Links to editorials, articles, and book reviews in Themelios 43.1 are included below.
- D. A. Carson | When Revival Comes. What should our priorities be when God visits the church with the blessings of reformation and revival? Don Carson offers seven dos and don’ts when revival comes.
- Daniel Strange | Strange Times: The Rolling Stones Will Stop. Dan Strange argues that our mortality and death are meaningful in that they reveal things about ourselves and about our Creator. As we remember and prepare for our death, we will learn the art of living.
- Thomas R. Schreiner | Paul and Gender: A Review Article. Cynthia Westfall has written a wide-ranging book on Paul and gender, examining key texts in their literary, cultural, and theological context. Her discussion is fresh and stimulating, and many of her insights are to be warmly welcomed. She recognizes that Paul’s view of gender must be distinguished from common conceptions in the Greco-Roman world. Nevertheless, Tom Schreiner argues that Westfall’s perspective as a whole fails to convince, especially in the exegesis of key texts like 1 Corinthians 11:2–16 and 1 Timothy 2:8–15.
- Robert S. Smith | Songs of the Seer: The Purpose of Revelation’s Hymns. What are the purposes of the songs of the Apocalypse? What effect are they intended to produce? After a brief discussion of the question of sources, the function played by Revelation’s hymns is explored with particular attention to their connection to the cosmic conflict theme, the way they model celebration in the face of tribulation, the comfort they offer believers, and the warning they present to unbelievers. Rob Smith then turns to some of the key theological emphases the songs—in particular Christological and salvific themes. While Revelation’s hymns are transparently doxological, they’re also richly pedagogical and pointedly pastoral. For this reason, they pose a much-needed challenge to many contemporary praise practices.
- Jackson Wu | Have Theologians No Sense of Shame? How the Bible Reconciles Objective and Subjective Shame. Everyone agrees shame is a pervasive problem; yet, in book and articles, we find writers often talk past one another. Missionaries and anthropologists speak of “honor-shame” cultures. Psychologists describe shame as an individual, emotional experience. Strangely, theologians typically say little about the topic. Christian scholars tend to treat guilt as “objective” and shame merely as “subjective.” This misunderstanding undermines our ability to develop a practical theology of honor and shame. Therefore, Jackson Wu demonstrates how the Bible helps us have an integrated understanding of shame in its theological, psychological, and social dimensions.
- Michael McClymond | Apocalypse Now: The Neo-Bultmannian Universalism of David Congdon’s The God Who Saves. In The God Who Saves, David Congdon seeks an elusive synthesis of Karl Barth’s dogmatics and Rudolf Bultmann’s hermeneutics: he integrates Bultmann’s insistence on the concrete historicity of individual human experience with Barth’s stress on the universal salvific significance of Christ. Despite his “demetaphysicizing” rejection of a substantive God and a Chalcedonian Christ, Congdon propounds universal salvation based on a universal “cocrucifixion” with Christ that may occur in nonreligious experience (e.g., in viewing artwork, watching a baby’s birth, etc.). His intricate argument shows little theological coherence and a lack of grounding in scriptural exegesis or empirical observation.
- James D. Clark | The Kuyperian Impulse of the Benedict Option. Evangelicals have criticized Rod Dreher’s Benedict Option and the idea of strategic withdrawal, with some citing Abraham Kuyper as a model of how Christians should engage the world today. This article argues that the Benedict Option and the Kuyperian tradition harmonize with (rather than contradict) each other in significant ways, including their promotion of cultural engagement in general, their recognition of the need to withdraw from the world in some sense in order to enable the Christian formation that makes robust engagement with the world possible, and their openness to a cultural transformation that is distantly future rather than imminent.
- Adriani Milli Rodrigues | The Rule of Faith and Biblical Interpretation in Evangelical Theological Interpretation of Scripture. One of the features of the Theological Interpretation of Scripture movement is the use of the rule of faith in biblical interpretation. However, a comparison of evangelical scholars in this movement shows that there are significant disagreements on the concept of the rule and its hermeneutical role. Adriani Rodrigues attempts to clarify these disagreements and briefly analyze them. He suggests that an engagement with Cullman’s notion of apostolic and post-apostolic traditions and with aspects of Irenaeus’s concept of the rule of faith might be helpful for understanding the concept and role of the rule of faith.
- Book Reviews