Here in the US, and to some extent elsewhere, we have witnessed a significant movement of (mostly young) Christians who have sometimes been tagged “the young, restless, and Reformed.” In part, this movement is embodied in such organizations as Together for the Gospel, Desiring God, The Gospel Coalition, 9Marks, and Acts29; in part, it surfaces in many local churches in many countries.
I want to argue that there are some important parallels between the scepticism that Augustine encountered and some contemporary ways of handling the Bible. I also want to argue that Augustine has given us something of enduring value in meeting those approaches by his analysis of what it is to make a mistake.
A trio of recent books raises important questions on how Scripture is handled in halls of (certain kinds of) learning and how such handling affects Scripture’s perceived truth and message. One of these books’ titles conveys the thrust of all three: The Death of Scripture and the Rise of Biblical Studies. That is, scholarly study (“biblical studies”) has too often robbed Scripture of the respect it deserves. This essay explores and assesses these books, one by Harvard-trained Hebrew scholar Michael Legaspi and the others by the renowned New Testament scholars Ulrich Wilckens (emeritus, University of Hamburg) and Klaus Berger (emeritus, University of Heidelberg). It concludes that it is not Scripture from which there is need to take leave; the problem is with faulty approaches to reading it.
In light of John A. D’Elia’s A Place at the Table and Stanley E. Porter’s Inking the Deal, this article shares three reflections on evangelical academic publishing. (1) Evangelical scholarship is a gift to evangelicals for which they should be grateful. (2) Evangelical academics should aim to be academically responsible more than being academically respectable. (3) Evangelical scholarship is ultimately about glorifying God by serving Christ’s church.
Many have written on the difficulties of pastoral ministry, backed by research into the demise of those who become discouraged in the work. These studies provide useful descriptions and helpful insights into the culture of ministry and how it might be changed. Much of this recent work, however, lacks deeper reflection on the biblical-theological themes that frame life in ministry and provide categories through which its difficulties must be understood. This article explores the framework for suffering in ministry through Paul’s letters, focusing on his correspondence with the Corinthians, with the aim of recovering the rich redemptive-historical narrative of ministry that is grounded in Christ’s death and resurrection.
Possessing a helpful explanation of the slowness of spiritual change can be encouraging to Christians who are not growing spiritually as quickly or consistently as they might have hoped. While the classic Christian obstacles of “the world, the flesh, and the devil” provide general categories for explaining the slowness of change, this article proposes a relational understanding of “the flesh” as resistance to the Holy Spirit that offers an explanatory framework for the gradual nature of sanctification.
Jesus and the authors of the New Testament consistently link how Jesus’ followers are to live (ethics) with when they live (eschatology). Yet again and again in modern theology, this link has been severed. Eschatology has been reinterpreted, discarded, or demythologized. This article shows that, surprisingly, the severing of ethics and eschatology is present in the work of Albert Schweitzer. Further, it is argued that no one is better placed than evangelical pastor-theologians to recover and proclaim the New Testament’s fruitful, hope-giving connection between the Christian’s eschatological identity and moral life. This is a matter of great importance for the church.