps us see how the church can be a true partner in addressing mental health issues in our fellowships using an interdisciplinary approach.

Nyalpi Nungarai

The Changing Face of Healthcare Missions: Opportunities and Challenges in the 21st Century

The world in which ‘traditional medical missions’ is being conducted has been changing rapidly. And we must acknowledge that old paradigms of what constitutes medical missions may no longer apply in most regions of the world… A shift is occurring – the incidence of suffering from the well-known infectious diseases is declining while the rate of diseases of affluence is increasing dramatically. The author offers helpful suggestions as to how we can be most effective in our healthcare efforts to our neighbors and concludes by affirming the key role we all can play in solving the complex health problems facing the world today. 

Jason Lee

Untold Stories: The Intersection of Physical and Spiritual Health among Frontier Peoples

Recognizing the positive effect of the introduction of a Biblical worldview on human wellbeing, [Jason Lee] calls the church in our efforts to reach FPGs Frontier People Groups] to look for niches in these contexts, where we can shift to incarnational forms of outreach that emulate Jesus’ model of whole person care. Jason suggests: ‘Existing proximate groups or churches of disciples should become hubs of development and health, not necessarily by hiring health professionals or adding dispensaries, but by modelling Jesus’ paradigm of intertwining spiritual, physical, mental, emotional, and social health into disciples’ daily lives, at a level that local disciples can reproduce and sustain.’

Friday 26 January 2024

Mission Frontiers 46, 1 (January–February 2024)

The January–February 2024 issue of Mission Frontiers, published by Frontier Ventures, contains a number of articles devoted to the theme of ‘On the Move with Nomadic Peoples’.

Here is the issue blurb, which sets the scene:

‘“By faith [Abraham] made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise” (Heb. 11:9, NIV). God’s chosen people were originally nomads. Today, most nomads live beyond the reach of the Gospel, for multiple reasons. And a Church whose ministry requires permanent buildings is ill-equipped to reach them. But if the Church can put aside traditions and biases, and if she can raise up workers willing to endure the hardships of a nomadic lifestyle, then God can send her to nomadic fields ripe for harvest.’

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

Thursday 25 January 2024

Foundations 85 (December 2023)

Issue 85 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


Sarah Allen

Thinking Through Difference and Desire: A Critical Engagement with of Sarah Coakley’s God, Sexuality and the Self

This essay critiques the central arguments of Sarah Coakley’s 2013 work God, Sexuality and the Self: An Essay on the Trinity from a reformed perspective and in light of current debates around sexuality and gender in the church. Coakley’s methodology, trinitarian model and anthropology are explored, resulting in a concentration on the relationship between God, desire and gender. Conclusions are drawn about the important role of binaries and embodiment, and a careful use of metaphor in theological models.

Tom Underhill

Evangelicals, Let’s Be a Little More Reformed Catholic

What attitude should evangelicals, committed to sola Scriptura, take to extra-scriptural church tradition? This article, taking cues from the recent book Reformed Catholicity, argues that Scripture itself gives us reasons to cultivate an attitude of trust and receptivity to tradition (though not uncritically), and that it would be beneficial for UK conservative evangelicalism to recover such a posture.

Stephen Steele

The Westminster Divines and the Alexandrian Codex

It has been assumed by those on both sides of the ‘Textus Receptus’ debate that the Westminster Divines did not have access to any of the Alexandrian manuscripts which later saw the dominance of the ‘Received Text’ overturned in critical editions of the Greek New Testament from the nineteenth century onwards. This article shows that, contrary to these assumptions, some Westminster Divines made use of a key Alexandrian manuscript which was gifted to England sixteen years after the publication of the KJV and originally intended for King James himself. Although Codex Alexandrinus was not published until 1786, various Westminster Divines had access to either the manuscript itself or collations of its readings. It is extensively cited in the ‘Westminster Annotations’ (a Bible commentary commissioned by the same Parliament that summoned the Westminster Assembly), while leading Westminster Divine Thomas Goodwin preferred its readings to the TR in a number of places in his published Works. The enthusiastic – and uncontroversial – use of this new manuscript by these Divines is one strand of evidence that, contrary to modern claims, Westminster Confession of Faith (and London Baptist Confession) 1:8 do not require the use of the Textus Receptus.

John C.A. Ferguson

‘In Death Itself He Was Living’: Hugh Martin’s Atonement Theology

Hugh Martin (1822–1885) was a Free Church of Scotland minister whose writings chiefly focussed on the doctrine of salvation. Despite the high esteem with which his writings have been held among Scottish theologians such as John Murray and Donald Macleod his works are not widely known. I wish to offer an introduction to Hugh Martin, and his writings and offer reasons why I think his writings are valuable today for Scottish theology and more widely.

Gary Brady

A Red Letter Day in Bourton on the Water, August 1765

This study in eighteenth century Particular Baptist history hones in on one day in 1765 when Benjamin Beddome and 29 other like minded ministers gathered together at an association meeting. These men vary in their importance and in how much information is available about them. The essay seeks to gather what is known in order to paint a picture of a significant day in the life of that particular community. It is hoped that the description of such a gathering in the past may encourage such gathering and such interaction among evangelical ministers, especially, but also others on our own day and age.

Book Reviews

Friday 19 January 2024

Paul Mills on the Future of Money

Cambridge Papers are published once a quarter and address a wide range of topics, offering ‘Christian reflection on contemporary issues’.

The latest paper is available online here (from where a pdf can be downloaded here):

Paul Mills, ‘Cashing Out? Biblical Thoughts on the Future of Money’, Cambridge Papers 32, 4 (December 2023).

Here is the summary:

‘Monetary systems are innovating rapidly yet also losing the public’s trust. Given that trust (and government solvency) are critical to the survival of banks, recent bank failures may presage the transition to a new monetary paradigm. The Bible’s pointers to the features of a desirable monetary system are used to assess the merits or otherwise of the challengers to the status quo – notably cryptocurrencies and Central Bank Digital Currencies. The latter, in particular, raise a number of concerns regarding governmental surveillance and control.’

Wednesday 3 January 2024

Status of Global Christianity 2024

Every year the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary present an annual snapshot of global Christianity, a summary of which can be downloaded here.

The 2022 version of the fuller article can be accessed from here.

Tuesday 2 January 2024

Explore (January–March 2024)

Every month, The Good Book Company make available digital versions of one of their books at no charge. This month (January 2024) it’s Explore, ninety-one dated and numbered devotions from January to March 2024, featuring Jason Meyer on Mark's Gospel, Tim Chester on Ezekiel, and Carl Laferton on Easter, available in exchange for an email address here.