The apostle Paul writes, "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind" (Rom 12:2). Elsewhere he tells the Corinthians, "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ" (2 Cor 10:5).
My guess is that many of the people who read Themelios either are, or have aspirations to be, teachers in the world of Christian theological academia. Thus, it seems apposite once in a while to reflect briefly upon what exactly this calling entails. The first thing to note in this regard is that being a Christian academic is no more virtuous a calling than any other. What makes a calling Christian, first and foremost, is not where it sits in the hierarchy of vocations as perceived by the Christian community.
he original question I was asked to address was "How does our commitment to the primacy of the gospel tie into our obligation to do good to all, especially those of the household of faith, to serve as salt and light in the world, to do good to the city?" I will divide this question into two parts: (1) If we are committed to the primacy of the gospel, does the gospel itself serve as the basis and motivation for ministry to the poor? (2) If so, how then does that ministry relate to the proclamation of the gospel?
It was not too long ago that Kevin Vanhoozer answered the question Is There a Meaning in This Text? by relocating meaning in authorial intention,1 doing so even more robustly (not to mention, evangelically) than E. D. Hirsch had done. The difficulty, however, with any general hermeneutical theory, including speech-act, is that on the surface Scripture's dual authorship seems to fit uncomfortably within any set of interpretive rules, particularly since one of its authors is God.
Acts 1:1 opens with a reference to what Jesus "began to do and teach"1 recounted in the Gospel of Luke, indicating that this second volume will carry the narrative of Jesus' actions and teachings forward. The risen Lord spends some forty days instructing his disciples (1:3–8) before he ascends his throne (1:9–10), where he takes his place at the right hand of God and pours out the Spirit upon his disciples (2:1–4, 33).
A fundamental requirement in an inclusivist understanding of the relationship between Christianity and other religions is evidence of God's salvific activity outside of any knowledge of Christ. Evidence for such redemptive activity is commonly identified (rightly) in the people of Old Testament Israel.
For Ezra had set his heart to study the Law of the LORD, and to do it and to teach his statutes and rules in Israel (Ezra 7:10).2 To consider Ezra the priest, according to the gospel of Jesus Christ, the way to begin is by remembering a few of the things that Ezra did and said. In this way, we can begin to appreciate what God did in his life as a scribe and then appropriate what God can do in our own lives as students, pastors, and professors.