One of the odd things about the English language is how many words it has. For example, English has about three times as many words as French. That doesn’t mean that the working vocabulary of the average English speaker is larger than the working vocabulary of the average French speaker, of course.
One of the perils of being a middle-aged parent in England is that you have to attend school plays. By the time your children are in their mid-late teens, they no longer act in dubious juvenile versions of The Lion King, but any sense of safety this gives you is thoroughly spurious: they have been told by their drama teachers to do Shakespeare. . . .
What is the task and focus of Christian theology? What are the distinctive contributions of biblical theology and systematic theology? In this issue of Themelios, a distinguished systematic theologian (Gerald Bray) and biblical theologian (Thomas Schreiner) address these and other questions. . . .
I would like to consider several elements in reviewing Bray’s work. What kind of systematic theology is this and how did Bray go about the task? What insights are particularly helpful for scholars and pastors? Along the way, but particularly at the end, I will raise a few questions. . . .
Theology is first and foremost about who God is and then about what he has done. But if we follow the approach of biblical theologians like Schreiner, most of the time we are forced to begin with what God has done and work back from there to who he is. . . .
Thomas Prince, editor of The Christian History—the first religious periodical in American history—could hardly have invented the Great Awakening, as Frank Lambert argues. Indeed, Prince and New Light allies such as Jonathan Edwards failed in their efforts to employ this growing medium to quiet critics and quell radicals. Their example actually refutes both the scholarly critics of revival, who doubt God’s supernatural blessing, and also modern-day radicals, who believe our actions guarantee God’s blessing of revival.
Abstract: Evangelical Faith and the Challenge of Historical Criticism, editedby Christopher Hays and Christopher Ansberry, argues that evangelical scholars have failed to embrace historical criticism to the extent that they could and should. This review essay surveys the book’s argument by chapters, asks how its claims should be evaluated, and arrives at the conclusion that while the Hays-Ansberry proposal marks a significant step in discussion of these matters, it is not always a step in a helpful direction.
Too often people think of the Reformation in terms of an abstract theological debate. While intensely theological, the Reformation was not merely about ideas; it was about correctly understanding the gospel for the good of people and the salvation of souls. This thesis is advanced by investigating Reformation leaders, primarily Luther, Calvin, and Bucer. As we seek to appropriate lessons from the Reformation for today, we must not miss the pastoral impulse that drove this recovery of the gospel.