themelios

volume 2 issue 3

May 1977 / 28 pages

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Columns

Pastoral Pensées

#Charlottesville: Some Gospel Thinking on White Supremacy

Eric C. Redmond

The acts of white supremacy that took place in Charlottesville, VA should encourage the church to act aggressively to deter racist ideals within her ranks. Evangelicals, as a whole, must engage white supremacy as a worthy opponent to the mission and message of the gospel instead of acknowledging race-based hate as a minor threat. Failure to do so directly injures the church’s ability to reach marginalized groups who have become victim to rising attitudes of hate and xenophobia. This responsibility falls on both leadership and members alike, to and both assembly ministers and Christian academics. Evangelical thought and action toward white supremacy cannot be a mere afterthought to the Charlottesville, Virginia incidents August 11, 2017 and like events.

Articles

Tayloring Christian Politics in Our Secular Age

Bruce Riley Ashford

Charles Taylor’s A Secular Age explores the implications of Western civilization’s transition to a modern secular age in which theistic belief has not only been displaced from the default position, but is positively contested by various other options. It is merely one option among many, and an implausible and unimaginable one at that. Building on Taylor’s analysis, Christians have a unique opportunity to reimagine our political witness in light of our secular age, reframe public issues, reform public dispositions, reshape political activism, and recover the lost art of Christian persuasion.

A Paragon of Faith? Doubting Abraham

Andrew Chinpeng Ho

While encrusted generational layers of pious reverence for Abraham have made him out to be a hero of faith, he was not yet one when called at seventy-five. In fact, he would not too irregularly, even mendaciously, evince doubt in God’s promises, probably until Isaac’s birth. Only by the Aqedah, and then only for the last seventy-five years of his life, would Abraham be a man of faith unshakeable. Yet through this unfaithful man, God chose to solve the specific problem that arose when the families of the earth rebelled against him at the end of primeval history.

Covenant, Creation and Children: A Response to David Gibson’s Critique of Credobaptism

Graham Shearer

David Gibson’s 2015 Themelios article on baptism asked whether credobaptism was compatible with a strong, Reformed, doctrine of creation, arguing that credobaptism risks ‘being sacramentally docetic’ since it weakens the relationship between nature and grace. This article offers a credobaptist response to this challenge, examining the three main elements of Gibson’s argument (covenant, creation, and children), arguing that, far from evacuating the created order of significance, credobaptism gives fullest weight to the outworking of salvation history within the created order. The article concludes by offering a brief sketch of a credobaptist theology of baptism placed within a robust theology of creation.

The Helpfulness of the Lesser Known Work: Isaac Watts on the Passions

Graham Beynon

Isaac Watts is well known as a hymn writer, but he also wrote significant works on the place of passion in the Christian life. Writing at a time of ‘cool’ religion in England, Watts aimed to breathe warmth into the religion of his day, while still being aware of the dangers of ‘enthusiasm’. There were significant implications for pastoral ministry along with Watts’s view of praise and preaching. Watts’s context, along with his pastoral insight and practical application, makes his works very helpful today.

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